Isn’t it hilarious the things we thought were torture as children compared to our appreciation for them as adults? For example, naps. I’m not sure how I reacted to naps as a child, (although, the fact that I was an amazing, well-behaved example of a child will probably give you the answer. Please disregard any comments from my siblings) but as an adult, I love naps. Most of the time, I only truly get to enjoy them on the weekends. Tonight, however, the kitties allowed me to completely crash out when I got home.
My work task was completed a whopping 30 minutes or so before it was due. I like to call that “just in time” manufacturing. Thankfully, everything turned out fantastic so I can mark that task, which took up 100% of my work brain the last few weeks, finito! Unfortunately, my desk looks like a paper bomb exploded on it and now all the reference material needs to be refiled and put back in its proper home, but at least it doesn’t have to be done right now.
This morning when I woke up, my pain threshold for my shoulder had reached its max and was steadily climbing over into the red zone. That, coupled with my lack of sleep and stress levels from trying to get everything for this project put together perfectly, enhanced the pain over where I was comfortable with and I tried getting in to see my chiropractor earlier than my scheduled appointment. When I called to see if I could get in today, I was informed that he’s out of the office this week and I started to see dark storm clouds creeping in around the edges of my eyes. Ugh… like I said, I believe my pain tolerance is pretty high, but steadily worsening pain + extreme work stress + lack of sleep took me over my limit and I gave in and went to the Urgent Care to get checked. I mean, your shoulder is not supposed to feel like there is a tiny cave man living in it stoking a fire that finally grew out of his control and burned down his village, right? Yeah. I didn’t think so either. Of course, I also had last night’s post in the back of my mind and immediately started fixating on the what if’s and possibilities of pain meds. This is what it’s like for me living with addiction despite the fact that I am in recovery today.
I’ll fast-forward to the end of the appointment: Yes, I have a strained shoulder. No, I was not prescribed any pain meds, nor did I encourage the nurse practioner to “write me an Rx for the next couple of days to get me through until my scheduled appointment”. Yeah. I’ve used that one before. Now, however, I do have an Rx waiting to be picked up in the morning for steroids to help kill the inflammation. Yay! The light at the end of tunnel.
The most important thing that I have to remember as an addict living in recovery is that I’m never going to be “cured”. There is no magic pill I can take or treatment I can go through to completely remove my addiction from of my brain (or wherever it lives). One of the scariest things about addiction is that when you enter a life of sobriety, the addiction continues to grow even though you’re not feeding it on the daily. The best way to describe this is how I heard in rehab, “Addiction doesn’t go away. It’s a patient disease that sits in the corner of your mind doing push ups waiting for you to give up on recovery. It waits quietly in sobriety and never gives up on the thought that one day, you’ll give it another chance.” Isn’t that terrifying?
I don’t have a lot of physical cravings any more, which is quite the blessing, but every once in a while the thought to drink slinks in without me fully realizing it. I have heard people in meetings say that occasionally they’ll think that “just one” will be fine. Well, when I realize that my addiction is starting to give me a nice, soothing back rub, it’s not to have “just one”. It says, “Girllllll, you live alone. No one will ever know. You and I can hang out and get completely f**ked up! It’ll be awesome! You can get the evidence out of the house and no one will be the wiser.” It’s never about “just one”. It’s about let’s get f**ked up right now and start living lies again.
I honestly never believed people who lived by themselves were sober. Seriously. You know why? Cause every time I was by myself, I was drunk, so if I can’t do it, there’s obviously no way that anyone else can. I thought all of those people were really good con artists and that’s probably one of the many reasons (excuses) that I went through such a long series of relapses. My two other main reasons (excuses) were:
- I wasn’t getting sober for myself. I was always trying to impress someone else. Or at least stay off someone’s sh!t list.
- I felt extremely unworthy of sobriety. I have allowed my lengthy list of “failures in life” to drive the thought that since I’ve screwed up so much other stuff, why would anyone, including myself, ever think that I’m good enough for sobriety. Please note: I now think of my “failures” in a more positive tone in my head. They were lessons that I needed to learn.
I truly thought that no other person could get sober if they lived alone because I was not being honest with myself. When I started becoming truly straightforward with myself, not only did I begin to start believing that there’s a chance that I can do this without adult supervison, but also, I made the serious realization that this would be (and is) the greatest thing I’ve ever accomplished and thus, I started getting some self-worth back. I find it fascinating that one positive will connect to another and another like dominos being knocked down.
This has not been an overnight process, but I really feel that it started with one positive thought. One belief in myself. Now where that belief came from, I feel, was from my HP. When he saw that I was starting to become truly open to the possibility that I might be able to do this he yelled, “Hey, Monica’s Guardian Angel! Yo, take this belief and just slip it without her realizing it (that’s what she said). That’ll be our cornerstone to build this sobriety sh!t off of for her.” (Sometimes my HP has a New York accent.)
One inkling of a belief, lots of prayers, honesty with myself and not giving up one day at a time has gotten me to today. I wonder what tomorrow will bring!