I have been in such a hard place lately. Really struggling with life and choices and trying to figure out what path to take and decisions to make. Not really unhappy, more like unsettled. I am content, though. My children bring me more joy than I could ever earn or deserve. They are the sunshine that helps me to somehow find faith in this world. I mean, if they can be so sweet, caring and joyful, surely I must be doing something right. Surely there is goodness in this world when I can see in it my babies everyday.
A “friend” of mine asked me something yesterday that has been stewing inside me ever since. She asked me if I would go back to drugs if it would make me feel happier…more settled again. I am not sure which upset me more…that a friend would even suggest that or that I actually stopped to think about it.
Wait. Did she just say “go back to drugs”? Aren’t I reading that soccer mom/PTA mom’s blog? The one who’s biggest vice seems to be her coffee problem? What drugs?
Yes, I am a recovering addict. It started when I was getting migraines after Kidlet Jr was born. The doctor prescribed pain killers. They were rather mild. They worked…for while. The pain killers got stronger, the pain got worse. It was a nasty little cycle. I am not sure when the pills went from helping to hindering. It was such a subtle change, I am not sure anyone knew it was happening as it was happening. Oh trust me, they knew once it was full blown addiction. You just can’t hide that very well.
I suppose some reflexes die hard. Even now, when I hit my lowest, a part of me craves the release that I used to find in a pill. But truly, it wasn’t so much a release as it was a prison. The illusion was that I felt good. Notice…the illusion. I didn’t hurt. I wasn’t frustrated. There was nothing and no one saying I couldn’t, shouldn’t or wasn’t good enough. I was floating. And floating was good. Until it wasn’t.
When you crash and burn, you aren’t the only one who gets to bear to scars. If you are married, your spouse can have a few of his own. If you have kids, they can carry some, too. Addiction is a generous little monster, isn’t it?
Some day I may get into the humiliating and humbling details of what it was like for me to clean up. Maybe not. You see, that part only matters if it helps someone else like me realize that they are not only not alone, but not unique.
I used to convince myself I was not an addict because I was a Suburban Mom in a good community who was the stereotypical image of “Suburban Housewife” complete with my 2.5 kids and a minivan. “Addicts” are dirty, mean, nasty little creatures who shoot up or snort or would lie, steal or kill to get a fix. They aren’t in the PTA. Guess what? WRONG. We are sitting beside you in churches. We are standing in line with you in the grocery store. We may even be playing with our kids at the park laughing with you. And if we are blessed enough to be recovering, you may never know it.
Unless we tell you.
Which I just did.
So, now what do you think? Do you still have the same image of the soccer mom/PTA mom that you used to? Have I dropped a level in your eyes? Or maybe have I challenged your views on what an addict looks like? Hmmm, maybe you read this far to look for the punchline and have decided you just don’t like the serious side very much. All of that is okay. Because today, I am clean (over 3 1/2 years). I am happy. I have my life back. I have energy and excitement (even when I am tired and bored!) And most importantly, I have my family. I AM that soccer mom and am on the PTA because I got clean.