Adulting is Hard and It’s Okay to Be a Hot Mess
Why do we feel the need to always be perfect? To be “spiritual?” It’s like once we reach long-term recovery we are supposed to magically know…how to be employable, how to parent, how to budget and pay bills, how to navigate healthy relationships. Are you kidding me? It’s all I can do sometimes to show up for life never mind be awesome at it.
Others tell me that they don’t know how I do it. Somehow, I’m a superwoman. But I’m not. I don’t know either and I’m nobody’s hero. Yes, I have done some pretty great things in recovery. I am incredibly proud of the woman that I am becoming but trust me when I say that I am still a hot mess.
I am just now, at five years sober, learning how to adult. There have been times in my sobriety when I screwed up my finances. When I practiced self-seeking in all different forms. I have royally fucked up in various areas of my life–WHILE SOBER. But I didn’t relapse.
If you are currently screwing things up don’t feel like you are the only one. I’ve been there.
I break everything that I get my hands on whether it is vehicles, electronics, relationships. I am NEVER entirely organized. I have closets where you could be physically injured by the avalanche if you opened the door. I typically have clean laundry thrown all over the place. I am always running out of food because I procrastinate going to the grocery store with a toddler. I can’t seem to stay on top of my dishes for my life. There is a Christmas tree in a box in my bedroom and I have somehow lost all six pairs of my daughter’s shoes over the last two weeks. I repeatedly forgot to pay the $3 bill from a toll for so long that the registry actually took away my driver’s license until I ended up paying $500 in fees.
I have to be able to laugh at myself. I am still learning.
The pressure is even worse when I’m looking at social media. On social, everything is fantastic and it’s rare for someone to talk about the ugly parts. We don’t talk about crying in the bathtub as a newly single mom who has no idea how to pay the rent, buy food and find someone to watch your kid so you can work that overtime shift Saturday. Nobody talks about the ugly side of relationships where the father of your child is living his best life and you are alone and all of your old “friends” still love and support him and tell you how awesome he is. And if we do talk about it, we get labeled as “crazy” or “attention seeking.” Right.
The reality is that I will never be able to compete with some of these other women or moms out there. I am not supposed to. I was not created for their life. I was created for my own. My life has been filled with all sorts of crazy and I took a left turn for a while filled with pain and chaos and tragedy. That’s okay. I am not there anymore. I am not meant to be perfect.
I fiercely believe that my purpose is to embrace the imperfections–to show others that they aren’t alone.
If you feel like you are the best you have ever been but also that you are always drowning and just need a life preserver, I get you.
Give yourself a break. Adulting is hard. Especially when you spent years with substance use disorder. You will learn and adapt and persevere. You will be okay, and your children will be okay.
It took me a lot of work to get to where I am at. It took a lot of self-care and self-love to finally have the confidence to stop caring so much about what people thought of me. I am me. Unapologetically me. Flaws and all, I think I am pretty awesome. You are too.
Hillary Dumas is a woman with five years in recovery from substance use disorder and is from central Massachusetts. Hillary is a single mother to a strong willed two year old girl.
Hillary manages a substance abuse treatment program. She has a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and is halfway through her Bachelor’s in Business Administration Management. She believes in transparency and sharing her raw experiences to help others feel less alone.