A year ago today I found out I was pregnant. A year ago today I smoked my last cigarette. A year ago today I put down the bottle. A year ago today completely changed my life for the better even though I thought it might change it for the worse.
So many people look at me today and tell me how great of a mother I am and how I am “goals.”
Currently, I can agree with these two things but that is not who I have always been. I got pregnant with my son at 15. I had never partied, never drank, never snuck out, the only “bad” thing I did was have sex.
I stayed in school, had my son, and was the best mom I could be at 16. I went back to school a week after birth, kept my grades up, was back on the cheer team, and raising my son. I began to realize all of my peers were out on the weekends, drinking and having what I thought looked like fun.
I was 17 now and my son was a little over 1. My mom had always been strict but I decided to ask if I could go to a party. Shockingly I got a yes. I went, I drank, and I loved it. It felt good to feel what I thought was “normal.” It felt good to be social and get out of the house.
By 18/19 I was going out every weekend and even took a week trip to Florida for spring break. My time with friends and alcohol became greater as my time with my son became lesser. I was so focused on myself and finding out what I wanted that I neglected my son and our relationship.
20 came and I met my daughters dad. Admitting to me right away when we met, that he was an alcoholic. We clicked even though he was probably one of the worst people for me. Daily drinking, staying up till 5 am, and sleeping all day. Going days without seeing my son and not thinking twice about it.
I was so lost in this “life” that I didn’t even know who I was anymore, I did not recognize the girl in the mirror. I let myself be treated like complete crap day in and day out by myself and by my boyfriend. I didn’t love myself therefore I could not love anyone else. I had no relationship with my family and rarely talked to my friends.
October 31 2014, a fight escalated so badly that I was thrown into a wall and blacked out. I knew, I couldn’t do this anymore. I went out that night to drink, to numb a pain I didn’t even really feel anymore. The drinks made me sick, unknowingly to me, because I was pregnant.
I woke up the next morning, still sick and questioning why two small drinks would make me feel so hungover. The thought of pregnancy ran across my mind but I didn’t think too much of it. As the day went on it kept popping up in my mind & I decided to buy a test JUST TO BE SURE I was NOT pregnant as I was going to be drinking again that night. I took the test so nonchalantly that I barely even paid attention.
Fiddling with my phone, I noticed 2 LINES pop on the test below me. What. The. Fuck. I dropped to my knees and began sobbing. I wasn’t sure what to do and honestly thought it was just a false positive. 3 tests and an ER visit later, I finally realized I was actually pregnant.
I quit everything cold turkey. I started eating healthy. I went back to school. I got a better job. I moved to a better place. I stayed away from her dad as much as possible.
That day changed my life so much and I am forever grateful. My mother is now my best friend. I have my GOOD friends back. I have a relationship with God. I respect and LOVE myself. I have not gone a day without seeing Lyle since I became pregnant with Ellie.
My idea of a fun Friday night is dancing around the kitchen with my kids while baking cookies and trying to see who can make Ellie laugh the loudest. Cuddling up in bed with both of my beautiful babies and watching Space Jam over and over. I get asked why Lyle didn’t change my life like I always say Ellie did.
He did change my life, he made me a mom. But I did not know who I was or what I wanted outside of that because I was still so young and inexperienced in life. I’ve done the “party life” now and I never want to do it again.
Nothing feels better than waking up to my kids and nothing feels worse than waking up hungover without them. They are my everything and I am grateful for BOTH of them.
I’ve made mistakes and I’m not perfect but I can guarantee you that I will never miss a day with my kids ever again. Thank you November 1, 2014 for changing my life for the better, actually for the BEST.
Thank you God. & thank you to all of my friends and family who have stuck with me through it all and have always been there even when I didn’t deserve it. A year ago I was a lost, scared, mindless, little girl and today I am a strong, motivated, happy WOMAN and MOTHER.
Written by Nikkole Paulun