Acceptance is a daily battle.

This disease comes with a built-in forgetter. Eleven months ago I was transitioning from detox to rehab, exchanging the scrubs and cotton robe I had to wear (and frequently change as I sweat out toxins) for my street clothes.

For the past year I have lived as though that hadn’t been my reality…minimizing and rationalizing my use…because that was just a fluke…a bad period of my life when I lost control of my addiction…but now, now I could manage it…That was the lie I told myself and worked hard to convince others of…Blocked out were the memories of exactly how sick in body and mind I had allowed myself to become. That’s the illness. I have a mind that tricks itself into staying sick.

Every day I am so close to forgetting again. The times I could have died, the people I could have killed, the loved ones I hurt beyond my own comprehension. They were/are real. I understand this is why I have to do 90 in 90 right now. There is no doubt in my mind I will pick up again if I am not reminded on a daily basis of where my addiction brought me and what is undoubtedly still in store if I go back out. This scares the shit out of me…but maybe that’s a very good thing.

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Change

I can do this. I will do this. Whatever it takes. I’m ready. I’m done talking about it. It’s time to start doing it.

I don’t regret choosing to confess everything so publicly. I can’t. It enabled me to get 100% honest with everyone for the first time in my life. That’s huge for me. From here on out though, I intend to keep the remainder of my journey a little more private, shared with those who can relate and offer me support without judgment or being shocked or afraid. It feels right. Thank you to everyone who has offered me encouragement and kind words through the beginning of my raw and real recovery. It has meant a lot and given me strength to take the necessary steps to move forward.

I used to tell clients entering recovery what this process was like…how it often gets harder, not easier after you put down your substances and start living how they, you, I should have been living all along…without the lies and destructive behaviors that erode the foundation of trust in relationships with others and without the drugs to keep you numb.

Trust is central to a healthy, happy relationship. It opens the window for true, genuine intimacy and creates a bond that becomes hard to break. I, long ago, slammed that window shut and it shattered into a million pieces. Pieces I’m not sure how to put back together. Pieces I’m not sure fit back together now that they’ve been chipped or if some are missing. This breaks my heart. I will never be able to erase the hurt, the damage, and that fucking hurts like hell to realize. But there is no one to point fingers at but myself. And there is no one to look to but myself to turn it around and start living a better way, regardless what may come or be lost. I will never be able to apologize enough and I know recovering is the way to make amends. But still, I am so, so deeply sorry…I can’t even tell you…it sounds meaningless… I never wanted to hurt anyone, but addiction makes you terrorize the ones you love most. It’s a fucking nightmare and it’s not fair to the innocent people who get sucked into its destruction. I fucking hate it.

I understand the steps, the process, on an intellectual and educational level. It is entirely different to be experiencing it first-hand. The wreckage I am responsible for feels crippling. I pray, beg, plead that even if I end up losing everything else in the process, I find myself. I don’t want to be lost anymore.

I don’t understand life. What is the point of all the pain? I have been in pain for most of my life. A lot of people seem to be. I really shouldn’t be so terrified of death. Life is the frightening part. Maybe that’s how I get over my fear of death…by realizing that it might offer some peace. The nothingness I have been so afraid of…maybe it’s where I will finally find comfort, an end to the suffering…wouldn’t that be ironic.

For now, I will remain as frightful of death as ever and try to have hope that I will work through this unease and do whatever it takes to live an honest, fulfilling life in recovery from self-inflicted pain.

I need to turn my guilt and regret over choices I should have made differently into fuel to propel me forward (but not an angry at the world and self kind of fuel because that is just pain too). If I don’t, I will remain stuck and doomed to repeat living the way that got me here in the first place. And if i know anything, I know I don’t want that.