Monthly Archives: March 2014

Never Again, No More

You burn inside of me

Pulsating deep, deep within

What makes me feel great

Makes me feel alive

Kills me slowly

And maybe, one day, it will kill me instantly

I am drowning in the water

You bubble up to the surface

To offer a life line

I draw you up

I push you in

And you become my master

You tie me down

You want my soul

You will not stop until I’m dead

Pull at me with your death tight grip

As I break away, you try to grab me

Hold me back

I will never forget you

Or the hold that you had on me

Always, forever

I am your slave no more

You have tricked me before

I came back

I thought that you were different

But there I was

Back in bondage

 But never again

You will control me NO MORE

Advertisements

Culture of Rape

I had written a post recently about the idea of letting go. Releasing demons, forgiving ourselves and those who have wronged us. I decided that I needed to practice what I was preaching. I wrote a Facebook message to the man who raped me telling him that I forgave him.

I told him that I had decided to forgive him solely for the benefit of my psyche. I stated that I didn’t know or care if this made a different in his life one way or another. I can not hold on to the hate, the pain any longer. After about two days, I received a response. It was absolutely shocking to me.

He informed me that my decision to forgive him cam as an utter shock to him. He said that he did not feel that he had done anything that needed to be forgiven. This after he called me from jail. Few years ago saying how sorry he was that he had hurt me. This after about three months ago he wrote me a message saying how much he loved me then and still does to this day. How much he admired and respected me. How his biggest regret in life is the pain that he had caused me. But now, no, he did no wrong by me.

He went on to recap that night as he said he remembered it. He said that remembered that he had spent the night at my house. I had been studying for a test and then we drank peach schnapps. This is for the most part true. However, he didn’t drink all that much looking back on it. He was steadily trying to feed me alcohol, but he drank maybe one glass. It is here that his story veers far from reality. He said that I was talking about how I wished my boyfriend at the time was more aggressive in bed, how I was irritated that I had to initiate sex all the time. I don’t recall “going on” about this, but it does have a slight ring of truth to it.   I have always been sexually aggressive when within the confines of a committed relationship. The issue is that he is using my desire for my boyfriend to take the lead in bed as an excuse for sexual assault. He was “taking the lead” because I wanted it.

This is the excuse given by many a rapist to many a rape victim, isn’t it? We are all asking for it. The chorus to one of my favorite Hole songs goes, “Was she asking for it?/ Was she asking nice?/ Yeah, she was asking for it/ Did she ask you twice?” Wear a short skirt or a low cut top? Asking for it. Dance with a guy at a club? Asking for it. Kiss a guy, but have no desire to take things further? Oh, you are most certainly asking for it. Me? I apparently was literally asking for it.

The fact that I was crying and trying to get out from under him? He states that he remembered that I was upset that my boyfriend would be mad. Yeah, possibly because he said, “You’re such a slut. J*** is going to dump your ass!” Hum, wonder why I would think that my boyfriend might be mad?

What I didn’t know then, and what I wish  wasn’t a truth that I have to know now, is how sadly common rape is. So prevalent in fact that the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (or RAINN) reports that every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted. This comes out to 237,868 victims a year in the United States.

I fell in with the 44% of victims that are under the age of 18. With the 2/3 of assaults that are committed by someone known to the victim. Actually, 38% of rapists are “friends” with their victims. For me, this was the aspect of the rape that fucked me up the most. This man was my best friend. Someone who I trusted. He was not some unknown monster that came out of the darkness when I was on some dark alley. No, this was a man that I trusted enough to admit for the first time that I had been repeatedly molested as a young child. I suppose this gave him a window into a weakness that he could exploit. I made an ideal victim. And this was not just the case with me. No, sadly a female child who is victimized is 7 times more likely to be re-victimized later in life. Ironically, I had heard stories from mutual about two girls who said that this guy raped them, but I believed him whole-heartedly when he told me that they were lying. I later learned what a paths logical liar he is/was. After the night in question, he actually called everyone that we knew and were friends with to tell them that it was I who had raped him! He informed them that I was going around spreading lies about him, and that people should not listen to a word that I had to say. Fortunately, everyone knew that this was bullshit, a complete fabrication, a demonic twisting of reality.

Actually, I suppose it could have been a lot worse. When he called me from jail with his apology, yeah, guess what he was in there for? Not just for rape, but kidnapping, sexual sadism and holding someone against their will. He was again charged a few years later with sexual assault, so I was far from his only victim.

A rape changes a woman’s life forever, in all aspects. I knew him, he was my best friend actually. Obviously, I have severe trust issues now. I have very few actual, true friends. I can not near to be hurt again, I would rather just be shut off from people. This is no way to live, but I can not get over the fear of being vulnerable and then crushed again. I have severe PTSD, while much better now, will never be gone.

PTSD is an absolutely horrible, alienating disease. Some nights, I would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and shaking. Other nights, my husband would wake me up because he would say that I was crying and saying, “No!”, over and over. I relived that night thousands of times, each as vivid and painful as the night it happened. PTSD makes the victim impossibly needy. The lack of sleep contributes to an extreme paranoia. I still to this day think that everyone is just waiting to fuck me over. I am more than cautiously guarded, I am I obsessed with the idea of people wanting to hurt me for their own sick amusement. The flashbacks are similar to virtual reality, while you are in the middle of one, it seems totally real. Similar to acid flashbacks. (That is why acid is one of the only drugs that I have never done. I am terrified of the flashback that I may experience.) To the person experiencing them, they are sickeningly real.

The problem is that my story is no longer shocking. With one in three women being raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their life, as a society we are all to used to rape. There is a whole show, Law and Order: SVU, that deals exclusively with rapes. Other shows, the CSI’s, and what not deal with crimes against women so much that it becomes common place. Every episode the writers try to out do the previous episode and show something more graphic and shocking then the last one. All this does is numb us to female brutalization. They are tied up with a neat little bow, in tidy one hour time slots. It makes it easy to forget that in real life cases are rarely solved this easily. I went to the police following my rape. I was treated like shit. I was told that it would come down to his word versus mine. At the time, he had no prior rape or assault charges filed against him. Plus, I did let him sleep at my house. I made him a bed on the floor of my room. We had had sex previously. It was pretty much my fault. Of course the cop didn’t say this last part, but they said the rest. They made it very clear that they didn’t think that I had a case. They filed away my statement and sent me on my way. Nice way to stand up for victims rights. This started my still present hatred for police.

We as rape victims are not nameless, faceless people. The pain doesn’t go away after the assailant goes to jail (if we are that lucky). It never really goes away. Somehow, someway, we need to teach the men who think that it is ok to do this sort of thing how much pain it inflicts. While they might be able to forget about it, convince themselves that we were asking for it anyway, we don’t get off so easy. It us, the victims, who serve a life sentence. Yeah, the pain eases slightly, but the scars remain for eternity. They cut too deep to ever really disappear.

I was hoping that forgiving this man would give me some closure. All it did was open a whole new bag of worms.

Confused Thinking and Conflicting Emotions

I have a book that is “Daily Advice From the Heart”. It is one of those books that has daily inspirations. This one is quotes from the Dalai Lama. Today the message was, “If we really want to make our lives meaningful and happy, we should begin by thinking sanely. We should cultivate the human qualities we all possess but which we bury under a heap of confused thinking and conflicting emotions.”

This could have been written about me. I am an over thinker to the extreme. Crippling self doubt is probably my second biggest flaw. Under, over-thinking everything. Looking critically at myself, I must say that part of the appeal of drugs for me was probabably that it gave me a way to shut up the voice in my head. Notice that I said voice, singular. I don’t have multiple voices in my head in the stereotypical, “The voices in my head made me do it” way. The voice is just mine, but it doesn’t shut up. It keeps me up at night.

I have been diagnosed with ADD (a long with a host of other things). This again goes back to the overly critical voice in my head. She is rambling about so much shit, changing directions at hyper-speed that it is incredably difficult to stop and focus on something. School, tv, reading, anything. But it is more than just a general lack of attention or razor fine focus. It is that my mind is a warp speed tornado, thoughts swirling around as a massive conglomerate of ideas that I somehow have to file into tidy little folders.

The thoughts that are whirling around at a truly dizzying speed are more than just the general conviction that I am not good enough. Oh no. That would be too easy. No, no. With me it is that I am not pretty enough. I am too smart to be a desirable woman. I am smart yet have accomplished far too infinitesimal. It is that I am so unlikable. I want friends, but I push everyone away. I am a cold bitch, yet I care far too much about far too many things. I am too scared to put my self out there and I hate myself for not achieving what I should have. I wish I was a super mom and I am not.

On top of all of this, I am a dichotomy of so many opposites. I am a feminist who can count the number of people that I have slept with on my fingers (and not use them all up), but I am an absolute freak in bed. Full on “50 Shades of Grey”. I am hardened all the way to my core, but I care about all of societies ills. I am a smart, strong women, but I am incredibly insecure and weak.

To have a meaningful happy life we must think sanely, huh? I wish. I am trying. Dalai Lama is correct. Who knows what I could, what any of us could, accomplish if I could dig my potential out from all of my self doubt. I am now at least able to tell the world, “I am an addict. I am clean, but I will always be a heroin/cocaine addict. If you can’t handle it, Fuck you!”. It is not just the blog. I used to wear long selves all the time to cover up the scars on my arms. Track marks, scars from horrible infections that came from missing shots of heroin. I am now able to look at them as battle scars, not marks of shame.

I am trying to follow many Buddhist teachings as a part of my recovery. I find the notions of helping others, of the recognition that holding on to anger only serves to harm us incredibly insightful. I think a lot of addicts constantly berate and criticize themselves. This can only serve to hold us back. Sometimes we deep down do this on purpose so that we have an excuse to use again. We are not terrible, awful people. We have a disease, like any other disease. A disease that may have made us do things that we regret, but we can’t go on hating ourselves forever for these actions. We will repeat these actions over and over if we don’t get over ourselves.

It is not sane thinking to expect that we should be perfect, and then beat ourselves up when we are not. What the Dalai Lama is getting at is that merely accepting who we are is the biggest step towards ultimate happiness. I am working on it and so can you.

 

Cops in Maryland to Carry Life Saving Drug

On the local news today, I saw that a county in my home state of Maryland is now requiring police officers to carry Narcan. For those who don’t know, Narcan is a drug that counter acts the affects of an opiate overdose. This county, which is at it’s closest border is about twenty minutes outside of Baltimore City, has already had 85 opiate overdoses.

The overdoses are gaining attention because they are not happening in the city where they are expected, where they happen daily. They are in a county that has three of the most expensive homes in the entire United States. This is also the county that houses are state’s capital, Annapolis. When rich people start dying off of heroin, people take notice.

I have been given Narcan before. This was almost ten years ago. Actually it was December of 2004. I was working as a seasonal worker at the Coach store at the Columbia Mall. (Yes, that is the mall that had the man go in and tragically shoot and kill two Zumees employees.) I had missed a day of work about two weeks prior due to a severe case of strep throat. I could not speak, so my mom called my manager saying that I was too sick to come in to work. When I returned to work on my next shift, with a doctor’s note, my manager reamed me out for having my mother call for me.

During this time, my husband and I were using a morphine/fentanyl based dope called “Flatline”. While I was at work, my husband would hustle up money and bring me something to get high on. We would then go out boosting, go back in town and cop again. Of course, my pay check went towards drugs as well. The job was boring, but as I am a purse addict, I enjoyed it. I have numerous Coach purses, and enjoyed selling them. They told me that once the holiday season ended, they wanted to keep me on as a full time employee. Great! Bring it on – 30% discount on Coach purses? Yes sir!

When I worked the closing shift, Aaron and I would go out boosting and in town before I went to work. This cold, cold December day was one such day. We copped and drove to the gas station that we got high at everyday. We had our routine. We pulled up to pump number one, I got out and paid for gas and a Peach Papaya while Aaron got the shit ready. I put the gas hose into the car and got in. This day, he hit me first as I was feeling particularly sick that day. Usually, We would have trouble finding a good vein to hit, but not this day. We found a vein, and an artery at that! (Arterial veins hit you faster and harder, but you have to be very careful because if the blood that you get in the needle is not super dark, almost black, if it is pinkish, your arm catches on fire and swells up. You get a crucial headache and the drugs hit you really slow. We call it “the pink blood”).

Anyway, the shit hit me and I got really hot, flushed. Everything slowed down. “Oh shit! Oh shit!” I stammered. I must have been turning blue because my husband asked me if I was ok. I couldn’t answer. He started yelling for me to get out of the car so that the bitter cold might help wake me up. But I couldn’t move. I knew what was coming, but I was powerless to stop it.

The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital with doctors and nurses on top of me. “Where’s my fiancé? I want to see my fiancé!” I yelled. I couldn’t yet they told me. “What did you take?” they asked me. “Flatline,” I replied. They laughed and one smirked, “I guess so.” I later realized they meant what kind of opiate; heroin, Percocet, morphine, methadone, etc. I thought they meant what dope; Jigga, Ray, Flatline, Sin City, Smackdown, yadda, yadda, yadda.

They moved me to a little room in the ER where I was hooked up to IVs of fluids. I was finally allowed to see my husband (we were not married at the time, sorry for any confusion). He told me that he could hear me screaming for him. He said that he was asking to go in the room, but was denied.

Everyone there treated me like I was the absolute scum of the Earth except for one guy, who was a volunteer. He warned me to not move too much because the Narcan can make you sick as shit. Sure enough, when I got up to use the bathroom, I puked everywhere.

We didn’t get high the rest of that day. We did the next day. We got the same dope. We continued to get it for months, but I never overdosed ever again. My hubby called coach and said that I was in a car accident and was unconscious in the hospital and was not going to be at work that evening. My manager informed him that I had been told that I was not to have anyone call out for me and was fired unless I had the hospital paperwork proving that I was unconscious. I did have said paperwork, except it said “opiate overdose” on it under reason for ER visit. Under at home directions it said, “cease heroin use.” Since Coach had a very strict policy of “you do not  come to work high,” I figured it was useless to even bring in my real ease papers, so I didn’t. I never went back to work there again.

In England, there is a program that sends people living prison, who are there with drug habits, home with three shots of Narcan. In Chicago there is an organization that gives five doses out at the needle exchange. Shockingly enough, these practices are controversial. I have read comments saying that people will intentionally do too much because they have the Narcan on hand. Really? People are going to try to overdose because they have a drug that might save their life? Do people with peanut allergies intentionally eat an,entire jar of peanut butter just because they are armed with an Epi-pen? No, because that is stupid as shit.

First of all, there has to be someone there to administer the shot of Narcan. The person who is overdosing is not going to be able to do it. Luckily,  the doses that they give to cops and send home with prisoners can be injected into a muscle, so really anyone can do it. There is no issues with trying to find a vein. Secondly, using to the point of intentional overdose would still be Russian roulette. There is always the possibility that it won’t work. It usually does, but if they person doesn’t get hit with it fast enough, then it can not counteract the heroin. The dose of Narcan could be too weak as compared to the amount of heroin.

Why would anyone oppose something that costs, I believe the people from the program in Chicago said, less than a dollar a dose to save a life? Because a person has the disease of addiction, they don’t deserve to be saved? I have seen comments written on message boards about the subject saying as much. That since addicts consume something knowing that it kills people all time that they are basically getting what is coming to them. That’s not fucked up or anything. Human beings do things all day, everyday that kill millions of people, but we don’t say that they deserve to die. If you eat McDonalds everyday and then have a heart attack, should the ambulance drivers not try to save you? No, that sounds preposterous, and it is. So is the idea that we shouldn’t be arming police, firefighters, and the addicts themselves with Narcan.

So, bravo Anne Arundel county! This a  wonderful step forward. Having a disease doesn’t make your life less valuable than someone else’s, and the disease of addiction is no different. Hopefully, other places will soon follow your lead.

Lies We Tell, Lies We Accept

Recently, I was talking to an old friend. Someone whom with I have been friends since high school. This friend just also happened to be one of the people that I got high with for years as well. Since I have been clean, I don’t see him too much. Actually, the last time I saw this friend, he ripped me off for money. He needed money to get well and had a grocery store gift card. Since I have two kids, buying a discounted card for food will always come in handy. My husband and I met him and of course there was a story. “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.” I gave him the benefit of the doubt as I have been close with him for fifteen years. He would drop the card off later and I would give him the rest of the money. Why would he fuck me for thirty dollars?

Well, he did. We as addicts, are able to become expert liars. We obtain such a fluency at deceiving that we are able to do it with out even thinking. They say that you are truly fluent in another language when you are able to actually think in that language. Us addicts, when we are using, we are able to think in lies. The come out with such fluidity that little to no thought is needed.

While I was using, I learned how to con everyone. You learn to play a role, to deceive. I became the quiet, rich girl when I was boosting to throw off suspicion. I was clean, when I was with my family. I never had a criminal record when I was at work. I easily morphed into who I needed to be in that current situation.

We lie to our families, our friends, our dealers, other addicts. The worst lies that we tell are to ourselves. Can we ever forgive ourselves for the lies that we tell, the pain that we cause? Can we forgive those who are close to us for the lies that have told to us?

While we hurt the people close to us, we hurt ourselves more. Most couples who use together are unable to continue a worthwhile relationship once they both get sober. Part of this is because they will often trigger each other to relapse. Part of this is because without the drugs, a good deal of the couple have little to nothing in common. Perhaps the largest issue is getting past all the lies and betrayals that the two have done to one another. I have seen couples do horrible things to each other. Boyfriends whoring out their girlfriends. Girls fucking every dealer that will let them. Both parties cheating on one another. It is hard enough to deal with this shit when ripped out of your mind, but sober it is usually too tough to bear.

At some point the lies catch up. Just because you don’t call someone out every time you are aware of the lies that are told to you doesn’t mean that you aren’t aware. I had a good feeling that my friend was lying about the gift cards, I was just hoping against hope that he wasn’t. A may be a lot if things, naive is not one of them.

It is interesting to note, however that the more adept we become at telling and discerning lies, the more we believe our own lies. Every dope head goes on and on, when they are high of course, about how we are going to get clean, tomorrow. Always tomorrow. We are going to do up all of these drugs and then we will get clean. Of course when we wake dope sick the next morning all of that changes. The need for drugs, the need to get well, to just not be sick takes over.

In order to really recover, to achieve lasting sobriety, is to stop lying to ourselves. We use these lies as an excuse to backslide. Before we even relapse, as soon as we start getting clean, we come up with reasons or excuses as to why we will fail. That way when we start using again, we are not heartbroken. How are we ever to succeed if we set ourselves up to fail? The answer is that we can’t.

We have to forgive ourselves for our lies. And stop the lies in order to achieve our ultimate goals of having and maintaining a healthy, substance free existence. In an earlier post I wrote about the need to let go. We have to forgive ourselves for the lies we have told, the sins we have committed. It is easy to want to throw ourselves in a self imposed purgatory, but for how long will this last? The refusal to let go of the past, the refusal to forgive ourselves ends up sending us back into a world of drug use.

That being said though, while it is important to forgive people who lie, do we ever forget? Can we ever trust someone who has repeatedly lied to us? Can we ever expect or people to forgive us for our past transgressions? If we can not or will not trust again, then should we feel worthy or deserving of peoples trust? I do not know, but I hope that the karmic retribution of forgiving ourselves and others transcends into making us, as recovering addicts, worthy of forgiveness. But first we must stop lying. Weather we are using or we are clean, we can not continually lie to,everyone around us (including the lies we tell ourselves) if we expect to ever get well.

Dizzy

You make me dizzy

I’ll wash away in your eyes

You have burnt a hole clear through me

 Can’t you see you are all I need

You are my dream

You are all that I see

A crystal beam with cherry eyes

You pull is strong enough that I cant hide

Baby, please don’t ever leave my side

You’ve burnt a hole right through me

A place where your soul can breath

Rose petals, so much in bloom

I hope that you’ll soon persue

Metallic wings on butterflies

We’ll ride on them

And soar to the heavens

I will give you all that is mine

I am trapped inside your halo

And I know that none of this will ever seem old

We’ll float to heaven and far above

On the fumes of this unbridled love

You’ve burnt a hole clear through me

I don’t even mind if I begin to bleed

You make me dizzy

I’ll wash away in your eyes

Angels’ strings, and all that they tie

Feels like heaven, I must have diedSoul mates forever

Irrevocably Broken

Today is my one day of the week that I go to my methadone clinic to receive my take homes for the week. (Actually I should only be going once a month, but my insurance will only cover six take homes at a time.) On the way home, as I drove down the dark highway, a thick coating of fog blanketing the road, I started crying. Uncontrollably and inconsolably.

There is really no good reason for me to be so upset, which of course is all the more upsetting. I am “doing good”. I am clean going on two years. We finally were able to get a new car that we didn’t pay cash for. The monthly payments should help improve our credit (along with the cell phone, car insurance, and credit cards). My husband has a good job. A union job that has benefits. Best of all, I am earning back the respect of my mother again. Slowly, but it is happening. So why am I so fucking sad?

One reason I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, is that before I started to get high, is that I was not just on the right track, I was ahead of schedule. I graduated from high school with a 4.5 tGPA. I had an almost full scholarship to the University of Maryland College a park as an honor student. My life was planned out. I was on a path for success. Then I started getting high.

Years of addiction, clean time, and relapse followed. Multiple arrests and convictions and probations ensued. Saying that I veered off of my path is an understatement. Granted, I am now back on the trail, and moving forward, but I wonder, did I travel so far backwards that I will never catch up to where I could be, or should be?

I look at the Facebook profiles for my high school friends and become painfully aware of how far ahead of me they all are. This is part of the reason that I didn’t go to my high school reunion. I am humiliated when I see the shocked looks on everyone’s face. I was the girl who went to the straight A breakfast every grading quarter. The girl who tutored other students in my classes. The girl who got into NYU, but went to UMCP for a boy of all things. And yet, I am the girl who let almost her whole graduating class surpass her. It brings up the inevitable, “But you are so smart? What happened?”

I want to go back to school. I have almost two years worth of credits. Some of those were classes that are only useful to a primary education degree, and are thus useless to me. One day, after I had made a comment on Facebook about how I should have become an English teacher like I was planning to because people’s poor grammar drives me crazy, an old friend of mine commented that it isn’t too late. I could still become an English teacher, she told me. Only, it is too late for that. With my criminal record, I could never be a teacher. So I must choose another carrier path. I have stated in previous blogs that I want to be a makeup artist. Other interests are being a social worker, or more recently a writer.

Choosing a career that requires me to go back to school presents a lot of little battles that I have to psych myself up for. One issue is that if you have ANY drug convictions, be they felonies or misdemeanors, you are inevitable of any sort of government financial aid. To me, this has to be one the absolute dumbest, hypocritical, cruel laws or rules in existence. Here everyone wants to preach about how drug addicts and/or criminals need to stop going down their paths of sin and rehabilitate themselves, but you want to offer them zero financial assistance. It makes no sense. Most drug addicts, both current and recovering, have horrible credit and probably very little money. We all fucked all that shit up a long time ago. As a society, they tell us to turn our lives around, but we are not offered the same aid as everyone else? Yeah, that’s fair.

When I last took many college classes, I was nineteen years old. I taught preschool full time (40 hours a week) and took a full course load at the community college. This was following a year at the University of Maryland College Park, where I lived in the dorms. I used drugs occasionally, but was far from having a habit. Now, ten years, two kids, and seven convictions later, going back to school is going to be very different. I am scared. Actually, I am scared to admit that I am scared, lol. School has always come easy for me. Too easy, really. With an above genius level IQ, I was used to just getting A’s with no real work. I went to college with zero study skills, because I had never needed them. I also have ADD. Once I got to college and there was 250 – 300 people to a class and no one taking attendance, I found it impossible to force myself to go to class. I could not sit through a two hour lecture class and I was used to passing with out work anyway. Not just passing, excelling. If I had a lot of trouble going to class back then, I know that with two kids and a million responsibilities, it will be even harder. Online classes are even worse for me. I will keep putting them off because I don’t HAVE to go to a physical building and my kids will make it almost impossible to do them anyway. I never had to write papers with any real distractions (just the ones inside of my mind). Now I have kids, dogs, a husband, and real life responsibilities to clutter my mind, my time. I am almost afraid to even try because I am terrified to fail.

I am afraid that I went in reverse for so long, that catching up is an impossibility. I know that I face an incredibly steep, uphill battle. The percentages of people who are able to successfully recover from heroin is slim, I am all too aware of this. I am not delusional, I know that I will never be “cured”. Not of my addictions, and not of my depression/anxiety/PTSD/ADD.  The best that I can hope for with diseases such as these, are to be in remission for the rest of my life. And it fucking terrifies me. The fact that all of these demons are brewing just under the lid, waiting to boil over is a paralyzingly real possibility. Leaving the clinic, I was hit the extremely copious feeling that this could be all for nothing.

Recovering from addiction, and depression for that matter, is exhausting. Sometimes I worry that I can not do this forever. It is so much work. I get overwhelmed which in turn pushes me down the long, vacuum powered black hole that is my depression. When I start to get depressed, overwhelmed and frustrated, I am hit with rip tide of doom. Yes, I am aware of how corny and melodramatic this sounds, but it is true, I am pulled under by forceful waves of doom. All of the sudden, it will just hit me like a wrecking ball hitting a brick wall. I will instantly feel that my life as I know it is over. That nothing good is yet to come. Just blackness and stress and tears.

Many times I feel like I am irrevocably broken. There is a strong possibility that I can not be fixed. With any luck, I may be able to keep my diseases in remission, keep them in check, but there is not a super glue out there strong enough to glue me back together. My flaws and past make me who I am, and that’s cool. I am proud that I came through the battlefield alive, but you better believe that I am far from unscathed. I pray that with time, my wounds will start to close, my scars will start to fade. I look to a path of enlightenment and inner peace. It is more than likely impossible to jump back on to the road that I was previously set to drive down and speed up enough to make it to the mile marker that I would have been at if I had not detoured. I suppose that I need to get on a new highway. Possibly even one that is not even done being built. Maybe I have to build it as I go. I just pray for the strength to continue to go forward. For as long as I don’t go backwards, maybe inching ahead, no matter how slowly, is alright. Maybe in life success is really defined as not being beaten down and halted by the hurdles and obstacles that life throws at you.