Thursday, January 7, 2016

How?

I was recently asked, "How? How did you get sober? How do you stay sober? How did you return to your normal life? How?"
Being a Certified Peer Support Specialist, going to school to become a counselor, and attending church.... I know what I am suppose to say, but it caught me off guard. For one, my life is far from normal. Second, I don't think I have really slowed down to think about how I stay clean, because I am constantly battling my disease in my own head. Fighting those urges is something I believe I have become accustomed to. Third, I have never had someone be so blunt with their questioning- and of course I love it because it has my mind going.
When I was using I would try so hard to play the normal life, when all that did was kick me further down in addiction. Coming out and admitting I am indeed an addict, has effected my life not just then but for life. Addiction is not something you just get over, it is something you fight for a lifetime. I know some people are highly disagreeing with me right now, but think about it.... you can't just get rid of addiction. That is like saying you would be able to hit it, snort it, slam it, or take it one more time and stop. Let's get real that's impossible and we will fight this battle from here on out. Now I think it comes easier to disreguard a thought and an urge the longer you stay sober, but it doesn't go away. So normal is no longer possible to me, but I have learned to be ok with this. Everytime someone misplaces their medicine, I get questioned. Anytime my eyes are red from lack of sleep I get the looks and questions. I am constantly reminded of my ugly past. I usually just turn to a friend discuss with them my feelings and the aggravation I have, and then leave it alone. I can't fight with them forever. I just wait until they find their medicine and say I told you. And never expect an apology, because they rarely come.
So how do I stay sober? I stay away from people who do drugs and don't care to stop or see no problem in using. It's not that I don't like them, I just can't be around that. There are people out there that I still love and care about so much. Those people meant more to me than just a drug using time. This is something I pray about a lot. My family wants to blame my using on others, when I am fully responsible for my mistakes. I struggle with goodbyes that I still haven't been able to say. Again, I pray a lot about this.
I am being treated for my mental illness. The majority of addicts suffer from an untreated mental illness.... hint: self medicate. I didn't think I was depressed, because I was already on one medication. It also didn't occur to me that maybe my medication wasn't working until I went through detox and a month after taking 2 of the strongest anti-depressants. I can remember I was in Bradford and we were able to go bowling one day. I caught myself smiling and laughing - SOBER!!!! I went to my counselor and said, " omg!!! I SMILED TODAY!!! AND LAUGHED!!!" I dont think I will ever forget that day. The day I finally felt happiness, fun, and joy. Don't be scared to go to the Dr. and don't be embarrassed to tell them what is going on with you. If you don't tell them the truth, you won't get the right diagnoses. That is like going to the Dr. and telling them my knee hurts. They will say it is probably arthritis, but if you tell them my knee pops out of place occasionally they will run more tests and properly diagnose. Many need to understand, "Medication won't fix a broken heart, or a damaged realtionship!!!"
I am involved in a Ministry that helps recovering men transition back into life, and even though there is slim to none programs to help women... I will one day soon change that!!! I attend NA meetings occasionally. I travel over an hour away from my home to volunteer at an organization that is all about recovery. FORMLL and McLemore Consulting in Priceville. Why? Because it is what I have to do to stay sober, stay on the right path, and live the life that will make ME happy.
I attend church as much as I can, because I owe my sobriety to God. There is no way I can leave God out of my sobriety. He has opened so many doors of opportunity. He has given me hope and lit my path when I was lost in a dark valley of the shadow of death. Without God I wouldn't be sober. When I have troubles, worries, trials, and temptation - I rely on God, because I know he has me and HE'S GOT THIS.
How? It's a battle. It is NOT easy. It hurts. BUT IT IS WORTH IT. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. IT IS POSSIBLE. My HOW. May not be your how.