Monday, December 16, 2013

Psychological Warfare of Addiction

Help. Such a simple word, yet one that seems impossible to pass through our lips sometimes. I know this is definitely the case for me. Even in the most critical moments, moments that quite possibly could determine the rest of my life, that one stupid word seems to just not be an option at all, hiding in the very corner of my mind.
If there is one thing I can tell you about me, is that in person I can seem incredibly closed off. I guess a lot of us can be, which is why writing turns out to be such a blessing sometimes. In fact, at times I don't even know what the hell is going on in my head until it goes down on paper.
Help. Why is this word so hard for me to say. I don't know. If I had look back at my past, I remember me being the one finding most of the friends that had unfortunately overdosed or killed themselves most of the time. Too many. And it was me who had to tell the rest of my circle. It was me who was there to help some of the parents cope (I was a very functional addict so they had no idea I was involved in the same world).
I was already pretty good at turning that emotional switch off in my head, so I felt I just had to take care of the others. There wasn't another option. And I guess from then on, everything just stayed that way.
I have to say I was doing alright the past few months. At least I think I was. Like I said, most of the times I don't know what is going on in my head without a paper and a pen. But even with those in hand, I can't figure out what it was in the recent weeks that triggered the mind game my dark passenger decided to put into play.
Help. I can feel him trying to take control of the wheel and it's definitely getting harder to fight him off. To be completely honest, I'm scared that there are times where I almost want to let him win. The dreams of death, and the flashbacks of emotional floods haven't stopped for quite some time now and it's definitely taken a toll.
Image by: Sarah
If the psychological warfare doesn't cease any time soon I don't know what is going to happen, and that is not a chance I am willing to take. Tomorrow, I will go to my MD, and be completely honest about how I feel. I just can't wait to see what comes blubbering out of my mouth. 
So yes, help will finally be asked for.
Finally following my own advice. I mean shit, we all need help at some point right?        (YES)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Alright I need some opinions from you guys please

Not meaning to start a debate, but I do need some clarity.

What is everyone's opinion on 

Should it only be something considered for short term treatment or is it also something that could be used for long term if needed?

I have read so many different articles/blogs about both sides so I just wanted to get more views on this

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Graveyard of Death & Love

So I don't know if you have been keeping up with the last few posts, but for a real quick catch up:
Dealing with a lot currently, which leads to me thinking a lot. I think any Addict can tell you that can be dangerous.
All caught up? Maybe?
Anyways. I was also talking about how I had to slowly teach myself to allow emotion back into my life. And I am sure much of you have or are doing the same thing.
So what happens when you think you are doing well and all the sudden you walk into a wall you never even knew you had built.         How exciting...something else to work on right?
That treasure chest of emotions that come with love, our hearts, and trust, had all been buried in the dust. Looking back, I can't say I am surprised. With all that was "needed" to be done; Faking relationships for manipulation, seeing love and its meaning crumble all around, and loosing more than a few friends as well as a lover in my arms. Yeah, I can say that was the one that truly did it.
I might not of buried them myself, but I definitely handed my heart to the gravedigger to finish the job.
Picture by: LadyDragonFly
Now a few years later, when someone came around who might make me want to dig up that treasure chest, I found myself just standing in front of that grave frozen in fear, shovel in hand.
Back then I stuck to a simple rule. Relationships (of any kind) means loss. So naturally I stayed away from anything real with the possibility of what I thought was a ticking time bomb of overwhelming pain. In my mind I had already felt that blast too many times before.
Back to now. So many of my thoughts have already changed, so I figured this might me an important one to figure out. The biggest thing I am trying to change is to see it is an opportunity for happiness in an actual healthy relationship.
Is it that word that scares me? Happiness? I think it really did come to a point where I was comfortable in the world of chaos I was living in. The chaotic world filled with death, danger, and drugs was a constant day-to-day normal. And to be completely honest, I think sometimes it excited me. I was comfortable. Maybe comfortable isn't the right word....I got adjusted? I trained myself to expect the worst in no matter what situation because most likely that was going to happen.
I looked at every situation as a game of Russian Roulette, except with only one missing bullet.
It is a constant reminder when I wake up that I am no longer in that world. Meaning the way of thinking I had about everything needed to change, including love and all those awkward gushy feelings that I'll spare you from reading.
So yeah, I think I'll start digging up that grave...especially since someone has come along and truly does deserve it. It is something that will take some time, and I hope they understand, but it is something I am willing to do.
Again, like I warned you in my last post, my mind has been everywhere lately..and yeah, that means my writing will be too. So hopefully some of this made sense and maybe even a few of you can relate. Either way,
Hope all is well & most of all Stay Strong.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Life After Drugs: Brick by Brick

Sorry to have definitely been lagging on the posting. I guess there has been so much going on to where I couldn't even sit down and think of one solid topic to talk about....
And I still couldn't really pick one solid topic yet, but one thing I have been noticing about myself is that my emotions are going haywire lately.
I guess to start off I need to explain a little bit about my past. I don't know if I have talked about any of this before but, more or less I was "trained" to push all sorts of emotions out of the way. So with this in mind, and endless amounts of heroin or some kind of painkillers, this really was not that hard to accomplish. At first, it was difficult to not let some of those emotions squeeze out, but after 7 years of constant practice, it simply became something that was normal.
Photo by: Rob Patrick
Emotions were mostly all faked. For lies, manipulations, etc. So as you might have guessed, that is what the shrink and I have mostly been working on. Letting emotions back through. Slowly...very slowly taking down the tower I had built, brick by brick. And damn did those emotions flood through.
Going though events slowly definitely helped not overloading a process that was already hard to go through.
Ok so fast-forward a little bit to now where most of those bricks have been taken down and emotions and feelings are running full course in my mind again. At first I always think of this as a bad thing, but I know it is an improvement. With drugs, even when we tried to numb ourselves, the bad and hurtful still got through to us. We still felt the pain and the crushing low points we were at. On the other hand, the happy things that we might of experienced were extremely belittled just because it was apart of the process.
Does any of this make sense to you guys. This was at least what happened in my case. Through the seven years of my addiction, I am sure there are many good moments that I had experienced, but honestly if you ask me to make a list I don't think I could go past number....six? Though if asked to make a list of all the bad, the ink in my pen would run out before I could finish.
Alright getting off track. Anyways, my point was that although it might be painful to kind of train yourself to go back to a place to feeling all emotions, I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
At first I was so stuck, I didn't know how to rip out those bricks I had bound together so tightly. Talking about it got the brick to budge, but it still would not fully give out. It was one day where there was so much frustration building up, and other things stacking up on top of each other, where for the first time, I just broke down. I cried...and cried...and just let it out.
The full emotion was felt for the first time. And for some reason, the brick now came out with ease.
I think all of us have a mentality where we need to be so strong all the time. And let me know if you think I am wrong, but maybe this is actually counter-productive in this case. I feel we all need to let ourselves be vulnerable at certain times and let everything bottled up just come out. Whether it be talking about it, or simply going through whatever "it" is and just letting ourselves actually feel that emotion that our tower has "protected" us from for so long.
Yes, it definitely can be hard, but I felt soon after I let that emotion be recognized and felt, it was something that was easier to deal with. Don't get me wrong, it is no way near a quick fix kind of method, but it is something that has worked for me when I keep at it. I have to remember that it can't just be all better the first time I try to pull that brick out, it takes some repetition.
After some time I notices my wall was starting to come lower and lower to the ground. Emotions, feelings, and all of that stuff was actually being felt on a daily basis, and it wasn't something I hated anymore. It was becoming my new normal.
We all let our tower or walls get so high when we were in the grasp of our addiction. I think that's why it was, and still is so hard for me to just deal with some things, but the point is, that it is getting easier. And above that, I am actually feeling some kind of happiness again. Not synthetic or chemically induced, but real happiness. Maybe not every day yet, but it has definitely been felt. And yes, that is something I am happy about. Knowing it is still possible to feel that for me, and for all of you.
We just can't give up. 
I don't know guys. As you guys can probably tell my mind has been everywhere lately, which will be evident in the next few posts I will put up. But for now, I think this is where I will end this one.
Stay strong.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Does Relapsing Make Me A Failure?"

A few days ago it was one of those unfortunate days where I woke up from a text from a friend that I had met while in Rehab. 
"Danny, I did something stupid."
That was all it said, but I already knew what had happened. As much as I hated getting those texts, they are better than the ones from a loved one saying that they have passed. I think we can all agree with that. 
I got myself out of bed and got myself physically, as well as emotionally ready to handle what was about to become of my day. Of course I was going to help, there was no question about it, but I always seem to forget just how much it can take out of me emotionally. Especially when you see one you care about going through those agonizing withdrawals that us addicts are just all too familiar with. 
I got there and it was just as expected. The normal symptoms of withdrawal had already kicked in. I hated not being able to really help. Natural remedies and support was all I had to offer at that time. 
After calming down a little and her being able to get some words out, I was just in...I don't even know how to explain it really. The words that were spilling out of her mouth made me so incredibly sad, but yet were so dangerously familiar. 
After quite some time, I had to leave to follow-up on some errands I had to take care of. Still though, the scene I had just left would not leave my mind. I really started to think about the sentences she was putting together and noticed it really connected to one main thing: Guilt. 
Now, as I have said before, I am not in the traditional 12-step programs but have nothing against them. It just simply was not for me. She was so scared what the others in her program, or group, would think when she would have to announce it. But with anyone, I feel it can be that exact guilt that could drive us to the next bottle, or pipe hit. We don't want to deal with the aftermath of having "failed." 
That is when it really just got to me. There is such a big concentration in the world of Addiction that relapse means failure. To me, I think that just does the exact opposite of what it needs to do. I was trying to explain to her that she did not relapse, she had a "slip." 
Anyone coming from a hardcore addiction knows how truly miserable it can be sometimes to stay clean and sober throughout the toughest times of  the new life we are trying to lead. 
I mean personally from my experience, when I relapsed, the guilt came rushing in as soon as that codeine blanket lifted just a little. And for me it was that guilt that just kept getting me to the next bottle of pills, or black tar. At that point, I would have rather kept digging a deeper hole for myself than to talk about what I thought was just another failure in my life. 
Don't get me wrong, I still consider relapsing, or having a slip as a serious matter, but how serious is completely in our own head. As addicts, I think it just comes natural to be super critical of ourselves anyway, so when the slip up happens, we go right back to what we were used to doing ... hiding those emotions.
The way I look at it now, is that it is just once again my dark passenger trying to lure ourselves in that same hole we had become so accustomed to, but managed to get out of. 
So alright, lets say we make that mistake and use when we have tried so hard not to. The fact of the matter is, at that point the shovel is just placed in your hands. It is completely our choice if we decide please our own dark passenger and dig that hole for ourselves. So from there on I believe we have two  choices we can make. 
  1. We stay critical of ourselves, please our dark passenger, and dig that all too familiar hole of darkness that is agonizing to get out from.                      OR
  2. We realize that as addicts, and just like EVERYONE else, we are not perfect. We slipped. We caught the shovel our dark passenger tossed in our hands, BUT all we have to do now is just drop it and walk away. 
shovel 2
Picture By: Kelly Sikkema on Flickr

Mistakes are made everyday, but lessons come right after those mistakes. I myself have a good talent for being overly critical of myself, but when I think about it as a kind of situation I just described up above, my mind starts to be at ease much faster. 
Sobriety takes time. Sobriety takes practice. Sobriety takes commitment. Sobriety takes strength. 
None of us are failures. It bothers me when I hear addicts talk about themselves that way. 
No, we are all part of the force that won the battle against our addiction. The war might continue for quite some time, and yes, just like in any war we might gather up some battle wounds. So relax, let the wounds heal for some time, and get right back to the fight. 
You are all some of the strongest people this world has to offer. Just in order to see that, that fog of negativity we constantly immerse ourselves in needs to be evaporated for that message to be clear. 
Stay strong fellow bloggers. 
And as always, much love. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Abuse? Rape? Drugs?

"The past is the past."
How many times have we heard that now? I could honestly not even tell you. It isn't even that it makes me mad I guess, just because deep down I know they could not understand. (No Offense)
I get it though, and don't get me wrong I don't completely disagree.
Anyways, as I have said before, different things work for different people. Trying to forget it all and move on? Well, in the most polite way I can say it, there was no worse way for me to try to deal with it.
For a while I was just trying to push the memories out of my mind, using any sort of chemical help I thought would help. The only thing that achieved was a 7 year addiction and two good old overdoses where I ended up waking up in two overly bright hospital rooms. (I don't recommend it)
So then how the hell do we do it? Why can't we just go back to normal?
After some good time of just bouncing that question around in my head during endless walks on the beach, I gave up. There is no normal...
Nah, there is no forgetting that. And no one should even try to, trust me you will make yourself crazy.
So what am I doing now and what the hell does this whole post get to?
My Abuser, my Rapist, the blood that was spilt, and the pain and torture I experienced will be something that will be apart of me for the rest of my life. I've tried the running away, I've tried every synthetic chemical happiness this world has to offer, and, like I am sure you guys know, that doesn't do a whole lot.
I decided I couldn't let him win. They were not going to control my life, nor were the other experiences I was told to forget. These are all events that have already happened. That is something I can not do anything about. I had no other choice but to accept it. Sadly, don't we all?
I can't give you much advice with the unfortunate events that have happened in your life (as sorry as I am), but I can tell you what I did.
I let myself cry. I got angry...really damn angry. I cried more. And I had enough. The bullet had already pierced through my body and all I was doing was letting it bleed out. I saw myself in the mirror and all I saw was that big hole in my chest that was just getting bigger letting more and more of myself escape through it with how I was handling it. Looking up at my face shocked me even more, it just seemed like I was wearing a mask.
I was ready to win this battle. I did everything I could think off every day. At some time I knew that a slow healing process would close up the hole little by little; pieces of that mask were starting to crumble off right along with it.
So now. a few years later from all of that. Well yeah, it still hurts quite a damn lot sometimes, but it controls my life in a completely different way.
My strength comes from what I have endured. My determination comes from what had happened to show myself what exactly I can do. My hope, that I can try to help some other young that have been through some sort of the same thing. But most importantly...
It came down to one simple thing. I WILL DID NOT LET THEM STEAL MY LIFE.
Don't be scared of your previous chapters...after all, it's what makes our story and the ending so damn special. And the cool part about that we have the power to write our ending exactly the way we want.
Picture by: Moyan Brenn
And I don't know about you, but I am nowhere near finished with mine.
Much Love fellow Bloggers.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MISSING: Winter Codeine Blanket

Image by: Akzidenzsetzer

That time of the year is here once again. The crisp cool air is beginning to roll back in, followed by those dark clouds and the release of rain. It is the kind of weather that I love. I guess it kinda reminds me of my early childhood back in Ireland. And besides, who doesn't love breaking out their whole set of favorite winter coats and jackets.

Anyways, there is something new about the cold seasons that unfortunately brought my excitement down a few levels. Basically this weather and time of year is just one big trigger for me now. Can that even be possible? I mean, last years winter, with it being my first, was definitely a tough one. Every day I had such strong cravings. The kind where the frustration would just bring you to the point of uncontrollable tears.

Anyone who has ever taken any kind of painkillers or any kind of Opiates, knows that warm blanket that gets immediately dropped in your lap the second those chemicals take effect. So I am thinking that might be the reason why it hit me so hard at first? Who knows.

This time around I can already feel that it will be easier, but I know the frustration will still make itself known here and there. I really don't know why this time of year affects me this much. I mean I know I didn't physically feel the cold as much, but I don't think that is the only reason why it became that big of a trigger. Do any of you guys get it?

Well until something about this makes more sense, this is how I am currently looking at it. I feel like maybe the pills added that extra bit of synthetic euphoria to something that already made me really happy. So ultimately while I was using, I feel like I got used to a raised "excitement level."

So for now I am trying to remember that it was all chemical and not real. What I found that really helped me was to just actually go sit out at my favorite coffee shop (or somewhere nice outside), and just remember what I really enjoyed about the upcoming season. I sat there, sometimes for a few minutes....sometimes for an hour.

As soon as I remembered the actual things that I enjoyed about my favorite time of year, the cravings slowly went away. And honestly, there were actually many things I forgot I liked about some of these places, since being loaded doesn't really let you feel much.

So figuring that out made me look at many other situations the same way. When I first got sober, i remember just everything being so dull without the drugs. But again, like I have said in so many of my posts, it really just comes down to having to rewire our brains. We are really forced to just dig deep inside, get past the good times we THOUGHT we had on drugs, and figure out what it was that really made us happy.

Sitting in that chair, letting the cold breeze wash over my face, while the sweet smell of my Caramel Macchiatto drifted up to my nose, is when I remembered that it was this that I really liked. The calmness. Not synthetic or chemical calmness, but actual calmness.

Well I guess that is on trigger I can cross of the very long list. Addiction has a way to keep on surprising me. It really just makes me assume that the enjoyment I had in the past came from the high itself, when all along it was just a cover. Just my dark passenger, once again, trying to lure me back to his side.

All it takes is some work and reminding. I had been on his side for seven years, and it wasn't anything to be missed. It is in this world...this scary, uncomfortable, but new and exciting world that there is still so much for me....for all of us to figure out.

Stay strong fellow bloggers.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Oh... Im Just an Addict

Alright so after some time of trying to get ourselves back together after getting sober, we are ready to get back into that scary but exciting world of dating. Let me first say... this seemed so much easier than before haha. Also though, I noticed that I was missing out on many of the pleasant emotions that were numbed out along with all the bad ones.

Anyway, this is more of a reaching out post than anything. Getting back into the "dating world" is always intimidating, but everything really does feel so new. And honestly, I don't know why I am so surprised that everything has been new to me this past year.

But I guess one of the main things that has been constantly worrying me was the immediate comparison that I automatically make the more I like someone. It's just one of those things that start off as a whisper, and eventually turns into an ear-piercing scream. Let me explain:

The more I start to have an interest in someone, the comparisons start. Like say [insert name here] has had a great past, done all these great things, and so and so. As happy as I am for them, one sentence is on repeat going around in my head: "Oh... I'm Just an Addict."

I was really thinking about all of this recently. And the only thing that came to my mind was going back to my dark passenger. For the whole seven years, it was just me, him, and our drugs. My partner in love WAS my dark passenger, and no one else mattered. So in a way I am trying to think of those insecure thoughts as the jealous feelings of my dark passenger. He wants to continue the dangerous love affair that continued for too long, when in fact I know I am better without him.

For anyone who doesn't know, my dark passenger is what I call the thoughts and insecurities branching from my addiction. 

We are all more than just the addicts we used to be. So when it comes to deciding on who our significant other is, I think we just have to make sure they support, and encourage the route of sobriety we chose to take, and not force their own program onto us. That just creates way too much tension which eventually leads to a downfall.

And if you are deciding on the route with someone who has not dealt with addiction, I found that just telling the exact truth seems to work the best. If it is too much for them, then so be it. We all need someone who can accept our past for what it is, and who can support us and reassure us that they truly care.

So even though I may be far away from finding that special someone, at least I know that when I do find him, he will love me for ALL that I am. 

That is something that we all deserve. 

Picture found on: Neuhen Kisler on Flickr

Monday, October 14, 2013

Evolution of Stress In Sobriety

What did you do today? Or this week? My guess is you have been pretty busy. Even if you haven't been physically busy, if you are anything like me, your mind is still moving at about a million miles a minute. And after a while, that just becomes way too exhausting.

When I lay down at the end of the day, that level of stress seems so high sometimes. The pressure just keeps building, turning that pebble on my chest into a rock, and that rock into a boulder.

It is so frustrating at times, but the worst is not even knowing why you are so stressed out. I am 22 and I feel so incredibly tired all the damn time. This can't be how I am supposed to feel. I remember thinking a few days ago that the whole point of getting sober was to feel better and to improve my life, but at times like those it feels like it had done the exact opposite.

I needed to snap out of it. As soon as I took a step back from the whole situation, I immediately saw it. My dark passenger trying so hard to convince me to go back to the drugs. I have probably said this before,  but it is so surprising to see how addiction can try to control your life even after you have been sober for X amount of time.

My dark passenger. Basically, this is what I call the whole set of thoughts that is basically the addiction trying to lure me back. I found it to actually help a lot... to humanize all that . I don't really know why...I think maybe it might be that I no longer see it as a constant struggle of me VS. myself? Who knows. I'll take anything that makes this road of sobriety just a little smoother.

Anyway, so instead of listening to him or the negativity that I find too often in my head, I tried to find solutions. Some way to relieve some stress and to get my natural energy back. I know a lot of it is having to work on changing my thinking. Replacing all the negativity that I am so used to having with something more positive.

Well no matter what, we can't give up. I figure it is just a crap load of trial and error cases now until we find something that works for us. What I have noticed so far though, is that some of the simple things I take for granted actually help a lot.

Going on a simple walk with my dog. Actually taking a minute to sit down. WRITING. Enjoying nice scenery.
Honestly just stuff like that. I think the most important change I have decided to make would be telling myself to just breathe. Seriously. We all get so wrapped up in everything there is to worry about. So much that it has become the normal, and it actually takes reminding to have ourselves breathe and relax for a second.

So now to finding more things that work. Oh and let me know your secrets to this whole thing if you have any. Would love to have more options.

Take care bloggers. And remember, you are always stronger than your dark passenger.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Letter to the Dead Lover was interesting. Every two weeks or so I have an appointment with my therapist. It used to be more in the beginning, but now I see him less frequently. I should have known by the dark clouds, rain, and the lightning and thunder that it was going to be a more difficult visit than usual. It definitely was. 

The theme of the visit was basically death. Specifically, the boyfriend I lost due to a Heroin overdose. I will get into that whole story another time. Anyway, he asked me if I had a way of talking to him, what would I say. The second he asked me that question I could feel my body slowly tensing up as the anxiety began to build. The scene of his death kept replaying in my head until I literally had to shake it out. 

Picture by: Karen on Flickr

After the tension began to relieve and my thoughts were once again flowing at a normal rate, I really started to think about the question that had been asked. What would I say to him? Before I knew it, the hour ran out and I still hadn't come up with a response. He thought it would be easier for me to write a letter at home and bring it back next week.
So here we go:
Dear Michael, 
So much has changed throughout the few years. I miss everything about you so much. At first I was so angry. Angry at you, but also angry at myself. I blamed myself. I didn't see it coming, and felt like I should have. I know what you're thinking, and I have come to terms with that it was an accident. Even though you are no longer with us, I want you to know that your memory still helps improve the lives of so many. 
I am proud to say that I have been sober for a little over a year now. We always talked about this moment. You are such a big influence on why I not only decided to get sober, but why I decide to stay sober. I am trying so hard everyday to just live. Live that normal life we wanted so badly. It is harder than I though, but I am starting to get used to it. 
I still have dinner with your mom every now and then. She seems a lot better than before, but she still misses you so much. We all do. She is also now clean. 7 months now I believe. So for both of us, your smile, your laugh, your memory, is that extra little push that we need to keep on going. 
I think the biggest struggle for me is letting someone new in. I know you would want me to move on and find someone new, but it is the letting them in that is the hard part. I don't yet know how to get past this. Honestly, it scares the shit out of me. We always talked about trying our hardest to not let fear get in the way, so the next guy I meet that is worth it I promise to let down my walls. I know you want me to be happy, it just definitely took a lot of rebuilding before I could move on. 
I could go on forever about how much I wish you were still beside me, but you will always still be with me. You still bring a smile to so many and can honestly say that you will never be forgotten. I will continue to fight my struggles with every ounce of strength in me. I know how much you always worried about me, but you don't have to anymore. You deserve the complete peace you were always longing for when you were here. You will always be in my heart, and will never cease to make me smile. 
Love always,                             

That is all I could get out. I don't know if it is good enough yet, but I can't think of much else to condense into one single letter. I also felt like I couldn't get too emotional with it yet. Maybe I will change it later. I don't know, but I do have to say that it did help me. I believe it almost acts as the goodbye I never got to say to him. I can't really put into words why else it helped me, it just kinda did. 

Well until next time beautiful people. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Image by: Cliff1066


Something that can bring a smile to your face or the exact opposite. I think for the first year or so of sobriety the past shows up quite a bit in your thoughts. At least it most definitely did for me.

I was with a friend today and we both agreed that there are some things from the past that we really miss. And honestly, for quite some time I did not want to move on. I didn't want to let go, or even knew how to. I'm mostly talking about friends and the times that were shared. Maybe I was just young, but I definitely thought that some of the people who I considered  a close friend at the time, were going to remain in my life for a very long time.

I think the reason I wanted to hold on so badly was because right after you get clean, your normal everyday life is so extremely uncomfortable. So badly did I want something I was used to. So badly did I want the group of friends I used to have to come back so I could have just a little bit of that comfortable feeling. Of course, reintroducing them into my life would have been anything but helpful, I just didn't know it then.


That's all my life was about at that time... and pretty much still is. After some time I knew the only way my life was going to get better was if I not only accepted the change, but also embraced it. That was the part that was even harder. I never really liked change. If I felt comfortable in that moment, I did not see a point of changing anything. But when that change is the only way for you to survive, a choice doesn't really exist anymore.
"You can't cling on to the past because no matter how tightly you try to hold on, it's already gone."
    - Ted Mosby          
Yes, it is a quote from one of the main characters in How I met Your Mother. You have to agree though, he had a damn good point. The more we try to hold on, the further back we are going to have to reach. The further back we reach, the harder it is to keep our balance and move forward like we need to.


That is where I wanna be. I am not yet completely there, but I feel I am on my way. I definitely realized it was nowhere to be seen in my past. Actually, it was just the opposite. My past was full of despair, loneliness, death, tragedy, danger, and more death. I know most of you who have struggled with addiction can definitely relate to that. And I was definitely sick of all that. So I wanted to try...I needed to try to change.

It is now a little over a year and there has definitely been lots of changes. For the most part, things are... OK right now. Just kind of trying to figure out what it is I really want to do with my life. My hope for the future is definitely what keeps me going though. I want to prove myself wrong when I kept saying I'm always going to be the Addict. I know I can become something I will be proud of. We all can.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that we keep going. The past contains nothing but broken memories and numbed out emotions. So it is the future I look forward to. It will be a damn long journey, but I already know it will be rewarding. We all know what our lowest point was like, but we still have no idea what our highest point 
can be.

And that is something that we all deserve to find out.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Emotions Without Drugs

So what if it is one of those days and the tears happen to just keep pushing their way out. With all our might we try to remember the things that everyone keeps saying to us:

"Everything is just fine"
"You are, and everything is going to be OK"

And other positive stuff like that. Sometimes though, all of that does not keep us from screaming into a pillow or from throwing our phones at the wall (which we regret about 10 seconds after). Nor does it keep the tears from flowing down our faces, and unfortunately sometimes it doesn't keep us from wanting to use.

Sometimes, things just feel like complete shit. The day seems to just drag on, nothing seems exciting, and you get way too invested in the characters on Gray's Anatomy and end up crying at every slightly emotional thing. Just me? Well... you know what I mean. 

Alright so the past few days I have been thinking a whole lot (dangerous, I know). A lot about how for the past year there have been quite a bit of those shitty moments. A lot of them happen to be just trying to figure out how to live life sober again. 

Even though I appreciated them, those positive sayings that are thrown at us sometimes just agitated me even more. I can't really say why though. I guess they just made me feel like there was something wrong with me because nothing felt fine or like it was OK. It felt like the ground wouldn't stop shaking and I could barely keep my balance. 

So back to the thinking I was doing. I guess what really helped me was knowing that...well, sometimes things are going to go very wrong. Sometimes that what you really don't want happening, is exactly what will. And the thing is completely normal. 

Imagine if life never consisted of "downs." At first it might seem like it would be perfect, but would it really? Would we even try to better ourselves, or to keep learning just because. Would we even be able to recognize the "ups" in life, or even appreciate them?


Alright so maybe knowing all this doesn't make those times easier, but for me knowing that it is completely normal took just enough weight off so that I could deal with it. We are so used to just having that easy fix. Whether it was going straight to the bottle, the pills, the pipe, or whatever poison we chose. I think that is why feeling like complete crap just felt so wrong. Like I was the only one that felt like that, when in truth, every single other person goes through the same stuff. We just now need to find the best way for us to deal with these times other than how we did in the past. 

Well I hope all this made sense. And I hope all of you had a good weekend. 

Till next time. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

That Love Talk

So I was with a few friend having the usual talks about...well money, life, jobs, and that whole messy love life thing. Of course the majority of the time, the topic was more geared to relationships than anything else.

I have always been the type of guy that knows what I wanted in a relationship...or so I thought. My last few attempts of a healthy relationships... just didn't work out.

Picture by: samcaplat

My friends were basically telling me that I often put up with stuff that I shouldn't, and seem to get confused about the things that should bother me more and so and so. So then they asked me what I wanted. I simply replied with, "something real." What the hell does that really mean though? Well here I go trying to figure this out:

Alright so what do I want in a relationship? I definitely need someone who is mature. I really think that is one of the most important things for everyone right? Definitely someone who can support me in my sobriety and not judge me because of my past.

Someone who puts in the same amount of effort I would, while not considering it a chore. I think this is huge too. If it feels like something that you need to do instead of wanting to do, then it most likely is not going to work out. Nor should we want it to work out right? I need to remember that relationships are supposed to be fun!

Someone that is respectful is another huge deciding factor. I want to be able to be confident when I bring my boyfriend to meet my family. Someone respectful in the everyday sense but also meaning kind, honest, caring, and persistent. Everyone tends to worry or feel insecure in a relationship, so I feel like making our partners feel safe without them constantly having to ask, is just the right thing to do.

Openness. It isn't that I need to know every little thing going on, but I just want someone who doesn't feel the need to be so guarded about everything as well. Just knowing what is going on in each others lives, I feel takes care of so many possible issues. If we know what is generally happening with our special someone, it doesn't leave much room for us to get insecure or even suspicious. I feel like, at least for me, as soon as those feelings start to come into play, it is so hard to make them disappear. Then we are just constantly worrying and over-analyzing which, I think we can all agree, isn't fun.

Also, I definitely don't mind having some different opinions about stuff, I actually like that. Some stuff though I feel are kinda important to agree on. Like the big stuff. Does that make sense? Basically just the stuff that we would constantly have in the back of our mind, and it eventually turning into holding a grudge. Whether it be kids, opinions about money, attitudes, religion, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love different cultures, different opinions and all that stuff, but I'm just saying it's important to figure out if we can be 100% accepting of those differences.

Alright so there are definitely the big main things that I would consider being a "real" relationship. Something that I really want. And when those problems appear, and they will appear, both of us should be willing to work it out.
We all deserve the relationship we want and need. ALL OF US.

Don't you think?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Drugs, Present, Happiness

I found myself thinking a lot of my past. Reminiscing on the times I thought were good times, and trying to cope with the times that were the darkest. I don't know why the past has been on my mind so much, but I didn't like it. I find that in my down time is when the thoughts come to attack , and lately I have had a lot of down time. I keep trying to busy myself in someway, but it just wasn't enough.

The thoughts of the last seven years kept rushing through my mind. It was more though that I was blaming everything on my past. I am now a little over a year sober and the struggle is still a daily one. It isn't that I expected this to be easy, but I guess I am still used to getting the "quick fix" that I thought the drugs gave me. Having to slowly process things and work through the pain is still something that I am getting struggling with.

When I was sitting in my room, wallowing in my self-pity, I was watching some show when I heard:
"You might be dwelling on the past because you are unhappy with the present..."
I really thought about that for a good minute. I mean, it is not that I am generally unhappy, I guess I just wanted to be completely somewhere else in my life entirely. I am now 22 and I feel I am so many years behind. This has been one of my worries ever since I stepped out of rehab.

I think it all just goes back to having to fight your own thoughts. I have to remember that I am still alive and that I am sober. That is the most important part. And like I said in my last post, being alive means that we have the chance to better our lives for ourselves. We have the chance to change our present and work on it until it is something that we are happy with. And as long as we keep doing that, I don't think it matters how old we are. As long as we keep doing that, we truly are alive.

If we are in a time in our life where we think all we see is ruins, there are a few things we can do. We can either concentrate on the bad and just stare out in misery, or put in the work and build something we are happy with.

Picture by: Nico Nelson

And for me personally, I would much rather put in the work and get rid of the ruins.

I think I had the idea that after some time of sobriety, I would just be done working on getting back to a "happy place." I would just be in a place of content. I was wrong...but now that I think about it, I am happy that I was wrong. It means that we have a constant opportunity to improve.

And whatever "improving" means, is up to you. And.. well, to put it simply, that is pretty damn cool.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Was it Death?

Yesterday was kind of an off day. A day where I guess Death was just a main theme. I had found out that a friend of mine lost a friend due to an overdose of heroin. Another life sadly cut so short because of addiction.
So the day already kind of just had a feel in the air. I was already trying to keep up with the thoughts that were racing though my mind.

Well a bit later on, I went to meet up with a few friends at out favorite coffee house by the beach. It has always been the place I go to when I just need to relax and calm the storm going on in my own head.

Just as the thought of death was starting to drift away from me, a man came up to us who looked about in his late 60s. To sum up the next 30 minutes of conversation with him, he basically told us he had lung cancer and was only given a few months left. He had told us that he had done so much in his life. He had fought in wars, traveled to many different countries, and crossed off everything on his bucket list. He was now, "tired, and ready to go."

He walked away, and that was that. All of us were at a loss of words without a clue to how to react to this, and he just walked off. I felt sorry for the man, but also glad he was so accepting of what was happening to him.

The rest of the night just consisted of me deep in thought about death. One of my biggest fears. My mind wandered back to all the friends I had lost, all the lives that were taken daily by addiction and so on. I specifically kept thinking about my last overdose. I was lucky enough to survive three, but never thought much of it. I remember sometimes wishing I hadn't made it, that it would just all end and I would be at peace.

Thinking back now of that time... well it just gives me chills. There is so much I still want to do in my life. So much I want to be. From school, to my career, to my writing, love, and just so much. Unlike so many others, we still have the chance to make life better for ourselves. And we need to take that chance and try our best. If there is something we are unhappy about, we have the option of trying to change it.

I want that mindset that the older man had. I want to try my best to accomplish everything I want. Then, at my final years, hopefully them still being far far away, I will be satisfied with the life I have lived.
So maybe the main theme of yesterday wasn't really all about death, or maybe it was? Either way, until that time comes, I still have so much left I want to do. Don't you?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Drugs, Love, Sex ?

Alright, so we are finally sober. After the first few days are over and the pink cloud has drifted away, we all the sudden, some of us anyway, feel an overwhelming amount of one of those feelings that we have been trying to numb out for so long.

Loneliness definitely being one of them.

One of the few things that touches every single person in this world. Speaking from personal experience and from many of those around me, lots of us try to get ourselves involved in some kind of relationship when we feel this. Whether we are trying to occupy our time with meaningless sex or just trying to obtain that feeling of being needed, we are in some way or another hoping that the loneliness will wither away. 

And as much as some people will try to deny it, I believe most, if not all of us want love. That stupid, unpredictable, complicated, irrational, crazy love. But at some point though we all have to ask ourselves if we are actually ready for that emotional roller coaster of commitment.

At first, the thought of having someone around seems to be just what we need to heal our emotional wounds. Soon after jumping into some kind of relationship though, I think we start to realize that just like the drugs, it only temporarily had us feeling better. 

Being in the early stages of sobriety are already hard enough, from having to deal with the wounds we have been ignoring, and from just trying to figure out how to live life "normally." Adding something as complex as a relationship at this time and having it work out seems almost impossible to me. Don't get me wrong, I am sure it can be done by some of you...just definitely not by me... not that it stopped me from trying.

After about two short-lived relationship attempts, I decided to (for the first time in a VERY long time) actually focus on me. There was still so many things I had to figure out about not only my past, but what I want as the new person I am trying to become. I now know I had to first learn to accept myself and feel comfortable with who I am to ever even have a chance at a successful commitment. 

Leaving those kinds of wounds open and not giving yourself time to heal and move on only paves the way to more insecurities, trust issues, and all that other stuff that usually tears any couple apart.

In no way can I give professional advice... this is solely based on my experience. There is one thing that I wanna include to end this post with. As tempting as it might be to rush into something, I really believe it is much more enjoyable if you first take the time to really have some "me time." For so long have we been trying our best to really avoid looking inward, but that obviously has not done us any good. Agree so far?

After having that desperately needed "me time" and felt I had really started to heal, I noticed things from my past popped up less and less, letting the insecurities stay silent rather than screaming in my face at every second. 

No matter what you have done, what people have thought of you, we all have a chance to make ourselves into something we are proud of. We all have the power to slowly heal ourselves making it possible to move on. We all deserve to forgive and love ourselves, but most importantly, we all deserve to be loved. Never think otherwise.