I sometimes find myself envious of my still active drug addict acquaintances. That moment of peace they get to feel when they first wake up in the morning and that first shot flows through their veins. The calming feeling that comes over their body as it gets all warm. I have been on this search naturally since I stopped using. In the five years that I have been heroin free, I have felt it twice. Might I add, the natural high on life is far more peaceful than the needle. I have been chasing this natural high of peace since I first felt it. It sounds absurd, but I felt pain leave my body. Not the physical kind. The kind of pain that you mask for years, until suddenly you find yourself in a downward spiral resulting in a nervous breakdown. The kind you feel when you’re 15, pregnant, and your mother tells you to find a new place to live, you are no longer welcome in their house. The kind that causes night terrors in your adult life and a panic disorder whenever someone close to you leaves the room or even the house. The pain you felt as an 8 year old when they take the only person that ever stood up for you to jail. The kind of pain that you feel when everyone forgets that you’re 8 years old and you’re told, “You’re his daughter, and this is what he did.”Active drug users, get that moment of peace. They get that brief moment of silence and calmness. I thought spending a month back home would show my family my growth and how far I have worked to conquer demons. Except, it was the complete opposite. Their demons wanted to start a new war with mine. I was treated as if I had never moved away five years ago and I was still using. It caused a few setbacks, mentally. Not so much that I couldn’t catch it and start working on it immediately. I guess that was my confirmation. The confirmation that I was allowed to shut that door and open a new one. I think I would much rather have a loud head than be told that I am not loved. No matter how great the silence is while using, it will always be greater without using. I would not trade my life now for the life I had back then. That was my crutch when I didn’t realise I am worth loving. I am worthy of life no matter who says different. I am learning. I might not get things right on the first try, and I am okay with that. I know who is in my corner cheering me on and I love all of those people with every bit of love I have. I can be a sucker for codependent relationships even if I am not using. I am learning quality means more than quantity. Writing and painting is supposed to be my peace and the last few days I am having a hard time finding that peace.

My free therapy session…

Today my anxiety is at an all time high. I have taken benedryl and nothing seems to be working. I messaged my therapist but unfortunately I am out of town and phone sessions are not covered with my insureance. I also do not have an extra 75.00 laying around to pay for it. I know self care is a priority, and my blog is and always will be my free therapy.

Understanding your triggers for anxiety is so important. Learning to be around my loved ones sober is mentally exhausting for me. I am taking time out to reevaluate relationships that include the very people who gave me life. The first relationship I tried to salvage was a disaster. I’ve come to the conclusion my father is who he is and no one not even himself is aware of the damage he has done. I’ve accepted that failed relationship because there is no more that I could have done to save it.

The second is my little brother. Gosh, I love him and my heart breaks for him. I went to see him the other day against my better judgement. I tried convincing him to consider rehab, inpatient or outpatient. He says, “Evelyn, the drugs aren’t the problem.” I replied, “You’re wrong, right now that is your only problem.” I had to walk away knowing there is a chance that I could lose him to the very thing I escaped from five years ago. I love you little brother and I wish I could take away the pain that you are still holding onto, but only you can do that. Please be safe because for me to overcome my demons, I have to cut ties. Please know that as soon as you get better you are more than welcome to come back into my life. You’re my only full blood sibling and life was not supposed to be this hard for you. I should have done better at protecting you but I can’t anymore.

The next is my mother. Between the bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and her schizoprenic tendencies I have to remove myself from that relationship. My heart is really aching in a way that can’t be described like any other heartbreak. These people are all very much alive and in order for me to move on and find peace. I have to pretend they’re non existant. I hate to say my mom is crazy. I watched her turn into about 3 different people just in the short amount of time I spent with her yesterday. All very toxic personalities. Ma, you gave me life and for that I thank you. You also gave me so much pain to carry and to work through. Right now I just don’t know how to connect with you and I want to so bad. I had forgave you for the past in hopes to have a better future but you’re sick. Your sickness contributes to my sickness and It’s not healthy for either of us. I love you and I always will. You taught me all these life lessons that you could not act on yourself. I thank you for the strength, because without the neglect I would be just like you. I refuse to let that happen.

I know I am not alone in my life. I have amazing friends. I also know the people in my life will never be able to replace those feelings of emptiness I get from the ones I want in my life. Not one of the above mentioned people are willing to even admit any fault to the failed relationships. Not one of them are willing to seek help. There is no more that I can do and I am dying inside because of the choice I am forced to make. Everything is everyone else’s fault that their life is in shambles.

My mother has a tendency to blame me for all things wrong in her life. I sit there and take it. I say nothing, and politely ask her to stop screaming. My brother tells me, “You think you’re so perfect now, huh?” Hell no I don’t. I seen the same shit you seen. I’ve done the same shit you have done. I have laid in bed for 45 days suffering from depression. I just refuse to carry all that pain through out my life anymore. I wanted peace, that’s all. In order for to find that peace, I have to really reflect on my toxic bullshit. I started therapy. Never wanted to be put on medication for my depression but I have to give something a chance. At this point in my life anything that may help my life in a good way, I have to at least try. I battle demons everyday, the same demons they battle. But fuck, I will not just lay down and die like this. I refuse. So, with all this being said…. this is my free therapy session.

Allow me to reintroduce myself…

I have been contemplating for a while now on the title of my blog. I am more than just an addict. This is more about my life in general rather than just living in recovery. April 7, 2019 will be 5 years since I have shot up. Although I have been completely clean from heroin, I have had mind altering substances. Most but not all were from a doctor. Some people tend to catgorize me as a drug addict first. A person second. I am more than just an addict. I am a sister, a daughter, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a niece, a grandaughter. I am a fucking human being with some of the same hopes, dreams, secrets, fears, and demons as everyone else. This is my journey of growth. I will never be able to fix things that I have fucked up in my life. For that, I am sorry. I truly am. If my supporrt system doesn’t understand that I am human and I do make mistakes. Why would I even need a support system then? The problem with my support system is that 95% of them are dealing with their own demons. The toxic relationships I have held on to in my life is my foundation of my support system. It is exhausting.

Today I am happy to say that although I might not be as far in life that I hoped. I am worlds away from the person I was 5 years ago. This is no longer my addiction diaries. This is, “A series of my fortunate events.” I used to always be in a “victim” state of mind. ” Why does this happen to me?” “How do I always end up like this?” I am fucking grateful for every shitty event in my life. I needed all the abuse, trauma, homelessness, mental illness, and drugs to become the college attending, business starting, bad ass mother, grandmother, sister, niece, friend, grandaughter, I am today. It’s just as easy to think, “What if this does work out?” “What if I do make it?” “What if something good happens after all?” It’s also a nice break from mentally fearing World war 3. Me vs. Life.

My mother would often say to me growing up, “Break the cycle Evey!” For a while I was very afraid I had let her down. Whether anyone else realises I did or not, I know I did. I have been surronded by these amazing people with amazing qualities and gifts. Yet, not one person is willing to work hard enough to accomplish what they really could. I have had to sit back and reflect on whether I wanted the life of misery or if I wanted to fight for mental freedom. I am proud of the changes I am making for myself. I am thankful for my extensive mental breakdown. I fought like hell to free myself of shit that I had no control over. I freed myself of blame that I carried for fucking grown ass people when I was only 10 years old. I was a fucking child. I will happily take responsibility for my part in failed jobs, relationships, education. What I will not do, is dwell on it. I am reintroducing myself in an entire different way. Not as an addict. As a person.

Acceptance made me selfish

Recently I was asked why I didn’t write anymore. I had expressed that it’s hard to write if I’m not hurting or angry. My goal this year was to become a better person. I wanted to surround myself with as much peace and positivity as I could. I’m not going to lie. At the beginning of 2018, there was not an ounce of hope anywhere in sight. Here we are… 4 days away from 2019, and things couldn’t be more different.

I focused on mending relationships that were worth saving. I felt the blows of the relationships I had to walk away from. I learned how to get thru a panic attack without a mind altering substance. I was reminded that no matter how fast my life spirals out of control, a mind altering substance will not help. I learned to be happy alone in silence. I accepted that even the people who gave you life, are not obligated to love or respect you. I had to release my baby girl into the world on her own. I questioned myself. I questioned God. I allowed old abusers to stir up the past. I added new abusers to the list of “abusers”. I let guilt eat at my heart and soul, then I let it go. I learned that I have a responsibility to failed relationships also.

I took the entire year for myself. To learn myself. To love myself. To build myself up. I stopped questioning if I had done something wrong. I learned to set standards. I learned to set boundaries and to also respect boundaries. I made a list of goals and completed most of them. I started eating healthier. I wrote encouraging notes to myself. I stood up for myself and I didn’t feel guilty. I went back to work and was smarter with my finances.

Trust me when I say it felt like practicing all these things broke my soul for a moment. I’m glad. I needed to break like I needed to breathe. It’s easier to enjoy peace, when you accept that you were deserving of it the entire time. I accepted that even though the hand dealt to me wasn’t the best, It could still be played. I learned that excuses prolong problems and block growth. I have accepted that no one is obligated to explain why they hurt you. There’s also no obligation on your part if you choose not to listen to their explanation.

I had to accept that my father is an evil man and no matter how good he talks, his actions ALWAYS prove otherwise. My mother will never have a bond with me like she has with my siblings. My daughter experiences the same toxic father/daughter relationship I experience. No matter how much it hurts me to watch his familiar games being played. I can not control who she puts her energy into. I had to be okay with giving up on my only full blood sibling because he gets pleasure out of breaking down my spirit. I’m learning that I can’t look to my sister to play my mother. Even the ones cleaning up everyone’s messes make their own.

The hardest thing that I’ve had to mentally prepare myself for was that the person you lay down with every night may not go to bed feeling the same love for you that you feel for them. No matter how much you think you have your life mapped out, it can be taken away in a second if you don’t appreciate it. I stopped listening to words and started believing actions. I stopped talking and started doing. I’ve accepted that my MS will not consume me, mentally or physically. I needed every heartbreaking event to happen just the way it did, or I would have never started healing.

It is goodbye forever, that’s why it hurts so much…

I started writing around this time last year with hopes of recovery and peace. Emotionally, mentally, and physically. I found that peace, but I had to lose something. I have never been thru a break up sober. I have no clue how to navigate thru all the feelings. The love, resentment, happiness, sadness, anger, and grief.

This was my first real relationship, sober. This was my first real relationship, EVER! I’m holding on to what he was when I met him and not remembering who he is now. My heart is sitting in my stomach. I have never given so much love, respect, and loyalty to someone. Only to find out, I was never receiving the same. I came to realise that it was never a two-way street.

Our versions of the relationship are completely different. I am grateful for his time spent helping me thru some of the absolute hardest times in my life. He has also caused some of my most painful moments. How does someone disguise themselves as a knight in shining armor? All the while sucking the life out of someone. His version consists of my truths. His version won’t include his.

His version focuses on my past pain, past addiction, and any of my past mistakes. Never has he given me the credit for the good. Then again, I never gave him his credit either. How could I? I was consumed by my own prison of a mind. Struggling to find the key and break free. I have sat and gone over things in my head and how I could have fixed things sooner.

My conclusion: I was never ready for his love. I was never ready to be the keeper of his heart. I was so broken and damaged when he found me. I wore that pain, and I’m sure that’s what made me an easy target. I wasn’t looking to build a life and a family with him. I was selfish. I was alone. I wanted to feel love.

Three years later, I’m starting over again. At 34, I am rebuilding my life again. Only this time, I’m not weak. I know how a person is supposed to be loved and respected. I lost alot of things in this relationship, but I’ve gained so much strength, love, and respect for myself. Nevermind, he didn’t match the loyalty. Nevermind, that he couldn’t go thru a struggle alone. Nevermind, that he ran as soon as we pulled ourselves out of hard times. I am thankful he taught me to love. I am thankful he taught me to love myself. I am thankful he taught me what not to settle for. I am thankful for being a part of his children’s lives. I am thankful I got to be a part of his life for a that short time. I am thankful for the days he loved the hell out of me, and for the ones he hated the hell out of me. Most of all, I thankful for that small time frame I was head over heels in love with him. I will forever want to go back to that time. To feel it again, only with him.

Today, I pray…

You ever get that feeling when things are going surprisingly well, but you know something bad will happen. Sometimes I get it just because I’m so used to bad things happening. Last night, as I was preparing to soak in the tub with my strawberry bath bomb. An aweful feeling came over me that something bad was going to happen.

About thirty minutes later my grandma needed to go to the emergency room for chest pains. Now, my grandma reminds me of the grandma off of “Beverly Hillbillies”. That is no exaggeration. She once took her pistol and shot thru a car who was turning around in her driveway on their farm. I told you, no exaggeration. My grandpa ended covering for her that night but they took her pistol away.

They wanted to keep her over night, but my grandpa wasn’t with her so she wouldn’t stay. My plans are to sit with her today while my grandpa is at work. They wanted to run a bunch of tests. She refused because her son and not her husband of sixty years was there.

Murphy’s law states that things happen in three’s. My mother is having surgery today and has to remain in the hospital two days after the surgery. Now, I’m feeling like an asshole. Once she is released, no one will be there to help her or take care of her. She had asked me if I could, but I started a new part time job yesterday. She asked me the day after the job was offered. Part of me wants to continue to be mad at her for Christmas. Part of me says, “Let it go, that’s your mom”.

I’m patiently waiting for number three. It never fails. As soon as things smooth out in my life, the devil pops his head out. I take these moments to learn from, and to grow from. I just come out of a long year and a half depressive state. I won’t go back. Today, I am praying my little heart out until I just can’t pray any longer. If everyone else could say a little prayer, that would be awesome as well.

I have to stop letting things get me to the point of cutting someone off completely. The older I get, the more I want to surrond myself with my family. I didn’t have them growing up, so it’s nice to get to know them and make memories now. The past is the past and nothing anyone ever did can be redone. I’ve got to learn to except it, before it’s too late.

Life tools are neseccary

If I got blessed with anything, I was blessed with street smarts and I’m book smart. See, when you are in active addiction you will do just about anything to get your fix. It’s called survival mode. When I used I wasn’t able to maintain a steady job because I had to be high to go to work. Most of the time I was sick so working wasn’t an option at that time. I was born a hustler.

Now sometimes that can be a good thing. Since I’ve been sick, my survival skills kicked in. Please don’t think that I am out selling drugs or my body to survive. This is where my book smarts have come into play and have taken over. Last night I received message from my daughter explaining that her dad is mean. To her surprise, I already knew this. After all we were together for 12 years.

After I got the message I called right away to see what was going on. We never did get to that conversation because she had enlightened me on what the rest of the family had talked about.

“If you move back with your mother, you will end up being her caregiver because of her illness” and “If you move there you won’t have as much help financially as you would here with us”. Let me remind you that she is seventeen and considering where she will be going to college. Her choices are here in Louisville or Pittsburgh.

I have tons of siblings, I am the ONLY one who does not ask for help or a handout. My sibling ages range from nineteen to fourty-two. When I stopped working last year I had to figure out a way to make money the legit way. I decided to resell items online and I clean two house. Luckily, I have a supportive boyfriend who pays all of our bills and completely takes care of me if I have a MS relapse.

Never in my wildest dreams would I dare to ask my child to take care of me. My boyfriend and I have made it very clear if she comes here, goes to school, does well, and gets good grades she can live with us for FREE. All she would need a job for is to pay for her car and the difference in car insurance. I want to give her the opportunity to focus on her education and not to have to worry about surviving. I also want her to learn that nothing is handed to you so some responsibility is neseccary I believe.

If she stays there, they will pay for EVERYTHING, But only if she stays close. Now, to the part where the doctor forgot to put that silver spoon in my mouth when I was born. You know some babies get them I just wasn’t one of them. My grandparents were farmers, my dad worked construction and landscaping, my mother hunted for rich men, and I don’t know the other set of grandparents. Each and everyone of them taught me tools I needed in life to face this cruel world.

Thank you! Each and every person who made me work and fight for what I want in life. If I had a rich family I’d either be still using or doing drugs. I’ve bought all my car’s myself. I’ve always paid my own housing. I am trying to give my daughter the same tools because I’m sure her father has spent his, hers, and all their cousins inheritance. His grandparents bought their daughter’s house, my ex’s house, all of their vehicles, and no payments have been made in over a year.

I get it, they have money and they want their family to be secure. Do not bring me into this because I don’t have money. I don’t care if I have to roll a wheelchair around to scrub toilets. I would do whatever to make sure she gets the education she wants and deserves. To threaten her if she moves that finances will be either cut off or lessened is just plain selfish, mean, and fucking rude.

My words to her are this,

You go to school where you want to go. You live your life the way you want to live your life. Never let a person use anything over you to detour you from your own happiness. Travel the world, experience new things, and damn it stop letting a person’s money control your happiness!

I’m truly heartbroken over the comments that were made. Yes, there have been changes in my health. It took a little time to get things under control but I’m doing my damn thing. I don’t have to leave my house and am still making a hundred dollars a day just with my online businesses. I’m happy, and if my family is helping right now. It’s because they want to not because I asked.

Humbling myself

It’s one of those mornings. You know, when you awaken at four a.m. and you have a million and one thoughts in your head. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, overthinking situations. I am going over and over in my head about how well things seem to be going. I am also waiting for the explosive bomb to go off to shift all things that are aligned right now.

Since my move, events in my life have seemed to fall into place. It’s a good thing, right? I got a part time position as a personal assistant and I am extremely excited about this. I have been wanting to go back to work for months. The lady I work for understands that I do have MS and is willing to work around this. I applied for a home loan yesterday. Whether I get it or not, I’m remaining positive. If it’s meant to be, it will happen! I have about four jobs going right now between my online businesses and other side jobs and I am starting to get overwhelmed a little so I may need to cut back a few things.

I’ve taken a step back from most friends and family that weren’t bringing what I was bringing to the table. I am so okay with this. I’ve always been very forgiving of the one’s closest to me who hurt me. I’ve decided a little selfishness for my well being is okay. I have grown extremely close with my dad and I am enjoying every second of it! We talk. Not just hi and bye, but actual conversations about my childhood, my family I was too young to remember, and how he is supportive 100%.

When I got my diagnoses of Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus, I’m not going to lie. Contemplating a way out crossed my mind a number of times. Yes, I hate the days that I am ready for bed at 3 p.m. I hate the muscle cramps/spasms. I really hate the headaches that make me nautious. Most of all, I hate the thought that it is a possibility someone will have to take care of me. Oh yeah, and the Prednisone! I am not lying when I say it taste like I was chewing on a pile of crap.

There is a reason for everything. I wasn’t a kind person. I wasn’t a good person. This has humbled me in so many ways. It’s made me appreciate the little things. Having dinner with my dad and boyfriend and ginuinely laughing. Getting closer with family I hadn’t seen in twenty years. Doing good deeds for people who are in the same position I was in just a couple of months ago. It’s changed my heart for the better.

My daughter was really frustrated with me when I didn’t move back up north. I understood, but at the same time she will be 18 in a few months. She will be heading off to college. I would’ve just stayed in a place I hate. We have one month until my heart overloads with joy and happiness because she graduates. I am going up next month for the graduation. My biggest concern, her father, his wife, and I have never been around each other at the same time. This is her moment. After all, she has worked her butt off for this and we owe it to her to make this about her and her only.

Hating myself and the disease isn’t going to make the disease disappear. I’m still managing everything completely sober. No matter how bad the pain gets, I’m sucking it up! No need to add fuel to a fire I just got contained. You never really know how your life can change in a matter of an eye exam. Oh, four a.m. thoughts. How I dislike you very much so.

Finding my way

Something about my two week stay in Pennsylvania/Maryland did something to me. I’m not sure if it was good or bad. I had all intentions with starting this new year with a new attitude. Yet, I sit here doing the same thing as I was doing before I went home to visit for the holidays. If I realised anything, it was that not all people including family are there for you. Some don’t even know what they are doing to the people around them. I’ve realised I can count on myself and myself only. I’ve realised I’ve come home to sit by myself and cry just like I did every other day. 

    See, crying is a weakness to me and no one knows how weak I really am. I don’t allow people to see emotion from me. They take that weakness and they use it to thier advantage. I recently had to put distance between my mother and I. It hurts but the negativity adds to the bullshit I already deal with on a daily basis. I took the greyhound bus home. I waited until the lights were turned off and I think the only person who knew I was hurting was the girl next to me and God. I was stuck in Columbus, OH for twelve hours and I sat in the bathroom stull crying. 

    I had to leave the one person who I gave life to. I had to leave the one person who gives me life. I’m not sure what it is but knowing I’m so far away from my daughter completely tears my insides apart. I have completely lost my way and have no idea how to get back onto a road I know. When I say that trip did something to me, I mean that it took something from me. It took what little bit of hope and happiness I had left. 

    I’m not sure how to describe this empty feeling. I only have it when I’m away from my daughter. It’s like I’m searching for a place that no longer exists. A place where I only think happy thoughts. Where I laugh. I don’t know that place anymore. No matter how hard I try to find it. 

My rock bottom

  One thing I’ve realised in my journey in recovery is that no one person is the same on drugs as they are off drugs. I watched a person with everything lose it in a heartbeat. They’ve allowed themselves to get to that point of no return. It’s that point where they are about to hit rock bottom but shit hasn’t hit the fan yet. 

   I was at my rock bottom for a long minute. I thought when I had broken my ankle and became homeless that that would be it. Ha… nope! That was only the beginning of my lengthy rock bottom. It started with my first rehab stay. I had almost made it. I had about a week to go and I just up and left. I made my way back to my hometown and started my self destruction all over again. 

    About a month later I made my second attempt at rehab. I was only staying to detox. This rehab stay was a little different. My first rehab my sister and dad were very supportive. Making sure I had cigarettes and everything else I needed. My second stay I was on my own. No money, no cigarettes. Just me, three hours away from home in the middle of the woods. I had no where to runaway to this time. This all happened in September and October of 2013. I spent seven days in the rehab facility and came hone and got high that day. I had decided to do a detox with methadone. I would have rather done it cold turkey because I had already gone 3 days before I got my first dose. 

   I had nothing except a couple laundry baskets of clothes that I carried around from house to house or to the crappy motel I stayed in when I couldn’t find a place to lay my head. Fastforward to Spring, I was still using. After two rehab and a couple of overdoses, I was still using and had no thoughts of getting clean. The thought of withdrawal after a lengthy time of using was not something I wanted to go thru. 

  A couple days before I had made my big move to get clean, the person I was dating got arrested. I was screwed. I depended on him to get high everyday. I depended on him to find a place to stay every night. My family had completely cut me off at this time unless I was seeking help and I was serious this time. I had called my dad to get a bus ticket. I was still fighting the thought of moving but I knew I had no choice. I was killing myself and everyone could see it except me. My sister had personally come to pick me up that day to drive me to the bus station. I was so mad because I had sent someone to get dope so I could get high before I left. He didn’t get back in time so my withdrawal started on a bus headed to Kentucky. There was probably a reason I didn’t use that day. 

  My behavior while I was getting high is not my behavior sober. At one point I surrounded my whole life around only getting high. My rock bottom lasted for months before I understood what I was doing to myself and my loved ones. I’m thankful for the period in my life when my loved ones completely cut me off. They gave me no money, no free place to stay. Half the time they didn’t even answer the phone because they knew all I wanted was money. If my family or friends would have given in to my bullshit, I’d be dead. It took me being stranded in the middle of the night, not having any place to go to realise that what I was doing was total fuckery. 

  Everyone’s rock bottom is different. Some just wake up and think to themselves, “I can’t do this anymore”. Some go to jail and have no choice but to get clean. Some lose their lives. I’m thankful for that rock bottom. I’m thankful that I came to the conclusion when I did because I have so much to live for.