One Detroit Junkie's Battle Laid Bare

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gunna Let It Shine

I feel like I have known you my whole life, and the life before this one as well. I feel like every inch of you I've seen before, like every piece of you I've known before. This feels less like getting to know you and more like reminding myself all about you, remembering things I knew before. 

You saw something worthwhile and bright and good in me when I believed nothing in myself was anything better than dirt. You sat next to me while we circled around tables with other addicts learning to live clean, you listened while I shared my struggles and triumphs and I while you shared yours. You passed me your number through a friend and the next night we sat in a coffee shop and talked for hours, then sat in your van that became our van for hours more after a meeting that night and talked on. No silence felt uncomfortable, no topic felt taboo, no shred of our pasts felt like something needing to be hidden from each other. Complete honesty from the start was a firm foundation for the love that grew and spread in our souls like wildfire. 

I told you I wasn't good at this kind of thing, that I needed you to make the first move. The next day we kissed and then we fell fast and hard. Absolutely out of control in love. I knew within days you were the one. And you said you knew the same, and I could feel in my heart and soul you spoke the truth. 

I have not since childhood felt so safe as I do in your arms. I have not put my trust so completely in another as I have with you. I have never before come together with someone and wanted to pull our bodies so close together that we become one being, for you are the piece of me I never knew was missing but now could not imagine being without. When we lay wrapped around each other, drifting off to sleep, I'm often hit by a wave of love so intense it hurts deep in my heart, and ache pure and good. There is no place on earth I am more content than in your embrace, bodies pressed together, being still and silent and knowing nothing could ever destroy that moment of ours. 

You are my love, my life, my heart and my soul. You are the wind that lifted my broken wings back into flight. You nourish me and guide me and lead by example. You love me without limits and I do the same. You point out all the good things you love in me and never once have you brought up the bad. You've showed me all the reasons I should love me, you're the reason I looked myself in the eye in the mirror today and realized I love myself today, I love what I am today, who I have become with your gentle nurturing. 

I love you with everything I am, with every fiber of my being. I spent 26 years waiting for you, not knowing until I'd met you how alone I'd truly been all those years. It's only been four months I've known you and yet my heart has been waiting for you all my life. I am meant to be yours and yours alone. Thank you for being my Big Goofy, my soulmate, my one true love. Thank you for loving me as deeply and irrevocably as I love you. You've shown me the true gifts of life without smack- all the powerful emotions and you remind me why drugs are no longer an option for me. My euphoria is found in being one with you, in knowing all will be well in the end. 

Our life together stretches out before us, our futures having now become our future. I've waited so long for you, and now the waiting is over and our life has begun. There's a flame that burns in my heart for you and you alone, a flame that's burned away my regret and given me firm faith that everything happens for a reason. I burned myself down with smack for fifteen terrible years so I could walk into that first meeting back and keep walking right into your arms. 

This flame, I know is one that will never burn out. This flame I will keep lit all the days of my life. This flame is good flame, this flame is pure and bright and cleansing. 

I love you Joel. Always and forever. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Every Burn Heals

I find myself wiping tears from my eyes quite often these days. I've always been a crier, always had a steady supply of saltwater to back up my other signs of pain and injury, emotional and physical. Once every few months I could be relied upon to break down sobbing uncontrollably, sounding like a wounded, broken, doomed animal who sees the end coming on fast. 

These tears though, they're different. They come when I think about my life and where it was 118 days ago versus where it is today, with 117 days clean. They come when there's peace surrounding me and peace within me. They come when I think about the look in the eyes of the man I love as he gently, so gently, strokes my cheek as we fall asleep side by side every Saturday night, our designated "no matter what!" overnight date night, in addition to seeing each other throughout the week. These tears come when I laugh with my new friends, friends who understand and support me and helped give me my life back, friends who loved me until I began to find things to love about myself and then loved me some more. These tears, they aren't tears of sorrow, of pain, or anger or even of happiness. 

They are tears of pure, overwhelming, soul-filling gratitude. 

I believed I would die a junkie. I believed I'd slowly rot away, too chicken to kill myself quickly so opting for slow suicide by smack instead. I was terrified to really try to get clean, I didn't think I could face all the wreckage of my addiction without a chemical buffer. I was so dead fucking wrong. 

I gave myself one last shot at recovery. I walked into an NA meeting, sat down, and finally fucking surrendered. I finally admitted I was truly powerless over drugs. I spent 15 years, well over half my life, trying to find a way to use drugs successfully and I almost died in the process. I have fingers that don't work anymore due to gangrene caused by shooting up in them. I have scars over my jugular veins from using them daily for two years after all other veins gave out. I have chunks of flesh missing from my upper arms from abscesses I got injecting into my muscle after even my jugular veins became impossible to hit. Every vein in my body has scars above the length of it. My hands turn purple when I get the slightest bit cold. And my instinctual reactions to loud noises and fast movements will always be skewed. I'll never be able to sit with my back to a door. I had to train myself to brush my teeth twice daily instead of twice monthly again. I've had to learn to function as a normal adult for the very first time. 

And I love every second of it. I truly love my life today. And in the last couple of weeks I've been able to finally honestly say I love myself as well. I am a recovering addict today. I am an employee today. I am an equal half of a very serious relationship with the love of my life, my soul mate, my one true love, Joel. In the next couple of months we will be moving into our own home together with my dogs- one of whom has switched allegiances and become his dog, that disloyal little dork! Joel has almost a year clean and is one of my biggest supporters and the one I trust most in this world. 

The best part of proving myself wrong and learning to live clean? I can now pass on my experience, strength, and hope to other addicts and help others walk a different path as well. I have a story worth telling and it seems to finally have a happy ending. It isn't going to end abruptly with a needle in my neck from a bad shot. It isn't going to end with me unidentified in the morgue for months because I drove away all those who knew me. It isn't going to end because of filthy fucking heroin today. 

I'm rambling. I'm just grateful. I'm grateful. I have 117 days clean and I know I have many more ahead of me, shared with my dogs, my boyfriend, my family and my friends in recovery, who helped me get my life back and make it one worth living. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Black And White

I need to remind myself, when I think life is some awful thing that could be fixed or somehow improved by stabbing myself with needles full of soul poison, exactly what I've gained by being clean and living honestly, and exactly what I stand to give away if I use even once. Reading it over in black and white drives home what I can so easily let myself push aside in the heat of inner turmoil.

List ten things you are grateful for: 
1. Life as I now know it- clean.
2. Narcotics Anonymous.
3. My dogs, who never turned their backs on me no matter how sick I let myself get.
4. My family, who drive me nuts and keep me grounded all at once.
5. My boyfriend, Joel, who I love falling deeper in love with every day.
6. My friends, both new and old, who catch me before I fall and know me the way I'm finally starting to know myself.
7. The ability to laugh at my mistakes, learn from them, and then move forward.
8. My job and a boss who is cool with not scheduling me past 5:00 so I can make meetings.
9. The roof over my head, the floor under my feet, the food in my stomach and the fact that I have heat.
10. My higher power, who also has the ability to laugh at my mistakes, force me to learn from them, and then shove me from behind if I try to dwell and not move forward.

List ten things you would lose give away if you were to use drugs again:
1. My home
2. My boyfriend
3. My sanity-the ability to sanely and honestly assess a situation and see it for the surmountable thing it really is
4. My health- hello, abscesses, it's been awhile since we hung out together!
5. My job- I'd either steal, call in sick repeatedly, or come in too high to work (fuck, too high to speak probably)
6. The bits of trust I've worked my ass off to earn from those I love
7. My hope- it's so easy to let it go, so hard to find even a tiny shred of it again
8. My self-confidence- probably the easiest thing to shatter as it isn't too solid yet, it is so new
9. At least a few of my new friends
10. My clean time- I am the only one who can ever take that away from myself

Explain what made you have an urge to use drugs today:
I blew my entire first ever fully legal paycheck on a hotel room and dinner for my boyfriend and myself last night, and felt guilty for spending it all and only saving $2 when my friend in recovery said to put away $5 from each check to build a nest egg so decided to spend the rest of my day today beating myself up and convincing myself I am not worth the air I breathe, let alone the enjoyment of my first paycheck.

Explain how using drugs would have improved that situation:
It would have served only to give me a split second of oblivion- a split second before the reality of what I had done and what I had given away hit me.

What did you learn through staying clean today, or what lesson was reinforced for you today?
No matter what, there is nothing on this earth I will ever face that using drugs can possibly make better- and everything I face can be made unfathomably worse by using drugs. No matter what my fucked up head tells me, I never have to use drugs again, no matter what. I have friends in recovery today who can tell me when my shit stinks sometimes before I am able to smell it myself, and who can give me suggestions to survive anything clean. My recovery is bulletproof, bombproof, and can survive the center of a volcano- if I follow the path laid out for me by those who have fought this fight before, if I allow myself to learn from the mistakes others have made, and if I remain honest, open minded, and willing to change and do whatever it takes to stay clean. And that I can sure make one helluva mountain out of a tiny anthill. I did nothing wrong by spending MY money.