Gratitude

Tonight I called my sister-in-law. I told her I’ve been addicted to opiates for 15 years. Her response moved me to a point way beyond the shame that I have felt for so long, and into a place of absolute love and respect for the beautiful soul that she is (my shame that I wasn’t there for her as much as I could have been when she was going through the pain of her own addiction).

I was deeply humbled by her compassion, her love, her understanding, her willingness to be here for me whenever I may need her.

I also realise the pain that I am putting my husband through with all of this, and see his absolute love and support, his patience, despite the pain, anger, fear that he is feeling too. I feel so sorry that I am causing all of this and wish it didn’t have to be this way. I am sorry.

In my deep pain and darkness I have reached out my hand and been saved from falling deeper by three people (L, N and N) who have shown me unconditional love, understanding and support, way beyond anything that I could have ever imagined or feel I deserve.

I am lucky to have all of these people in my life. They have let me rant, talk about myself and what’s going on for me, be confused and broken. They have offered to hold my hand and be there for me. Patiently stood by and listened without judgement when I have fucked up, and fucked up again. These people have seen my raw vulnerability, a hard place to be. I feel like I have been seen.

I really find it hard to accept that I deserve any this unconditional compassion and empathy. I find it so easy to feel that familiar feeling of shame when I expose my vulnerability.

To help my understanding of my shame, I watched these two Ted talks again. Wow they were so fitting with what I am feeling at the moment.

Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown – Listening to Shame

Four things really stood out from these Ted talks for me:

  • Shame is the fear of disconnection – Is there something about me that if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection.
  • In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.
  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.
  • You cannot selectively numb the bad feelings. When you numb those, you numb joy, gratitude, happiness.

I feel a deep, heart-felt gratitude for my husband, my sister-in-law, to N, L and N.

And tomorrow, I start another chapter. I’m going to my first NA meeting (though I’m very nervous).

Fucked Up

Fuck. Fuck. I’m so fucking angry with myself. I lapsed, just once, and I’m really struggling with how much that has totally fucked everything up. My head, my life, my relationship, all the hard work I have done recently. All for one fucking opiate induced hour or so peace from what my head was throwing at me. Where the fuck did that come from?

I feel so much shame, regret, so much pain in my head and my heart.

I don’t know how to come back from this. I can’t do this anymore.

Never fucking again. Never.

I am literally living one second at a time.

I need help…

Addiction and Me

Addiction. I found comfort in addiction. I could hide in addiction. I could live away from my head, pretend my body didn’t exist, live in a fantasy world of non-life, of non-reality that I had created for myself. This led me to a place where I could become comfortably-numb (yes, Pink Floyd reference).

Since I was 13, I found comfort and escape in nicotine, then alcohol, drugs, more drugs. Then prescription painkillers (that one snuck up on me), years of battling with denial, and my need for more and more. To feel less and less.

I slid comfortably from one addiction to another, and back again, tricking myself that I had overcome one addiction, moving to stronger and stronger drugs, numbing myself more and more.

It’s been coming for a long time, and it now feels that somehow, from somewhere, over this last month or so, through this massive period of catharsis and change, I have found some courage. I have found a voice in that darkness. I have found the strength to start to face those things that I hid from. I stopped taking my painkillers, stopped drinking, stopped denial. The physical and mental withdrawals are hard, though helped by qigong, connection, a change in lifestyle, a change in mind, body and spirit, through support.

Now, I stand and face what I was numbing myself from. The pain, abuse, bullying, fear, being alone, the darkness. That is fucking scary.

I also face my ego. I have to face myself. That is fucking hard.

Today, it hit me, that I am starting to face all of this, by myself, after a lifetime of numbing.

Today, is the first day in weeks where I have wanted to numb, wanted a drink, wanted a smoke, wanted painkillers.

Today I have not succumb. But I fucking hurt hard.

Lessons from the Psychedelic

Today, amongst massive headaches, purging stomach, tiredness, no appetite, I have felt like I’m in another realm.

Following on from a lot of processing yesterday and last night, lots of links being made and emotional release.

I have felt, at times today like I’m on the edge of a mushroom or LSD trip. Real flashback type stuff that I haven’t experienced for years. I felt it in my mind, and that familiar taste/texture I used to get in my mouth. I have felt right on the edge of extreme fear, gripping me, not letting me go, feeling like I’m about to tip into a ‘bad trip’.

I lay on the bed today feeling myself tipping into this place of fear, the familiar feeling of a ‘bad trip’ that I haven’t experienced for at least 15 years, that I have held inside me. Today, I made a connection, those trips were not bad at all, but lessons. They were my teachers, I was just not ready to receive their teachings. Today, I am making the connection, I am changing, I am ready.

I did my first LSD trip at 15, I was with a group of friends. I was scared, yet I felt so connected, so loved, everything was really clear and vivid. Then, I would trip whenever I could, LSD, mushrooms, micro-dots. I would do it in the company of friends, alone, at home, in nature. I remember once going to college with a friend after we had taken some acid, and a knowing lecturer laughing at us and telling us to go and enjoy our trip at home!

Then it changed from being frequent, recreational, to being more of an exploration, a quest for… something. Answers? Peace? Connection? I am not sure. I moved away from chemical trips to only mushrooms. I moved away from (mainly) doing it with friends, to choosing times where I could be alone, or with select people.

There were many trips where I made connections, had realisations, connected to other people, to nature, I remember once being on the beach under a full moon. I was with my then boyfriend and another friend and we all looked at the moon for hours, watching it spiralling and dancing in the sky. I remember time not existing that night. Waking up on the beach in the morning under a blanket, surrounded by holiday makers in swimming costumes etc! I remember walking through town on my own in the rain after taking mushrooms, needing to get away from the people I was with as I felt uncomfortable with them. I was scared, but I headed into the woods and found comfort amongst the trees. I sat there for hours getting wet, seeing things in the shadows as it went dark, later laying and watching the stars in the sky.

Then I remember the ‘bad trips’. Where I felt like I was dying. Where I needed to get out of wherever I was. Where I could hear other peoples thoughts. Where I could see things that were not there (or were they?) Where I knew things that I didn’t want to know. They were dark times. I would sometimes be fevery and sick. I used to feel like I was sliding down a steep hill, spiralling down into a darkness. It used to take all my energy to stop this, absolute fear that I was going to die. I would ‘wake up’ drained, often in a place that I hadn’t remembered going to.

Today I had the realisation, I made the connection, these were the lessons, I prevented myself from learning because I wasn’t ready. I am just now releasing from the fear that I was caught up in that prevented me from learning those lessons.