“And what triggers did you notice?”
“What coping skills were you able to use?”
“Play the tape out, it isn’t worth it in the end.”
“That’s the addict in you speaking.”
“You’re grieving about being sober.”
I’m tired of actively working on my recovery. Checking myself into rehab three months ago was new and needed. It was fresh. Now it’s almost June and I’m getting annoyed. I find myself really bothered by the fact that my addict nature isn’t going to disappear after a certain amount of therapy sessions. Time does NOT heal all wounds. For me, time is taunting. I can’t pick up a drink again, because there is no such thing as “just one.” I’ve never been a pill popper, but when I gave up drinking, I started craving pills. The past two weeks particularly. My brain is playing tricks on me, and I’m trying to not engage my mind in these conniving games. It’s so difficult not to though. Lately I’ve been telling myself that my problem truly is minor, and while I “know” I can’t drink- “I’m okay.”
Okay doesn’t look like trying to find a contact to get unprescribed Xanax.
And okay doesn’t look like putting unprescribed Hydrocodone pills in my wallet.
But that was me this week. Heck, that was me THIS MORNING. Alcohol was my problem, not drugs. But take one thing away and it’s natural to seek a replacement. I’m house sitting for a family this week. When you walk through the door, the first thing people can see is a counter full of hard liquor. And then today I found a full bottle of hydrocodone. I googled how much I would have to take to get high and then I put that amount of pills in my wallet.
Being an addict is hard. Fighting the addiction is harder though. I picked up the phone and called The Treatment Center. I vented to the person on the other end of the line, and then he walked me through emptying my wallet and leaving the house. So I did. But not before leaving bits of empowerment for myself all around the house, so that when I returned in the evening, I would be confronted with truth.
Today, taking pills seemed far more appealing than pursuing sobriety. Healing isn’t glamourous. Healing actually sucks. Like I said before, time keeps taunting me. I want to wake up tomorrow and not be an addict anymore. I want to go through the day without thinking, “I wish I could be doing this high.”
I share all of this because I know I’m not alone in my struggle. Whether it be drugs, a relationship, a character defect–it doesn’t matter. Everyone has their own fight. Each person has thoughts run through their mind that they wish they could exile. So how are we supposed to respond to these “home wreckers” ? All I know is what works for me– confront each negative thought with reality. Confront it with truth. And the truth is, popping a few hydrocodone this morning wasn’t going to be worth throwing away my sobriety, despite the best dressed lie. I can’t separate my addiction from me completely, but I also can’t let my addiction define me. I am learning how to better balance the two. Recovery is ALWAYS something I am going to have to work on if I want to live the full and present life I was created to live. However, there is so much life out there to be lived, and I am confident that as I continue to pursue Christ and “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and run with endurance the race that is set before [me],” (Heb. 12:1) the Lord is going to bring more deliverance. I am a fighter, and that looks like “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, [we should] live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:12) God is going to use my addiction to bring Him glory. I believe that my addiction is tied into my purpose. With more time that passes, that Lord continues to confirm that He has big plans–“out there plans” –plans that I could never dream up- JUST WAITING FOR ME. Right now, the dirty work is happening. But you can’t have the garden without removing the weeds that choke the good life.
So yeah. Even right now, hurting sounds more appealing than healing. [and I hate that.] That’s why I am so thankful for a God who gives me discretion when I ask for it. Time is taunting and this addiction isn’t going away, but with all of this time, I get to experience growth beyond anything I could have asked for. I need to start pouring more into my recovery. You see, there is a difference between just not using, and then being actively pursuing recovery. Not using doesn’t bring healing-it leaves you stagnant. And I was NOT created to be stagnant. So out of this rut I go, and back into the intentionality of recovery.
I’m a fighter. And there is no way I am going to lose this battle, despite how much I may hate what it takes to win.