Besides my parents, my longest relationship has been with prescription drugs, nearly eighteen years. Even in the midst of excruciating loss, relationships and friendships destroyed, homeless and destitute, I refused the thought that we would ever break up.
Addiction will take every thing and anyone you ever cared about, your dreams, your integrity, self worth, and even then, it’s never finished.
It wants you to die.
“Go ahead,” I’d say, usually to a mirror. “I’m already dead.”
I have an app that is a clock, continually running hour by hour, minutes, and even the very seconds of my sobriety.
One day I will write about my rock bottom, but not today.
We learn in Recovery to keep it simple, take each day at a time, and there really is no other way.
The first two weeks was a living nightmare, barely able to even crawl out of bed, the exhausting thought of even brushing my teeth overwhelmed me. It felt like an Elephant was pressing with all his strength directly into my chest while simultaneously a Military boot kicked me in the head.
Two days, Ten hours, 14 minutes, 22 seconds, the clock would flash.
I attended 90 Narcotics Anonymous meetings in 90 days. I’ve heard that if you’ve met one addict, you’ve met them all, and nothing is farther than the truth.
It was freaky almost, as if strangers were opening their mouths and words from my own personal diary were pouring out of them.
The first sixty meetings or so I was on the down low, keeping my head down, my ears wide open. Every day when I feel like I am crawling out of my skin, those meetings are like warm tender hugs, invisible medicine for my aching heart.
Then I leave, where the world awaits, a place I know as home, yet feel more like an alien just in town for a visit off my space ship.
I feel like an infant, very much reborn, raw and vulnerable but filled with wonder and hope, for my new life to begin.
And so, I breathe. I breathe, pray, cry, and feel.
With my heart pounding, the faces around me disappearing, I hear my own voice blubbering, “Hello. I’m Kathleen and I am an addict.”