The Whole Nine

Motherhood, Recovery, Sobriety
Silas as an infant

If I were to tell my friends of 10 or 15 years ago that I would become somebody’s mother, I’d be met with dirision and dismissal. Not that they would try to be mean, but I don’t think those friends could have ever pictured me as a parent based on the person I was to them at the time. I can’t blame them, even in a hypothetical situation: an individual who cuts lines of cocaine using her Anthem insurance card before an 8:30am conference call is not exactly parental material. The person I have become is someone new entirely. I doubt they’d recognize her, either.

Reasons to Celebrate

On March 17, 2023, I celebrated nine years sober. I approached this anniversary somewhat differently than I normally do. I felt almost annoyed by the fact that nine is so close to 10, a huge milestone to anyone even halfway paying attention. Nine felt like flyover country not to be held with too much import or fanfare. I’m happy to report that I was misinformed. Celebrating nine years sober has been one of my most rewarding anniversaries to date.

A lot has changed in the past six months, let alone the past nine years. John and I both switched jobs. What’s more, I changed how I work and for whom I work irreversibly; I am now my own boss. I am also, technically speaking, a small business owner. I started this path last year, establishing Morrisette Charm Offensive, LLC, on December 10, 2021. However, I wouldn’t take on clients through my business for another whole year. Opening my LLC felt empowering to me in and of itself, especially when I felt that my time as an organizing director was coming to a close. I loved the work I was doing advocating for abortion access, but I knew I’d outgrown working exclusively in field for campaigns.

The one constant in my life throughout all of this change was and continues to be my sobriety. I found a home group where I can be of service on a daily basis, and the people who attend the meetings are spiritually in-tune and aligned with the spirt of the 12 steps. I devote time regularly to a meditation practice, whether that’s through yoga or quietly sitting for a few minutes at a time.

Risks Worth Taking

Silas finally got into early preschool after being on a waiting list for months. This structured childcare has freed me up to work from home without also caring for a toddler who fancies things like uprooting my office plants, coloring on my white desk, breaking my printer, and smashing items onto my glass coffee table. He doesn’t like to share attention with my clients on Zoom, and he makes his presence known whenever he can. I love the fact that I can pick him up early in the afternoon, which leaves time for us to hang out before he goes to bed at 7:00pm. Note: once my child started to warm to a bedtime routine, my free time at night opened up drastically.

I think the biggest change I’ve experienced internally is the level of trust and faith I have in myself. Despite my wreckless behavior as a drunk person, I’ve never been much of a risk-taker professionally or personally. I am confident in my skills as a consultant. I am proud that I am committed to my marriage and to being a good mother to my son. I can’t imagine what my life would be today if I didn’t firmly believe I could be someone who others rely on. I feel excited that I know how to show up as a friend, especially when in the past my default was to disappear slowly from people’s lives after causing chaos. It makes a difference when my friends and family trust me that I will follow through on my promises. My word is my bond, and that integrity is something I’ve worked on diligently since 2014.

Keep It Moving

I’m dedicated to growing in recovery. I think the willingness to keep changing is what keeps me invested in my future. This year has shown me that there are very few, if any, elements of life I can or should do on my own. My gratitude runs deep for everyone in my life who has shared this journey with me so far. I’ll keep writing about being sober, and I hope you keep reading.

With love xx.

Lucy Hartman

Lucy Hartman

I'm funnier when I'm sober.