Friday, September 20, 2013

No Hope

A raw personal story about addiction, recovery and surrogacy. 

My entire body is in pain, I am barely walking by the side of the road, and I can feel every single piece of gravel imbedded in my feet, and it hurts. I’m thirsty, tired, confused and awfully lost. I want to get rid of all of these feelings, yet I don’t have any energy left, except for one last impulsive idea; a black, shiny and heavy semi-truck heading my way and nobody watching. For a fraction of a second I think, if I jump now it will stop, all this pain and misery will stop. That was my only solution at the moment, but for some unknown reason I didn’t obey my thoughts. Instead I walked slowly, picked up a half of a cigarette that somebody threw on the ground, lit it up and kept walking. I didn’t feel any relief for not killing myself that night because I knew sooner or later an overdose or an angry drug dealer would do the job. I was hopeless and I was convinced that for me, at 40 years old, my life was over.

I couldn’t understand how I got there. Only a few months ago I was drinking champagne with a friend on top of Montjuic Hill, in the Palau Nacional, in Barcelona, while listening to an impeccable orchestra and thinking, there is nothing better than this! I felt like I was at the pinnacle of the world and nothing would bring me down. But this night, I was walking at the side of the road, lost.

A few days later, after my miserable attempt to finish my life, I was done. I was ready to ask for help and to accept I would never be able to stop using drugs by myself. All I wanted at that point was not to die. I didn’t want my career back. I didn’t want my house back or my belongings back. I was desperate and I didn’t want to die. I went to my first Narcotics Anonymous meeting, and from there everything traveled uphill. This time it wasn’t a materialistic hill, like I had always thought was the solution to any problem. This time it was a journey of self-discovery, and the beginning of a connection with a power bigger than myself.

This time the growing was from the inside out. Something I never felt before.

After two years in recovery, free of Alcohol and Drugs, I met my partner, Patrick. We met like most guys met these days, online. I didn’t have any expectations of finding a partner, and all I wanted was a distraction for the night. In fact, I was praying a few days before, asking God to help me not to get into another relationship. At this time I wanted to take a nice break and enjoy my “solo” time.

Well, once again, things didn’t go my way.

Patrick and I dated for about a year, following the suggestion of my NA sponsor. After a year of getting to know each other, we were ready to commit, and we moved in together. My partner, which is the opposite of me, had a very organized and stable life. One day, he told me he had always wanted to be a father. I heard that like somebody was telling me, one day, I would like to be a Hollywood star.

Three months later, I was helping him paint the new house which he had just purchased, and I found him painting one of the guest bedrooms in a pale green color. It wasn’t a lime-green or rich kelly green, but one of those soft watercolor greens that makes you grit your teeth. I asked him why he was using that color, and he responded softly and quietly. “Oh, because this is the baby’s room. This is the nursery.”

The room spun. I felt like he was pushing me away. I had never considered a situation like this, in any relationship. I was in love with him, and I was hoping for our relationship to last. He was determined to have children. He had a visual board with pictures of pregnant women tacked to it. Rickey Martin and his children smiled back at me, among others.

After meditating, praying, and talking to my close friends, I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t be just a witness of how he would create his progeny. I needed a clear position on the family situation. There were two possibilities:
To leave. To refuse to have a relationship with someone determined to have children by himself.
To stay and to be involved 100% of the way.

My decision was to stay. He is the love of my life, and I am in all the way. He was generous enough to let me into his life, and to share his dreams with me. A few days later we both were learning about surrogacy, egg donors, and adoptions laws. What amazed me the most was as soon as I accepted the possibility of becoming a parent, something clicked in my brain. I started to fantasize about having a son. I thought about teaching him to build tree houses and cardboard houses, (I’m an architect) and it felt good. I was excited!

We both become the sperm donors and we purchased eggs from an anonymous donor, (they should not be called donors since they charge a lot of money) we flew to L.A. and started our surrogacy journey.

A year later, after a series of trips, and a lot of baby gear shopping, I flew to San Diego, and waited until our surrogate called us. Our baby was coming! We rushed to the hospital, excited, scared, and overwhelmed. We waited for hours in the delivery room. It was awkward because by the end of the pregnancy, we were having a complicated relationship with our surrogate. All of us were ready to finish the deal and run away from each other. However, we remained polite and grateful. A group of nurses and doctors entered the room and while they were preparing her for delivery, they asked me if I wanted to receive the baby. I wasn’t sure what they meant, but I say yes. I thought they would hand me the baby, all clean and dressed, and I would smile for the picture. Well… no, I was wrong in the second part, because they handed me the baby but just straight from the womb, a baby still connected to her body by the umbilical cord, a baby time with all sort of fluids and textures.

I almost passed out. As soon as I looked at my son, I cried. I sobbed. I can’t explain my emotions. His birth was a symbolic and emotional rebirth for me. After my partner cut the umbilical cord, they moved our baby to a table where they cleaned him and checked him to make sure he was healthy. From the table he wailed, and I knew it was a good sign for a newborn. He looked so vulnerable. He was alive, yet fragile, and I couldn’t avoid feeling his pain as my own. I put one of my fingers close to his hand, instinctively, to help him and he grabbed it, he grabbed my finger very hard. In that moment I felt a strong connection, an unbreakable connection. I also felt how that little hole I had left in my soul was closing forever. I felt strong and ready to dedicate the rest of my life to the well-being of this child, my child.

Today I believe something bigger than me stop me from jumping into that truck, something bigger than me took me from my path of auto-destruction and place me into a path of recovery and decided that my purpose in life was to rise 4 beautiful children of my own and to have a full life.

Today I have hope.

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