Tuesday, October 1, 2013

When the Going Gets Tough...

Things are going well for me. I love my job. I love doing stand-up comedy. I enjoy skateboarding and meditation immensely. I go to sleep without stress and wake up the next day refreshed...after coffee. While I don't have money for my own place yet, I am able to afford my probation payments, and I'll be done with those by December.

I went on a date recently like a real boy.

Everything is going my way. And because things are amazing right now, I am already preparing myself for the future when things get bumpy again. Life isn't just all ups and no downs, of course.

I have heard many people in treatment talk about how they always screw things up when everything is going well. I used to think the same way. You convince yourself that you can't be happy, and that's why you sabotage your happiness. You'll hear the same old story..."I was in recovery and drug-free with a good job, and then I decided to go ruin it all."

I do not believe that we fuck things up to ensure we won't remain happy. I think we get comfortable and let our guard down when everything is great. "Oh, I feel fine now...I'll stop taking my meds." "I'm going to kick back today...I'm not going to do my daily workout/meditation." "I don't need to work on myself anymore. I'm good." And so forth.

This is not just about addiction either. There have been times in my life where things were great, and I ended up making bad choices because I wasn't remaining mindful and being aware of what the right choices for me were at the time. My intuition is usually right on...if I'm paying attention to it.

It dawned on me the other day that the reason I got into heroin was not because of other drugs or alcohol and certainly not the fault of the person I was dating who got into it with me. It was because I ignored my gut. I remember the moment of saying "fuck it" after deliberating on whether to try it or not. Something told me it would end poorly, but I chose to ignore it because things were great.

And that's the thing about me and these other addicts I've met. When things got tough, we still managed to fight to keep going, even though we were miserable. When life is kicking my ass, I struggle to stay afloat. I don't let myself drown in despair. I may wait until the last possible moment to get help or do what I need to do, but I pull back from the edge...I pull the plane up before it crashes. It makes me think I should fight just as hard now that things are good. Don't let up just because life has turned around for me. Keep it going, you know?

I don't regret my past choices anymore. In fact, I am thankful for mistakes and the shit I put myself through...I'm older and wiser now because of them. I hopefully won't repeat those cycles as I attempt to maintain self-awareness...I don't want to get comfortable and stop working on myself. I am enjoying my life now, and I cherish every good day...the bad days of the past stay with me and remind me to appreciate today.

My favorite "Fight Club" quote 6 months ago was, "Quit trying to control everything and just let go." Today it is, "May I never be complete. May I never be content."


I have talked with several friends and relatives recently about issues they have been going through. Regardless of how great everything appears to be on their Facebook page (sigh), these people are going through some trying times right now. I feel for each and every one of you, I do. Life sucks sometimes...it just does.

Keep fighting...do what you can. It gets better. I never thought it would. To put it in perspective, I'd like to post something I wasn't going to show anyone when I wrote it. It was an anonymous blog I wrote related to my heroin addiction, and this was the last entry I wrote in it:


Heroin and My Mind

This would be the first update in almost 6 months. I don't kid myself and think that anyone actually reads this. This journal is more for me to track this sickness, this addiction that I have.

You have no idea what heroin does to your brain...unless you've researched it online...then you do. Smartypants. Regardless, the first time you use it, I think it plants itself in your head. The longer you do it, the worse it is in your head. So you stop shooting up for a while because you're going clean. Guess who's sitting there with you every day? The Cravings stay with you, and they can be triggered with something as little as just seeing a 20-dollar bill. That's what happens to me. A twenty or higher triggers thoughts of using.

And you fight it...oh, you fight it, to no avail. The 12-Step Programs say you are "powerless over BLANK"...well, I don't know about people who have a "pot addiction", but I sense they just got caught and feel guilty. People who use junk are definitely powerless. I know at least 5 examples of people who can't or currently don't want to quit the shit right now.

I have to be honest here. I don't know how I'm ever going to shake this shit. Part of me still doesn't want to even though it has led me to lose everything I took for granted in my life: my job, my apartment, and my fiance. I lost all three in the past 30 days or so. And you attempt to deal with this loss at the same time trying to be clean...HA! Good luck, everything in the world screams.

Is Narcotics Anonymous and me going to meetings and working steps enough? Can we beat this motherfucker? I don't know if it's possible.

It gets better.