The thing I need to forgive myself for, well, I believe I have nearly achieved that. My drug addiction. The way it threw my entire family off kilter. The way it effected their lives, my life. The fact that I haven’t fully recuperated from the post traumatic stress that comes along with being a recovering addict. I did this on my own. No country club rehab facility. I laid on a couch for nine long days, near death, punishing myself for what I had done to myself. I suffered purposely, to make each moment an agonizing one. I wanted to feel every ache, every pain, every cramp. I wanted to choke on my own vomit. I wanted my head to feel like it was going to implode. I wanted to bleed out of my eyes and ears. I prayed for a heart attack to shut me down for good, the pain…both emotional and physical were unbearable.
But I chose to feel it. I chose to go through it without the benefit of the hospital so I would never, ever forget what the pain of addiction did to me, to my family, to my friends, to my career. God was incapable of punishing me more than I was punishing myself.
Even now, I find myself dwelling on the fact that I lost nearly two full years of my life, first to addiction and then, to my subsequent recovery.
I need to grant myself the ability to look in the mirror, 1 year and four sober months later and say “You did good, kid”. I need to be brave enough to walk outside, knowing full well that I disgraced myself as a nurse…but that doesn’t mean I have to give up my life. I sinned. I atoned. That should be enough. Enough for everyone…but most of all, enough for me.
I need to allow myself to start living again. Forgiveness is coming easily.
It is forgetting that’s a bitch.