BY: Marc McMahon
I tell you what a week that was, holy smokes. I think I literally spent more time trying to fall asleep this past 7 days than actually sleeping and that's not too far from the truth. I was so tired this past four days that it made me nauseous, my head hurt, had no interest in doing anything or even eating much, I was run down so bad. It is beyond the most frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with on a daily basis. But enough of that, I want to share a couple other things with you instead.
I was sitting in an outpatient treatment group yesterday and the topic was trying to find healthy coping skills for dealing with the guilt and shame of our drug use. For not being there for our families, or for anybody but ourselves for that matter. I watched a couple of the new clients struggle with this topic to the point of tears and discuss how they both almost went back out and got high over the weekend behind those feelings.
It caused me to begin to think about the whole situation a bit and I thought ya know, we mourn our addiction when we get clean because it's like we're losing a best friend. A very abusive best friend, but needless to say the one friend who never told us we should quit using. We mourn the loss of all the loved ones who have backed away from us and our unstableness due to our addiction. And we mourn the loss of our friends, even though they aren't really our friends, well, unless our bag of dope is bigger than theirs, or bottle fuller (just saying.)
I never really looked at it from this angle before but recovery is as much about gain as it is about the loss! We lose all that we had been accustomed to and for many of us that is years worth of a certain lifestyle and type of people we had grown accustomed to. To begin down a path that either many of us have never been on before. Or are returning to because we did not succeed the first time or the tenth time.
A path that for many is painful and uncomfortable, and causes us to deal with many of the feelings and emotions we are using drugs or alcohol to try and numb. I know for myself that often times when I experienced the loss of something I held close to me. Whether it was good or bad, in order for me to get over it, to find closure, I had to go through a process of grief and loss. A time of mourning if you will.
As I reviewed my many experiences at different treatment centers, both inpatient and out. I began to see what could possibly be a missing link or one that is not paid enough attention to anyways. We write good-bye letters to our drug of choice as part of our treatment program and that helps us to begin to find some closure with that issue but what about the rest?
What about all the other loss that goes along with it, the friends, the lifestyle, loved ones and most importantly the loss of self. Shouldn't those areas be dealt with just as carefully and with as much concern as mourning the loss of our D.O.C? Should we not at least write a goodbye letter to the self we are as addicts, and tell that unhealthy but all too familiar person good-bye as well. Leaving the welcome mat out for the person we really are to come in?
I wonder what a letter like that might look like if I wrote one? I wonder what sober me would have to say to the addicted me? Well, why don't we find out here?
Note To Self
Where do I even begin, first of all, Fuck You! You are as selfish of a person as I have ever met, ever! You think you have everything figured out and that you can get away with anything, and that it will be o.k. if you just smile cute enough when someone confronts you on your bullshit. It makes me sick, and hell no, we will never be friends, never I am trying to get people like you out of my life forever. You bastard I am not sure exactly how it is I am going to totally forgive you, shit you tried to kill me, man, more than once and you want to be forgiven? Now that is what I call a tall order.
I have always been pretty good at forgiving people who wronged me in the past, everyone but you that is. I have been pretty good at not holding grudges or hating people who have wronged me, except for you and you know what, it is getting me nowhere. I have put a lot of thought into what I was going to say to you when it came time for this talk, but I recently just figured out what it is that I am going to do about it. Since I can't put your punk ass up for adoption, and believe me if I could you would have been long gone already.
I am going to do this. Marc, I want you to know that from this point forward I am wiping the slate clean between you and I. I am now going to call you my friend again, a troubled one, but a friend none the less. I want you to know that I forgive you for everything because I know now that it is not the person you want to be either. I know now that you really are fighting a monster that no one has figured out how to kill yet. I know now that if you could do it all over again that you would try your best to make sure things turned out differently.
knowing that, and knowing that having this internal love-hate relationship is unhealthy for us I offer you my forgiveness! I offer you my love, and I offer you my hand dear friend so that this time we can do this together. So that this time you won't have to fight alone, and so this time if you do get knocked back down again, there will be somebody there to pick you back up! You're no longer alone and I'll never turn my back on you again, be blessed, my friend.
About the Author: Marc is a 48 yr. old Author, speaker, and soldier against the disease of addiction. He resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Marc’s hobbies include writing, Mt. biking, hiking, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Marc is also the proud father, of one very outstanding young man. As Marc always likes to say “Be blessed, my friends.”