You know that feeling when you’re plodding through life, mostly care-free, and for the most part content?
Or even as I’ve been doing, dodging some feelings and tripping over other emotional obstacles, but generally ok?
I have a big milestone coming up tomorrow, 5 years clean and serene. Drug and alcohol free. I’ve been rebuilding, retooling and doing a lot of growing up – but you know this.
Did you know, though, that – anecdotally speaking – for a lot of us recovering addicts, we fall off the wagon around our milestones.
The threats come at me in the form of emotional upheaval. Small things that in my head I whip up into giant cataclysmic relationship-ending warzones.
Outwardly I look fine, ‘normal’ even. Inside my head that inner bully rages and tears at my heart.
I’ve really been worried about this over the past few days, wondering how the universe will trip me up. No, not the universe. That’s lazy thinking. How will I trip myself up? How will I get in the way of myself and create the inevitable emotional havoc?
Overthinking things as I do (my favourite passtime) I also am sure I make these inner storms happen by focusing so much fear on them. A self-fulfilling prophecy.
Well, it’s happened. And I find myself 24 hours before my milestone crippled with anxiety, fear, insecurity. I feel cutoff and alone.
For what? A small thing, a misunderstanding, a carelessness, a treading thoughtlessly on someone’s toes and – internally – reacting like a cornered kitten, all hissing and spitting, heart racing and hands shaking.
Skin’s aching voice in Skunk Anansie’s Twisted perfectly expresses my yearning for that space of chemical disconnect right now:
“JUST A LINE COULD HAVE HELPED REMIND ME OF YOU, OF YOU“
So this is my confession. My vulnerability and my armour: Right now, I would kill for not just one line, but an endless array of cocaine, stretching out all the way from now to the end of my life.
Right now, looking at you in the mirror, I feel like I’ve ticked all the boxes you wanted me to tick: I chose to live. I stopped drugs and then drinking. I’ve been to therapy and group and meetings. I got a food coach and an eating plan. I workout, don’t smoke and pay my bills.
Isn’t that enough? What more do you want from me!!!
This is not a cry for help. It can’t be. It won’t be. It is a declaration of war inside my head, because life with no emotion is not allowed. It’s not part of the grand plan.
I don’t even know whose plan it is, anymore. Mine? The guy in the mirror? My inner child?
I don’t want to play anymore. Not today.
Tomorrow will be better.
© Dave Luis 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Image © Todd Quackenbush at Unsplash Free Images