Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dear alcohol, drugs & pain, make me better please?

I love that I can have a drink or two or three now and not feel the need to keep going until I’m smashed. Since I started drinking as a teenager, I’ve always drank to get drunk. Sure, I enjoyed the way a lot of it tasted but I was drinking for the effects. To feel happy, to feel numb. So, I drank until I was happy then I drank until I was numb and for the night, I felt better. Which is why I drank so often. I wanted those feelings as much as I could get them and that was the only way I ever felt good. Outwardly, I seemed mostly okay. As a teenager, I think a lot of people just assumed it was normal teenage angst bullshit. Normal growing pains. Just... normal shit most teens go through. I remember a few times saying I had issues and being told I didn't. That I was going through what everyone went through. I wanted to scream about how I doubted everyone laid in bed at night thinking of ways to die. I doubt everyone laid in bed at night, every night, crying. Crying because they were sad, hurting, felt alone and hated who they were. I doubt everyone took showers so hot that they're skin burned and turned red because they embraced being in pain because pain was easier to deal with then sadness, loneliness, self loathing and other things. I doubt everyone else abused Nyquil and other medications they found in the house so they could sleep or so they could feel better mentally and emotionally. And I doubt everyone else used razorblades and knives to cut their skin up because again, physical pain is easier to deal with. I still have some scars on my thighs and legs from some of the cuts I made when I was a teenager. I did them in places no one would see them because I didn't want attention from it. I just wanted the adrenaline rush that came first followed by the pain that came second.

Yeah, I wasn't going through normal shit but I didn't feel like I could ever tell anyone either. So after the first time I got drunk as a teenager, I found something better than causing myself pain to escape how miserable I felt. Sadly, I still cut until my very early twenties. I digress. I drank to feel good. I loved the burn of taking shots the best and never chased them with anything. Except maybe another shot. A little bit of pain along with the pleasant fuzziness that would soon follow with enough shots.

I started smoking weed as a teenager, too. It was just another way for me to feel better. I always felt content and relaxed when I was high. I didn't feel content or relaxed any other time. I used other drugs, too. I did ecstasy. I popped Xanax bars and other muscle relaxers and anti-depressants. I did cocaine. I drank. I got high. I did anything to feel better.

Then, it got to a point where I could do all the drugs I wanted and drink until I was hammered and it still wasn't enough. That's when I was most afraid for myself. I was so reckless. I did some really stupid things. I just didn't care about myself. I thought about asking for help so many times. I cried and screamed. I sobbed and laid in the floor curled up like a little shaking ball of misery more nights than I care to remember. I just wanted to feel better but I just couldn't bring myself to ask for help. I was afraid that I'd be told I'd need it. I was afraid I'd get it and still not be able to fix whatever was wrong with me more.

I quit doing drugs after one night where I mixed too much shit together. After that night, one of my best friends at the time made me flush every ounce of weed I had. He made me get rid of the little bit of cocaine I had and all the pills, too. I cried and sobbed. I yelled at him. I punched him. He dealt with me acting like a brat for over an hour until I finally got rid of everything.

I kicked the drug habit but I kept drinking. And since I had gotten rid of doing drugs, I started drinking more. And more. And more. I could have 20 shots of something strong and still be standing. Still remember everything I'd done the next day. Not be hungover because I never get hangovers. I could drink dangerous amounts of liquor and then go home and pass out. Then do it again the next day.

People around me knew I had a problem. I knew I had a problem. Some people in my life reached out to me. There was a little intervention of sorts. I don't remember the point of that honestly other than getting me to acknowledge my drinking problem and getting me to acknowledge that I was miserable and loathed the person that I was. And that I was so very lost, confused and quite miserable. And that I often felt like the world would be a better place without me in it. Mission accomplished, I admitted all of that and probably more. I still didn't seek help, though I should have. I had other issues, too. I had PTSD from being in an armed robbery and refused to deal with any of that and hid in a bottle from that, too. I had a lot going on in my head and I tried to just drown it all with booze.

In July of 2009, I moved in with my boyfriend after having been together for 3 years already at that point. He put up with a lot from me. He helped me so much. I moved back home to Texas from California and I started really working on myself. I wanted to be happy. I had never truly been happy, not really. I'd go for days or weeks where I'd be fine or think I felt fine but I wasn't.

The turning point for me was going to a graduation ceremony. My boyfriend's friend was graduating the police academy. One of the officers at the ceremony gave the most amazing speech I've ever heard in my life. It was inspiring and I had to fight so hard not to sit there and bawl my eyes out. It was incredibly inspiring to me and at the same time, it was a huge slap in the face to get myself fixed. So, after that, I wrote down the things he had said that had touched me the most. I read them and used them. I started working through my issues. I started talking to my boyfriend more about some things. I started talking to a couple of my closest friends about things, too. I read a couple books and talked to a friend's aunt a few times because she's a therapist. I couldn't see her professionally because I didn't have the money to. She talked to me plenty of times and helped me figure out the ways to work out a few things I needed to. The rest, I figured out myself.

In the last year, I've
worked a lot of shit out, made changes, done things differently and overall? It hasn't been easy and at times, I've wanted to just give in and go crawl back into a bottle. Or go grab a knife from the kitchen and cut into my skin. I wouldn't give in to anything. I was determined I'd get over my shit and get on with life and be happy about it dammit, lol. And, I did. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life right now.

I can drink now just because I enjoy the taste of something or just because I want to have a few drinks. I don’t drink for the effects getting drunk offered. I’m happy now without the aid of booze. About a year and a half ago, I'd want a drink to feel good but now? I don't want or need liquor to feel good. I don’t ever feel so alone or sad or desperate that I want to drink to feel good and then keep drinking until I just feel numb. Now, I can have a few drinks and feel good because I enjoy a good drink. I can have a few drinks without having 12 or more. I can get a pleasant buzz going and just enjoy that. I don't feel the need, the desperation, to drink and drink until I feel happy and then numb. I can just enjoy without going to that place. I can have a drink and be okay because I’m not using alcohol to escape and feel better for a night. And that's all it was; a temporary escape for a few hours. No substance I abused and no method of physical pain did anything but give me a distraction, an escape. It was only temporary and I hid within all of those distractions for far too long.

I'm proud of myself for being able to have the strength to do what I needed to do. I'm still working on some issues I have. Hell, who doesn't have some shit they need to work through honestly? It's nothing too major, though. I'm getting myself on track and doing what I need to do to have the kind of life I want to have. It's not always easy but I just tell myself every damn day I start to doubt myself that it will be worth it. That I can do it and that I just need to believe in myself.

Happy Tuesday.


Janie said...

I'm proud of you as well, it's not everyone who has the strength to go through all that and to talk about it so honestly as well. You are a fantastic person and I am glad that you are finding happiness :)


hello haha narf said...

i don't really know what to say, but i just wanted you to know that some stranger out here in the middle of the internet is incredibly thankful that you aren't hurting yourself anymore. yay for happiness!

wishing you all the best,


phairhead said...

Yr an incredibly brave & honest woman. Congratulations on yr sobriety

Sheen V said...

Congratulations! As the graduation speech inspired you, your post will inspire others. Awesome!

Smyles said...

I am so happy for you, and so proud that you are able to talk so frankly about your past. I know this helps not only you, but so many other people. I'm smiling for you today!!! :)


f1trey said...

cool.... :) I love it when someone shakes the shit!

Sophia Walker said...

Great post, I commend you on your honesty and openess about something so personal.

I recently quit drinking entirely, I just wasn't enjoying it any more. I'm so glad I did.

hamachi15 said...

Great things.

Shumpy said...

So do you still have what the guy in the speech said written down? If so, what did you keep?

viemoira said...

What a great post! Lots of feelings and actions I can relate to. In my experience I feel the thoughts of regression will always haunt me- its important to remain strong and never forget where you came from and how much better the quality of life is *now*. :)