Tag Archives: patience

Life on Life’s Terms

life on life's terms

 

 

I am having the hardest time ever with this post right now. This is the third blog I have started, and I am determined to finish this one, no matter how much I may hate it. Here’s the thing: I am having a shit time right now, for a number of reasons. None of them are big things, but a bunch of little things strung together, causing me stress and a general feeling of unease. I don’t feel comfortable with my life or in my body right now, and it’s bumming me out.

Here’s the thing, though. I understand that this is temporary, just like everything always is. My face has erupted like Mount Vesuvius, but…it is going to go back to normal. Eventually. I had a bunch of unexpected expenses come up all at once, but…they are going to be dealt with. Financial ruin is unlikely. I haven’t had time this week to buy groceries or get to the gym, and it sucks, but I will get back on track. It’s not the end of the world.

In my addict mind (and maybe in normal minds, too, I have no experience with living in one of those) everything is extremely black and white, all or nothing. Every time I get off track, I feel like I have failed utterly, and there will be no coming back for me. Which is ridiculous- I have millions of examples in my own life where that has not ever, not once, been the case. And yet, I persist with this wrong thinking. My mind often works against me, and it can be exhausting.

The solution? I believe it must be to just acknowledge that my wrong thoughts exist, be aware of that, and then work around them. Sometimes, I can think myself right into a corner, wedged so tightly that I can’t even move. Like, moving a muscle seems impossible, seriously. That is when I need to find the strength to haul my ass up anyway, and get some shit done. If I let myself sit in my mess for too long, that is when depression comes calling. And if you’ve ever dealt with depression, you know how hard that can be to get out of, and how scary it feels when it’s breathing down your neck. Inaction is not my friend in this situation.

I keep thinking about how, four days ago, I wrote a post about laughter, and how weird it may seem to any attentive readers that I am now writing about something quite the opposite of that. Maybe you will think I am nuts…hell, maybe I am. But here’s the thing- life doesn’t care how great I felt last week. Life just shows up, and does what it does. What I have learned in recovery is that I am supposed to be living life on life’s terms, meaning I deal with what life serves up, to the best of my ability, without taking anything to change the way I feel. This is harder than it sounds sometimes. Not the part where I don’t take anything, I’ve grown used to that. It’s the part where I cope with it well that eludes me sometimes.

I get nervous. I get scared. I feel like a lot of people depend on me, and I don’t know if I am up to the task. I retreat. I close up. I shut down.

But I always, always, always (so far) pull it together in the end. I always find a way to come out the other side of my feelings intact. I have a 100% success rate so far of not destroying my life completely, as long as I stay clean. I may not be feeling my best today, but tomorrow…who knows? Hell, later today I might feel better. You just never know. My job is just to hang in there, do my best, and wait for things to change. Because they always do, for better or worse.

Advertisements

My Name is Courtney, and I am an addict

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.