Saturday, November 8, 2014

Death Anniversary

The past week or two has been such a strange range of emotions for me. It's so crazy to think that a year ago everything went down, I hit my rock bottom, and I decided to go to residential treatment for my addiction. I walked into treatment with an honest belief that I would forever be an addict and there was absolutely no possible way that I would ever be in long term recovery from my addiction. I had tried so many times on my own, and literally accepted the fact that I would be a chronic relapser.

After I got out of treatment, I had two relapses. The thing about those relapses is that they were both so different than the other times that I would commit to sobriety and relapse. This time, I sincerely wanted to be sober and didn't get the same euphoria or pleasure that I used to get when I took pills. I actually just straight up blacked out as soon as they were in my system. They provided nothing for me like they once had.

That means, the death of my addiction occurred exactly one year ago. I had always looked forward to this milestone and believed that I would feel so much joy and happiness that I had accomplished and entire year of sobriety. That feeling is definitely there. I am so glad that I decided to get treatment a year ago and have been able to stay sober and enjoy my new life. That feeling is definitely there for me. I am very humble and grateful to make it through my first year of recovery.

At the same time, I feel like I am going through the process of grieving a death anniversary. It is the strangest thing and it's something that I have really pondered. Pills, for 8 years of my life, were my one true love. They were there for me when I experienced every emotion. But, they mostly served me when I was depressed and sad and could not cope with my life. I always had pills to comfort me in those dark times, as twisted as that sounds. I was also unable to have any other intimate or committed relationships, because of my deep love for pills. They were my number 1 best friend and lover. While I am glad they are out of my life, I can't ignore the fact that some grieving happens when I decided to get out of that dysfunctional relationship and move forward with a new life in recovery. It's the strangest thing. That love was real for me and it was extremely hard to give it up, just like escaping an abusive relationship. In many ways, the pills served me and made life bearable when I didn't have the coping skills that I learned through treatment and therapy. That's why the relapses that happened after treatment were different, because they no longer served me like they had in the years past. 

Anyway, those some of my thoughts this last week as I have had these different feelings blow my mind. After a year of looking forward to this anniversary, I never expected myself to feel these feelings of grief as well. I think sometimes people in recovery only focus on how great life is in recovery, but they might not give a voice to how difficult it is to let go of the addiction and let go of that intimate relationship that occurs when you become addicted. I think it's important to give a voice to everything, because then I don't have any secrets that I am trying to keep about my feelings that come up when I do get triggered or crave that feeling of euphoria. Those feelings are just a real and deserve to be acknowledged. 

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