I don’t remember last Easter. I was drunk. My husband took care of filling baskets with sweet treats, hiding plastic coin-filled eggs and hard boiled ones had been decorated by little hands while he oversaw them. Because I was drunk. Or on my way to being drunk. Last Easter I was still in active addiction and while I may have been physically present, whimsically snapping photos of the decorating festivities while carrying around a wine glass too full with my second or third serving, I wasn’t really there. By that time I knew I had a problem. Well, depending on the day. Some days I toyed with the idea that I just may have a problem while others I assured myself that I certainly did NOT have a problem. I’m a mother with a professional job and a home and a marriage and I volunteer for the PTO and addicts don’t do that! Or do they?
So I don’t remember much of last Easter other than I wasn’t present. I still had that empty feeling. My eyes were always filled with…nothing. Besides the pain I definitely did not want to acknowledge let alone address, I hated holidays and I wanted nothing more than to be numb and stop remembering everything.
This Easter, at 119 days sober, was so much different. So much more beautiful and fulfilling. I’m still fighting the urge to be numb and forget and for whatever reason, (probably that the week leading up to this weekend has just been a shitty one), I’ve really wanted to drink this weekend. But I DIDN’T.
I told my husband-ish (long story to come at some point!) that I’d really like to take care of Easter this year because I just didn’t last year. And so I did. On Friday evening I helped the kids as they decorated eggs and I was actually present. Last night after we put the kids to bed, he brought all the goodies out from their hiding spots and I carefully filled baskets, rearranging items a few times to make sure they were perfect. I filled 48 plastic eggs with candy and coins. I hid plastic and decorated eggs all around the house. The entire time I did this, I thought of the gift of my sobriety and how grateful I was to be so fully present, aware and in control of how Easter would turn out for my babies. I even noticed at one point my husband-ish, their father, watching me as I worked and how relaxed he seemed. No worrying for him tonight that Easter wouldn’t be taken care of, that I would pick a fight that would turn ugly and wake the kids or that I might not wake up in the morning with our children.
I awoke with a clear head at 6:30 am to two bright-eyed, eager children who had already peeked downstairs and wanted me to know that the Easter Bunny did indeed visit and could we please, please, please go downstairs NOW! Instead of being hungover and irritable, I got right out of bed and followed them to their baskets and I didn’t have to fake my excitement for them. I snapped pictures and took videos of them on their egg hunt to send to their father who was working an early shift. When they were a bit more settled and had found all of the eggs and shown me all of the treasures from their baskets, I made cinnamon rolls as a special Easter breakfast with a side of strong coffee for myself. I sipped the hot elixir and watched as they cracked open plastic eggs and fawned over pennies and dimes and chocolates galore while they discussed how well the Easter Bunny had hidden their eggs this year.
I did it. I survived a holiday sober and I enjoyed it. And I will remember it. My kids, at 5 and 7 years old, may not remember this particular Easter, but I will. I know Easter gives hope to so many who celebrate it for religious reasons but this Easter gave me hope in a way I never expected or thought was possible.
I am SO GRATEFUL for my recovery. It has not been easy and there is a long way to go, but DAMNIT I MADE IT TO DAY 119! I made it to an Easter I will remember.