Category Archives: opiates

Judgmental? Party of ONE???

Irony.

It comes in many forms.  Today’s lesson is brought to you by the letter “J” for judgmental. Let me set the scenario up for you.  Actually, lets let Facebook set it up for you, because I am too lazy to do anything but cut and paste.

CP:   Finally got around to doing my instructor evaluation for my humanities professor. I wonder how many times you can say “cock-sucker” before it is deemed socially unacceptable?

Insert various “tee hee” and “Oh, CP you are so funny” comments here. 

Random Friend:  Haha is that Professor Butterfly?


CP:  No, not Butterfly.  Buttefly is AWESOME. I love him. NO, this was S********. Douche canoe. I hate the fucker. I just wrote him an email containing the phrase, “Congratulations. In 20 years of higher education resulting in three degrees, I can honestly say that you are, by far, the worst professor I have ever had in the duration of my scholastic career.”   It felt SO good to say that to him. And I’m not even done with his class!!! LOL So it’s not like I was being passive/aggressive “let me say something shitty because I am never going to see you again.” Not my style. LOL

Now.  Was this a mean-spirited post?  Certainly it was.  I was angry as I have a right to be (explanation coming up) because this man has made my life a living hell for the past couple of weeks.  Besides, am I not entitled to use my Facebook wall to vent my frustrations on?  It IS my wall, after all and while my blog would have been completely suitable, I have not been well enough to sit at the computer for an extended period to make a blog post.  However, to appease my friend, the Angry Greek Goddess, who simply feels the need to know every detail every single time CP loses a few brain cells to the whimsy of her 700 Facebook friends, I am complying with her wish for me to blog this.  Also, she totally accused me of NOT blogging it because I would find “something shiny” that would distract me.  Hence, she will never get a glimpse into the world of Angry CP. 

Suck on that, Greek Goddess.  Posted! In your face, Bitch! 

Anyway, so I’m sitting on line, playing Sorority Life because they have all the good clothes, money, boyfriends and cars and I just have well, okay, the good clothes, money and car.  I also have a husband.  None of those bitches do…so they can suck it too.  All of a sudden, a little notification pops up.  I Haz Da Emailz! Yay!  So I clickity click on my email and I am greeted by THIS letter (unedited except for names redacted):

Random Judgmental Person:  April 14 at 7:35pm

Subject:  your actions.

you may not like what i have to say, however sometimes the truth hurts.

in order to get that albatrose of your back, you must get busy looking at you……not others.
bragging and boasting, even if it is your page, is the ego at work proving that you are so much better than your professor, or whomever else you tell off….
it’s like doing good things for others
do em and then, just be quiet about them…. thats where the gifts, miracles, humilty come from….

i adore you, CP and know you are a good woman.
however your motive and intention WAS TO HURT this teacher, and now you publicly mock him, like a grade school girl.
this really is not how you would like to be treated, is it? even if it were possible that he or she may have “deserved” it…..
no, CP, ….no one wishes to be treated cruely rudely or inhumanely, physically or verbally.

there are other ways to get ones point across that will not be so hurtful, vindictive and smearlike.
i understand it is awesome to be a stand up woman such as yourself…very empowering and attractive. take no crap, but at who’s expense?. squashing people like roaches just because they do not rise up to your standards is not a moral way to live……again, not the way God wishes and hopes for your to live….
Love is always the answer, not hate. No matter what.

I am not judging you, I am however attempting to guide you along in a fashion that allows you, Miss CP goddess herself…………… to think and act instead of not think and react….to have humility and grace, while still take no shit…..
if you choose to keep on with you alone, no mtgs, sponsor or step work and not look really deep inside at YOUR motives…..with being able to admit your faults to another human being, and to make amends……you will no doubt, mark my words, use again. and that would pain me so. It has been proven time and time again that this is the case…….I know I choose not to go that route. It’s a lonely bitter ugly long hard road to hell.

I love you, adore you and pray that you can slow down just for a few moments and see the real deal. I live it every day. I am far from perfect…..I fuck up often, however i do my darndest to not hurt, mame, or smear anyone at all, even if I want to…because it just is wrong.
Love love love u
Random Judgmental Person.



What. The. Fuck?

Now, ya’ll know me.  I am a fire tongued she-devil.  However, I pride myself on the fact that I can take it as well as I can dish it.  I have NO problem whatsoever with her wanting to speak her version of “truth” to me.  I honestly have no problem with anyone who feels the need to point out my various and sundry flaws.  I know they are plentiful and I could probably write the list more accurately than any one.  What I did absolutely find myself livid at was this: 

“…if you choose to keep on with you alone, no mtgs, sponsor or step work and not look really deep inside at YOUR motives…..with being able to admit your faults to another human being, and to make amends……you will no doubt, mark my words, use again.”

Did you just seriously use my SOBRIETY against me?  Did you, you former alcoholic recovering addict AA Nazi, just actually say that if I continued on my “bitter, ugly, long hard road to hell”, I will return to my 25 pill a day drug habit that nearly killed me, destroyed my life and the lives of others.  Did you really just go THERE to make your point?  Wow.  Really?  After some well placed snark on my FB wall while I was contemplating what to say to Ms. Judgey McJudgerson, I came up with the following, thoughtful albeit restrained commentary.  I will refer to her as “RJ” throughout the remainder of this blogpost:

Certifiable Princess:  April 14 at 7:49pm 
 
You are totally judging me, RJ…as you have no clue how this man has made my life a living hell for the past two weeks. Do you know that I have been flat on my back with a broken back? Yes, broken vertebrae in my back. And while all my other professors have done everything they possibly could do to make sure that I maintain my GPA and do not have to drop out of my classes in order to graduate on time, this man has not answered my emails, has REQUIRED my presence in his classroom despite my inability to walk let alone drive, has insulted me, humiliated me by pointing out that “due to one students needs, I will have to change the date of the final exam” and made it virtually impossible for me to be able to complete his coursework.

Because of him, I am losing an ENTIRE semester of school, as I now have to retake the class over the summer in an advanced curriculum setting and my GPA that I have worked brutally hard to maintain for 2 years had just gotten shot to shit. So yes, you ARE judging me…because you are making a statement as to why I was “cruel” or “rude” to someone who has given me nothing but disrespect despite all my best intentions.

I’m sorry, RJ…but your letter was completely out of line. People who are here with me, on a daily basis, in my REAL life know what this man has put me through and all the heartache, tears and headaches…not to mention PHYSICAL pain he has caused me. What I wrote to him, in the grand scheme of things, was actually POLITE with all things considered.

So yes, you are judging…and you have succeeded in making ME feel badly about something I have a RIGHT to be angry about. And, in essence…you just did to me exactly what you told me not to do to someone else. Just because you prefaced it with “you may not like this” and threw in a couple of “i love and adore you” statements doesn’t make what you wrote any less hurtful.

Incidentally, this:  “…squashing people like roaches just because THEY DO NOT RISE UP TO YOUR STANDARDS is not a moral way to live.”

Yeah.  You may want to practice what you are preaching, Sister RJ. 

 
Restrained?  Bet your ass it was.  What I really wanted to say was “Hello, Hypocrite” followed by a few well placed “douche canoes” and “feel free to jackhammer my chocolate starfish with your tongue, you fuckwad.”  However, in the interest of continued friendship, I refrained.  This person is not a bad person. In fact, I like her a great deal.  She is/has been normally very supportive in my struggles for sobriety over the past year so this letter sort of struck me as “odd” coming from someone who is usually very thoughtful and measures her words with care.  Truly, if I were a weaker person, this letter might have had me sobbing with the fear that I am indeed on the path to hell and frightfully worried that I may, in fact, return to using because I have failed to live up to the standards of someone who I know has been a sponsor and mentor to many a reformed alcoholic.  Actually, it would make me feel like a complete and utter failure.  
So, good thing that I am “ Miss CP goddess herself” and “a good woman” who is both “empowered and attractive“, or I just might fall to the floor in a crumbled mass of humiliation and despair before dressing and accessorizing appropriately for my journey on the “lonely bitter ugly long hard road to hell.”
I mean, just because you are going to HELL does not give you an excuse to look anything less than exceptional.  Also, don’t wear red…because it is always rude to wear the same color as your host.  It’s like wearing white to a wedding. You just don’t do it. 

By the way, do you think there are rest stops along that lonely bitter ugly long hard road?  A girl may want to freshen up just a bit before entering.  Can someone get back to me about that?

Anyway, what really struck me was the irony of the entire thing.  I mean, you are writing me a letter about being unkind and judging others who do not meet my standards, in a letter where you are unkind, judgmental and feel the need to point out that I, obviously, do not live up to your standards.  
And oh!  The hits keep coming, Folks! Because, as I was sitting here blogging this little nugget of joy, a brand new reply to my reply appeared!  I am going to share share share it with you, right this very second! I am going to LIVE post it!  Before I even read it!  Before I even have a moment to think about it!  And of course, my reply will follow soon thereafter!  Isn’t this amazing!?  It’s like, totally an OMG moment in technology! It’s like you are peeking over my shoulder and into my little world! Tee Hee! Giggle giggle! This is such a slumber party moment!  Here’s the letter. Same rules. Unedited and only names redacted:
RJ:  April 14 at 11:26pm  

CP. People do not make people do or feel anything. Either they do what they do or feel what they feel stirctly because of themselves. Blame is not an option.

I am sorry and sad to hear that you continue to have pain in your back.
It saddens me to hear that this “gentleman” has mistreated you in public about a circumstance that you caould not change. Bad on him.

Have you or had you gone to his superiors? The Dean? did your other teachers go to him?…..
Bottom line is, that he probably, no make that by HIS action; definitely doesn’t care about you, or anyone else for that matter. His behavior is not tolerant and respectful, as is expected in the service and tenure of scholastics….from pre-k thru gad schooling.

However, his behavior does not allow for similar behavior. two wrongs do not make a right. It makes two wrongs. I had to learn this the hard way when I behaved as you did when I was the “victim”…

Thirty years later, I am now the victim in litigation with a lawyer and insurance company that lies beyond belief. They have deined my claim, twist the truth, and I am in appeal…I have no relief for my hands and must use them anyway, I am in constant intolerable pain 24/7, and cannot take anything for them….i have sleep apnea, migraines, brain fog and have just been diagnosed with severe liver disease. I have been in and out of the hospital and been pricked, prodded more than u can imagine. my veins roll and blood draws are excrucistingly painful…..did you know that? did you know that i am flat broke, i mean FLAT my car is on it’s last legs and if i don’t get some money somehow someway im in HUGE straits?????? I have no health insurance, get ALL my medical traetment for freee or close to it as an indigent person…..I get food stamps and am grateful for all my woes…..yet, I do not no matter what……get back or be vengeful to anyone, for a resentment is the number one offender…..it is the way to kill us addicts……we must…..let go of resentments and see what we can do to make a situation better, without motive.  (Editor note: This, my friends, is what is known in psychology as “deflection” or in legalese, a “red herring argument”.  In her attempt to apologize but yet, still cast blame, she is showing me that even in the throes of her own misery, she is STILL a good person.  Beyond reproach and I am not.  It is also an attempt to make me feel badly for coming back at her the way that I did.  You know, remind me that she has been through so much hell…so I really should take a lesson from her because after all, she knows better than I.)

I was not judging you CP…God does not judge. I am not God. No human power can replace God. Not even (insert my husbands name here)…..However God want us all to be loving and tolerant and forgiving of all including ourselves…
(Editor note:  God DOES judge.  Actually, he is the first documented hypocrite.  He judged the actions of Adam and Eve and continues to judge, for if you do not live by his standards, you too shall take that long, bumpy, lonely, dirty, filthy, chaotic descent into hell.  If he didn’t judge, heaven would be terribly overcrowded, don’t you think?)
He wants us to love all and love ourselves…..
Yes, you do have a right to be angry…..but ya don’t have to get even….eye for an eye means do unto others as you would have them do unto you…….many people misinterpret this……..

I do practice what I preach, and I fail often……if I have hurt you, and I again apologize, as the truth does hurt…someone had to type this very similar letter to me to show me where my motives were all messed up…..then know that it is thru working the 12 steps and traditions, and freeing myself of bitter resentments that i have been able to sdeal with life not as if look at what they did to me and screwed it all up….life is what it is…we can fight for whats right, but not at the expense of others…
I would report this joker to the State Board of Regents ASAP and ask for an IMMEDIATE review, and bring ALL your medical records…..
pray for peace in your heart…miracles DO happen all the time.
i love you..
RJ

And in the interest of full disclosure, I give to you, my reply without benefit of a proofread:


CP:  April 15 at 12:05am

RJ…with all due respect, if people do not “make” others “do or feel anything”, then really? Your original letter to me has not point or validity whatsoever. Your main point was that I was out to hurt and humiliate this man with the things I said. So, which is it? Can I cause him hurt with my words…or, because I turned the tables on YOU just now, are other people not responsible for the way you feel? You can’t have it both ways. Pick a team and play on it.

Your letter was rude. Straight up rude. Also, it was laden with unsolicited advice. Had I not been a stronger person, your letter just might have been responsible for putting a chink in my armor. I have turned to you in times of uncertainty and when I needed guidance because I knew you would never judge me; having “been there and done that”, you would surely understand where I was in my recovery and I knew I could trust you. However, the things that you said to me were degrading. You attempted to make me feel small, take me down a few notches and encouraged me to get my ego in check. Wow. I would expect better from someone who is a sponsor to so many recovering alcoholics and should know to approach someone early in their sobriety with gentleness and care. However, my sobriety is not in jeopardy, was never in jeopardy and I am far too strong to let a few words ever put me in the danger of hanging on that precipice ever again. But again, I suggest to you that a weaker person might have succumb to your suggestion about using again as the overall flavor of your letter was to make someone feel as if they failed not only in YOUR eyes, but in the eyes of God as well.

So, thank goodness for my healthy, strong ego, RJ. Had I not been in possession of it, you might have been what pushed me over the proverbial edge.

Also, please don’t use the phrase “the truth hurts”. It’s your truth. Not mine. You see the situation one way, I see it another. There is no “truth” where opinions are concerned. Your letter did not make me see the light or have some sort of breakthrough. Actually, all it did was serve to make me angry. I am entitled to my opinion of this professor and to express it to him. I did not use foul language. I did not call him names. I did not judge him as a professor on the whole. I simply told him what my experience with him was. Just as he felt he had the right to humiliate me in front of my classmates, I felt I had all the right in the world to let him know how his actions were hurtful to me in a physical and emotional way. I am a good and conscientious student. I am beyond thoughtful and courteous to all my professors and treat them all with a great deal of dignity. However, RJ, respect is something that is to be earned and despite all my courtesy and restraint with holding my tongue so as not to embarrass him in a public setting, he still felt it necessary to embarrass and humiliate me on more than one occasion. That was not me flexing my superiority muscles, RJ. That was me letting him know that his selfish behavior and lack of empathy has harmed me in many different capacities.

As for the rest of your letter, it is all extraneous. I am not going to do the tit for tat thing…making a list to see whose life is harder right now. Who is struggling with what demons. Who is rising up against what challenges. Your tales of woe are no different than any one else…and you are not trying to have a conversation with me about them as friends would. No, you are once again, trying to make a holier than thou point. All this stuff is going on with me and still, look at how gracious and wonderful I am in God’s eyes.

You are being extraordinarily judgmental of me right now, RJ . I am actually sitting here laughing and shaking my head at how terribly pious you are. Do you really want to compare laundry lists of whose going through what or who has been through what? And really, doing it to drive your point of “yet, I do not no matter what……get back or be vengeful to anyone”, so even in the throes of an apology, you are STILL being judgmental to me. LOL

Please. Just stop. The hypocrisy is absolutely strangling me.

Read your own words back to yourself: “we can fight for whats right, but not at the expense of others…” I just got done, in my last letter, telling you how hurtful your letter was but still, you felt the need to pile MORE of your guilt driven and shame filled hyperbole on me. You are now committing what I have tallied up to be your third contradiction. You are fighting to be right at MY expense now. You’re not right. This is not truth. This is an opinion and you are entitled to yours, certainly, but you are not entitled to continue this conversation with me if all you want to accomplish here is shaming me into good behavior.

If my Jewish mother couldn’t achieve that in 44 years of my life, I assure you, it ain’t going to work for you either.

Now, at this point, I suggest one of two things. We either A) Stay mature adults. Agree to disagree, drop the conversation because truly, it is really draining me emotionally and while I know you said no one is responsible for how you feel (more contradiction), right now, you are wholly responsible for irritating the fuck out of me while I am already in physical pain. or B) The immature route. We drop out of one and others lives. I will make some flippant, nasty facebook post about you and you, because you are a better person than I by far, will say nothing in order to keep yourself straight with God and not have to sit beside me on my “lonely bitter ugly long hard road to hell.”

I would probably have been much kinder if I had the assistance of pain killers to assuage some of the horrible pain I am feeling in my back before I answered you. However, because I do take my sobriety extremely seriously, I have not had the luxury of taking pain killers of any kind and of course, muscle relaxants on a broken bone is like putting a band aid on a bullet wound.

I will watch my facebook wall like a hawk. If you disappear, then I will consider that my answer was option B. If you choose to stay, however, I will assume that option A is what appealed to you and agree that we will not speak of this again and treat each other with the love, courtesy and respect that we always have.

Best to you.

So, there you have it.  Unlike this letter, I am welcoming your responses and replies.  If you feel I was wrong, then please, by all means, express that in the comments.  If you feel I was right to feel as I do, then please, feel free to smother me with accolades, praise, worship, erect a shrine in my honor.  Whatever you see fit.

As for me, I am hitting the couch. I have been terribly negligent towards my DVR and I can hear the “Real Housewives of New York City” ranting and raving, beckoning me to watch some REAL judgmental bitches in action.  Frankly, I feel my life is far more interesting and they should have a “Real Housewives of Tampa Bay” because even ONE of my Facebook posts would probably generate more ratings than all these housewives put together.  Because, face it, my life is just THAT amusing and secretly, I know you all really wish you could be me, if only for ten minutes, so you too can deal with the ridiculous nonsense that I have to deal with from people claiming to be my “friends”.

Side note to the Greek Goddess who insisted I blog this:  Yeah?  What now, Bitch?  Bring it!  LOL

Regards,
Miss CP, the almighty goddess herself, blogging live from my car on the long road to hell. 

Damn.  Hope I didn’t forget to pack the sunscreen.  *sigh*

Focus 52: "Green"

Yes.  I could write a St. Patrick’s Day post for this weeks Focus 52 prompt of “Green”.  That would be relatively easy.  Frankly, I don’t know much about the Irish. I know a lot of their names have an “O” followed by an apostrophe and then some other word.  I know that Irish eyes are sometimes smiling.  I know what “Irish twins” are.  I know what it means to have “the luck of the Irish” and, on the opposite hand,  I know what the “curse of the Irish” is due to some unfortunate dating choices in the 80’s.  I know that Bailey’s Irish Creme is some really good shit to dump into your coffee…or not.  And I know that St. Patty’s day is a day to wear green, run out into the street with a bottle in one hand while simultaneously puking on your friends shoes.  I get all of that. I admit, I don’t know much about St. Patty or why he is so legendary.  Is he a Leprechaun?  Are people always after his Lucky Charms? 

I would like to make a day like that for the Jews.  Like…St. Moses Day.  We can all wear blue and white, the colors of Israel, run around holding up a bottle of Manischevitz and flinging Matzoh at passing cars.  We can go around burning bushes and when the police show up, we can join each other in a merry chant of “Let My People Go.”

I’m not big into cultural and religious celebrations if you haven’t noticed.

So what does “green” mean to me?  It is not envy.  It is not easy being green. In fact, green is the color of my fear.  Green is the color of the worst period of my life.  For me, this is green:

Green is the color of my former addiction.  Those little green bottles that use to house those little white pills that used to ruin my life.  This picture that I took reminded me of how I felt when taking drugs.  Everything was blurry, black and white and then, when the magical green bottle would enter my hand, suddenly, color once more!  And the world would make sense again…at least it did, in my fucked up, addicted mind.

So why would I be thinking of little green pill bottles during a week of green celebration?  Because holidays that glorify drinking and addiction go hand in hand.  I admit, I am scared for my friends this weekend.  They are going out to party pretty hard.  Tonight, the world becomes Irish and everyone joins in the celebration.  People will drink, party, take pills, smoke weed, whatever so they can remember this as “The Best St. Patrick’s Day EVER!!!”

And I will hold my breath until Monday, praying that none of my friends die this weekend.

If you are celebrating this weekend, please…do so in moderation.  Be careful of what you ingest and how much you ingest.  Alcohol poisoning can kill you.  A combination of pills and alcohol can kill you.  If you have to “go green” this weekend, smoke some weed and stay home and giggle at the movie “Leprechaun: 3D” but please, above all…stay safe.

Because I love you.  Because I care.

And because I want to see your smiling Irish eyes for a long time to come.

600th post! Day 3 – Forgive myself.


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.

Long time gone…

I haven’t written in here since May. I said I was going to take June, July and August away from writing. I’ve missed it and while I have had a lot to say, the words were escaping me. It seems my inner voice has been a bit battered as of late. I wanted to write on September 11th, the way I always do. I couldn’t. I couldn’t even bring myself to honor the people lost on that day because I have been utterly swallowed by my depression lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had reasons to laugh in the past three months. Lots of reasons. There were a lot of fantastic things that happened over the summer. There were also horrible things, like my trip to Israel. There was pain, rejection, loss of connection and the annual celebration of the day I was torn via C-section from Esther’s pristine uterus.

44 years old. Happy birthday to me. Another day closer to death. The way I figure it, I am probably halfway to dead by now. If the average woman lives until 88 years of age, I am dangling on the halfway point this year. I did a quick assessment to see if I am anywhere near where I wanted to be at this age. The answer was a resounding…perhaps.

I’m a grandmother to two beautiful babies. I am married to the most amazing man to roam the earth since Christ himself…if you believe in that shit. My children are thriving in their lives. My daughter is happily married and a fantastic mother to those to babies I mentioned. My son just started his first year of high school at a brand new school and loves it. I am on decent terms with Esther. My dad is well, not healthy, but well enough for now. So those things are amazing and incredible and perfect.

But where am I? I’m not really any where. I am clean of my drug addiction for well over a year now. I gave up my nursing license and now, in retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I realized how miserable nursing made me and how it contributed to my depression. Whoever tells you that nurses get to help and heal patients, well, they obviously never worked in long term care. You don’t get to do any of those things. You get to shove pills into their incoherent slack-jawed mouths and then onto the next. There is no comfort. There is no care. There is no time to sit at a bedside holding a hand. All that bullshit you see on soap operas…it’s a fantasy. A fairytale that surrounds the beautiful myth of the nurse. At least it is in that setting.

So, back to school I went. Off to get my degree in Social Work. I decided I want to go for my Masters in Social Work and Human Services. Why? Because I need to hold that hand. I need to bring that comfort. I need to smile into pained and troubled faces. It does them good. Selfishly, it does me good. I decided that I am going to be an interventionist and work with addicts. Does it scare me? Definitely. I am scared shit to be around those who are using actively again…but now that I have been there and by the blessing of my Higher Power, found my way back…I feel this is the path I am destined to walk.

I love being in school because it is something I am good at. I am an “A” student, a perfect 4.0 GPA. The professors love me, they always embrace the returning adult students more than the new, fresh out of high school kids. They know we care a lot more and are a bit more hard pressed for time. There is no room for us to fail. We don’t have the opportunity to fail because we don’t have the time. The money. The lack of desire. Our grown up hearts are on fire to do something, anything relevant with the time we have left, however much that might be.

The way I figure it, I will walk out with my degree in 2 more years from now. 46 years old. Still enough time to begin a life, still enough time to put in about 30 years worth of employment.

I ain’t quite dead yet.

But in the interim, I am suffering. I have stopped taking all my psych meds. I just don’t want anything to do with them any more. And, it has its good moments and bad ones. I don’t feel fucked in the head any more. I have my memory back. My sense of humor has returned and it is whip cracking sharp the way it used to be. On the flip side, I cry at the drop of a hat. I fall into depressions very easily. And, my old friend insomnia has returned to fight me nightly. And while the bottles of Cymbalta, Lamictal, Buspar, Xanax, Geodon, Ativan, Klonopin and Trazodone all look tempting…I mainly find myself having staring contests with them. They dare me to open them and to indulge. And the temptation is always there. But, I don’t. I could. Nothing wrong with taking one now and again when needed, but I feel like one will be death of me. Just one pill will open up a can of worms for me. I can’t revisit the days of bottle dependency.

I keep them all over the house. Some on my desk. A few in my purse. More on my bedroom dresser. They stare at me and say, c’mon CP, let us take the edge off. And me, I scoff and say “no, let me empower myself, dammit”. “But you have a disease,” they retort. “You need us.” And that may very well be, but I want to try to go this alone. I want to feel like myself at every possible moment I can, however fleeting it might be. For those few hours, life is so perfect.

Then, the depression comes back, wraps me up in its itchy wool blanket and says, “No, no Dear. You don’t get to make the decisions around here. We do. Me…me and all your pills. Come down the rabbit hole, CP. It’s not that long of a drop.”

But it is. I’ve taken the trip before. For the five minutes I jump into the deep end, it requires a lot of swimming to get out of the murky waters again and I simply don’t have the energy to do it over and over again.

I’ll probably be writing more frequently now, but not daily. Just when I need to…like in the beginning. And tonight, I needed this to be here, like an old friend with open arms letting me fall into them and just cry. Let it all out, rubbing my hair til I fall mercifully asleep.

I need this.

One year…Sober.

A quick glance at the calendar told me everything I need to see.

One year clean and sober.

I cannot believe it has been two years since I blogged about losing my job because of my addiction to drugs, namely opiates. That first year was horrible. The inability to put down the drugs, the multiple withdrawals every single time I tried. Losing friends. Losing family members. And of course…almost losing my life.

This past year, since the day I said “no more”, has been the most incredible year of my life. I celebrated by going back to my drug counselor to visit him. I had not seen him since November of last year. I was doing fine on my own and while I had every intention in the world of continuing to go back after formal classes were over, well, life just got in the way. Thanksgiving came and went. Then Christmas. The birth of my grandson in January. February was hectic. March was visits from family. April was filled with excursions and trips with my husband.

Finally, May. And it was time.

I bought him an “Angel” plant and a card detailing how often I think of him and how I give him so much credit for saving my life. He spent so much time with me over those months. He let me come in for private sessions when I needed to without charging me. He made himself available by phone any time I needed him.

When I came into class tonight, he teared up. He greeted me with the warmest hug. He had me sit next to him at the front of his new class, a group of addicts I had never seen before. Each of them was exactly where I was a year ago. You could see the pain, anguish and sorrow in each of their faces. Stories on women who lost their children because of their addiction. Men who lost their jobs and the ability to support themselves and their families. Mothers, grieving mothers, who were at the end of their ropes sitting alongside their precious babies who were so heavily addicted they could barely keep their eyes open.

I empathized with each of them in my own way.

Finally, toward the middle of class, Tom says, “Does anyone want to know who this lady is sitting to the right of me?”

A young lady named Jessica spoke up. “Yeah, I do. Why are you here,” she said to me. “You don’t look like you have any issues.”

You don’t look like you have any issues. My heart absolutely soared hearing that. Translation? I no longer look like a drug addict. I had my life back and apparently, you could see that in my appearance.

He had me share my story about my addiction to opiates, how I lost my job from stealing pain meds on the job. He had me talk about all the deceit and lies that I told in order to get more meds from the various doctors that I knew. All of it…out on the table and in front of an enraptured audience.

“So why are you here now,” she asked.

“Because today, today I am clean for one full year…and I couldn’t fathom being anywhere else but alongside the man who saved my life.”

Tom took my hand. I cried. He cried. The moms in the room cried and hugged their kids.

“It can be done,” I told them. “Patience, faith, hope, God…and Tom.”

We talked about other subjects. I listened to them, all the stories so familiar. I found myself nodding my head quite a bit. I relate. I understood. I get it. I was there.

And by the grace of God, I am not there any more.

I told Tom I was heading back to college in the fall, driving towards my Masters degree in Social Work and getting licensed as an Addiction Counseling Specialist. He was beaming like a proud father.

“You know I will be hitting you up for an internship,” I said.

“We need you here, CP. There will always be a place for you here,” he replied.

I gave him and some members of the group hugs as we disbanded. One mom came up to me. She gave me a hug. She touched my cheek.

“I just wanted to say, God Bless you. I think my daughter really heard you. She won’t open up to me. I’m just her mom. But I think she really related to you.”

I wrote down my phone number and handed it to her daughter.

“If you feel like you are going to use. If you feel like you are climbing the walls from withdrawals. If you are up at 3am pacing the floors and don’t know what to do with yourself…you CALL me. Day or night. I don’t care what time it is. I will be there for you to talk to. We can work through it together. You don’t need to use. You are 17. You have your whole life ahead of you. One day, you’ll be someones mom, wife…and this will all be just a blip on the radar of your life. You can do this.”

She hugged me and thanked me, her sad, tired green eyes were brimming with tears.

“I’ll call you,” she said.

The empty words of the addict. I understand that. I will probably never hear from her…but I know she will carry that number with her, perhaps put it on her bedside table. She’ll look at it every once in awhile and remember that someone made it through. And that gesture alone might keep her off the pipe for at least one more night.

I left there feeling lifted by God. I got in my truck and drove home with my heart lighter. A full year. An amazing year. A gift. Every single day is a gift. I know and appreciate that now…

and I will never, ever look back.