Monthly Archives: November 2014

Imagining My Life Without Having Ever Used Drugs

Often, namely when I am in a state or regret, I sit and wonder where my life would be had I never tried heroin, or cocaine (which I used prior to heroin, and lead me to heroin). It is very easy to think about where my life was before I was addicted to heroin and cocaine. Your brain naturally wants to assume that sans the drugs your life would have gone down the absolute best paths possible.

I was a student at the University of Maryland majoring in Elementary Education, with a focus on English. I was going to UMCP as an honor student on an almost full college. In fact, I was able to buy a brand new Honda Civic with all the money that my mother had saved for me for college which I no longer needed. I like to get down on myself imagining that had I never become an addict, I would be an elementary school teacher right now, with a nice house, white picket fence, a decent car and 2.5 kids. Of course, I could not go back to school to get a degree in education now even if I wanted to. For one, if you have any sort of drug convictions, you are no longer eligible for any federal scholarship money.  (Don’t get me started on all that is wrong with this policy- society wants drug addicts to get clean and turn their lives around, but you going to refuse to offer them ANY sort of financial assistance. WTF). Secondly, and most importantly, even if I went back to school on my own dime and got the degree that I was originally going for, it would be pointless. With my one drug conviction (I have a second drug arrest for which I was found not guilty) and my multiple thefts, and assault I, by law, would not ever find a job.

Thing is, I had already left UMCP before I started getting high. I was driving home constantly to see my boyfriend at the time. I started having a viscous bought with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I stopped going to most of my classes during my spring semester. My shrink had a meeting with me and the dean of the school and I was able to have my classes that I failed excused and taken off of my record.

Originally, my dream was to go to NYU and major in music business. I stayed behind to be with the boyfriend (BIG mistake). After I broke up with him and left UMCP, I was teaching pre-school full time and taking classes towards that music business degree at the local community college.

This is when I started getting high with the boyfriend I was seeing at the time. It started with us getting coke (a drug that I had done a few times before). Eventually we were buying dope to come down. Soon we were buying more dope then coke or only dope.

That boyfriend went to jail on three violation of probation warrants, one of which was a no bail. My husband called me wanting me and my boyfriend (his brother in law) to pick him up to take him in town. Obviously he was unaware that my boyfriend (we’ll call him Joe) was locked up. I picked him up alone.

Soon I was picking him up every day. We had a plutonic relationship for a long, long time. Eventually after a night of drunk sex, we realized that we were meant to be together. He made me happier than I had ever felt. He made me feel beautiful, truly beautiful. He treated me like a princess. We got in legal trouble together, and often got out of it due to both of our unwillingness to snitch on one another.

Within just over two years, we were married and had a beautiful daughter. We went through periods of him being in jail, or me being in jail, or both of us being in jail. We were clean for a few years, we were addicts for a few years before and after our sober period. We are clean together now. We also have a son together now as well.

See, as easy as it is for me to dwell on what could have been had I never stuck a needle in my arm, I cannot overlook everything that I gained through addiction. I am married to my best friend. I have two wonderful, beautiful kids (one turns 9 next week, and the other turns 6 in December). Most importantly, I like the person that addiction made me. Maybe I do not particularly like the person that I become while in active addiction, but I am a lot stronger than I ever knew. I have unlimited compassion for others. I know what it is like to be at the bottom of the totem pole.

Have I lost a lot do to drugs? Of course I have. Drugs have made me realize that not everything is the end of the world. I try to look at the good side to what I have been through. I truly believe that if you can make it through heroin addiction and come out on the other side with your morals still intact and are able to achieve and maintain sobriety, them there is nothing that you cannot do. There is no one out there stronger than a recovering addict, and I am proud to say that I am in that group.

 

 

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Living and Loving with Severe, Clinical Depression

I came across a brief article the other day that discussed how difficult it was to be in a relationship, to be in love, with another person while severely depressed. This is not a particularly new topic, but whenever I read an article about depression and love, it is talking about how hard it is to love someone who struggles with depression. This was talking about how hard it is to love someone when you struggle so severely to love or even like yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not in any way think that it is easy to be in love with a person who has severe depression or bi-polar disorder or anxiety. We are a moody bunch to say the least. We push the very people away that we want in our lives more than anything. We pick fights for no reason, we cry and scream for hours at a time.

The struggle of a depressed person to be in love is almost insurmountable. I have been married for almost a decade. For 10 years, I have been with the same man and yet I still have trouble believing that he loves me.

It can be virtually impossible to believe that someone can stand to even be around you when you hate yourself with such a fierce disdain that it is palpable. There are days when I literally hate myself to the point where I would prefer to stay in bed, asleep, simply to not have to deal with myself.

My whole life has been spent pushing people away, and now I am in a position of trying to keep so done close, and it is terrifying. For one, I don’t really know how to NOT push someone away. I find myself doing something only to later realize how fucking stupid it was. I take shit way too seriously, I dwell on everything. Most of all, I second guess why someone would even like me at all. I worry that eventually I will convince him that I am such a terrible person after all. It’s almost like I am pulling off some massive con and any day now the jig is gonna be up.

I think that in a way we are set up to hVe difficulty in relationships. It is drilled into your head as a young person that you should not or cannot love another person until you love yourself. What if you hate yourself?

I also fear that perhaps I love my husband too much. Like maybe I love him far more than myself and will do things that are not healthy for myself. Would I even know if I were to engage in unhealthy relationship behavior.

I told my husband very early on in our relationship that I  often get sad, suicidaly sad. That a good deal of the time these crying fits will seemingly be brought on for no reason at all. It doesn’t always take something big to set me off. Funnily enough, I feel like being an addict has helped with this. I went through so much bullshit that it helped me to put some of the smaller things into perspective. Nothing seems so “life or death” to me anymore, except for life and death.

I still have my bouts of terrible sadness, however. I warned my husband, but I can tell that he had absolutely no idea what he was really getting into with me. What if I am not worth all of the trouble, all the shit that I put him through? I try to make up for all of this by being the most loyal person that I can think of. I give a lot of love. I may not show any love to myself, but I try to show it to him. That being said, if I am incapable of loving or even liking myself, how effectively can I show love to someone else?

I truly believe that  people like myself deserve love and are capable of giving love out. It is a challenge to be sure, but maybe anything that is worth it is.

The Ghosts of Sexual Trauma Past

About two weeks ago (give or take) I wrote a post called “Leave Me the F!@# Alone”.  I was talking about who the man who raped me (at the time that I thought he was my best friend and true confidant), contacted me from Mexico offering to buy me a plane ticket to come stay with him. He also offered to help pay any of my bills if I so desired or needed the help. I feel like this is all a way for him to purge his soul, his penance so to speak.  While, he still refuses to admit that he raped me, he apologizes profusely saying that I didn’t deserve any of the hurt that he out me through. As for the rape, he feels that it was a breakdown in communication.

Every time he reaches out to me, I am thrown into a whirlwind of depression and self-doubt. As much as I try to say that I forgive him in order to move on with my life, the mere mention of him sends my almost gone PTSD into overdrive.

Along the lines of running into people that I wish that I could just forget, I ran into my cousin who molested me as a small child on Halloween. She lives in the neighborhood where we took (and always take) our children trick-or-treating. I knew that she lives in the same zip code as me, no more than two miles away, but I have never seen her, nor did I know which was her house. Of course to farther complicate and muck up the situation was the fact that it was not just my husband and I with out two children. We were still with my sister and her boyfriend and their 20 month old daughter as well as my mother. My sister doesn’t know that this is who molested me. Actually, the only reason that she even knows that I was molested at all is from reading about it on this very blog. As for my mother, I have told her but I get the impression that she doesn’t believe me or doesn’t care or something. Her reaction upon me telling her what my cousin did to me was the exact nonchalant indifference that kept me from telling her for so many years. Ironically enough, my rapist was the first person that I told this information to, after he told me about how he had been molested as a child. This shared pain was what I though bonded us at a deep, un-breakable level. Boy, was I ever wrong?

Of course, my sister and mother wanted to say hello to my cousin that we haven’t spoken to in years. I walked a few steps ahead refusing to look at her and well up with burning hot tears of hatred and anger. As with getting the call from the man who raped me, seeing this woman brought back vivid, brutal flashbacks.

It is particularly cruel and odd to see and hear from the two people who so deeply betrayed me so close together. It reminded me how much I am not over the events that shaped my life in such a profound way. It did show me that I have made progress though. Seeing my cousin gave me flashbacks that day and the next. I still am thinking bout her, obviously, but if this same run-in had happened 10 years ago, I would have been a wreak for months.

The hint with my rapist is a fresher wound as it was 11 years later. Also, I was older, he was older. I trusted him in a very adult manner. He was the basket that I put all of my eggs into after the death of my father and the incident with my cousin. I have to say that I am a little bit proud that I am not still in a tailspin after these two events.