How important is it to incorporate your children into your daily recovery practices?
For me, it is very important. I believe that, addiction or not, my son Luciano needs to learn who I am, with no secrets: the total, ultimate form of acceptance and unconditional love. I invest in his spirituality so when he gets older, he has a solid foundation of love, free will, choice, self-control and discipline.
Luciano works side by side with me throughout the day. I feel that since it’s so hard to make classes and get to meetings, even church at times, that I decided to stop beating up on myself and started incorporating it into my daily life at home as a full-time wife and mom. Luciano and I do reiki together, prayer, create altars to pray for others, mantras, meditation, yoga and shamanic journeying. He sages his room when he is afraid and connects with his spirit animals and angels to protect him, and he loves crystals. I enhance his inside world to help him build trust and it lets my inner child heal too. I want to teach him how to feel safe in his inner environment.
I am not perfect, but all I can do is teach my son how to have a healthy sense of self and give him tools that work for me with the open-mindedness and understanding that he is on his own journey of self love and one day he is going to teach me some things. As moms in the recovery field and/or in recovery, we are nonstop and it’s easy to feel defeated and so frustrated. So, I created a way to be OK with me so my family can be OK too. I always say, drug prevention starts at home. I have learned how to say “no” and take the time for self-care and be OK with it.
I’m not afraid of what’s going to happen anymore if I don’t show up for everyone, because I finally found out when I take care of me first, everyone and everything flourishes and the pressure to perform is gone and I am free and in flow. I am building a foundation and a new partnership to build awesome sober living homes for men and women. I have another home and a gala coming and I am very busy, but I can tell you without learning to put me first and my husband and son, I truly struggle inside. I am closest to God within me and around me when my soul and my family’s souls and hearts are fed first. I do this with my staff too – most of our meetings are us doing meditation and connecting to spirit and helping each other heal. There are times we go from talking about the professionalism and developmental growth of the Antonia Maria Foundation to laying on the massage table to heal.
Everyone around me has be to be authentic and true to themselves and do the work or it’s not a right fit. We are called to truly help, not move and place people around, but to truly, purely create a miracle, and we can only do that if we are who say we are.
Antonia Montalvo Founder, Antonia Maria Foundation Executive Director, Gracie’s House North Brunswick
The Antonia Maria Foundation and Day One Sober Living will hold their 2020 spring gala, Celebrate a New Day, from 7-11 p.m. on April 3 at the South Gate Manor, 260 South St., Freehold.
The second annual gala will launch the partnership with Day One to help revolutionize sober living care for women in New Jersey. Together, the two organizations will be opening Leo’s House, a recovery home for women following in the footsteps of Gracie’s House. Both are located in North Brunswick.
For information on tickets or sponsorship, call 732-823-8350.