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 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.
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.
Feeling emotionally defenceless is probably one of the worst feelings I have personally ever experienced. Sometimes it happens out of no where like a slap in the face. ‘Here, now you’re defenceless; let’s see how much you can take before you crack.’ Maybe its part of being vulnerable, you feel mentally and emotionally naked; exposed. Vulnerability doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Yes, it can be exceedingly uncomfortable at times; it can make you feel weak, alone, anxious…just to name a few. I think it becomes scary because you have to be okay with all of you, revealing not only the good but what you deny or keep hidden from other people. We all do this to some extent, I’m sure no one has ever said “I love that I’m so insecure.”
I would think most of the time we experience vulnerability it’s by default, not by choice. It becomes difficult to consciously choose to be vulnerable and rightfully so. It’s frightening to show people our genuine selves, there is always the possibility of being rejected or misunderstood, and there is a chance you will find out things about yourself that you didn’t know existed; good or bad.
Most people who experience addiction keep using for many, many reasons but one main reason is because they aren’t happy with anything including themselves. They hide behind a substance because it’s easier, because they don’t have a choice anymore. They become vulnerable by default and it never ends well.
I am consciously choosing to be open and honest, day by day; consciously choosing to be vulnerable. I am no longer afraid of rejection, I am not afraid to fail. I have come to realize that I don’t have to love all of me to be happy, although it helps. But all those things I don’t love are changeable, manageable. This blog has become my vulnerable me and I love it. I love knowing that I am hiding nothing and telling all for everyone to see. Every time I write, I learn something new about myself; I realize that I am making progress in more ways than one. It helps in my day to day too, I am not afraid to be me. Whether or not people like it, it doesn’t matter. I am happy with who and what I am, I know what I want and I’m pretty sure I know how to achieve it. That is something I have never been able to say and it feels great.
We all want to feel safe and secure with our surroundings and most of all safe and secure with ourselves; sometimes so much to the point where we put limits and boundaries that can mimic a false sense of security. Even if it is made up, as long as it is giving you the comfort you need it will always make sense to you. Living locked inside a self created comfort zone will only get you so far. I know the fear involved in taking that initial step, possibly life changing step. I know fear can consume you, take control of your mind in ways you didn’t know possible. At some point I just got sick of feeling afraid, I got sick of the pointless drama, I got sick of caring about crap that shouldn’t matter. I forgot what it was like to live, to feel happy, to feel anything at all. It’s been overwhelming at times, but very rewarding. It’s the small things like meeting new people, smiling and laughing, and just enjoying life in general. It’s nice to just sit back and take everything a day at a time, instead of constant worry and panic. I can’t be bothered with pointless drama that seems to consume most people. Maybe I just don’t understand it; maybe it doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe it’s just me, sick of the insignificant bullshit. There is always something to be afraid of, something to have anxiety over; I can’t deny that. It’s just not worth it to me anymore, and it hasn’t been for a while. After constant running for years, I just want to stop and be happy. So far I think I’m succeeding.