It’s a scary thing, getting clean. We sort of get full of ourselves and feel that everything should just fall into place now that we are “doing right”. In a way we feel that the world owes us this because we aren’t killing ourselves anymore. Nevermind the fact that shit doesn’t go right for the rest of the world.
It is frustrating. It seems as though every bad thing we did while getting high is coming back on us now that we are sober. Add to it the fact that all the underlying pain that was being masked by drugs are now front and center. Sick as it may be, we tend to cling to this pain.
Letting go, forgiving, that is hard shit. It is easier to hold on to the pain that has tormented you your whole life and use it as an excuse for relapsing than to just admit that you relapsed just “’cause”.
My whole life I have studied Buddhist principles. I was raised Catholic, and basically consider myself to be such. Buddhism is such a beautiful religion and I have found that learning the teachings of the Dali Lama has given me great amounts of peace.
One of the main concepts that stress is just to let go of the bullshit. Anger, pain, resentment. It is toxic to hold on to it.
I once read a quote by Ben Carson that states, “I also came to realize that if people could make me angry they could control me. Why should I give someone else such power over my life?” I agree fully. This is easier said than done.
Allowing people to get under your skin to the point of anger isn’t cool, but there is something to be said for using others ignorance for motivation. As “junkies” we are constantly told how we will never amount to nothing. How we have ruined our lives forever. We can accept this, or use it to fuel the need to succeed.to succeed, we have to let go of the anger that others have caused us. Addicts tend to not have the best coping skills. When we get mad, hurt, or what have you, we tend to disappear into a world of drugs.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha. A beautiful sentiment and something that I am continually working on. About eight years ago, the guy who raped me was locked up with a friend of mine. They had never previously met, but somehow put it together that they both new me. Rapist dude convinced my friend to put him on the phone while my friend had called me collect. Of course my friend had no idea that this was the rapist that I had spoke of with such venom and abhorrence was the same man who he was wasting time playing Spades with. So he puts the rapist on the phone. Dude says to me,”Amy, I have thought about you and your family a lot in the past few years. I wanted you to know that you never deserved anything that I did to you. I’m truly sorry for whatever it is that you think I did. I never meant for you to take it that way.” He wouldn’t say WHAT he was sorry for. Of course we both knew, but his refusal to say, “I raped you” infuriated me more. It opened to wound all over again. To me it felt like he was failing to fully take responsibility. And “Take it that way”!? Seriously?
Although, this was a man who, after the rape took place, told everyone and their mother that I was a liar. He told everyone that it was I who raped HIM. He turned himself in to the victim, and now he wouldn’t even admit to what he did in his “apology”? I was steaming. I hated him all over again.
After this phone call, the night terrors, my PTSD, flared back up to full throttle again. I plunged face first into a full throttle depression. This was a perfect excuse to continue using excessive amounts of heroin and cocaine. I allowed my hatred for him to ruin my life all over again.
So, I am trying something new. I am going to forgive him. This doesn’t mean we will be friends. I will never even speak to him again. He hurt me too much. But I have to let go of all the hate, resentment, the pain that has consumed my entire being. I need peace. I don’t know that this will make me happy, as I have never really been happy, but honestly, I think that at this stage in my life I would prefer peace.
At this stage of my life, peace, contentment, is my primary goal. Not money, not fame, not a big house, nice things, or a lot of friends. I have my kids, my husband. I just want to feel comfortable in my skin. I have found that I am unable to forgive myself for being an addict if I do not, or will not forgive others.
I am letting go, or at least trying to let go. I will no longer let my hatred for everyone who has fucked me over in the past be a catalyst for my continued addiction. As much as part of me wants to still hate some of these people, I just can’t. It is exhausting to be so angry all the time. As I have achieved small amounts of peace I have noticed how much lighter my soul feels. Hopefully with time, I can continue to forgive and drop my resentment. Once the pain subsides maybe I will heal somewhat.