Trigger Warning: Abuse, Drug Use, Suicide
My fellow WARRIORS!!! I am excited to share this new piece with you. It’s a Mini-Series over several weeks sharing the impact of love in my life during addiction and recovery that has changed my life entirely. I believe that although I have had good and bad relationships in my life prior to my drug addiction and the trauma during the past years, I truly believe that this particular love line has been the love line that has changed my perspective on love … and life. It involves 2 particular men. Both of whom I love dearly. Both of whom play an integral role in my life. Both who changed my soul. I am grateful I am able to share such a beautifully shattering experience with you.
Wanting love in early recovery is only natural. Wanting companionship at any point in a mature time in our lives is only natural. I, personally, have no doubts that we as humans, require other human beings to touch and interact with in a meaningful way in order to maintain a positive relationship with ourselves, and also, to grow and develop ourselves at ANY stage in our lives.
When we are born we are given to loved ones who, hopefully, provide us with the means to give us the self-confidence to begin to crawl, walk, and talk through love, positive reinforcement, and human contact.
We show our emotions and our needs by simply crying. In this early year of our life, we know our emotions and needs extremely easily and we show them extremely easily. We have no desire to hide them, however, we also are much more easily gratified by getting the food… getting the bottom changed… getting the cuddles… getting to play. We show our gratitude by quieting in their arms when they gently rock us, settling our crying. We show our love by trusting them enough to fall asleep in their arms. It is much simpler for us then. Feel the emotion. Cry: show emotion. Get the need fixed by the other person. Have love shown by the other person. Show love to the other person. Love grows more within the relationship.
We fantasize that adult relationships are as easy as this kind of intimacy… when we portray ourselves within a fairytale relationship this is the type of intimacy we think we can have.
Imagine how this intimacy would look and feel in a mature relationship…
Let’s start with …
Ok … most of us have no idea what we are feeling most of the time right? I didn’t until I went to rehab. I’m much more in-tuned now, however, this is going to be tricky within the dating world … most of us having no idea what we are feeling are stumbling around trying to be numb in a search for what we are hoping for is our hearts connection …something about that just doesn’t work.
Next … assume we did figure out those feelings… we would have to show those feelings!! OMG … what?! You want me to do what now! See… most of us would be out already… or pretending some other feeling we don’t really have. In reality, we would like to be happy or content most of the time… but there are other feelings …. hungry, tired, and needing to be alone, there are so many different ways a person can feel at any given time that may not equal anger or sadness or contentment or anything in an equal range of those sorts of emotions… it is with some degree of caution we express ourselves to others even with simple thoughts or emotions or needs, there are always exceptions to the course. Our emotions, needs, desires, and absence of desire are far evolved since we were just a baby, we can no longer just start to scream our lungs out and cry until we get what we want… trust me, I’ve tried … several times. We have to communicate what we want or need or desire with our words and actions, maybe not once, perhaps over and over until it becomes clear that is reality for us. It is HARD… Honestly, I prefer the crying lol.
Next … we have now been able to figure out our feeling; we have somehow been able to find a way to communicate in a way that was clear and concise… now… we have the other person having to fix it without any other explanation or questions… I wonder how this will go…
….I think we will be left crying…. Or it may go our way for a while until inevitably they become angry or resentful and our relationship ends.
Ok… so now we’ve come to they’ve given us what we need without us having to ask… miracles are happening in this relationship…they showed us love… and … now it is our turn to return the unconditional love … return the love that sees no wrong … return the love that is trusting in all situations… I can see eyebrows raising out there on those beautiful faces reading this BLOG right this minute … seems a little too far-fetched? Maybe… But that is how we did when we were babies …
Adult relationships are not so easy.
In active addiction or during trauma we do not have healthy relationships. I did not. I had some relationships that I look back at that I’m grateful I’m not in still … I just wonder WTF was I thinking. I “loved” me some thugs. If they said they were a thug: they had me. Didn’t even have to prove it. That got me into some issues. Sometimes I got a kid who started fights that I had to finish … sometimes I got a guy who was in jail more than I saw him. Once I decided that if I dated thugs that were of a certain look and age I would be good … got me into even MORE trouble. Then I decided I should only date thugs that could PROVE they were thugs… that worked out well… for the thugs. The point is I was attracted to the “bad boy”. It was the danger that attracted me… not the man. I should have realized I was my own danger.
I put myself into so many situations that were treacherous to my self-esteem, my self-confidence, and my self-worth because I was choosing men based on my personal beliefs about who could give me all of that intimacy that we want as humans. I was confusing lust with love. I was confusing attraction with real connection.
I have had good relationships in my life with real love in my life with men who were good to me. I spent 10 years with the father of my kids. We were connected emotionally and mentally. He was a “reformed” bad boy. We had real love for each other. I have had other relationships that were very healthy, however, they lacked one or another component for lasting success.
I fell in love during active addiction with a man who I never thought I would ever get over. To this day I still love him. I crave him like a drug sometimes. I need him like a drug sometimes. It’s been over a year since we saw each other, but some days he is in my head as though he never left. Other days I can tell myself I want something rational. There are days I know that I was in an alternate reality where my mind was choosing to live within the illusion of a world where we could be free to be who and whatever we wanted to be.
I was 4 months sober and 4 months out of my abusive relationship, and the craziness that had ensued with my home being taken over by my abuser turned into my own personal nightmare for 4 months. That in itself is its own horror story. Completely different genre of story.
I was enjoying my life for the first time in a very long time. I had made my home into what I could salvage from the horror story that was my life for 4 months. I had found a decent area in my living room that I could section off for the loveseat and the tv. Perfect it was all I had for furniture left… Awesome!
I had cleaned the kitchen, however, as the many people who were in and out of my home in the very recent past, enjoined eating, my kitchen was relatively clean. My kitchen table was intact. Great as well.
I had a bathroom… It was functional. Thankfully. Let’s move on.
I went to the dollar store and bought as much as I could to make what little space in my 3 bedroom townhouse with a basement, I had left, look and feel upbeat. I had to offside the rest of the house. Catch the eye with, BAM, off-your-face craziness, positive vibes, and brightness so that hopefully the eye wouldn’t be drawn to the other areas of the townhouse.
I did pretty well. I slept on the loveseat. I microwaved what food I did eat or I ate fast food with a friend. I sat in my backyard a lot. I tried not to interact with the house too much. However, my neighbours did not fancy me at this point because of what had gone on during the 4 months of HELL. They blamed me for not knowing the whole story, including that part of the time I was held against my will.
I found great moments that summer. I was finding myself again after a 3-year relationship that was tumultuous and abusive in all aspects. I was loving my life sober for the first time. I had been sober before… But this time I was loving my time sober.
***I will add that I had gone to the hospital for 17 days in March. I had had a miscarriage and was suicidal. I was admitted to the mental health unit. I was put on several medications for various purposes. 2 medications for my addictions. I am still on them today. I am on medication for uppers, not downers. It is not methadone or suboxone. Please talk to your physician if you need more information about this topic***
I wasn’t having cravings. I was calm every day. I felt good. I got up at a decent time every day. I felt like a whole new me. I woke up before noon. To me, that was a whole new life. I slept most nights. What?! Sleep?! I was sure I was cured. I wasn’t trying to get the fuc…
the man who left back.
I was in a good spot I thought.
The problem was: I hadn’t done any work on myself; I hadn’t really changed anything in my life. I hadn’t worked on anything within myself that I used the dope to cover up. I didn’t even realize I had work to do really. I didn’t know why I was an addict so how could I know how to fix it. It was no fault of my own. It is no fault of any addict that has not been taught the steps to help themselves. We are walking blind in a world trying to flick on a tiny light switch. We need someone to come along to show us where that light switch is: then we can flick it.
I made it through just over 4 months by getting up in the morning taking my medication that made me feel amazing, turning on my music so loud it should have blown my eardrums; it definitely made my neighbours hate me more; and spending an ungodly amount of energy and time getting myself ready to: usually go nowhere but 2 townhouses down to talk to the one neighbour who hated me in secret.
I made myself up daily into a make-up drag queen’s icon. At the time I truly thought I looked beautiful. I got hit on a lot. I got compliments from people in my neighbourhood. I took an unequivocal amount of selfies in order to post on social media. The likes I got were my own personal drug. The comments were my needle.
I look back to realize I was covering my lack of self-esteem and all the pain that still existed within by getting soulless validation from strangers behind a screen. I was using another form of self-medication to help myself get through life.
This obviously didn’t last very long. It’s a shallow form of verification that doesn’t fill the hole that drugs do.
One day… 114 days sober… I was walking from my front door around to the back outside… when a thought entered my mind that I hadn’t had in months…
“I WANT TO GET HIGH TODAY”
I didn’t even argue with myself. I didn’t even pause to question whether it was a good idea. I didn’t need justification or any other explanation… I had no dealer… I had no pals that did dope… I thought of the first person who I knew could get me high and I headed there… my next-door neighbour who I had been frienemies with for years.
I knocked on the back door…
The door opened…
He stood there in front of me.
6’1. Native. Blue eyes. Lost eyes…
And so begins the story of a dark romance in a very small village of chaos within a dark world where evil lurks behind every stranger’s eyes…
To Be Continued
Always Got Your Back Angel Warrior 1Thousand