Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Am What I Am

Immediately after I wrote my last post I had some awakenings of what my real problem was and then it was reinforced by some exchanges with a friend. I haven't been able to express to many other people what was going on with me or how I was feeling. Mainly because there has always been shame around my addiction/depression/anxiety and also because I hate to appear 'not together'.

So the truth is that I am an addict ie; addictive personality that became addicted to prescription pain meds and then began to abuse them until my life spun completely out of control. That was my personal definition. That happened several years ago and since then I have been clean and sober far more than not but it still remains a struggle for me. When my physical health got worse over the last few years it became harder. I don't like pain in any form - most addicts don't, hell, most people don't. What can I say? I think I took in way too much pain as a child that something got short circuited and now I don't do it well nor do I do stress well. If I am going to meetings regularly and have a good recovery going then I can manage through the rough spots pretty well. Lucky me that I am also the flip side of addiction which is the co-dependent and I would guess that most alcoholic/addicts also suffer a bit from that as well. In the program we are what's known as "double winners". Yay me. So, I know my recovery is in trouble if I am abusing pain meds (obviously) and staying away from meetings or if I become too emotionally involved in my loved ones lives. Meaning for me it is when someone I love is struggling with a life issue I take it on personally - I feel the overwhelming need to make it better - that I am somehow responsible for their well being. Big red flag for me. It can tear me up emotionally and I lose perspective.

It has been a culmination of all these things that has brought me to this point of realizing (once again) that I am human, I have this frailty and I need some help along the way. I forgot that I need to keep those reinforcements near by, I forgot how important being in active recovery is for me and slowly I got to a point where I was in the red zone. Thankfully new treatments that I have been receiving for a few months has made a world of difference in my health. I am no longer in the kind of pain that I was in earlier. I have talked with my Dr and I have been off prescription pain meds completely for about a month. I have been taking care of my physical self this summer so all that is good. What was left was my emotional health and I mistakenly thought I needed to give more to feel better. I was wrong. I need to gather round the wagons now until I am stronger emotionally. I have a history of pretending that everything is A-ok with me and that I can handle it. With the help of a few friends and knowing what some dear friends are going through - their courage has given me the courage to say 'I need a little help right now'. So I have been back to meetings for the last couple of weeks - 1 1/2 hours a day in a meeting. I have some good days and I have my crap days. This week especially has been hard because of a rift/miscommunication/hurt feelings involving a very close family member. I find myself crying way too much but not sure what else to do. I have a terrible time thinking that someone disapproves of me but right now I am doing what I know I need to do so that I can get better quickly and participate fully in life again. I know I will - I have no doubt about that. I just have to keep reminding myself that I am what I am - no better, no worse. I am a human being that has some limitations and needs a little extra help sometimes along the way.

My example to write in my blog (no names) has been a great inspiration to me to remove the mask of 'perfection' and lay it out. This is for my own mental health. I am a survivor and anyone who knows me well knows that but first I must admit that I am powerless over people, places and things. I can't do this alone.

5 comments:

HomeSlice said...

for me, it's been very cathartic to share my warts with "the world" and realize how many others struggle with the same issues i have. if you feel you need more help than you are getting, i urge you to seek it out - you deserve to be healthy and whole and secure. you are a beautiful person linda and i love you!

Christina said...

I love you Linda. You are so much stronger than you realize. I'm really proud of you for taking the time and effort to understand yourself, then acting on the understanding you are gaining.

KJ said...

Good for you, Linda! It's so hard for many of us to take what we need without feelings of guilt or worry, but it's essential for our well-being. You are moving in the right direction and I'm so proud of you for your honesty and hard work!

Alicia said...

I keep saying "We're all a work-in-progress". I firmly believe that. Sometimes we're kicking life's ass, and sometimes life is kicking ours. Knowing when you need to ask for help is HEALTHY. It's Survival 101.

Jacie said...

Linda, you need to heal your self about all else. If you are not taking care of your basic needs then you really can't help anyone else. Also if your basic needs get in the way of someone elses needs.. oh well.. they will live. Hang in there my friend.

xo