/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.