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10 January 2014 @ 05:03 pm
But Till I Try, I'll Never Know.  
So today is my four year anniversary of being clean and sober and drug-free. I haven’t taken a pain pill or sleep aid stronger than Ibuprofen or Melatonin in four years.

/deep breath in/ /deep breath out/

It is utterly surreal to me. I keep looking at that second sentence and thinking that can’t be right. Because I subscribe pretty hard to the ‘one day at a time’ when looking forward and now, looking back, I can’t believe I made it through four years. Like, seriously, how has that much time passed? And that I made it through without anything to get me there except myself. Especially with all the crazy health shit I’ve been through in the last four years.

See, that’s when it gets the hardest. Is the health stuff. Because when it’s wanting to drown out emotions, I can make myself do the list in my head of all the things I’ve gained from being sober. At the top of that list is that I got my writing back, my drive to get my words out, and that is, most days, beyond anything the drugs could offer me. And when it’s physical pain making me want something, well I just make myself push through it. I’ve been pushing through it my whole damn life and I know there will be day when I just can’t anymore but I like the line of - “This is not that day!” But the health anxiety is what always gets me. Because it often feels like I am fighting a losing battle - and I am, because one day I will lose out against my body - and when you think of it that way, when you think, "So much struggle, day after day, and I’m going to lose anyways," it’s hard to keep going. Especially with all the not-knowing, even how my body will feel tomorrow, makes it hard to fight for a long term stay of execution. Which is what it is. Giving myself more time.

So that’s where things get hard. But I’ve learned a lot of coping tools, for the pain and the anxiety, and to recognize the difference between ‘needing’ and ‘craving’. Also, I think I reached some kind of milestone with my mom. She always calls and asks me if I have pain pills she can have and I am always like, “Mom, you know I don’t. You know I don’t take any pain pills anymore. You know I had a problem with that.” This last time, she asked for me for a pill that I’d never even heard of, let alone taken, and when I told her there are no pain pills in this house, she was insistent that I often have things I give her from a stash in the house. I was like, “Mom, I threw my stash out when I hit six months clean - 3 ½ years ago. You can’t actually say you are sober if you have a secret stash hidden somewhere. It doesn’t count.” Then I told her, straight up, “You know it’s really offensive when you call and ask me for pain pills, right? I’ve been clean for almost four years and I struggle hard at it everyday and I haven’t had any pills to give you in years.” She was still insistent that I had and that I did recently, but…the next day she told my sister, “I think I really offended her.” So just maybe she actually gets it now!

At any rate, I am proud of today! The last few months have been one of the biggest struggles I’ve had since I got clean, the health issues being the one thing I haven’t learned how to cope with and get through and the thing that brings me the closest to throwing it in. And sometimes, for no reason at all, I just want something to take the edge off. That’s just life - sometimes the edge is too sharp, you know. But I’m sitting here telling all of you LJ peeps about this and not a single one of you would be in my life right now if I hadn’t gotten clean in the first place and when I make that list, all those reasons to keep my head up, you people are definitely near the top of it.

Onto tomorrow!
lindahoylandlindahoyland on January 10th, 2014 10:52 pm (UTC)
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The hardest things are the most rewarding, after all. <3s
(Deleted comment)
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
Awww, your Thumper icon! <3

Thank you! I couldn't ever have imagined I'd make it this far, but here I am.
Shirebound: Piglet dancingshirebound on January 11th, 2014 12:56 am (UTC)
I'm incredibly, astoundingly proud of you. WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!!

*proud proud hugs*
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! You know, if someone had told me the day I started taking drugs that I would end up here, I wouldn't have believed them. But if they had told me the day that I quit taking drugs that I would end up here, I wouldn't have believed that either. But here I am. <3s
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on January 11th, 2014 01:23 am (UTC)
You are so fucking amazing in so many ways, babe.
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you! No really, thank you. Sometimes those late night conversations we have are just the thing I need to redirect myself to something better - because being friends with you is so much better than anything I could put into my body! <3s
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on January 16th, 2014 12:36 am (UTC)
<3 <3 <3 I'm glad.
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on January 11th, 2014 05:05 am (UTC)
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
Re: *HUGS*
Awww, thank you! You don't know how much this adorable little card made me smile. <3s
Kate: Pirate King adulationceitfianna on January 11th, 2014 05:17 am (UTC)
I'm sorry your mother isn't helping but you're amazing.
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Well, hopefully my mom has finally gotten it through her head that I don't have any pills in this house. We shall see. At least for a second, she understood that this is hard for me and I'll take that for now. <3s
sarahk_1963sarahk_1963 on January 11th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
Hopefully, without sounding too condescending I am really proud of you! And at the same time thrilled that you've been able to stay sober for four years that's massive!!
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It isn't condescending at all. I am the only person who ever really pats myself on the back when I make it through another day, so just this one day a year, it's nice to have someone else pat me on the back.

It's different isn't it, than having someone say it about an illness (physical or mental) - like how proud they are, when all we are doing is living our lives, even if those lives are hard to live. It's not like I can change my physical illness. But this - staying sober - this is something I actively work at, so it's nice to get some love for it.

Thank you! The </i>four</i> in 'four years' still blows my mind! <3s
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on January 11th, 2014 01:36 pm (UTC)
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's now four years and five days and I'm still going forward! <3s
fragrantwoodsfragrantwoods on January 12th, 2014 01:42 pm (UTC)
You are amazing :-) I'm so glad you've been able to channel some of your addiction issues into writing, sharing, and being such a supportive fellow LJer! You are such a kind open person--what a terrible thing it would have been if pills had kept the door shut on all that goodness.
Love and hugs forever, dear friend. You deserve all the best of sobriety & life.
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on January 15th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

You know, I didn't realize how much I missed writing until I was actively doing it again. During those years of poor health and pain pills, I wrote, but maybe 5k a year or so. What I can do in a month's time now. And I just thought I didn't have a fandom that was sparking me. Or I didn't think about it at all, really. But when it came back, it was like finding my purpose again. It was an amazing feeling.

You are such a kind open person--what a terrible thing it would have been if pills had kept the door shut on all that goodness.

Oh shit, woman, you made me legit cry. In all the best, happy ways. Thank you, darling. I am so glad to have come back to fandom and found friends like you. You are a joy. <3s
wolfrider89: Em smishwolfrider89 on January 25th, 2014 10:21 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, bb! You are awesome, and I'm really grateful to have gotten to know you. <3
dodger_sister: smiledodger_sister on February 2nd, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, bb! I can't even imagine my life without you as my friend now and I know (from past experience) that the drugs make me lose touch with people I love, so I never want to go down that road again. No matter how inviting it seems sometimes. Now if my health would just stop being all wonky and we could get back to our regularly schedule program of squeezing at each other!! <3s
wolfrider89: D/C <3 :Dwolfrider89 on February 3rd, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
<3 <3 <3