Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Relapse.

As some of you may remember, in the depth of my addiction, I wrote this. I just wrote another post like that one about what the relapse cycle is like.

The Relapse.

It starts out with a trigger.

Sometimes so small and simple that it may be impossible to trace backwards. Maybe even just a stressful or a bad day; a stressful day that can send my addict brain into overdrive. The brain chemistry gets off balance and I begin a full sprint heading 90 miles per hour into the cold, hard, relapse wall.

The trigger then becomes something much more and pre contemplation starts to settle in. The days of using become glorified in my memory and maybe just one more time won’t hurt. One day of escape then turns into two and suddenly my brain is spinning. My brain is twirling around and around in a relapse tsunami and the negative self-talk takes me further down the one way path. A tsunami of dark thoughts and feelings begin to take me back into the shadows of my addiction past. Suddenly, it no longer becomes a means to escape a bad day, but rather a survival mechanism. The only way to survive now is to take more and more until I am back at the bottom.

The bottom. Such a familiar mine field, that I actually feel more comfortable here. If I am at the bottom, I can’t dig the hole any deeper. At the same time, the bottom isn’t the same well-worn cushion as it was a year ago. I don’t want to be here anymore, now that I have spent the last few months sunbathing in the sunlight of sobriety and recovery.

But, how to move forward? Where to go now? How do I climb back out of this well-dug hole? Move onward and upward. It’s the only way. I didn’t want any of this, yet here I am. Someone signed me up for this journey that has much more knowledge of my strength and power than I ever will. God gave me this weakness and struggle, not to punish me, but rather to carve and mold me.

Mold me into the person I am meant to become A perfect tool in the hands of my Creator is what I am capable of, and what indeed I will become. The full purpose may never be known, but the meaning is priceless. The meaning is something that has bought me humbly to my knees to thank my Creator for this opportunity to become stronger, better, and most of all…the woman who may save at least one life with my message of hope, understanding, peace, and strength. As hard as it may be at times, I am fully committed. I won’t let my Creator or myself down. Ever Again. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lapse, Not Relapse

Relapse isn't something that just randomly happens.

There's a whole cycle the addict brain goes through before actually committing a relapse. It goes something like this: 

1. Trigger
2. Pre contemplation
3. Contemplation
4. Action

My brain has been going a million miles an hour the past week in full relapse mode. Today, I wrote down each trigger that got me all the way to step 3 over the weekend. To the point that I had a plan in place to take action and fully relapse. I began to be stressed. Then easily irritated. Then withdraw. Then feeling like I am living in secret or moving into my old double life. Then, making myself physically sick. Then wishing that I could escape the pain in my body. This cycle can make a person crazy. It actually makes me begin to judge myself for relapsing, even though I haven't even taken action. It takes me to a dark spot. A dark place in my memory that I used to be familiar with every single day last year. I hate that feeling. I hate feeling trapped by drugs that I haven't even taken since last November. 

I feel so lucky that I can now catch myself. Trace my steps. Stop myself before I actually act. Understand that I am literally fighting my own biochemistry. That's why treatment is so important. It teaches me how to work with myself. I have learned to ride through the waves of the relapse cycle, rather than be swallowed up by the familiar tsunami of a full relapse. I can catch myself, and take the steps necessary to prevent further action. Instead of feeling out of control of my actions, I feel completely in control by taking the action to prevent relapse. 

The thing that's hard for me is to realize that a lapse is perfectly normal. A lapse is something that I am still learning to work with and forgive myself for. It's crazy how quickly I begin to speak negatively toward myself and treat myself as if I have relapsed. A lapse is when my I am fighting my brain chemistry through the steps and stopping before action. Relapse is action. Even if I had used, there's a huge difference between lapsing and getting back up before it gets any worse, and fully relapsing to the point where I am no longer in control.  I am still trying to teach myself that talking negatively to myself won't get me through the relapse cycle. It's the positive self talk and motivation I can give myself that is going to give me freedom. This quote is a great quote for recovery and life in general: 

"A negative mind will never give you a positive life."

The mind is a powerful thing- for good or for bad. I just need to learn how to treat myself better and positively talk to myself when I am fighting my own brain for days or weeks at a time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Going For It

I decided to go for it and apply to the Substance Abuse Counseling Program at the U. 

Why Not?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Great Escape

This song by Pink has been my recovery song. I listen to it DAILY. It has helped me so much the past few months in my recovery. 

Tonight I feel so grateful.

I was in my Therapist's office this week and I was telling her that I just feel like something has been missing. I have never been to a 12 step meeting or NA or anything like that. I was in such a massive shame crap storm during my addiction, that I never reached out to to recovery community. Ironically, that day, she brought a flier for me. The flier was for a group called "Fit2Recover. It's a workout group for recovering addicts. She told me it was a group she goes to and it has really helped her. Well, that was EXACTLY what I needed! I looked into it further and realized Fit2Recover is associated with a non profit called USARA. They are an addiction recovery non profit. I emailed the Director my story and desire to get involved. She extended the opportunity to become a Peer Counselor and help others who are struggling. SO STOKED on that! Then, I found out that a lot of the peer counselors are going to or have gone to the U for their Substance Abuse Counseling Program. It's just 23 credits, and prepares you to get licensed as a Substance Abuse Counselor in Utah. I am so grateful for these opportunities that have presented themselves to me right when I was ready to start looking for them!

Through all of this, I have found so much meaning in life. I feel like it is my purpose to share my story and help others struggling. I heard somewhere that when we own our stories, we are able to write the endings. This is so true. For so long, I lived in silent shame and my future seemed so far out of my control. Since I have owned and shared my story, I finally feel like it is mine to take ownership of and write the ending. I can't wait to see where this path takes me in my life! While I love my career, I know this is what I was made to do and what God had in mind for me all along!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Am 25

Alright, here's 25 things about me now that I am 25: 

1. Occupation: Mortgage Loan Officer at RANLife Home Loans

2. Favorite Food: Almost all kinds of fruit

3. Favorite Hobby: Running of course

4. Favorite Drink: Dirty Diet Coke

5. Favorite Weekend Activity: Sleep and Snowboarding/Trail Running depending on the season. 

6. Favorite Song: The Great Escape by Pink

7. Favorite Clothing Store: The Loft

8. Favorite Grocery Store: Whole Foods

9. Favorite TV Show: Revenge and Scandal

10. Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Watches, Running Shoes, and Hoodies

11. Favorite Running Shoe: Brooks PureFlow

12. Favorite Candy: White Chocolate Reeses

13. Life Goal: Become an Addiction Counselor

14. Goal for the Year: Go through the Temple

15. Favorite Color: Pink

16. Favorite Vacation: Washington DC

17. Favorite Outfit: Running shorts, hoodie, hat, moccasins, and black socks

18. Favorite Run: Park City Trails

19. Favorite Person: My nieces and nephew

20. Favorite Part of the last year: Coining out ceremony at Turning Point

21. Everyday MUST HAVE: Caffeine

22. Biggest Pet Peeve: Slow people- cars, walking, reading, talking, etc

23. One thing I would change about myself: Being tired all the time

24. Looking Most Forward To: Finishing my book and being sober for one year

25. Random Fact: I refuse to wear white socks

Wow! That was harder than I thought it would be!! My birthday was amazing this year. Compared to last year where I was completely checked out and took 20 pills a day and knee deep in drama, I actually will remember this birthday! It was super low key, which was really nice. After work, my parents came up and took me shopping for gifts and to dinner. I got a new pair of running shoes, flip flops, clothes, and a new watch!

Thanks to my Aunt Sue's Loft Gift Card on my 100th day sober, I was able to get this beauty!

Loft + Nordstrom + Shoes = Happy Girl!

Thanks for all of the Birthday wishes! I have the greatest support ARMY! Love you all! Here's to a MUUUUCH safer and happier year ahead!