45 days clean

Well, It’s been 9 days since my discharge from Homewood. I wanted to write sooner but I needed some time to just be home and process everything that I’ve been through over the past few months.

Overall, things have been really well. My outlook on life has changed which I guess was the whole point of  the hospitalization. So in that aspect things went according to plan. I know with depression, moods and outlooks can change quickly and without warning but so far,… I’ve been feeling quite good.  I seem to have levelled off nicely and that hasn’t been the case for me in years. But not only is it early days yet,… I have also had a lot of support from my brother and sister-in-law. Their care and concern have given me a level of accountability. I strive to achieve wellness because I would hate to let them down. Of course that’s not the only reason I want to get and stay well but at the moment that’s whats driving me. And if that’s whats working for me then I’m going to accept it.  Hopefully as I get more time under my belt I will gain more confidence in myself and that will be what keeps me going. I think it’s all just going to take a lot of time and patience.

My sobriety (as they like to call it in the hospital) has been excellent. I have been completely detoxed off of all the drugs I had been taking for years and years. (prescribed and otherwise)  I won’t lie and say I haven’t been craving that“zone out so don’t have to deal” feeling  (In treatment we call this “jonesing”) but so far I have resisted. This actually happens a LOT more than I ever anticipated it would. Many, many times a day. But I am determined to follow all the advice I have been given and the most important one is to NEVER take anything not prescribed (that goes for upping dosages too) and stay away from recreational drugs and alcohol. (ok I have had one or two drinks but alcohol isn’t my issue at all so it has never been a problem) I am actually kind of proud of myself for being so good and not “falling off the wagon”. I know its early days yet but today I can say that I have been 45 days sober/clean. To an addict that is a huge feat indeed. In fact, for years and years I didn’t even admit that I was an addict. How could a white, middle-class Mother of two be a drug addict? (doesn’t that sound so,… dirty??) Afterall, everything I took was prescription ~ right? It wasn’t until I got into treatment that they told me it didn’t matter. I abused medication horribly so that made me an addict. And OK,… I admit I sometimes, although rarely, bought my fix off the street, so yes,… I guess I have to come clean and admit that I was/am an addict. I’m not letting my past doctors off the hook though. They were still responsible for prescribing me so many meds and in such large doses. I have now learned that just because I asked them to, doesn’t mean it was right for them to have given them to me. But,… I am not blaming them,… I, and I alone, am responsible for what I put in my body.

So that was the biggest and most important change in my life. But there have been other things too. My sleeping habits. I’m still working on that. I still feel like my “natural’ clock is different from everyone elses. I struggle with my sleeping schedule all the time. I think the answer to this is going to be to get a job working the swing shift again. Those hours ( 5:00pm until 2:00am) were ideal for me.  I am just a night owl. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I just  “Don’t do mornings!!”   End of,…. But just for the sake of everyone telling me I need to change, I have tried,… I try to be in bed by 11:00 every night (but usually ends up being about 1’ish) and then I force myself to get up at 8 or 9 the next morning ~ which is SO hard but I try anyway. Some mornings I do and others, well,.. it’s 10 or 11,….  I think I will always struggle with this issue.

My agoraphobia? I don’t go outside nearly as often as “normal” people probably do, but I  have accomplished so much in therapy with this one. It doesn’t bother me at all to be outside of my apartment anymore. (except maybe in a large crowd) I go shopping and out for walks and to my groups and therapies at the hospital, etc,..   But I still crave a lot of “alone” time. I still don’t like to socialize with people a lot. I’m just not there yet. But I hope to be.

So if I’m to look at how I am today as opposed to how I was two months ago,… I would have to say I’m doing well. I’m very aware that even though I’ve worked hard to get where I am, all of the outside problems and demons that put me where I was in the first place, will still be there roaring their ugly heads and I know I will still have to cope with them. So I realize I still have a long way to go yet, but at least now I want to get better. I look forward to starting to live again. I’m starting to enjoy things that I haven’t bothered with in a very long time. My legs are still a bit  “Bambi~wobbly”  but at least I’m  taking the steps. I guess only time will tell from here on in.

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