Friday, July 15, 2016

An Apple A Day


I’m an addict. This is not news to many of you. I’ve been chemically sober from cocaine for close to twenty-five years, but I’ve only been emotionally sober for a little over four years. That’s a big gap. It happened because I was clueless that I even needed to be emotionally sober.

I was mostly happy on the outside. Good job. Great kids. But my relationships never seemed to fulfill me. I didn’t know I wasn’t happy with myself. I had some major issues to resolve that stemmed from childhood trauma that I swept under the rug…numbed with drugs…then swept under the rug again…and I needed to deal with them.

It wasn’t until my husband’s sex addiction disclosure that all that childhood trauma came back, along with the Relational Trauma, that forced me to look myself in the mirror and say, “It’s time to do something about the inner chaos you’re ignoring.” Or, maybe at that point, I was blaming it all on the PTSD. But by then, those symptoms had started to abate. I wasn’t fighting them on a daily basis anymore.

It wasn’t fair to blame my husband or his addiction for my lack of action in fixing me and the trauma that happened to me. Yes, he was partly to blame, but what was I going to do? Blame him forever for it? He couldn’t repair me. Only I do that. He couldn’t give me what I wanted. I wanted peace. I wanted serenity.

I started to work my S-Anon program. I made a promise to myself, one that I still keep today. I do at least one thing each and every day that’s recovery related. Just like an apple a day keeps the doctor away. One recovery thing a day keeps slips away. (Don't care if it's drugs or hypervigilance!) It wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning because I was still focused on my husband’s recovery and what he was up to. Not to mention, I still had the responsibilities of kids, work, and a home, but I made the time. I found the more I worked on me, the less concerned I was with him.

There are days it takes work, lots of work, to do even just one thing in my recovery. Other days, I can dedicate several hours to reading, writing, sponsoring, volunteering, etc., but as long as I know I’ve done something, rather than nothing, I feel good that I’m not headed into a place of stagnation and complacency.

And some of you know, I’m in handful of programs, cause one just ain’t enough for this gal, so it makes it easier to choose from several different options each day.

Is there something you do everyday to stay on top of your game?

(Scheduling note: I'm taking next week off. Enjoy the hazy, hot days of July!)


 

28 comments:

  1. You're right - only you can fix you.
    I think the combination of focusing on my music and on God gets me through the day.

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    1. I think my programs helped me find my Faith again too. My emotional sobriety gave me that calm I needed to write again. I'm so grateful I found it.

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    2. Alex, that is a great formula. I use it too!

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  2. One has to be responsible for themselves indeed. I'm just nuts, so I think that helps a bit lol

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    1. So true. For the longest time I thought Devin could do it for me...not so much. Yeah, the cat is a bit nutty!

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  3. I have to keep busy. And avoid too much of a routine. I learned long ago I do have an addictive personality. (You should have seen me during my roller coaster obsession.) I need variety for my brain or I fall into bad patterns, body and mind.

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    1. Routine is dangerous for me too. Well, let me clarify that...stagnation...if I fall into a hum drum kind of mentality. On the flip side, if I'm too chaotic, that's not good for me either. I have to have balance. Funny you mention roller coasters, Diane. I used them last year during my not-so-healthy period, as a way to test my boundaries. We are a funny sort :)

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  4. Hi Elsie - have a good week ... and yes we can only help ourselves - and I need to concentrate on me in the next few months ... and not take on demands on my time by others - it is going to be difficult - I'll need to fix in new hours ... take care and see you shortly .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary, I'm looking forward to the weekend. I hope you're able to get in some much needed me time for yourself, it sounds like you could use it after your move. I hope you're able to kick your feet up and enjoy that view of yours!

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  5. Okay, I was going to say something jokey, but I suppose this really isn't the right kind of post for that. Probably, I'm just stressed.

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    1. Wait, Andrew, are you feeling BLASTed? That's addiction talk for Bored, Lonely, Angry, STRESSED, or Tired...see, part of recovery is laughter. You can joke, over here, you know that! I hope things look brighter soon.

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  6. Recovery is a daily process. You have to be committed to it for it to really help. And clearly you both are cause you've come through the worst part better for it.

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    1. It is something we each had to do on our own. I wish I had known that much sooner, it would have saved me so much grief and heartache but as they say, hindsight is 20/20 ;)

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  7. I'm glad you were able to find that inner peace. Kudos to you for not doing the easy thing and blame your husband! We can only hope to be half as strong as you, Elsie. :) Enjoy the hot days of summer!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Jaclyn. That poor man put up with a lot of blame in the beginning but then again, so did I. We were a hot mess, that's for sure. But we made it through, that's the important thing. I hope you're enjoying you're secret summer hot spot!

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  8. As you said only you can fix you and all you can do is take it one day at a time, finding ones inner peace can be difficult at times when there is so much going on in ones life.

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    1. True, it really is one day at a time when it comes to recovery. Sometimes it's one minute at a time when life feels chaotic and crazy!

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  9. Great post, girl. And your writing, wow. So much tighter, cleaner, less emotional clutter. You seriously, are a writer. Super impressed with your work. Go you.

    PS: In answer to your question on my blog: I got rid of 90 percent of my own stuff. It feels amazing. As an added bonus, not a single just-in-case item to be found. Nor to return. That's one big bowl of awesome sauce :-)

    PPS: Happy Week OFF!

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  10. I think all these years you made a lot for you and your family and you are amazing!!
    Send you hugs and love my friends!!
    xoxoxo

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  11. I write.
    Now whether that would qualify me as being at the "top" of my game is another story.

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  12. I write.
    Now whether that would qualify me as being at the "top" of my game is another story.

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  13. You are very brave and honest to take on this journey Elsie. I wish you all the best. As for me, I wish I can be more diligent about my exercise and diet but I keep on trying everyday to keep myself healthy. Have a good week.

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  14. Moving post, Elsie. I find it inspiring to read how you have set time aside, even if it's only a little to do something for you, and your recover. You go, girl.

    I try to write everyday - lately I'm in reading mode - but of things I am interested in. So I feel that's doing something for me. Also, I'm totally wheat free and am busy in my kitchen whipping up all sorts of tasty coconut flour treats. Working on a few videos to share down the road.

    Enjoy your time away from blogging - I'm just returning, been hibernating for a while now and finally feel the need to get back in the groove.

    Sending smiles, hugs and happy thoughts your way, Jenny xxoo

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  15. Hi human, Elsie,

    Such a candid, transparent, emotive pawst, by your amazing self. I would add that your verbalisation is not only therapy for you but, no doubt, therapy of the most empathetic for some who have read your thoughtful words.

    I know my human dad, Gary, understands that embracing pawsitive resources conducive to his mental and yes, physical well being, are an inspiring tonic. Indeed, Gary realised that in order to get better he had to be genuine in such a desire. We are the experts of our feelings.

    Thank you for this, my kind human friend.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny

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  16. Always such wise life advice when I visit here :) thank you as always.

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  17. Thanks for visiting my blog @ The Chronicles of Loving A Heroin Addict http://memorialvigil.blogspot.com/ A Blog about our sons battle with heroin addiction.

    Our NarAnon Group started the Just For Today and I integrate it into the Live Happy Challenge. Each day is a brand new day. Live for what you can do today. Remember, never start today with the broken pieces of yesterday. Every day we wake up is the first day of the rest of our lives.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.