ADDICTS: You can’t understand us, we don’t understand ourselves

I am feeling the grief of addiction taking too many lives. I am wishing peace for their families, and I am sad they could not find peace for themselves. I know the pain of active addiction, and I am reminded of days when the emotional strain was so excruciating it felt physical.

Many of us use to numb emotional pain only to find ourselves more deeply conflicted. The drugs are only a temporary escape creating a new shame to escape from. The feeling of being controlled by a substance that creates insidious need, moving lines of morals and values in the necessity for more becomes tortuous. I remember wanting to reach inside my body to claw at my organs to feel something other than the vacancy inside me. The drugs helped me to step out of the chaos inside me while it created a new one. Then there was the deepended duality of maintaining a facade for those in my life, because no one could know the mess I was. I had to appear okay and could often convince myself I was.

To those who have lost loved ones to addiction we don’t want to cause you harm. It is unfair you are left more helpless than we are. If we blame you, know it is our way of deflecting the shame for feeling like we do not have the willpower to stop hurting you. We try not to see your concern and to minimize your fears for us.

We may not understand yet that it is not about willpower or weakness  and that the very way we fight to stay clean steals our worth, when the drugs pull us back in. We need to surrender and admit we have a dependence that is not easily overcome. Everything is complicated in the stigma attached to drug addiction. We need help, but we are fiercely independent, and perhaps at the same time paralyzed by codependence.

Addiction is always in opposition, a duality inside us that pushes and pulls to keep us unstable and needing to look for management by altering our state of mind. We are creating imbalance while desperately trying to balance ourselves on a razor’s edge. We are slowing killing ourselves but we are desperate to live, we just don’t know how to do that without drugs. We need to feel like we are worth being supported and helped but we push against assistance. We have to find a way to love ourselves and in the meantime, please just love us.

And yes; sometimes I liked my behaviour and I enjoyed the party, but the party always ended. You can’t understand us, we don’t understand ourselves. Just try not to judge us because, even if it is not obvious, we are not easy on ourselves and we feel like there is no use being anything different because society has taught us hopelessness in regard to addiction.

We are not hopeless. We do recover. Please be patient with us and believe we are capable of staying clean, even for one day. And when we do, know it is each day we stay clean that gives us time to heal and believe another day clean is possible.

VISIT LISA AT www.lisacolbert.ca.

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Vulnerability Conflict

I try to live my life softly, and to move with the things I have learned to apply to my life that align me spiritually and congruently with my authentic self. There are times when this becomes toxified by my own self sabotage and places that live inside me that have not healed from the past. I am mostly capable of living in the moment, then occasionally, latent cells that are deep inside me burst to bring forward the emulsified sludge that is surrounded by a need to be kept safe from trauma and vulnerability. I get slowed and disconnected by the thick nature of what was held there, compartmentalized, and now spilling to contaminate without notice or defense. Or perhaps it is my very defenses that create the disconnect, allowing the sticky sludge to pull me back as though I cannot step forward. I feel as though I have taken a misstep into something that surrounds and pulls back like tar not yet set in a gap in the sidewalk. I have stepped again to a place where trauma still has power over me. I know what the best things are to do and I want to be able to do them, but at the same time I don’t. It would mean using a voice that is so soft I can’t hear it within myself sometimes, so how do I bring it to the surface to share with someone else.

If you have experienced trauma in your life; and trauma is different for each of us, you will understand what I mean. An experience today brings up emotions and fears that intellectually I know are exaggerated, but that does not mean they resolve. For me, I am sent into a spin like a vehicle hit on the back corner by another vehicle traveling at high velocity. My body is sent in one direction, my emotions in another and my spirit can’t catch up to either. I want it to stop but my mind takes over and I as I try to be in control the pain heightens and tricks me and wants me to be with it. There is a physical and emotional response that is whiplash to my psyche. As dramatic as this all becomes inside me, I breath and bring everything on the outside to appear as though there is nothing wrong. My focus is off, my energy drips with lethargy, but I will make myself okay and again steal the truth from myself. Move from the authentic to what appears more comfortable.  I don’t want to accept that I have not integrated the traumas from my past into the tapestry of my life naturally. I want to be bigger than the subconscious space where my responses do not fit the situation because my experience in trusting took me to harm. I am the same as anyone who I would tell to be patient and compassionate with themselves. But my expectations are high and my disappointment in myself fueled by that instead of finding understanding for myself. Understanding that I would give to any friend, instead I treat myself like an enemy who I want to deny. I must become willing to integrate what is already perfect in its flaws instead of turning my back to find the false image of myself I sometimes wish to make true.

Something greater than myself can and will help me when I turn towards instead of back, but this involves the very trust that the trauma wall keeps me from breaking through. Faith is where it begins and because my higher power does not have the human qualities that have broken my trust, I can safely let go and allow the universe to provide. Here lives ultimate patience and love, I just have to find that patience and love for myself, so I can let go and trust even when my human reactions and fears try to tip to false need for control. I know when I allow my life to unfold, even the moments I perceive as most challenging become an accepted part of my experience.

Choosing the Street Home

Tonight I am grateful not to turn down the street that takes me home to sadness, resentment and lies. Instead I continue straight to the path today that takes me to a home of joy, serenity and love. There are places that still hit me with unexpected reaction that begins in the subliminal, then surfaces to provoke emotions I cannot even connect to. I feel my mouth watering for my drug of choice, even though I have no desire to use.

There is no clean time that takes me to a safe distance from my addiction.Until tonight, I had not really been to the part of the city that holds ties to picking up when no one was available in closer proximity. And the ride I went on in my head came unexpectedly.

I can feel… like it is in real time… myself gripping a small piece of plastic as I drive home in anticipation, likely for the third or fourth time that same night. I recognize it came to a point when I didn’t even have the restraint to wait until I got home. My imagination is running away, giving me flashes and feelings of the pipe in my hand.

I am living this in my mind as I retrace the route in my car four years later. I feel tears wanting to fall, but I don’t understand what this emotion is. I know I love my life clean and I do not feel the fear this type of experience would have brought a few years ago. I won’t feed the part of me that is somewhat resentful I can’t go back. As fast as the unclean thoughts enter I let them go unable to identify the emotions I am experiencing.

I am, almost without consciousness, vividly recalling the rush I loved. I am picturing rocks of substance in the environment around me as if in some parody movie playing in my head. It is almost laughable and because humour is my best friend I will laugh about this later, but for this moment I am given intense reminders with all my senses that addiction lives just under my skin.

I have accepted that for the rest of my life I may have these moments. My mind and my body have memories that can be provoked in the most benign instant. I am grateful I can acknowledge this and take it for what it is, just a moment in my life as an addict and when I choose the next moment to focus on my recovery, and how much that means to me, I take the power from addiction.

As I write this I feel the peace that brings. I am powerless over my addiction, but I have choices in my perception in times like this and I choose to look back and raise my middle finger to that part in my mind that took me off balance for a second.

…and now I can laugh.

Active Addiction

It was the sadness that ran so deep it made my body ache,

It was my heart beating so hard I could hear it in my ear drums,

Yet in another moment fading to an almost undetectable wisp.

It was the mirror, like a magnifying glass, taking regret to pure self hatred.

My emotions felt as though they would shatter like thin ice.

At the same time I wanted to claw out my organs just to feel.

Make the world stop just for a moment.

That is why I came here, but now I am exhausted as it seems

I am alone trying to hold the earth from continuing to rotate.

 

I will not forget where I came from and I practice gratitude everyday for living clean. An addict, any addict can lose the desire to use and learn to live clean. I am no longer alone and I am grateful that being an addict and finding recovery brings me so many gifts when I allow life to unfold knowing I never need to use again.

Scintilla

I am but a scintilla in the universe,
a grain of sand on miles and miles of beach,
a drop in the ocean expanse,
a speck of dust in a mountain of excavated soil.
There seems to be so little to me compared to the world and the universe beyond.
I am pleased to know I am one among many other tiny sparks in this giant inferno that rages and continues to burn century after century.
Is that what we are as human beings?
Fiery creatures who burn our way across the earth?
We do, and have done, a great deal of damage.
Did we know? And now, when maybe we do know, is it too late?
Am I but a scintilla in the grand scheme of human beings who corrupt and steal from our mother the earth?
Is my drop in the ocean too small to break up the toxicity that seeps into the land and takes from all that is natural?
Have you ever seen a grain of sand magnified many times by a powerful microscope?
Its beauty, its intricate infinity, the power of the detail when observing something so small, in context to how complex  and lovely it is.
Am I then not the same?
Is becoming mindful of the magnification that is possible to be applied here what can create an energetic shift?
Mindful of the amazing detail in everything that is me.
I am but a scintilla in the universe and I am also part of every other piece and part that exists.
I influence that which is around me and the tiny drop that I am can bring an exponential ripple to the largest bodies of water.
May my tiny spark be one that ignites an inspirational fire, a motivation and energy that sends positivity in all directions.
May I remain in the understanding that I am small but significant, and in my positive connection I create connections that grow into mammoth waves of love by simply choosing this as my true purpose.

Tears Painted With Love

I don’t know how to love you without being in pain

I held you only once knowing I would never see you again

Laying there so tiny, a perfect angel in my hand

Never to awaken and come with me as planned

Taken from me after I dreamed of you and saw you in my heart

Abruptly over before having a chance to start

Tears continue to fall inside where I felt you flutter

The day it all stopped a memory confused, full of stutter

To love you and know our eyes would never meet

Your tiny heart not strong enough to hold its life force beat

Leaving my heart broken, a corner left empty and grey

A place beyond repair where sorrow will stay

Next to that though is a rainbow of colour

A place painted with the love of daughter and mother

Where rain may refresh you filled with my love

My tears like a warm streaming waterfall washing from above

When they reach you I hope you feel the way you are cherished deep in my soul

I just pray that that when I send my love to you, somehow you know

heart drop

LYRA

I know you are in rainbows and the glitter in the snow,
How is it I miss someone I never got to know?
I can see you tiny fingers and recall touching your toes,
Wishing you would take a breath, you were just not meant to grow,
At least not as my little one, perfect in tiny form,
I want to embrace those memories finding somewhere warm,
But my tears fall cold; and winter is too near;
Resisting the sadness quickly blocked by fear,
This does not honour you nor connect me to true self,
You are so much more than the memory box sitting on a shelf,
You remind of my strength and that I can face nightmares on my own,
Now to reach out through my pain and accept I’m not alone.
Sorrow is a process that is not within control,
Resistance and isolation is what will take its toll,
Allowing for the heartbreak to come then wash away,
Will help me to see your presence in my everyday,
I will recognize your spirit lives in all of nature’s gifts
I will allow the pain that’s mine with faith that spirit lifts,
You exist always in the love you brought my heart,
That can never be lost, it existed deeply from the start.

lyra