I am very aware of myself; for the most part. Like I’ve said in the past, I’ve gotten to a point where I know who I am, I know what I want, and I know what I have to do to get there. But it doesn’t seem to excuse the fact that I still have moments when I lose sight of all that I’ve accomplished. I lose sight of myself as a person, I lose sight of my confidence that got me this far. Although it’s only momentarily it can be shattering and controlling. Something kind of takes over you and you lose your sense of reason, you begin to second guess yourself within the fear of losing it all. This is a feeling that doesn’t fit into any category. This is a feeling that lingers. It will morph into different things. It will ebb and flow, rise and fall like tides. It will evaporate with the sun, then fall back down as rain. Sometimes its easy to forget and very hard to remember.
I can keep saying “I am who I am because of my past, and I like who I am” but saying it is one thing, believing it is another. That being said, I do believe it and I do believe in myself. Sometimes you just hope people will bare with you, help you, and try to understand you but it doesn’t work that way. It’s easy to handle someone at their best but much harder at their worst.
I’m not embarrassed to say that I might need methadone. Staying at a 10mg dose was helping with pain and the psychological part of my addiction. Right now I feel weak, and I’m holding off hoping it will pass. Doesn’t seem like I am mentally strong enough like I thought I was, not only that but now the pain from my accident is back and I was given the option to go back on Dilaudid the very medication that put me in this position. I was shocked that my doctor even gave me that option; truly shocked. It’s a vicious cycle and nothing but a money pit for the doctor. How does a doctor run a pain clinic and methadone clinic in the same building? A smart doctor. He knows that all his patients will stick with him the whole way through; either because they aren’t ready to let go or they don’t have any other option. It makes me sick to be honest.
Once again I feel defeated, I feel scared. I’m afraid I am going to lose the battle again. I am beginning to think going back on the methadone is the safe and right thing to do. I would much rather be on a low daily dose of methadone than go back to using. Its like my mind has been programmed to think of nothing but opiates, it reminds me that I am still a junkie whether I want to be or not. Being clean for however long has not taught me self control, it merely institutionalizes self deprivation. Going back on methadone doesn’t change who I have become and what I have learned. Going back on methadone could potentially save me from years of depression and self loathing, isolation and misery. I just don’t want to tread the same path I have for the last 11 years. I’m trying to open doors not close them. I don’t know if the people surrounding will support my decision but I hope that they will try to understand my situation and not look at me as a failure.
Clearly I have a lot of work to do, being on methadone blindsides me from realizing that just because my receptors are being blocked and it doesn’t mean they will stay blocked once I’m off the methadone. The cravings will come back with a vengeance and the old addict mentality will linger and play games with your mind. It will test you, it will tease you and it will eat at your brain every day and every night. These cravings always pass, and sometimes it’s difficult to remind myself that they do in fact pass. With time they are getting stronger and lasting longer, and in that mental state I can’t say I fully trust myself. Sometimes its trial and error, I don’t want to relapse so maybe this is for the best. I tried, it’s been almost 4 weeks now and it’s becoming unbearable. I don’t want it to affect my job, or my relationships; I have come too far to fall back.
I haven’t written in a while. I wanted to get through the majority of the methadone withdrawal first. As much as I want to say it’s over… It’s not. The first 4-5 days weren’t so bad but then all of a sudden full blown withdrawal with that eerie feeling of doom. I was so confident going into this, I really thought I was mentally strong enough when it came to cravings but I’m going to be honest, the cravings are driving me mental. Its been almost 2 weeks now and the only thing I’m battling is insomnia and myself. At this point I’m just keeping myself busy and surrounding myself with the right people; doesn’t make it easy, but at least I know the will power is there if need be. All those thoughts and memories never crossed my mind this past year, but that’s what methadone does. It blocks those receptors, those thoughts that attack your brain until you feed it what it wants. I know I’m more than capable of staying clean but I also know how powerful addiction is and it’s not going to be easy, which is okay. The methadone will always be there if I get to a point where I no longer trust myself. This will be my fourth attempt staying clean after methadone, I know I’m in a different place now, I know who I am, and I know what I want. I don’t want to be tied down to any substance, I don’t want to depend on anything or anyone, I’ve done enough of that over the years and I want to be done with it.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that what I was doing wasn’t working. It registered in my mind long before I actually did anything about it. Knowing wasn’t enough to take any sort of action; the addiction was too strong. I figured I had managed to hide everything for so long that I could do it forever. The justification was not logical. I’m pretty sure the people surrounding me must have picked up on something, anything, long sleeves in the summer, bathroom breaks every half hour, not feeling well every two weeks like clock work, lost of interest in everything. There had to be some indications. Every two weeks I would fill my prescription and every two weeks I would tell myself this is it, I’m not filling it again, I’m going to go back on the Methadone, I’m going to get clean and no one will have to know that I fucked up again. I was confident in myself, I truly believed every word I told myself, and I truly believed I had control. Hindsight is 20/20, that’s what they say right? Well I’m not so sure; I was able to convince myself in the matter of seconds knowing full well I had no control. It’s not like this was my first experience with addiction, but it was my tenth year.
Everything came to a halt when my doctor refused to give me a prescription a week early for the 10th time. I was desperate, I was alone, and I was scared. I didn’t or couldn’t wait another 7 days without ending up in the hospital again. So I changed the date on the prescription and got it when I wanted. Well, instant gratification…right? Yeah it worked, but it only lasted me 2 days and then I was right back where I started. I knew I couldn’t keep this up much longer; it was only a matter of time before I ended up in jail or dead. I was going on 10 years strong of addiction with “sober” periods of time at 23 years old. I had seen and experienced things that no one should have to. I had escaped my thoughts, my pain, and my emotions. I had hurt, stole, lied, manipulated, and ruined people’s lives. I can truthfully say I am lucky to be alive while so many others are not. For a long time I resented the fact that my loved ones had left me at 15 years old to figure it out on my own, maybe they were wrong; maybe they were right. It doesn’t matter; I am who I am because of my past. I have hit rock bottom more than once, countless times. Sometimes you can hit the bottom but dig deeper, sometimes there is no bottom. Sometimes you live but never learn. Only you can know for sure who you are and what you want, only you can learn from your mistakes…no one can teach you that.
I decided to postpone my methadone dose today. I figured I would go to work and test myself a little bit knowing I would have no choice but to wait till the evening. I wanted to see how long I could go before feeling like I couldn’t take it anymore. I was fine for most of the day, besides severe anxiety/ panic and those terrible yawns that make it hard to breathe; I was okay. Although after taking my dose, I felt sick to my stomach and threw up. Whether or not there is any methadone left in me; I don’t know. I will have to wait and find out. I lowered my dose down 5mg yesterday, so maybe I didn’t pick the best day to “test” myself.
I know sometimes relapsing is just a part of addiction. Habits are generally hard to break, whatever they might be. I think instead of looking at a relapse as a defeat, maybe it’s beneficial to look at it as a chance to learn, an opportunity. I don’t think it’s worth thinking that anything less than perfect is a total failure. It just leads you to think that you don’t have the willpower. Life is full of ups and downs, good days and bad; sometimes urges and temptations can come out of no where, without any warning. Small problems that may seem insignificant at the time can slowly build and eventually or suddenly push you over the edge. For a lot of addicts it’s not always how that day might be going, but maybe it’s a matter of hours, minutes, or seconds. Everyone is different and therefore everyone will have different ways of dealing with their circumstances. For me; having realistic goals helps me, thing’s I had forgotten about while being wrapped up in addiction. I am mending broken relationships with friends and family, enjoying simple thing’s I had lost. I haven’t relapsed this time, I don’t plan on it, and I don’t think anyone does. But you never know what tomorrow has in store.
I figure the real celebration isn’t always the day you quit, or even the 5, 10, or 20 year anniversary. It’s every day, every hour, every second you are sober. And every day you get back on track after a relapse.
Either way, I know I am strong enough both mentally and physically. I know I can handle the withdrawals. It’s what comes once the withdrawals have ended; it’s how you handle situations without that last crutch. Am I ready for that? Yes. I am not about to start second guessing myself now.
I had so much anger and hate inside of me and I used it too feed my addiction. Everyday I would put on a façade and act as whoever I needed to be at that moment. I could become anyone, especially with the help of drugs. I wouldn’t last long, eventually everything would explode and I would be gone, a drop out in the blink of an eye. I made a discovery and I immediately stopped caring; I was on a pathway of destruction with no end in sight. Like a tornado destroying everything in its path. A lot of people experimented with drugs, and they were able to do just that; experiment. I on the other hand simply didn’t know when to stop; I had no self control, no drive, no goals, no nothing.
I remember looking in the mirror and feeling disconnected with the person staring back at me. I wondered who it could be; it was devastating because for a long time, I didn’t know. The girl in the mirror frightened me, for she told the truth where I wish I could lie. I looked closer, I looked into her eyes and they resembled me but they appeared to be shattered and cold. I remember looking and thinking this girl doesn’t value, not the way she used to. By then it was too late to go back and erase the disaster I had created within, I realized that who I was staring back at was not who I wanted to be. If I could go back I would tell her that she is loved, and I would tell her she doesn’t have to look at this heartless girl forever.
I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be, who I wanted to be, or for that matter who I needed to be. I found it difficult to be just me. I remember fantasizing about going back along the path I had tread and piecing myself together again. I would fantasize about sifting through pieces of me lost along the way; I would try to grasp what was left but to no avail. It was a battle everyday to keep my head above water; I tried to tell myself everything would be okay. I told myself I would one day persevere, and that is exactly what I have done.
You could hear the desperation in her voice; she was hurt, scared, and beyond broken. This isn’t the first time she has called you in this state. She tells you this will be the last time, but you know better. This isn’t the first time she has said that. As much as you want to hang up and turn away; you can’t. You love her too much, and you know that you’re helping her kill herself. She has always been a good manipulator, a good talker even before the drugs. You know she will say and do anything she can to get her fix; she will bend and break you time and time again. You try to lie and tell her you can’t help her this time; this time you honestly don’t have the money. Even if that was true you know you will find a way. You simply cannot understand why she does this to you, why she makes you feel like a failure, why she turns everything upside down, why and how she ended up this way. You convince yourself that it’s your fault. You don’t know how to help her, so you give in to her and tell her ‘this is the last time’. You think back to when she was a child and you never thought thing’s would turn out the way they did, you reflect and try to figure out where thing’s went wrong but to no avail.
She tried everything before calling you again, not because she didn’t want to bother you but because she didn’t want to deal with the “nagging”. She knows you better than you know yourself. In this moment of desperation there is no emotion all she can think about is her next fix because she is dope sick. She knows you are in a fragile state thanks to her but the drugs are more important. After she gets the money off of you and gets high she is okay, she is able to function and hold a conversation. There is a moment of comfort between the two of you. She thinks about how much she has fucked up and she doesn’t know how to pick up the pieces. You both are on separate sides of the fence, you can’t understand each other and she is sick of trying to explain it to you. She tells you it is impossible for you to understand what she is going through. You ask her why can’t she just stop. She tells you if she could just stop, she wouldn’t have an addiction.
You go both go to your own corners and shut the door for the night. You worry about her constantly as she just tries to get through the night. She knows she has lost control and doesn’t know how to stop, she knows she needs help before it’s too late. The next morning she asks you to help her, she is shaking with nervousness, and crying with shame, you can see the fear in her eyes and feel the terror in her voice so you take her hand and you say to her ‘we will get through this’.
Within the next couple weeks I will be coming off methadone; again. To say I am terrified is an understatement. I have a million different things running through my mind, and failure is one of them. Obviously I don’t want to fail; I know addiction and I know that sometimes willpower isn’t enough. I have to continue to remind myself that I am in a different place than I was. I know who I am, and I know what I want.
As I am getting closer to the final dose, I am mentally and emotionally preparing. I know that in that moment I am going to feel helpless, weak, insecure, and scared. I know that it is going to take everything out of me physically and mentally. I know that I am going to want to give up and give in but I know that giving up isn’t an option. I can only go up from there; I can’t feel any worse than I have in the past. I have done it before and although it is torture, it is achievable.
I still think back to the first time I had ever experienced a high, and although it was almost 11 years ago I remember everything about that night. I remember deciding that I never wanted to face reality again; reality was way too real for me. I was young and naïve, but I knew enough to know that I didn’t like how I felt and I didn’t like who I was. My past has given me the strength to do this, my past has made me who I am, and for the first time in my life I can say I like who I am.
This wasn’t a feeling that fits into any category. This is a feeling that lingers. It will morph into different things. It will ebb and flow, rise and fall like tides. It will evaporate with the sun, then fall back down as rain.
“Ignorance is bliss,” or so they tell us. But that is not true. Ignorance is vulnerability. Ignorance is deprivation, despair and depression. It is the inability to recognize precisely what you need, even when it is staring you in the face. Ignorance allows you to be robbed of something precious without realizing. Ignorance is judging something before you understand it.
Sometimes wanting to start again with a clear slate isn’t enough. Sticking with how things used to be, you may miss out on a wonderful opportunity. Perhaps sometimes you think that you’re not hanging on. It’s the past that won’t let go of you, or maybe you won’t let go of the past. But for as long as you aren’t sure how far into the future you want to tread, irrelevant issues can continue to distract you from important things by disguising themselves as vital factors… Just a thought.