Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It Really Is A New Year

On New Year's Day I could always be found recovering from New Year's Eve. It was just a given that I would have gotten so fucked up the night before that my body would need to spend the ENTIRE next day recovering from being on the verge of alcohol poisoning.

Since this was my first New Year's Eve/Day in recovery I was very surprised to find myself where I was on New Year's Day...out sledding with my son. I know! What? Erin, sledding? Yes.

Last year at this time I had no control over myself regarding my Oxycontin addiction. Rationally I would know that Oxy's and large amounts of alcohol DO NOT mix but that usually did not stop me.

You could be certain that not too far into the night I would have to be brought home because I could hardly keep myself conscious and that further into the night you could find me sleeping on a pile of dirty clothes in front of my toilet...I was all about convenience.

Not a very glamorous way to ring in the new year right? Then, as I explained before, I would spend the entire next day feeling like I was going to die.

Not this year baby! It's with great relief that I tell you this year I didn't have to deal with havoc that drugs caused in my life. The only thing that I had to do was go out with my husband and son and celebrate the beginning of a fresh year. Sledding seemed appropriate since we just got a few fresh inches of snow dumped on us.

I'm hoping everyone had a happy and safe New Year's Eve/Day.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Get Up, Suit Up, Show Up

One of the things we hear in meetings over and over is “Get up. Suit up. Show up.” When I went into exile from life and made my home in a coffin at the end of the world, get up, suit up, show up was about all I was able to do – and then only out of necessity. The drugs aren’t going to go get themselves. If I had waited too long, if I had not saved something to help me get up and on my way, if there was nothing to be had when mine ran out, I was in for a painful and difficult spell. Get/Suit/Show up, at that point, was not consciousness, willingness or effort. It was a biological function of addiction, like breathing. That is what it feels like to be an addict. In the coffin at the end of the world, drugs and alcohol become your oxygen. The only path I could see before me was heartbreaking and enduring it required anesthesia.

The anesthesia wore off, stopped working, and God showed me a different path if I would have it. Of course I would have it. All I had to contribute, though, was my willingness to make the effort, which, in the beginning, meant getting up, suiting up and showing up. It took me five days to get up. It took another week or so to suit up and arrange to get to treatment. It took another couple of weeks to work out those details and to show up there. Walking in the door, I believed that treatment was going to give me the tools and self-knowledge I needed to overcome the obsession and compulsion. It had not occurred to me that anything more would be required.