So, I've been on my addict's drug of choice (prescription pain narcotics) for two days now following minor surgery. I was kind of enjoying the attention being focused on ME for a change. I'm lyinig around all day. She's being responsible. She's really focused on taking care of me. I'm thinking, "hey, I can live with this role reversal thing." Then all of a sudden, I am in bed scratching to beat the band and thinking of the 10 signs your significant other is using. So, I look up side effects, and sure as shit, itching is one of them. Life is just not fair!! Sigh.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
So I hit another meeting today, it seems with each meeting I go to, the following one gets easier to make. Soon I will be in the routine of going to meetings, there's a noon NA meeting a block from my work, and I plan on making it a habit to go. They say that you only have to repeat something 21 times before it becomes a habit, obviously whoever said that never tried heroin. The cool thing about the meetings, is I play this mental game where I tell myself I don't really want to go, like today, I was going to be late and that was going to be my excuse for not going, but I am pretty much over the whole excuse for not going thing and just going. The thing is I go, I sit quietly and I listen. The cool part is so far each time is that I have heard something great. I am sure if you are all wondering if I am going to turn into the AA/NA preaching junkie, and my answer is yes and no. I have to go with my experience on this one, and as much as I have written my way around it, talked badly about it, and argued against it, a single truth remains; the only time in my entire adult life where I was able to remain sober, live a normal life, feel like a regular human being, have peace of mind, have clarity and not be buried chin deep in guilt and shit was while I was actively working the program. And, yes, I am heading back that direction. I look at it this way; it worked for me once, I have that experience. Doing nothing is making my life miserable, so what else do I have to loose? The worst thing that could happen is that it doesn't work, and the only reason for that would be if I did it half-assed, and I will be no worse off than I already am.
Here's a perfect example. Today the meeting topic was the 12th step. Carrying the message. Probably the single most important step of them all because through the 12th step you get to help others, but it's through helping others that you remain clean, that's how it works, that was my experience. Scout can probably testify to this as I am sure from reading The Discovering Alcoholic posts, she/he can tell you the same. Right now I don't have much of a message to carry, other than what JW is starting to say a lot, and I applaud her for it, is go to meetings, and as my sponsor says, just shut up in listen. He says this to me because of my experience in AA/NA, because he knows that sometimes having that experience can be a blessing and a curse. He knows that being the addict that I am, I could have a tendency to start spouting program stuff, in an effort to impress others with my almighty knowledge and power, you know, The Super Addict syndrome. So I do need to just go and shut up and listen and read the book. This has been my experience for the past few days, and it's been great. I am finding that I forgot everything I knew inside and out that is written in the book, things that I had ingrained into my system have somehow been banished from my mind, addiction is tricky that way, whispering in your mind "don't believe that shit."
I am going to share one thing, because it is so completely appropriate, and the fact that it was exactly what I needed to hear today, well, I think you need to hear it as well: This is from the N/A version of "just for today"
Secrets And Intimacy
"We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected."
Basic Text, page 31
Having relationships without barriers, ones in which we can be entirely open with our feelings, is something many of us desire. At the same time, the possibility of such intimacy causes us more fear than almost any other situation in life.
If we examine what frightens us, we'll usually find that we are attempting to hide an aspect of our personalities that we are ashamed of, an aspect we sometimes haven't even admitted to ourselves. We don't want others to know of our insecurities, our pain, or our neediness, so we simply refuse to expose them. We may imagine that if no one knows about our imperfections, those imperfections will cease to exist.
This is the point where our relationships stop. Anyone who enters our lives will not get past the point at which our secrets begin. To maintain intimacy in a relationship, it is essential that we acknowledge our defects and accept them. When we do, the fortress of denial, erected to keep these things hidden, will come crashing down, enabling us to build up our relationships with others.
Just for today:
I have opportunities to share my inner self. I will take advantage of those opportunities and draw closer to those I love.
Guess what everyone? The addict is back in town. I think it was Tuesday when he left, or Wednesday? Anyways, two days at his brother shitty ass basement suit and he's back. His NA friends have reached out to him- a very touching scene, he has come to some amazing... yes, amazing understandings of himself, such as: He has come to understand that he doesn't feel that he deserves the good life he has, beautiful wife ( oh, yes, again... thank you) beautiful kids, nice home blah blah blah etc.... And, he says that he feels that a part of him resents us for being so good to him (awe... that's cute when he figures stuff out all on his own!)
Now, having said all that as sarcastically as possible, I will say that I do not disagree with him. I find great solace in the fact that he has made, or come to these realizations. That tonight will be his second meeting in two days. That he is calling his NA friends, that he has made arrangements to be more a part of their lives and to make friendships, not acquaintances. My question is this... to the addicts,
When you guys/girls hit this wall of desperation (so to speak) and you come to the realization of how deep your troubles sit in your veins, and you want to , feel good about taking responsibility for yourself, being accountable.. yaddah yaddah... Do you really mean, I mean REALLY mean all of it- even if you relapsed two days later? If so, how long does it REALLY last? How long until you might settle into old deeply dug habits of avoiding the real issues? How painful and uncomfortable is to be so very humble ? These are just things that I wonder.
I also wonder what you really feel about being called on your shit, by your lover, friend, whomever. That big puffy front that you may put up... do you really mean that, or are you grateful on some level that someone calls you, pointedly, assertively- not dysfunctionaly, on your shit?
Now, I am not asking anyone to attest to their, or any one's possible success or failure of their plan. I just wonder, in that moment of clarity, when you are humbled by your addiction... how true to you is it, how true is what you tell your husband, wife, family. How much is lip service- on average?
Written by Mantramine at 4:32 PM
Friday, July 27, 2007
Where's everybody at? I know it's Friday night and all, but it's still time to write new things and write comments on my blog so I feel like someone is paying attention to me. Bad things happen if people don't pay attention to me! I'll start acting out! I will!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
In response to JW's magic, I think girls are magic in ways that have nothing to do with their anatomy. I mean I have to believe this because that aspect of them holds no magic for me. None-the-less, I love all girls, women, dames and gals. But most of all, I love moms. They don't make babies; they have babies. And they have them for the rest of their lives despite having to take a bad rap for growing egg-less with age and whether or not the kid ever grows up. Even a gay guy can appreciate the enormity of that. This might make me a mamma's boy but girls have magic in spades as far as I am concerned.
But then, so do boys. Boys are sometimes wistful creatures whose petulance knows no bounds. They are tolerated in doses because that kind of magic is short lasting—very, very short if you ask me. Other times, boys are dedicated power mongers who cannot seem to live life unless they are winning... at everything, even if they have to cheat. Hence the reputation for angriness, stubbornness and sheer audacity. Perhaps this is because they can make babies but they cannot have them. (This is not about any gender's ability to buy babies. That does not count) Perhaps it is because they cannot always see the big picture no matter how much they distance themselves. Regardless, boy magic is often cheap and lasts much less longer than their virility.
The abundance of choices for boys, guys and dudes seems ironically tied to their following a predestined path when, many times, it's the girls who end up with more choices because they have more problems to solve from said lack there of. Is that magic or what? Yes times have changed and the choices are a little more equitable in that area of distribution—at least in our part of the world. But boys still seem have to win even if they have to fake it and girls still seem to have to see the big picture and sometimes fake something a little differently (or so some say). Otherwise we all seem to lose. And that's not magic at all.
Beating our addiction is a hard thing to do. It's also a hard thing to help the one's we love to do. But not using is not nearly enough. Not for me. I didn't give up my early death to be saddled with a life I cannot enjoy. And at this stage in my life, it's going to take some magic for that not happen.
Mark my words. I will have a magical life.
Before I knew the word "codependent" meant "bitches who act like me," I had this theory explaining why I consistently got into relationships with fuck-ups. I pick out very sexy addicts, the best kind of fixer-upper men, because I believe firmly in the power of my magical pussy.
For many years, I have believed that there is some wondrous agent or elixer buried in walls of my hoohah that could make the worst of men act right. Show me the world's biggest fuck-up, and I will be certain that if I just put my magical fuck-down on him, he'd wake up from his madness and be the wonderful man that I know is inside of him. So what if he cheated on his girlfriend a thousand times? She didn't have the magical pussy! So what if he was robbing pharmacies with his fucking mom? All he needed was a dose of my magic vag, and he'd be FIXED! FIXED, I say!
They talk about addicts and their terminal uniqueness (Scout! I'm looking at you!)..."meetings don't work for me" and "I'm not like those people" and "but my life was harder." It's not just the addicts who think they are absolutely, uniquely, completely different...it's their spouses as well. Those of us who are sure that we are endowed of some kind of unique and transformative powers are making ourselves sick with working to fix, fix, fix. My husband is different. I am different from his last girlfriend. Yes, he's an addict, BUT. Yes, but...we're different. I'm magic, and he's handsome, and he's so smart, and I'm so smart, and look at this drawing, and wow! I can write.
God, I hate myself sometimes. Fuck me, and fuck him, and fuck my stupid puss and its ridiculous lies!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Watch an episode of Intervention or read a codependent’s blog and you can be rest assured that half the content will relate to yelling, screaming, and fighting. Why? Is it the overpowering angst of the struggling alcoholic or addict desperately trying to stay straight? Is it the transference of anger from a problem they cannot handle or understand to a more concrete subject (victim)? Is it just understandable result from living in a dysfunctional environment?
Well sure, it could be any of these. But before this old alcoholic yells surprise and throws a pity party for those poor suffering souls let me tell you that some of the time it might just be “Angry is Plan A”.
As a practicing alcoholic I often found that I had woven a web of deceit so complex that with my degraded mental capacity I just couldn’t keep my stories straight. Always intoxicated, I would also have a hard time performing simple tasks under close scrutiny by those who knew me without it becoming obvious I was drinking again. The answer to these dilemmas was to make sure that things got so hot around me that drinking was the last thing anyone thought of. Yelling, screaming, and just generally burning down the house assured that whatever I had set on fire garnered all the attention… not my drinking.
The angry Plan A had an added benefit that if I played the part to the hilt and began believing that my originally feigned pain and indignation was justified, that it often served as the rationalization to continue drinking. After all, nobody cared nor could even understand how I felt.
In fact, I was going to make sure they never had the chance!
Written by Mantramine at 4:44 PM
re: What's Mine.
And a moment of clarity and the struggle in between...
This started out as a comment regarding JW's post, then turned into my own post. What I had first wrote, beginning in the comments section appears at the end of the next 3 paragraphs, and was written before I wrote what proceeds directly below. I know that's confusing as hell, but welcome to the mind of an addict. All of this was written within a span of about 20 to 30 minutes, I don't know exactly why that is important, but for some reason it is.
First I love your post for the sole reason that it carries a message. It offers hope based on your experience. This has served a dual purpose, one you intended, and another you may not have been aware of. I can see in you, through working in Nar-Anon, you have some peace of mind, lot's of clarity and understanding, and you have shown tremendous growth in a short period of time. Like I said before, this post is excellent because you are sharing your experience, strength and hope. To quote a friend out of context, "Textbook," and I applaud you for it. There are so many people out there on your side of the fence, being the partner of an addict who are still suffering, and here you are to offer them a way to freedom from their addicts bullshit, offering what you have gotten thus far, and from my experience it's just the tip of the iceberg. As I said though, your message carried a dual purpose, or more correctly a dual message, not just to those partners of addicts still suffering, but to me, to an addict who is still suffering. Yes, the fact is I have not used a drop of heroin in over a month now, but I have still been struggling day to day, not with a desire to use, or even thoughts about using, but with life. With living, with my relationship, with my feelings, with my emotions. Those that read anything I write know that I am a complete mess.
The thing is I have been involved in AA before, in fact I have a very positive experience with the program. Sure I ran into a rough patch here and there, especially at the end, when I desperately wanted to work with others, sponsor people, carry the message to those who like me now, were still suffering and really dying for an answer. I have been to exactly 1 meeting in the last month. I have had exactly 1 million excuses not to go, and recently I have managed to come up with 10 times more reasons why the program is worthless, and why I want no part of it. Until today, until reading your tiny message of hope to those others like yourself, to the partners of us addicts. You have something I want, you have had it for a while now, and I have wanted it all along, I have just been too stupid and too pig headed to admit it to myself until now.
What does this all mean? Hell I don't know, this all came out in the last 10 minutes, my original post is at the bottom of this one. Am I ready to jump back aboard? I am not sure. Will I start going to meetings again? Maybe, actually I just might. I am sure that everything that has happened over the last month has led up to this moment, including the letter from my sponsor. There is only one thing in that letter that really stands out to me, that rings true, and that is when he said what he thinks I want to be doing is to carry the message, and I honestly think he's right. It doesn't mean just because I don't have a message to carry at this point that I am going to stop writing. Up to now this has been my life saving process. Without it, I would have never gotten to the place I am today, and believe me when I say where I am at today, is better than where I was at the day before, and the day before that, and so on. So for thank your for this post. Thank G-d for stepping up and kicking me in the nuts hard enough to make me open up my eyes (to read and hear). And thanks to my sponsor for always being that prick who continues to call me on my shit, even when he isn't 100% right, he still is sometimes right. Ha, so now I have did all this talking, let's see if I can actually follow it up with some action. Anyone want to lay the spread on it? Let me know the odds, I think I'll put some money on myself.
Now for my original post, what was part of my comments to your post JW:
I started to comment on your post when I began to realize one of the reasons for creating this particular blog; to be able to respond to a post more directly, to be able to ask questions, and to be able to write about a subject that stirs feelings within me that I need to express, or put on screen so that I can better understand them, because, as you will see, I am very confused on this particular subject, and it's something I am seeking clarity on, not from you or any one else, but from me. I also realize that I may not be able to achieve this on my own, thus I have questions for you, based on your experience. See if you can follow me:
I am interested in the ways your relationship has changed from when he was using to now that he is not using and much like me not doing very much in recovery other than not using? I see great strides in your process, in the things you have learned and in being independent (yes you are very independent of him in my eyes), and I can see how that can have a definite positive impact on your relationship.
I have watched your struggle as he first crawled then began to take baby steps in naturally being clean, also your frustration sometimes over wishing he would do more, and ultimately your acceptance of letting him do his own thing at his own pace. To me this shows tremendous amounts of understanding, compassion, selflessness, and growth on your part.
But what I really need to know, what are the positive changes that have taken place solely based upon his action or for that matter inaction? I mean besides the obvious things of knowing that he is not using, and the fact that he is naturally becoming more clear headed as the fog is beginning to lift. I don't know exactly what I am searching for here, but the comment about it doesn't matter whether he is using or not, without taking it out of context, makes me wonder what it is we are doing in not using that is so wonderful? (other that the obvious not stealing, lying, etc, etc).
Confused to the point I can't even form a question, and this has absolutely nothing to do with you, this is my bucket (or more appropriately, my steaming pile of elephant dung).
Quite a striking difference between the two posts, and to think the bottom half was written before the top, and both written within a 20 min span of time. It amazes me that I had a moment of clarity after a ball of confusion, and as Wayward points out, once again I am all over the place. But still, these are questions I really want answers to. I think in a way I have answered them myself, that I see now, that no matter if you even answer the questions, or what the answers are, I understand now that it's not about the quality of your relationship, it's about the quality of mine. Just because I relate to G. in the fact that I feel neither of us are really taking much action in our recoveries other than staying clean (and let's not forget that's a pretty awesome accomplishment for any heroin addict), doesn't give me justification to continue to do nothing because you're relationship may be okay, or getting better while mine continues to slowly drown. So let's forget about the questions, the only reason I left them in is because I never edit what I write. But, I don't need those answers anymore, I have answered my own questions, well that's not totally correct, actually I did something far more important; I figured out how to ask the right questions.
Written by Ej. at 2:22 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I've read and read your glorious top 10 posts, and I keep telling everyone about them and laughing and laughing, especially that going into the bathroom to look for the smell of poop. That's priceless.
But just in case anyone is out there reading our rantings and wondering what to do about his or her situation with an addict, I want to offer that poor person some advice (GO TO MEETINGS! FIND NAR-ANON! DO IT NOW!). Ok, I want to offer that person some more specific advice.
All the searching, intervening, questioning, drug testing, and stalking in the WORLD will not do anything. It won't make you feel better. It won't make your addict stop using. It won't help, anything.
I have been as guilty as anyone of hunting through the house, going through his phone, searching through his pockets. I was doing it out of a place of fear that was coming from hurt at being betrayed and genuine terror over the danger my husband was putting himself in. I'd watch him breathe at night half to see if he'd been using and half to make sure he wasn't going to stop breathing...I was scared I was going to lose him.
Nothing has made me feel as good as that first Nar-Anon meeting that I went to. I learned that first night that I can't fix my husband. I can't make him change, and I can't make him do anything. I can catch him or not catch him. It doesn't matter. If he is going to use, he's going to use.
What I have learned in the last few months is that if he's using, it will come out. Either he will tell me, or I will know. And also, it doesn't matter if he's using.
Seriously. It doesn't matter.
What matters is our relationship and how he is interacting with me. When he is using, it keeps him from treating me right, from fucking me right, from talking to me and loving me. Using makes him so sick physically and spiritually that he will steal from me. If he could use and still be the husband that I need, I wouldn't care if he used.
When we plunder their things and search their private belongings for evidence of their using, we're getting distracted from the work of taking care of ourselves. If you're obsessing over what your addict is doing, you're not taking care of what you need. As soon as I learned that it was ok, and in fact better, for me to let go of my husband's bullshit, then I was able to take care of myself. It was a great relief for me to take that first step--to admit that I was powerless over the addict and that my life had become unmanageable.
What I've learned to do, instead, is to focus on ME, on making my life manageable and doing for myself what I need. If he is going to fuck himself up with drugs, he won't do it on my time or on my dime. I love him dearly, and I want us to work out together...however, I do not want us to work out together so badly that I will allow him to destroy me.
And in the end, letting go of these behaviors and this urge to fix him has actually been the best thing for our marriage. I have become stronger, more compassionate, and actually much more helpful in his recovery. I am able to allow him the dignity of fucking up and feeling the pain from his mistakes.
As I read J-wife's post, I was simultaneously empathetic and pissed off at her beloved junky, G. I have been him. Man, have I ever been him. Yet because I have come to love J-Wife, I get pissed off at the stuff that actually used to be my own behavior.
Let me say this and move on.....Those of you who are married to, or sticking by, those of us who are addicted, have helped me in more ways that I could ever describe with words. Hearing how my behavior has affected ya'll is a real gift from G-d. And I have so much gratitude for each of you. Thank you for sharing with me and allowing me into your world.
I had a great deal of anger in my "earlier" recovery. The first 100 or so days was/is a tough time for this addict, and, much to the dismay of my gf I am sure, I have done "the first 100 or so days" several times. Now this is all just personal experience and not meant to speak for all junky's, o.k? For me, it's a time of my mind trying to get around the lack of my beloved heroin. I'm angry that I have chosen to not get high any more. I feel trapped by my own choice. I have this sense of deep longing -- and I mean DEEP LONGING -- for my old familiar feeling. Heroin fucking haunts the shit out of me in the early days. Thus, I am angry -- it's not necessarily at anyone or even myself. It's just anger -- call it irritation even. I could get pissed off at not being able to get a shirt off a hanger. I could get pissed off at something someone said in a meeting. I could get pissed off at you, or my gf, or my doctor, or the pharmacist, or ANYone. I would simply be angry with no real rhyme or reason -- any target would do.
It apparently isn't a deal just for men to go to anger first. I have punched walls, kicked doors, thrown clothes around. I even tossed my gf's favorite javelin as far as I could down the alleyway. The anger gets to such an intensity that it feels physical and then I release it physically. I'm not saying any of it is justified. I am simply saying how it is for me. And it's not simply aimed at the person who has stuck by me (when I deserved to be left because she deserved so much better than me at the time.) For me, it gets aimed at whoever is in the path at the time.
I don't want to romanticize heroin here, nor do I want to give the impression that we are somehow "special addicts." That being said, I do believe there are some ways that we who have been addicted to heroin are treated by specialists in the addiction field, and also some ways society views heroin addiction, that does, in fact, separate us from the herd a bit. I was told, and I'm sure ej and G have been told, too, that we simply don't recover over the long haul. I was told in no uncertain terms, "You've really fucked yourself up now, woman. You've sold your soul to the devil of heroin and you are NOT going to get it back. EVER." (direct quote from a counselor.) So, I was told I couldn't recover. I am also seen by other types of drug addicts, and somewhat by myself, as having reached the pinnacle of addiction. I had "arrived" in the ultimate coolness of the underground addicted world. I was (am) a heroin addict. Movies were made about me; song written about me; famous people died over me; people who loved me got scared shitless about my addiction. I was now officially a "tortured soul."
Yes, junky pride. It's a real thing for this addict.
All of that being said, there is a way that heroin haunts me still. I am 21 months clean. Most days I don't even think of heroin, but some days -- shit -- some days it's all I can think of. And on those days, I miss the hell out of it. Would I want to go back to the whole ugly, fucked-up lifestyle? Hell no. But there is always the little voice that pops up that says, "Just one more time, L. C'mon. Just one. more. time." It's that stupid voice that used to make me relapse all the time. Now, thank G-d, I just have my days when I hear it, but don't feel the obsession to respond to it. Yet, it is haunting. And it makes me feel extremely lonely; deep in my soul kind of lonely.
It used to make me feel -- you guessed it -- ANGRY.
So, I'm all over the damn place with this post. It's not what I wanted to do
Written by just another addict at 2:51 PM
I am angry about everything. You’re husband’s reaction and anger is completely common addictive behavior and in no way should be taken personally by you. I know this is a very tough thing to accept when someone is yelling and screaming at you, while punching holes into the walls. At that moment it’s hard to accept anything but it being completely personal. But while it may be directed towards you, this is completely unfair and selfish on our part, because you are simply the only person we have to dump our anger on. Since we have no skills for dealing with our anger, it gets poured out upon the closest person around us, and usually the person we love the most. (Of course you realize that I am speaking from my own experience, and should not being using statements like we. But it has also been my experience that addicts as a whole have similar issues, and act out in similar ways, and to me this is textbook behavior). I like to bury things, the things that bother me about my addictive behavior, such as the pain I have caused, the lying, and the manipulation, all of it. I like to shove it deep down into a black pit. Since I have no skills for dealing with my anger, I let it fester until it reaches a boiling point and then it explodes; usually into a very similar outburst like the one you have described.
But the question was; what are we so mad about? You have the answer right, at least from my perspective. It’s not really anger at all but it’s displaced guilt. I am so riddled with guilt that it completely consumes me at times. Guilt is nastier than anger, it’s the most self destructive, and selfish indulgent emotion that I own. I say it’s indulgent because there are methods to relieve the feelings of guilt that I feel. And trust me; I feel it about every little thing. I feel guilty about using, about the kids, about my g/f, about work. There is not one area or aspect of my life that does not contain some measurement of guilt associated with it. I also have “anger” about wanting to feel normal, with feeling like I will never be trusted again, with feeling like a fuckup. But these aren’t the right things to express, what I should be expressing is the true feeling, the underlying feeling; I should be expressing the guilt that I feel in each of these areas.
Instead of yelling about how I fucked my g/f over, what I want to learn to do is express how badly I feel about for the things I have done, the lying, the cheating, in his case he seems to feel very badly about the stealing (all guilt, guilt and more guilt); but two things need to happen first before I can get to this place where I can express what I really feel, and express it through non violent, non confrontational communication: First I need to be able to admit the things that I have done (all the guilt) to myself and to her. I need to learn to say, “Yes I cheated on you, and yes it was wrong, and yes, on top of cheating I directly and repeatedly lied to you about it.” The second, after admitting the things I have to done is I have to learn to ask for forgiveness. I need to learn to do this is such a way that I keep the blame directly on myself, and ask in such a way that I don’t have expectations of being forgiven. The one thing I learned from NA/AA in the 9th step (making amends), that asking forgiveness from the people we have wronged is not about being forgiven, it’s about learning to forgive myself. Through the process of learning to forgive myself, eventually I was able to let go of the guilt of my past actions.
The next question you asked was why we are so mad at the people who loved us when we were so singularly unlovable and supported us when we were being insufferable? The thing is even after I stopped using, I still continue to be singularly unlovable; that is I do not know what to do with my feelings and emotions. I do not know how to express them. I do not know how to express or receive the love of my girlfriend. All she wants in this world is for me to love her, to show her affection, and here I am, completely unable to do this seemingly small thing. It’s not for a lack of desire, or because that I don’t love her, it’s because I spent entire adult lifetime using a drug to hide from my feelings, to protect myself from feelings, and now that I am not using, I have all of these feelings and emotions and no idea what the hell to do with any of them. This makes me still completely insufferable. I have no clue how to communicate. I do not know how to express my feelings, hell; I can’t even have a normal conversation. I withdraw, being an introvert by nature; withdrawal is the easiest thing for me, much easier than communication. On this front I can only offer the advice of our marriage counselor, and that is to read a book, (and read it right away), called “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B Rosenberg.
But still I haven’t directly answered your question on why we single out the people who loved and supported us through our addiction. But what I have done is answered it indirectly. For me, the anger and the expression of anger towards my girlfriend comes from the guilt. My actions towards her while using are the single greatest source for my guilt; that is, I feel guiltier about the things I have done which involve her, than all of the other fucked up things combined. She is like my
I understand that this is completely fucked up and wholly wrong on so many different levels. But this is my experience. The thing is that I think I have some insight on my actions; I just need to learn the skills to deal with all of these things. Because before, when I was using, it was almost like an excuse, my behavior I mean. I know that there is no excuse, but the point I am trying to make is, that now that I am clean and no longer using, and that I am aware of my behavior, and how wrong, and how fucked up it is to continue to treat my girlfriend in this manner, that I am completely aware of how wrong it is, how hurtful, and in doing so, not only am I continuing to hurt her, but I am only building up more guild, adding to the pile of shit. That by not taking action to clean up this mess, by not taking action to learn to communicate, by learning to forgive myself, by learning the whole gambit of life skills that I have no clue of right now. That if I don’t continue to take action and begin changing (regardless of some people’s opinion on the matter), by going to therapy with my girlfriend, by going to therapy on my own, by this fellowship, that I should probably expect that she will leave me. Because like I said, the behavior is completely inexcusable, and there is no reason for it to continue when I have tools at my disposal to learn a new way to live, whether it be the path I am on, or if that doesn’t work, returning to AA/NA. But, it has to be something, I have to do something because I am suffering, I am in pain, I hurt, and I am continuing to cause the same for the person I love.
Written by Ej. at 12:54 PM
As I was reading Wayward Son's previous post, I felt an incredible sense of community and fellowship. I never thought I would feel this way by joining a blog.
The main reason I joined the blogging world was because I wanted to get my feelings out. I have always loved to write, and always been told I was good. I have journaled my entire life. But as I got older, I couldn't find the time, or more honestly, didn't make the time to write. This was not only a great substitute to writing, but I could do it more frequently and while I was at work.
It was a shock and a surprise when I had my first comment, and after that, it was nice to have people reading and commenting. I found people who were going through similar things as I was.
Today and now, as I noted previously, reading Wayward Son's post and then looking at the list of members and writers to this community blog, I felt a sense of togetherness. I felt happy knowing that here were people that I have never met, but who were in it for the same reason as me. It is a diverse group of people, but one that I have come to grow quite fond of.
I love that I can read and learn and grow from someone going through what I am, and I have learned so much by reading an addict's point of view as well.
It feels good to know that we are helping each other - that we are listening without judging.
I just wanted to let you all know how your friendship has affected me. And thank you for it.
Photo Credit: Rafa From Brazil
Any one who has ever dealt in a consequential way with meth will appreciate not just the sadness of this photograph but also the utter hilarity of it as well.
When I used, I did not have the need to hide it. I had isolated myself into an environment where everyone used. The lines of responsibility for one's use, for one's life, were not blurred because in the end, I used alone. I was using alone in an environment of people who all used meth. It only served to exacerbate how isolated I was and how lonely I felt. That feeling made me mad and I then, in turn, did my best to make other's feel badly about my self imposed exile. A clever act that got me the drugs I wanted so I could maintain my isolation and maintain my loneliness. A vicious circle of the highest order. What I did hide was my desire for a better life. I submerged all thoughts of something better and that allowed me to act out on the self hate I felt. That was behavior that lent itself to wanting more drugs, getting more drugs and perpetuating a destructive situation of my own design that was easily forgotten as long as I was high.
The memory of how lonely I felt serves me well today. It is my first line of defense against picking up. Still, I feel excruciatingly lonely. I am desperately searching for a place in this world and battle depression, it would seem, constantly. The difference, though, between now and then is a measure of hope that did not exist before. That and the few moments of joy and clarity that I had denied myself while using.
The husband and I had a glorious, glorious blowout last night. It was fantastic. The rage that he manifested reminded me of the rage those zombies had in 28 Days Later.
I can't understand it, and he can't explain it. I think that a part of what was going on is a general male-female problem. When men get upset, often the go-to emotion is anger, where when women get upset, the go-to emotion is sadness. So he screams, and I cry.
What I don't understand, though, is the deep anger coming from his direction towards me, specifically. I know that a lot of it is coming from guilt, but what made him so mad was that I'd asked him to try to be patient with me. I'd been explaining the stuff I'd posted about patience, where I thought I was being a paragon of understanding, compassion, empathy, and all those things, and I thought that I was asking him to give back to me the same things I was offering him. Instead, all he heard was ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK. All he understood from my request that he be patient with me while I work through my pain was that he was causing me pain, that he can't do anything right, that he's a fuckup in the first degree.
He punched a wall. It pissed me off, and scared me. I left. He called, threatening suicide if I didn't come back. It was absurd.
This whole thing started because he asked me to let him have $5 to take to work so that he could buy lunch. Instead of giving him cash, I offered to pack a lunch for him. We had food in the house, and I wanted to keep the $5 for myself. I am not afraid that he was going to use the $5 to get high. I just wanted the money for myself, and I didn't want to feel that twinge of resentment that I feel when I give him things or buy him things.
He freaked because he wants to be normal. He freaked because he doesn't think we'll ever be normal again. He said these things...he said that he knows that I can't give him $5 because he's not normal and he's fucked me over and he's made it bad, but that he can't live feeling like a fuckup and he's sorry. These are the right things to say...however, he says them while screaming at me, punching holes in my precious walls, throwing things.
So tell me, my addict electronic friends. What are you guys so mad about? And in particular, what are you so mad at the people who have loved you when you were so singularly unloveable and supported you when you were being insufferable?
In keeping with Ej's fabulous post I thought I might add the top signs your going insane, because you know something isn't right, but you can't find the proof...
As added info, mine was a snorter. Just so your aware that there other methods that don't acquire one to use a lot paraphernalia.
1) It becomes an acceptable part of your life to get up at the crack of dawn to search the addicts personal areas; such as, garage, possible bathroom hiding spots, his garbage. Possibly even ransacking his car while not caring what the neighbours think of you out there in your pj's. All the while your searching your heart is pounding with the fear of finding something. You lick credit cards from his wallet that might have been used to crush the heroin. All of this done quickly, before he wakes up.
2) You write down phone numbers that you find around the house, or on his cell phone and phone them asking for a friend of yours hoping that you will be able to detect if this phone number belongs to a drug dealer by the tone of voice of the person that answers.
3) You lay awake at night,sometimes for hours, watching him sleep waiting for him to scratch. (Heroin/morphine has qualities that will make one itch and so lovingly scratch themselves. For me this happened when he was sleeping, because he knew it was a dead give away he made sure to not scratch when awake. He couldn't control this as well when he slept).
4) You easily get annoyed by your children and are more short with them, because their questions and needs disturb your obsessive thinking on how you will catch him, where is he, what is he doing....
5) When he is on the phone you drop everything to employ the bionic ear, desperately straining to hear his conversation.
6) You call him into different parts of the house to see if his pupils will change when he goes from a light room to a dark room (usually unreliable, unfortunately- see Ej's #8). You keep trying this all night hoping for proof absolute, you also keep trying it on the sly because you don't want him to know your checking because you might be wrong, and you don't want him to think that you don't believe in him. You are, after all, a supportive wife/husband.
7)You creep as quietly as possible to the bathroom when he is in it, and you stand outside of the bathroom door, heart pounding- hoping he can't hear your heart pounding, waiting for strange noises of rustling paper, clings clangs that don't go with the plipidy plop of a bowel movement (with aforementioned bionic ear).
8)You run in the bathroom when he is done to make sure it actually smells like shit. You then accept the answer "I guess my shit don't stink" that he gives you, against your better judgement.
9) You dissect bank statements to find out where certain cash withdrawals took place (certain known neighborhoods), phone the bank and try desperately not to sound like a wife/husband checking up, you talk as if it is a business need while your heart pounds. You get the information and then go and ask the addict where he withdrew the cash to compare answers, to catch him in a lie. Always trying to set him up to catch him in a lie. It consumes your life.
10) You repeatedly do #1-9 looking for proof, solid proof so that you can confront the user. You never once simply trust that your gut is telling you... something isn't right. You deny that that is good enough evidence. You deny yourself over and over again. You think the anxiety that is rolling around in your guts is because you can't find proof- you refuse to believe that it is from the fact that you have all the proof you need. You push it down. Listening to it means you will have to take action based on your truth. You can't believe it. The anxiety is your intuition knocking at the door. The more you turn away from it, the louder it knocks. It's insanity.
If it smells like shit, looks like shit, your chances are better than good that, it's shit. And once you acknowledge that and accept that you don't need proof absolute, that he doesn't have to admit he did it for you to know, your intuition will stop knocking because there will cease to be a door that keeps it out.
I would like to add a very heartfelt thank you to Ej. I wish I could have read his blog, of an addict trying to do the next right thing, when I was in the deepest of my insanity. It would have helped me understand that addicts are not inherently evil, just momentarily possessed.
Written by Mantramine at 6:42 AM
Monday, July 23, 2007
Of course being an addict, when I am in active addiction, or if I relapse my #1 priority is to hide my addiction at all cost. This usually comes from a deep seeded feeling of guilt that I have let not only myself down, but my partner as well. The funny thing is that most addicts are very smart, well, I am very smart, and therefore if I was really, really, trying to hide my use, I would do a much better job at not leaving any "clues." But I believe deep down on a subconscious level, I want my partner to know. Yes, I realize that this will cause all kinds of problems, but they are nothing compared to the day to day guilt I feel behind using and sneaking and lying. So, I am going to give myself up, here are my secret ways that I attempt to hide my use, or actually the "signs" that I leave that I am using. I am a shooter, but for a long time on this last relapse I smoked, so there are various things to look for. There is no particular order; I am just doing the David Letterman thing.
- Missing tin foil (perhaps cleverly marking the foil to tell if any goes missing), or missing spoons, or spoons that are bent at weird angles. Also check the bottom of spoons for black residue, sometimes they are hard to clean.
- I don’t smoke so there is no need for me to ever have a lighter (regardless of what stupid excuse I give for having one)
- Spending a lot of time in the bathroom (taking a shit). I am probably not taking 3 or 4 shits a day. Also sometimes I tend to be sloppy and leave black marks from the bottom of a spoon on the counters, or if I am feeling “smart” the floor. Also cooking dope in a spoon will sometimes cause it to “splash” over, leaving tiny little round heroin specks on the counter. Also a little dope squirted from a syringe will cause the same affect (watch some csi).
- Obviously money issues. The key dollar amount is usually $20.00. So if I am unable to suddenly pay my bills on time, or the rent, or my spending habits have changed in anyway, that’s a major clue. Also if I ask to borrow money say $20.00 for something at the store, and come home with $5.00 worth of shit, and no change. Bingo!
- Touching. When I am using, I will refuse to let my girlfriend touch my upper arms, or my ass. This is because I am shooting dope inter-muscular (meaning in my ass or the muscles of my arm), this tends to cause “hard spots” which can be both felt and visible, so no touching or seeing these areas. This also means no more joint showers, or getting completely naked during sex. Also when I was shooting IV (into a vein) there are obvious track marks, so I would usually wear long sleeves even in the summer, or use my legs or feet.
- Cell phone. My cell phone is the number 1 place I usually mess up. I usually will forget to erase my connections number, or will do something “smart” like make up a name for my connection and save the number. Going through my recent calls might reveal calling the same number several times a day, etc. I have been busted by this more than once.
- Frequent trips out for short periods of time for no reason. You know a quick trip to the store that lasts for 45 mins, or the trip to the gas station that takes 30 mins instead of 5. These trips will usually be followed by either a trip immediately to the bathroom when I get home, to take a shit or shower, or when I return there will be a noticeable change in my attitude and body language. I will have gone from being really ancy, pacing around the house, to coming home relaxed, kicked back, eyes heavy, etc. which takes us to #3.
- The eyes. Usually a dead give away for me. There are a few things that happen to my eyes besides the old pinned eye test. The problem with the pinned eye test is often the quality of heroin is not actually good enough to fully pin my eyes (make the pupils really small). But a good test for this is whether or not my pupils dilate when exposed to dark. Generally when you enter a place with little or no light, your eyes dilate letting in as much light as possible, with an addict, such as me, there will be little change from dark and light. My g/f would use a flashlight to test this. But it’s not 100%. Also my eyes get heavy and very glossy, they will often times become reddish in color, almost like I had been smoking weed.
- Nodding off. This should actually be #1, because there is no way around not getting caught for this one. Eyes get heavy like I mentioned, and I begin to loose focus on the TV, or reread the same page in a book 20 times before “falling asleep.” Heroin itself isn’t usually enough for me to nod off, unless I get a real good dose, because of the quality, like I mentioned before. But when you mix heroin with a pill in the benzo family (Valium, xanax, klonopin, atavan, etc), I will definitely nod off. This also works well with mixing either alcohol or a muscle relaxer (soma). Heroin is never enough for me, because I have done it for so long, in order to capture that “high” I need some sort of kicker.
- Home drug testing kit. This is the final test, this was the one thing I could not lie myself out of, and when my g/f finally got smart enough and $30 to buy one, I was through. Sure I sat there and lied right to her face, telling her no matter of all of the evidence she had found in 1- 9, I wasn’t using, and yes, I would absolutely pass the piss test, just give me a few minutes to have to pee. Lol. YA RIGHT. The test is still in the box unused.
Luckily we have gotten all of this nasty business out of the closet, she knows all my little secrets, all of by addictive behavior, and even knows how to collect the evidence with the best of the CSI’s. But when confronted, I will still sit there and lie to her face. It’s what I do. I lie and I lie, and I lie some more. But if I am going to be transparent, and say that I am not using, and she pulls that drug test out, WHAM! I know I am busted, so I lie some more, until I finally admit that I can’t take the test because I will fail. The truth always comes out in the end. Each time I have relapsed she has found out quicker and quicker, and even though she has the evidence, she has me busted cold; the thing I notice about her is that she doesn’t want to believe it’s true. After all, I swore I wouldn’t do it again, so even faced with a mountain of evidence, she will often put it off until she cant take it anymore, probably because she doesn’t want me to sit there and lie to her when she knows the truth, but mostly I think it’s because she doesn’t want to feel the disappointment that I am using again. But the one thing she never knew was the guilt I felt day in and day out, living the lie. I hated myself for it, I could hardly look her in eye most of the time (another give away). And even after all the lying, once the truth did come out, as painful as it was for her, I felt relief; relief that I didn’t have to keep lying, keep hiding, and hope that maybe this time I would take some action, but that’s a whole other story.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Welcome, welcome, welcome. Those of you who read my blog will know that I started this community blog because I felt there was some untapped potential for further communication, sharing, and knowledge. There are no restrictions on what can be posted here, or by whom (except a few, HA!). If you are looking to get an idea or a feel for this sanctuary, I will throw out a couple suggestions: Questions and answers; for those of you who have questions for us addicts, and for those addicts who have questions of those of you who stand by us, this would a perfect place to get input from a variety of people. Comments; if you have a comment from someone's blog that has turned more from comment more into a topic you would like to further discuss, this would be a prefect place (Don't forget the link back to the blog). Open discussions; my personal favorite and what I really would like to see here are ongoing discussions. Pick a topic, or a burning desire, post your opinion, or ask a question and start a discussion. By having the open forum, others are not limited to the comment section to discuss their feelings or opinions. The idea is to lessen the use of comments section. If you would like to respond to someone's post here, rather than leave a comment, leave a post. If you are not an author, find someone who is and get added, we want your valued opinion and experience.
I am sure you get the idea, or point, or whatever. As I discussed with Wayward, I see this as something that will develop into its own, come alive, become what it becomes. I don't want to have to police the blog, but if it becomes necessary I will in order to keep it a place people feel safe and comfortable to express themselves freely without the fear of being judged. With that said, here are some ground rules I have come up with this far (if you can think of something that should be added, by all means, add away):
I have added a new section to the Sidebar; "Community Mission," which contains a kind of Mission Statement, or the ideal behind this blog. I have also added "Our 3 Guidelines," to the bottom of the page. I do not want to police this blog in any way, shape or form. But thinking about my own addictive behavior, and since I did take the initiative to start this whole process, I believe it was up to me to set up a few guidelines for the sole purpose of protecting the community and the blog. As you can see there are 3 Guidelines thus far, and I believe that's all that should be needed; Anonymity, No Personal Attacks, and the all encumbering "Respect." Really respect should cover all the basis. Respect yourself, respect your fellow bloggers, and respect the community blog. Yes, the topics may get very personal, very touchy to some people, and that's great. But the basic idea is be respectful to everyone, treat others how you expect to be treated. We are all here for the same purpose, and that purpose is greater than any one person's ego.
That's it! Hopefully from this post you get the idea that this should be fun for all. Please have fun, email me if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. (My email address can be found in my profile).
One last thing, and the best way I can put it, is to remember, "Principles before personalities."
Thanks to everyone who participates!