Sunday, November 8, 2015

Go Ahead, I Dare You.

I do understand this whole movement to change our language and how we identify ourselves, it makes perfect sense on an intellectual level. It's easy for the layman to digest and it helps to make a difficult subject matter and conversation a little lighter and prettier for everyone. Even more than understanding it, I appreciate the effort put forth by those at the helm of this movement. That said, and with all due respect to them, I'm just not buying it....

Thursday, January 8, 2015

In Yo Face

There are few things in my life that I don't question (I second guess myself A LOT), but I do not waiver in my understanding of addiction. Had I not lived it myself, I would question it all, but I am a survivor of this illness and so I know--I know, what it's like to be totally and utterly powerless.

Living with addiction is scary. It's sad and lonely and it causes us to loathe ourselves--it causes us to really and truly believe that we're bad. Living with shame is not living, it just isn't. Living with shame, is like living without hope, and a life without hope, is simply not worth living. When living a life that is not worth living, there is no reason to fight. When living a life that is not worth fighting for, there is no reason (and no way) to ever get better--ever. Even if we can find a reason to live, we already know that we're terrible people who do terrible things and no terrible person could ever perform the miracle of sobriety--so why even pretend to try?

And so we live in our shame. We live with our self-hatred and fear and sadness and anger and we do everything we can possibly do to relieve ourselves of that pain. I stuffed more and more drugs, whatever I could find, into my body and I learned to live for those fleeting, but oh so blissful, moments when everything would just melt away....those moments when I no longer had to care and nothing else mattered and I couldn't feel the pain or remember why I even felt it in the first place-- when I was relieved of it all. Those moments may have averaged out to be minutes counted out on one hand in the matter of a week, but they were so profound. It is those moments that we strive for, that we will stomp over our loved ones for. Because ALL we want, is to feel that peace inside our hearts, one more time....

Saturday, October 25, 2014

This Is What My Ignorance Looks Like

"What on earth was she thinking???"

"Why would he do something like that???"

"I just don't understand how she could make that choice. It makes me sick."

"He's so selfish."

"I could never do that to my children."

"What is wrong with her???"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fool Me Once

Never once did it occur to me that the scariest part about drugs-pharmaceuticals in particular, is how NOT scary they feel. It never occurred to me that there would be NO warning signs--or at least nothing that I would interpret as a warning sign, and it certainly never occurred to me that I should be down right terrified of how right those pills made me feel. We all experience moments in our lives when everything seems to fall into place--when we just know that we're exactly where we're supposed to be, doing exactly what we're supposed to be doing, and life feels 100% the way we believe it's supposed to feel. Those moments are rare, they are often fleeting, but they are undeniably special and very, very exciting.

That's exactly how I felt when opiates hit my bloodstream for the very first time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Beautiful Disaster

I'm one of those idiots who still kind of misses High School. I miss the feeling of facing an unknown future, the endless possibilities, the sense that something wonderful might happen at any moment. Oh I had my fair share of a tortured adolescence too, don't get me wrong, but I also always carried with me a real sense of hope that great things might come my way. I really miss that feeling, to the point that my heart physically aches to think of the faith I once had that all my dreams might someday come true.

But I really am an idiot.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

An opiate addict on pain meds....

Very recently I was faced with the impossible decision of whether or not to take prescription narcotics for pain management following some pretty serious oral surgery. At first, it wasn't even an option in my mind. I couldn't take the risk. I wouldn't take the risk. (Actually, if I'm being 100% honest, my very first thought was "Omg I've got a free pass!"- but I was taught never to listen to that first thought because it's most likely fueled by my addiction, not my sensibility.) But as the date of the surgery crept closer and closer, I began to panic. This was a big deal. I wasn't facing a simple tooth extraction, it was serious work that would leave me in a considerable amount of pain....

I called my doctor-who just so happens to be the Head of Addiction Services at the Brattlboro Retreat (best person ever) and I told him I was considering taking the pain medication after all. I told him that I wasn't certain of my motives, but that I was certain I was scared and that my anxiety was getting the better of me and that it was starting to haunt me in the middle of the night. The truth is, I didn't want this decision on my shoulders. I wanted him to decide for me. I wanted him to tell me what I should do....but it wasn't his decision to make. It was mine, and only mine.

The pain meds won.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hey! Where did everybody go?!

One of my biggest, most challenging accomplishments in sobriety (hands down) has been learning how dangerous self-pity is (not to mention boring, and lame, and unoriginal, and self indulgent, and....well you get the point). It is especially dangerous to addicts. We wallow in it. We convince ourselves that if everyone else knew what it felt like to walk in our shoes, or if they had to survive the shit we've survived, they would be a mess too. It's a big part of the way our addiction deceives and manipulates us; it's not the drugs that are ruining my life, it's everything else!