Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What matters most

Confessions from a Working Mom

This is the first time I've ever participated in Elizabeth's meme, but today I'm gonna write my lil heart out. Elizabeth's question today is:

Have you ever lost something...

And came out a winner?

My answer : a big loud resounding YES!!
I could list probably no less than a million things here, but who has time to read or write that?

Before I became pregnant with Lady M, I was living life like I was invincible. I was an alcoholic and drug user, and was completely set on a road that I should have never set even one foot on.

At eighteen, I graduated high school with honors, was headed to college with a music scholarship and had been accepted into the music program at UNC-G as a performance major, which was not an easy task. The summer between HS and college, I went on a missions trip with my youth group to West Palm Beach, FL, where, believe it or not, there is a huge problem with poverty and homelessness. We worked for a week with inner city kids, one of whom was determined they were going home with me, and I felt like my life had a purpose. For whatever reason, when I came home, something inside me shut down. I had been struggling with what doctors had diagnosed as a "panic disorder", which in hindsight was more likely the beginning of my brain tumor journey. I'd been put on medicines, but nothing was helping. I'd have spells where my vision would blur then go black, my hearing would be gone, and I'd pass out. Apparently while I was out, I'd hyperventilate, then stop breathing. It happened all through my senior year in hs (embarrassing), and then followed me to college. That same summer, I was working at Kmart and a friend had told me that if I smoked a cigarette, it would help with the "spells". So, me, the girl who HATED smoke and cigarettes, tried it. I felt a little desperate to get something to help with the "panic attacks". For whaever reason, it worked.

Maybe that's why I started questioning everything I'd ever believed.

Within a month, I was drinking more alcohol than anything else, had tried my first joint and LSD (not on purpose, someone spiked my drink ). Over the next 3 years, I experimented with much more, but nothing that I thought would be something I couldn't control. I quit college after almost 2 years, and started working full time and partying anytime I was off work. My drinking problem had grown into something bigger than I'd ever imagined. I was going to my friend's house every night with a large bottle of cheap vodka and orange juice and drinking the night away with screwdrivers. The fact that I looked older than my age was not a blessing at the time, but I sure thought I was getting away with something. I had more "real" friends at the time than I'd ever had in my life. I was cool, accepted, and desired. I thought I was having the time of my life, until one night when I'd had a lot to drink, and popped a few too many pills...

Frankly, I don't remember a whole lot about the night I got pregnant. I know that I was out with what I thought was one of my best friends for his birthday. We'd been close for years, and he seemed like such a valiant kind of guy to me. We barhopped to several places, before coming back to his house. What happened after that is fuzzy, but the end result was 2 pink lines.

When I found out I was pregnant, my world turned upside down. I got "morning sickness" before I'd ever missed a period. A coworker at the time asked me if I was pregnant, and I hadn't really even considered it. When I took a test and got a positive, it was all I could do not to just lose it. But I convinced myself it wasn't real. 6 positive pregnancy tests later, I couldn't deny it any more. The biggest issue was that I was still technically living with my parents, althought most nights I spent elsewhere. I was raised in a strict Christian home, which I see now as such a blessing, but at time time I was petrified of how my parents would react.  I couldn't tell them.

Finally, when I was almost 8 weeks pregnant, and had become so dehydrated that I could barely walk, I broke down.

"I'm pregnant. I'm sorry, I'll move out and get food stamps and Section 8 housing or live in a homeless shelter or whatever, I'm sorry".

My parents loved me regardless. Over the next week and a half, I was admitted to the hospital for "hyperemisis gravidarum". My blood pressure was 83/38 when I was admitted. I was in horrible shape, but at least I'd managed to quit drinking and everything else. After leaving the hospital 5 days later fully re-hydrated, I had to make a tough decision: I could not go back to any of the friends I'd had before. I'd lost touch with pretty much everyone from high school, and had no friends anywhere else, so it was just me, my siblings and my parents, working through all of this mess. I ended up losing my job, and drawing unemployment for my entire pregnancy.  But it all worked out, and I received the best gift a girl could ever ask for: Lady M.

So all of that to say this....

I thought I was living a great life. I could get any guy, I was envied by other girls, everyone wanted me as their friend... but when I gave up that lifestyle, I gained so much more than I could ever have imagined. I became a mother.


  1. Oh my gosh, your post has me crying. I LOVE your daughter's name and the reason behind it. She truly was a gift, huh? And your parents-- such strong people. You are right, there are a lot of people who would have kicked their child out. Sounds like they showed you mercy before you ever met Mercy.

    Confessions From A Working Mom

  2. You were the winner in this situation! What a story you have and thanks for sharing. God has a definite way of getting our attention.

  3. WOW! What a story and you are so right, you did come out a winner! Thanks for sharing your story and being 'truthful'!

  4. Wow Rhonda...what an honest and heart wrenching post for you too write! I always love when people are real on thier blogs because we too can grow and learn from one another. You truly did gain the greatest gift Rhonda!

  5. Rhonda, this was a beautiful, well-written post. You shared so well from your heart. I LOVE your daughter's name, Mercy. So fitting. :) Thank you so much for the visit today!

  6. Wow. Thanks for sharing your story! Not only am I glad that everything worked out b/c I want to see everyone happy, but as a therapist who has worked with clients w/these issues, I am THRILLED! So many who get caught up that quickly never find their way out, but you did. That little girl is a blessing!!!!!

    So happy for you...


  7. Wow thanks so much for posting this! What an amazing story and testimony you have.


~~Thanks for leaving me some LOVE!!~~
If you know me IRL (in real life), please refrain from using our real names in the comments. Thank ya kindly!

Related Posts with Thumbnails Share