Sunday, April 7, 2013

Still learning, after almost 24 months.....


Seven days to go, and I’ll have 24 months, sober****
***TWO YEARS*** 
  that’s NO small feat, ya know…… 
that’s a lot of nights without much sleep, dreams of using, and waking up in Jail, the Sweats/Chills together, honestly I could go on for days, but I’ll save it for someplace else………………………
I felt like I was “cruising” along just fine and dandy,,,,, 
then OUT of Nowhere…… I catch myself in a daydream, surrounded by opiates……
So, I follow my “usual” tactics-------
Only, instead of the urges leaving, they got worse………
You could say I was shocked.... because this kind of thing, hadn't happened in many many months. 
But, at least I knew NOT to 'deal with it' on my own,
and at least I had the ABILITY to follow through, and reach out......
~~~~~~
I thought,
it came out of "nowhere" but honestly, it only took about five minutes of talking to my counselor, and I realized, I screwed up two months ago, and every day since. My mistake was letting my 'recovery' take a back seat to the REST of the bullshit going on in my life. 
that's exactly how a relapse happens. I've heard people say that so many times,,, "I don't know what happened, it just did"
that's why I KNEW I had to do something, anything on the day I'm talking about. 
You see, when I first started this mission, to be the best person I could be, I was really scared, and thought about "recovery" all the time. I constantly did things, to ease my urges. Small things, all day long. As time went on, days and weeks, and months,,,,
those things became less and less.
Two and half months ago,
those things were on an endangered species list...........
And soon became EXTINCT from my day-to-day life.
THATS why "all of a sudden" the dragon, awoke.
It really wasn't all of a sudden, but I had stopped paying attention. 
My addiction,
NEVER STOPS PAYING ATTENTION.
I know/knew that, but among all the chaos that I never expected, I simply forgot. 
I've made it.... SO FAR.... and I feel stronger than I did a week ago. I'm putting recovery in the "Top Slot" again, and trying to learn from what I did wrong, to have such an intense urge to use.
It's kind of depressing,
to know it will always be this way. On the other hand, it CAN BE DONE..... I know it can.....
I'm doing some volunteer work now, too, through the outpatient program, and that's really good for me. Sam even goes with me. I don't ever want to "hide" my addiction from him. I want to be as open as possible, without being traumatic. 
******
In other areas of life......
My son is acting like a wild animal this weekend, for no apparent reason I can think of....
Maybe it's the "dropped" nap time, but it's been two weeks now, so I was thinking (hoping) the worst was over....
Maybe I was way off...... but who REALLY knows what's bothering him... it could be a whole host of things.....
I'm really trying my very best to be patient, but I will be the first to admit, that doesn't always happen. . . . 
I find myself yelling, and just trying to get him to HEAR me......
The yelling, is pretty much pointless... even if he does hear me, well then he's upset I yelled, and he forgets all about anything I was mad about to begin with.
Even still,,,,,
It's hard NOT TO YELL...... when you feel like a broken record.....
Today SO FAR, seems better than yesterday, but it's a close second place, and it's only lunch time.....
With NO nap,,,
he's been falling asleep around 730/8 pm!!!!
a HUGE improvement, from 1130 or midnight bed-time.......HUGE!!!!
the thought of him being asleep by then,
was the ONLY THING that got me through the afternoon of meltdown after meltdown, and a king size tantrum (or three)......
AND.....
by 730,,, all my efforts paid off.... He was snoring.....
~~~~~
While volunteering the other night.... I was asked to "share" how I got where I am........
I wanted to give a "short" but meaningful version....
*****
Standing up in front of all those tortured souls & spirits, I could FEEL the broken-ness in the AIR.... It was heavy with Shame, guilt, regret, fear, you name it.... you could feel just a Whisper, of HOPE, too.
you know,
I'm still "awkward" in social situations...
but I knew,,, these peers are at their worst (most of them)
and they just need something to HOPE FOR......
hearing that the relapse rate (generally speaking) is 
well over 80% and most statistics show, surpasses 90%
that's pretty disappointing to hear, just a couple days off the dope...
Anyway.....
As I started to explain, HOW I hit "my bottom" personally, by stealing anything/everything I could from the only people that still loved me...
AND. How suicide was looking like a viable option...
Since I felt I was NO good to anyone, 
the only reason I didn't follow through being, I didn't want my husband or son to find me. 
I knew my husband would never get over that, if it panned out that way. And all I could think of was my own voice telling people years before, "suicide only hurts the people that loved/cared for the person, and it hurts the people that loved them most, MOST...."
SO,,,,, maybe for ME, staring death in the face, with not one
shred of fear, is what it took. I'm not sure.......
As I told the story of how I got hired at my job,
and how I've been very dependable since day one there,
moved up, and all that.... I realized something.
There were only a couple people that would TALK to me, at that point. Some people in my life,,, tried giving me encouragement but I could definitely tell, they didn't even believe the words they were saying...... Like, "well good, I hope you make it this time"
mostly, it sounded like they were saying it, so they wouldn't feel bad they didn't.
Only my close family, would talk to me, and there wasn't any certainty in their eyes, I was going to "get thru the day"  (without using)
Going on suboxone, was the best decision at that point.
I cannot even count  how many times I'd detox, "white knuckle" it, until I screwed it all up, again.
Most times, I wouldn't tell a SOUL I was "cleaning up"
First reason being, when I started using again, I wouldn't get a speech, and second reason, my addiction was my secret ya know.... If I said I was cleaning up, then I'm admitting I HAVE A PROBLEM... and I wasn't ready for that....
***What I realized was,,,,,
When I got the job I have now.... My first co-worker, was a huge, the biggest supporter, I had that first month at least. Maybe that first ninety days.
As human beings, we all want a cheerleader... Someone to root for us, no matter what mistakes we've made. I didn't say anything at my work, about ANY of the crap, until I was there about two weeks, and it was an overcast day, all of a sudden, the back of my t-shirt was absolutely soaked in sweat, it was beading down my forehead....
Bobby,,,,,,, Looked at me and asked if I was sick.
I said, well, yeah you could say that. Since we'd worked together a couple weeks already, I knew a little about him, NOT a whole lot, but enough to know, he was a good enough guy he wouldn't call me a piece of shit, or something horrible......
I explained that I had just gone off methadone, and withdrawal could last UP to a year... PHYSICAL symptoms.....
He looked SHOCKED, at first. . . 
Then, he seemed interested, he just asked more and more questions. I was fine with answering them, when he showed, he was "okay" with what I was going through.
As the next days turned into a month or so, 
when I felt like I was at my breaking point, I'd tell him... I would tell him how HORRIBLE the cravings were, AND how much I was fighting NOT to use again. 
Bobby was surprised, yes, but more than anything else, he showed absolutely NO judgement, and support for my fight. Some mornings he'd say, Aren't you glad your clean today?  just outta nowhere, or on our way out the door, he'd tell me I did a good job, and whatever happens, don't get high, you don't need that shit anymore.
So, five to six days a week, I had SOME OTHER HUMAN showing me compassion, empathy, and most of all, friendship.
something I hadn't felt in about eight years.
Bobby isn't related to me, , , or married to me, he didn't
HAVE to be my friend... and he certainly didn't HAVE TO support me. he could have done the exact opposite.....
So,
as I'm speaking at the center,,,, I realize this, I figure out JUST how huge of a "roll" this friend played in my sobriety getting as far as it is TODAY..... what an asshole, I am......
the next day,,
I wrote him a message, straight from my heart saying I can never thank him enough for that. And, I'll never ever forget it.
   There's not many other human beings on this planet,
that CAN have compassion for an opiate/heroin addict. Most of the time, it's another, recovering addict. but,,, they are few and FAR between...... For some reason, our paths crossed, and I'm so thankful they did. He'll never know, how just saying those simple things helped me stay OFF the junk. And how important it was to HEAR from someone, those first few months.
   Now, I think of him more as a brother, than a friend. There's nothing I wouldn't do to help him. . . . ever.
   I'm pretty sure he doesn't even realize how big of a heart he's got. Or how UN-common that is, these days. I told him things I'd done, that I can't even believe. he never said anything derogatory about it, he'd say, "that sucks" or "wow... aren't you so freaking glad your all done with that?"  You know, reminding me that I didn't need to make the same mistakes again. Bobby saying positive things to me, and ABOUT me, made me feel like a HUMAN BEING AGAIN.... and not so much like the monster I'd become..... I still had a lot to learn, and a lot of things to work on, but at least I had someone I could share with, "safely"... Anyone will tell you, it doesn't take MUCH for an addict to relapse those first few months, and I'm just unsure that I'd be approaching two years, without meeting my new brother.   :-)
   The rest of my "story" was just about learning to be "myself" again, without drugs.... Without my security blanket.....
the one way I used to have, to get rid of all the pain....
    But, guess what???
LIFE is painful. No matter what... And it's up to each one of us, how we deal with it. There's sooooooooo many things I could be depressed about, IF I wanted to be. But I choose not to. I'm not saying I'm NEVER depressed, because I have my bad days, believe me. 
Most days, though,,,
I choose to think about the things and people I love, and those relationships I've built (re-built) with time and good choices. 
*******HEALTHY CHOICES*******
It's been a rough, tiring road. But it's well worth it, too.
*
*
*
I really need to say thank you to all of you, who've helped me along the way..... there's many people, I reach out to nowadays. but in the beginning, when I was counting 
****HOURS******  without drugs....not days,,,,
There were very few......
You know who you are, and please know, 
I'm forever grateful and thankful for each one of you, and the friendship that binds....... 
It doesn't matter what point in time, you supported me, I feel the same way, every time I shared anything with anyone, was HELP, maybe a deflection of relapse.....
THANK YOU.... from the very bottom of my heart********
~~~~~~
I'm going to start doing more volunteer work,
since it's really helping relieve alot of the guilt I still have left. I try not to feel regret, because this is "my path" and I wouldn't be  WHERE I am, without this path I've taken.
And, as far as the suboxone goes....
I really want to cut to 4mg (half a strip)
but I'm pretty sure, that with the recent urges/cravings, right now is probably not the best time. I'm going to give it a week or two... Right now I've split the one strip a day I take,,, so I'm taking a half at morning and night......
That way when I'm ready, I'll 'drop' one dose... Up to this point, I've had a real hard time, seeing the HALF, and thinking it's ENOUGH....
It's as much a mental game as anything else...
I HONESTLY feel the EXACT SAME,,,
taking 4mg,,, as I did taking 24mg.....
********
If anyone reading, wants to try suboxone, or has a loved one currently ON it, Please do some research.....
Remember, that ANYTHING can be abused....

suboxone,,,
HAS SAVED MY LIFE.....

Knowledge is power, too.... Just because you "hear" it's JUST trading one drug for another, or people get "high off that too"
doesn't make it true....
People CAN get high off it, yeah, IF you have Little to NO OPIATE TOLERANCE.... but the
"high" is more like sweating, nausea, sleepiness, ETC... I've heard it's not fun at all....
I haven't "caught a nod" in almost TWO YEARS.......
That's the difference for ME....
Here's some links, for more on the subject.....

http://www.naabt.org/education.cfm
http://www.suboxone.com/Default.aspx
http://www.samhsa.gov/

You tube video, for friends and family of someone battling addiction
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkAY8m-uJI0

article
http://www.thefix.com/content/stigma-maintenance-treatment9216

And here's a few of my FAVORITE QUOTES,
that I recently posted all over my house....   (scroll down)
******

The very last thing I said the other night, at the end of "my story"
Was...... 
It's OKAY if this is your number 4 or 8 "try" and being sober... 
All you can do, is try and learn from every mistake, and do the very best you can... Fight for it, every day,,, this is your LIFE we are talking about, and you are WORTH THE FIGHT......


thanks.... to all of you that support me***********







                         

  HOPEFUL this last one, rings true, for ME......

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