I am not proud of this. In fact, it is a truth that has plagued my life for such a long time, I am pretty sick of it. I have written about it before, but I always wrote about what it WAS like for me, in the past. Today, I want to talk about what it has been like for me, presently.
I am clean now, but the past few years have been a roller coaster ride of relapse, recovery, the highs of beating down my affliction once again, and the lows of allowing myself to get caught up, yet again. In Narcotics Anonymous, and more and more in the medical world, they consider addiction a disease. This has been a struggle for me to accept completely because I know wholeheartedly that there is an element of free will involved. At least, at first there is. After a while, saying no and stopping is much more difficult, but still possible. So the conclusion I have come to is that it is a disease of the spirit, because that is what addiction seems to paralyze- your essential spirit, the great stuff that makes YOU who YOU are.
When I am using, I do not write on this blog. So you can probably go back and, just by seeing when I was writing and when I was not, get a pretty fair idea of how often I have been clean. Now, don’t freak out- I also sometimes stop writing just because I am busy or I have gotten out of the habit of it, so it’s a FAIR representation, not exact. I have struggled with the idea of writing this particular topic for a while, but I want, more than anything, to tell the truth (because it is liberating) and to let other people know, maybe, that they are not alone, or that what their family members go through, perhaps, is not as easy as you think it ought to be. If you are a non-addicted person looking at an addict that you love, you may wonder why the hell they don’t just knock it off. Well, they don’t know either, but I can promise you, their lives are a kind of hell you do not know, you cannot see from where you sit. What goes on inside of a person in the midst of their addiction is a suffering that reaches every place. The thing is, only that person can make the decision to pull themselves out. And what I have learned is that sometimes, that is a decision you have to make again and again. If we knew why, the puzzle would be solved, wouldn’t it? Then we could tell the world, swallow a pill or whatever and be cured. It doesn’t work that way.
When I am using, I won’t talk to my mom. If my friends ask me if I am getting high again, I lie. I don’t want to lie, but I don’t want to tell the truth either. When I am using, I live in fear every day of losing my job, my kids, my mind. I have come precariously close to losing my job and my mind, not so much my kids (Thank GOD.). BUT…when I am using, I am not a good mother. Even when I do every single thing the exact same way that I would do any other time, there is a disconnect there, and a sharpness about me that takes away the softness that being a mommy brings.
I am clean now. I have been for a while, but as I said, it has been hard to hold onto. In my mind, I made it a lot harder to get to than it needed to be. So if you are in the midst of that hell right now, I encourage you to push yourself a little to get out of the mess you are in. If you can survive weeks, months, years of misery with drugs, surely three or four miserable days, or weeks, without them, knowing there will be the reward of your life back at the end, is doable, right?
And if you are not someone who has never been through this- or even more so, if you are someone who HAS, and who has become intolerant because you have forgotten the reality of what that pain is like, I would just ask that you practice patience and tolerance. This is not an easy road, and most of us would not have taken it, had we known. We would have gotten off if we’d known how.
This was not easy for me to write, and it won’t be easy to post. So please…just be kind. Thanks.