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Ten Years

Ten Years

Ten Years...
Ten Years...

Ten Years…

Of living one day at a time.

Of living life on life’s terms.

Of living with courage rather than fear.

Of living a grateful life.

Of living.

Ten Years…

Of not wondering if I would wake up in the morning or die in my sleep.

Of not being afraid for my children when in my care.

Of not feeling worthless and useless.

Of not using anything I can get my hands on to not feel.

Of not hating myself every day I drew a breath.

Ten Years…

Of learning how to be powerless but not hopeless.

Of learning not to regret my past nor shut the door on it.

Of learning to love others more than my own self serving desires.

Of learning how my experiences can help others.

Of learning to let go, let God and live life.

Ten Years…

Of saying ‘No’ when yes would be so much easier sometimes.

Of saying ‘I am sorry’ when I have amends to make.

Of saying ‘I love you’ to a husband who never left my side through it all.

Of saying ‘Thank you’ to friends who love me in spite of rather than because of.

Of saying “I am grateful today’ everyday and meaning it.

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First you slip, then you fall. But sometimes, love and family catch you before you do either.

First you slip, then you fall. But sometimes, love and family catch you before you do either.

Here it is Sunday night and all I can think is “Oh, please, do not let this weekend end!  I am not ready for Monday!”  I had a great weekend with my family and got a much needed mental break.  Last week was hellacious.  Horrible. One of the worst I have had in years.  I do not want to get into details because suffice it to say that 1) I do not want to relive it and 2) I really don’t want to relive it.

Wednesday was just bad. For reasons I cannot get into (I am just not comfortable sharing since things here have been used against me in my real life), I was thrown into a really bad place.  What amazed me was that a very dear friend of mine hundreds of miles away could tell- with only a few words- how bad off I was.  In fact, she talked to me until I was doing better.  She sent me phone numbers I needed and links to make sure I had some local backup.  After seeing that I was doing better but needed to talk to someone in recovery, she reminded me of a mutual friend of ours that would be there for me in a heartbeat if I called him.  I sent out an SOS message to him and we were almost immediately on the phone.  The timing was not good and I knew he had things to do but he stayed on the phone with me for over an hour just getting me back on track and reminding me of who I am, where I’ve been and how hard I’ve worked.   Together they helped get me out of my own head and back to a peaceful place.  Two friends in two different states who care enough to come to the aid of a friend.

I have to state the obvious here but I really, really do hate addiction.  Here I am  with almost 10 years of hard work and recovery and yet there are times when I am just as vulnerable- sometimes I think even more vulnerable- than I was just 10 months or even 1o days clean.

I woke up feeling better and happier on Thursday.  I had a good day despite a very difficult morning of struggles and that afternoon was so grateful that Gabby and I were able to spend a couple of hours catching up with good friends.  That night it was all throw to hell and everything came tumbling down on my head.

I lost it in a way I have not lost it in years.  It was the first time in many, many years that a situation came along that filled me with such despair, pain and desperation that I feared for myself.  In my head at that time,  I no longer cared about anything but not hurting.  I didn’t care about the 10 years of hard work.  I didn’t care about anything I have accomplished in the past decade.  I didn’t care what it would do to me, my kids or anyone else around me.  All I wanted was to not hurt like I was hurting.  I wanted to drown myself in the momentary release that being high gave me.  All I wanted was to escape.  To get away from the life of hell that was baring down on me and about to swallow me whole.

Escape.

Escape.

For the love of all things peaceful, I had to get away from the pain!

I had to let someone know I was going to slip fall hard.

But I didn’t want to say it because right then, right there, I wanted to fall.  I wanted to give in.  Ten years of saying no when I hurt.  Ten years of “talking through it” and “finding alternatives” when I felt horrible.  Ten years of staying strong when I really did not want to be.  None of that mattered.  I was willing to throw it and myself back to hell.

A friend of mine who knew only a third of my story and half of the pain I was in came over and wanted to make sure I cleared out any medications or alcohol in my house.  If she knew only half and knew to just come over and get things out of my house, can you imagine how bad I actually was?

Again, there were phone calls- this time it was Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200, Go Directly to AA.

I talked to people in recovery who got me back on track.  I talked to people who really knew me and spilled it out.  I talked to friends late into the night.  I cuddled up with my kids who saw me almost lose it for the first time ever in their lifetime and let them know I was okay. Cuddled the fear out of them.

I snuggled up with my husband and told him everything.  I felt him tense.  I knew a part of him wanted to bite his tongue and resist the urge to give me advice.  He just listened as I worked through it.  I know how hard it is on him when I hurt and feel so hopeless.  I know it breaks a part of him every time I feel broken.  I know it makes him feel helpless when I let life beat me down and head into a tailspin.  But he always stands by me and loves me.  He listened.  He let me pour it all out.  He didn’t judge (me) and didn’t blame (me) but listened, loved and waited for me to work through it knowing he was standing there as my safety net.

Friday, I woke up feeling like I had gone 10 rounds with a heavy weight fighter.  I guess in a way I did.  I fought my demon.

And I won.

It took a while on Friday to work through things but again, it took talking on the phone with people who really do know me and being with people this weekend who really do accept me for who I am that made me realize that things have to change. For me.  For my family.  For my sanity and sobriety. Things have to change.  And I have hard work ahead of me but I am not alone. I just know things have to change.

In a huge way.

And I have started to take steps to go back to being me and not anyone else’s version of me.

Because you know what?  That person doesn’t work.

Not for me.