Learning to Love Again

Lisa - Santa Rosa, California
Entered on December 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

The birth of my nephew gave me new reason to believe in love. Not only for him but for myself, as well. A few years ago, I fought a major battle with addiction. Luckily, I won but not without a price. I lost what I thought was the love of my life, not to mention the trust and respect from my family. I received help and although I was proud of myself for overcoming this obstacle in my life, I still felt shame everyday for what I put my family and friends through. I couldn’t look into the eyes of anyone who knew without feeling like they were searching for signs of whether or not I was using. It took a long time to regain their trust but even though I knew that they knew I wasn’t using, I still felt shameful for what I did and wasn’t sure if I could ever let it go and learn to love myself again. Then one day in October of last year, I found out that my brother and his girlfriend were having a baby boy.

Even before he was born, I had an immense adoration for this precious child whom I hadn’t even laid eyes upon yet. All of our planning and anticipation for the “big day” became the only thoughts swimming through every ones minds when, finally, on February 10th, 2008, Domenic had arrived. When I got the green light to go into the hospital room, I tugged open the door and spied, for the first time, the treasured baby boy whom I loved so very much. I introduced myself as his “Auntie Lisa” while cradling the tiny bundle in my arms and whispered “it’s so nice to finally meet you.” From that moment on, my nephew, Domenic, has been the most cherished miracle in my life.

Before he was born I had lost love for myself but have found it again through loving Domenic. It’s the most amazing feeling to walk into the room and see him smile at the sight of me. I never wonder what he’s thinking because in his eyes, I’m just his Auntie Lisa who makes him laugh just by saying his name. I know he loves me and I figure if he can love me so much then I can’t be all that bad. He gives purpose to my life and has given me a new reason to stay healthy because I always want to be there to help keep him safe, happy, and loved. I wonder if he’ll ever know how much I truly love him or how much he’s done for me.