“People are like onions. Everytime you think you know something about them, you discover another layer underneath.”
I am fairly open, I am aware that the only way people are going to understand various things is to have people speak out about them; be the face of them.
I am fine being the face of things; I proudly wear my labels as an ACOA, rape/incest survivor, special needs parent, non-traditional student, and self-injurious. But, I have spent years hiding, pretty well denying, a label that I should be wearing. It’s a label that gives me butterflies as I sit here getting ready to type it.
I am, in no uncertain terms, an addict. Yet, when asked what I am the face of or talking about me and my past I never use that term. In fact, I often comment on how my family has history (a strong history of) addiction, I just fail to mention I am part of that history.
But, I can’t hide it any longer. And I am not even sure why I hide it; I mean I know why, I am scared of what people will think and say. But, why? I am not ashamed or worried about anything else in my past (which a lot of the dumb things I chose to do occurred or were a result of not being sober).
I spent much of my youth from about 14-15 using pain meds and alcohol. I mean pain meds were easy to get, I was an active kid who was prone to injury, I often went to the doc for an injury and they would write me a script. While I took them “as prescribed” I would take them too long (when I actually no longer needed them), I would find away to get different meds so I could “alternate” and maintain the high longer. I would toss in alcohol when I could (my parents were pretty open about/to it). (DISCLAIMER (I told you I need to reread this): My parents were open about alcohol, that it wasn’t taboo, my parents didn’t know about a lot of the drinking that occurred nor the extent to which it happened).
It made me numb, I made dumb decisions on it. I hurt myself and others, but I still doubt that many people of my youth realize what I was doing. After all most addicts are good at manipulating the situation.
Yet, still this label has been one I denied and disowned which in the long run did as much harm to me and my psyche as if I had denied my own left arm. Because this label, being an addict, is as much a part of me as my left arm.
What baffles me is when a friend slips or enters recovery I am the first to be there, but never saying a word about my issues, I offer to go to meetings and have a “safe space” at my home. All the while biting my tongue and not finding the camaraderie I could have, should have.
So, what brought me to the point of revealing this layer? Well, I slipped and fell, HARD, this week. We have been having lots of struggles, mostly financial, and this isn’t an excuse just a telling of the events. I ran out of coping skills, ultimately that is what happened, I ran out of fucking coping skills.
I started popping again, finding a way to take either vicodin or oxy every hour. Never letting my feet touch the ground, so to speak, for about a week. I would pull into work and start calculating when I could leave and get home to take another pill. I would take a pill and immediately look at the clock and figure out when I could take another. This whole time rationalizing that I was “taking it as prescribed.” (technically I wasn’t taking any more pills than what the bottle said, never mind I wasn’t in pain).
I finally told hubby 2 nights ago, I snuck a pill in yesterday morning, then he made them disappear (honestly, I wasn’t here so I have no idea about the disappearance–other than I asked him to get them someplace I don’t know of) and bought me pomegranate juice (I love pomegranate juice). I still have been holding close to my secret.
Ultimately I chose to peel open this layer because I can no longer be silent, because the silence is killing me it’s allowing my illness to fester and then allows it to be fed. And I know that’s not ok. I need a support network more now then ever, one that I know “in person” doesn’t exist but one that I know I have here “online” and far away.
I know many of my friends will recoil, wondering how it could be, I don’t know how or why I just know it is. I just know I can’t go on denying such a huge part of me. I need to find the fellowship, I need to be able to reach out when I am falling down that black hole. I need help figuring out what this means for me, my life, and how this slip is going to color my world from now on.