“…If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier softer way. But we could not” – The Big Book.
I think taking steps is easy. For ME its standing still thats hard. Its waiting thats hard. There is so much I can’t do because I haven’t been sober long enough, or I don’t have enough experience. Its heart wrenching that I didn’t decide to take this life changing journey for myself sooner. Something that has been so healthy for me. Something that has changed, and most definitely SAVED my life. If it weren’t for this program of 12 steps I would most certainly have taken my own life. I don’t fear the day that I want another drink, or another valium, I fear the day that I want to take my own life. That day scares me. I deal with suicidal thoughts almost every other day because of my borderline personality disorder, being sober now just means that I can FEEL it. I can feel the desperation. I can feel the heart ache and pain. To the point of my chest literally hurting. I get physically ill now, more so then when I used to. At least once every two weeks I’m throwing up because I’m so stressed out. I know it won’t always be this way and I know I have got to give it to God but some days I want to burry my head in a pillow and cry and never leave my room. I feel like I should just hide myself away because all I do is mess things up. I know this isn’t true and this is my disease talking but it doesn’t make the FEELING any easier. Standing still means FEELING. It means being present in the moment. It means not looking into the past or glaring into the future but simply observing where you are now. I’ve never really been good at that but ironically its the best thing for my BPD.
Once we have realized the key to being present and standing still the rest of the steps come easy. The rest of life comes easy. For you are not worried about what has been or will be. You are not dwelling on anything. Simply observing what is happening before your very eyes. I have no doubt that if I work the program like the Big Book tells me too and that if I stay in the Here and Now and stay focused on my Higher Power that I will be able to stay sober as long as I shall live. Now whether or not I’ll be able to do that I cannot foresee. I hope and pray I am. For being sober has saved the very fabric of my being. And changed every faucet of who I am. In a GOOD way. I don’t think ANY old friend would meet me on the street and say that I looked bad or I looked rough. I look and feel amazing 90% of the time. I am filled with a joy and happiness I can’t explain. A best friend of mine asked me the other day if I had been using, I quickly exclaimed “NO!!! It’s GOD!!!”. I never in my life thought I’d be so excited and happy and thrilled to live such a simple life. Such a quiet life. Such a STILL life. Theres that word again. That word that ever reminds us to be present. Here and now. Once you are still the whole world seems to just slow down a little bit and you can breathe. I have been going for so long that I have forgotten how to breathe. I am like a baby being born again. I have recently started to learn the practice of Thai Chi and the movements are so precise and slow that its hard for me. I haven’t been STILL long enough. My teacher always has to tell me to stop FALLING into the movements. I know I will and I know that in due time I will learn that stillness. Being Patient is also part of the road to stillness and when I am able to be patient with myself I can start to be STILL.
What is unrelenting life crisis you may be asking yourself? Well it is what it sounds like and it effects those with borderline personality disorder. If you’ve ever watched “Girl Interrupted” you may be familiar with the disease I’m referring to. Well I’ve been plagued with this since I was 14. Unrelenting life crisis is as described by Dr. Shari Manning:
One “bad” situation (many times not of their own making)
Inability to tolerate the distress of the situation
Leads them to make ineffective decisions OR
Engage in impulsive behavior to relieve stress
Makes situation worse
I am working really really hard to use coping skills to manage the crisis that are coming up in my life but getting sober in and of its own is hard enough much less doing it with borderline. My hope is to do this, do it well and thoroughly so that I may be able to help other addicts and alcoholics that may have “grave mental illness” because you CAN recover!!! IT IS POSSIBLE!!! If I’m going to be a statistic I’m going to be the GOOD kind. I have many problems beset before me. First I stupidly backed into a wall and busted my OTHER tail light so don’t have any working tail light, My phone is about to get cut off and I have no idea what to do about that, I’m feeling every single emotion in one day, I’m longing to have a guy friend in my life and can’t find a sober one to save my life, being a tom boy theres only things a guy can relate to and I feel as though I’m being PUNISHED for something, my health insurance has run out and clearly I am sick, I have no clue how I’m going to pay for medications, I don’t qualify for Medicaid because I don’t have kids, I sat in fiber glass last night, my real family barely talks to me even though I couldn’t do this without them and I would love to share this with them, lonely is an understatement. I could go on but I won’t bore you. I think you get the point. What is my plan for recovery? WELL I’m glad you asked. First I’m going through the 12 STEP Program! Such an amazing way of life and if we all lived this way the world would be such a beautiful place. We are not perfect and no one person can adhere to the steps perfectly but I do my best and I will try my best everyday. Second I plan on becoming my own best friend again. I once was. Six years ago, before the great darkness. Before I lost Mariah and experienced the first great loss in my life. Before I started to get emotionally abused. I was truly in love with myself. I stayed up late reading “Brave New World” and the “Dune” series. I ran everyday. I did yoga. I meditated multiple times a day. I didn’t smoke NEARLY as much. I listened to music more, and probably most importantly I JOURNALED. Why I don’t do that anymore I have no idea. I will never be the SAME Katie again but what I want to do is read the Tao, I want to learn Thai Chi, I want to go camping ALONE, I want to run again and feel the freedom and release of my feet hitting pavement, I want to get back to my mat and do yoga again and eventually teach in rehabs, I want to quit smoking, I want to get a job and not just any job but something I’m passionate about and something that HELPS my community and those around me. I want to spread joy and happiness. I want to serve others. I want to travel the world and hike trails all over! And most importantly, I want and NEED to write and JOURNAL. I can’t tell you how healthy that is. I want to start making better healthier discussions. DPL stopping using me back in February and thats still relatively fresh, I’m not really looking to hop right into a relationship, I’m more focused on my well being and my self care. I had something happen to me and well it threw me for quite a loop. I don’t know how to put it words. I miss my friend from the hospital. My friend that got me to where I am now. The friend that got me on the road I’m on today. The friend that got me to where I can now look in the mirror and say “I love you, you are worth it.” He, he is the only guy friend I have and I’m not allowed to talk to him because I’m a girl. I remember staying up from the time we got meds at 8 until 11:30 or later just me and him talking. I softly cried to him. I will never forget just looking at him and telling him how desperate I felt. The desperation of a drowning man. I told him how I felt like no one understood me, and that I thought I was destined to be alone the rest of my life and that no one would ever love me the way I appreciated myself. You see, I KNOW my worth, I don’t look to others for validation, I know my worth. No one else does. But HE DID. He told me how he found love and told me that God had a plan and to just listen to my heart. He told me his story. I knew then I needed to get sober. He saved my life. I owe him my life.
Growing is hard no matter if its in your bones or in your soul! Its going to be uncomfortable but oh so worth it! I am going to be such a stronger me and be able to handle all these unrelenting life crisis soooo much better and I’m going to be able to help people with my story. I’m going to have tough skin from being lonely. Sobriety isn’t always easy but it is ALWAYS worth it.
The tightness in my chest seems to get worst as the day drags on. I wake up in the middle of the night in cold sweats. My bed soaking wet. Its absolutely disgusting. I’ll randomly start shaking like a leaf and then I’ll suddenly have to excuse myself to quietly vomit. I try and be discrete. I try to go unnoticed. I try not to make a big deal everyone needs to know what this little blue pill called valium can do to you. After years of use. And prescription use might I add, will do to you. And its not just physical either. Its my mind too. I made coffee the other day without the coffee or the coffee pot under it, I’ve lost my keys in my house twice….and I’m SOBER. This isn’t supposed to happen or so I thought. I thought my mind would just go back to the way it used to be and I would magically be able to balance equations again and write a novel tomorrow. NOPE. Thats not how sobriety works. First you must feel all the pain you have numbed for so long and that must be felt in order for you to feel joy again. All the joy you have missed out on. Not only was I numbing the pain but I was also numbing all the joy in my life. The joy I could have shared with people like Professor Lupin. My favorite dark arts teacher EVER. No one will ever ever compare to him. Those will be some large shoes to fill.
Right now I’m sitting at a bar using WiFi to write this. Its SATURDAY night and PACKED. I got approached about this blog actually and its super exciting. Its funny how you can make connections and actually remember things when you’re sober. You don’t forget PEOPLE. You may forget where you sat your freakin keys but you don’t forget a face you once saw in a bar 6 years ago and then properly introduce yourself to them. Its a beautiful thing. A very beautiful thing. I often wonder how it looks to be sober and at a bar. What do people think. I’m feeling better writing though. I’m feeling better getting out of my head and putting it on a nice shiny computer screen. Me and a buddy at the bar. A non sober buddy both have our shoes off and are grounding. We are no shoe buddies. Its super cool. I have drunk friends. Actually its not funny, I wish I could save them all. I wish I could shout from this table “NO, do you not realize what you are doing?! Do you really NEED that shot? Do you REALLY want to be THAT drunk girl?! Do you REALLY want to be that ass hole? Do you want to wake up in a strangers bed smelling of alcohol and bad decisions? Do you want to risk that DUI? Do you want to vomit all over yourself before you even get home? Do you want to hit a mail box and mess your car up. Do you want to risk your LIFE. Over getting shitfaced?!” I have been all of these. These are all grown ass adults. With jobs and duties and responsibilities who either find a way to manage life or they don’t. Some do and some don’t. Its the sad reality of it and I can’t save them even if I wanted to. I just can’t. Nor is my place to do so. All I can do is pray. Pray pray pray pray pray and pray. I want my friends to succeed but not all of them will. I want all of these people here to succeed but not all of them will. NOT all of them have the capacity to. And hell I may not either, sober. Who knows. I just undercut a guy who hurt me, and for what reason. To make myself feel better. The disease is still very much a part of who I am and I have to ask for forgiveness and resolution all the time. I have to take personal inventory every day and its not fun guys. At all. Sometimes I look at myself and am like why the hell did you do that. What greater purpose did it serve. Like a wise drunk person just said I don’t get to wake up and remember it and feel guilty about it, I feel guilty about it now. I said something I shouldn’t have said and hurt a guys feelings. Was I being honest in what I said. Yes. Yes I was but it wasn’t nice. At all. I have to ask myself all the time if the the words that came out of my mouth were nice. If not you need to ask them and God for forgiveness. You need to do better. Add the stress of that on top of withdraws and I’m a mess. I can’t be perfect. I never will be. And right now I think I expect too much of myself. Let me tell you what I’m currently withdrawing from. So four years ago I tried every non narcotic medication for anxiety out there. Nothing touched my anxiety. I said “I give up, give me benzos.” (side note just talking about the “blue” pills makes me nauseas and want to vomit. Its awful) I got prescribe 10mg 3x a day of valium and Xanax 5mg PRN. For THREE years. I went inpatient to La Amistad in Orlando FL for 3 weeks and they took my dose down and so when I got out I went down to 20mg twice a day and no Xanax. That, that was my first taste of withdraws. It was awful. And I still had the medication. That little blue pill that I have grown to loathe so very much. The pill that makes me want to vomit. Thank makes me shake like a 90 year old woman. That randomly makes me spew insults to others. I shouldn’t be allowed in public sometimes. I really hate this but its my penitence for the crime of giving up on myself and the coping skills I should have been using the whole time. I’m about to sing some Karaoke with my wise friend and go home soberly and NOT wake up with a hangover and go to church in the morning. Stay sober friends. Don’t be THAT girl, or THAT guy. Don’t be me.
For the first time in my life I understand the word sober. These past fourteen days have taught me more than the last twenty eight years. Believe it or not. I am probably the friendliest person you could ever meet and always will be. That will never change but I have way tougher skin now and I know how to put up appropriate boundaries. And for the first time in probably a year I’m looking in the mirror and any reflective surface I can and smiling at MYSELF instead of just others. I’m appreciating my own beauty that I have just been offering the world instead of myself too. It took someone rejecting a FRIENDSHIP with me to even look inside and see that for myself. It hurt and it hurt badly, especially sober but because of it I am now able to look at myself in the mirror and see a glimpse of what everyone around me sees. I don’t claim to understand everything but what I do know is if you don’t accept me thats your problem not mine. And if you can’t be my friend well, poo on you.
I may not be guilty of everything on that list but on thing is for sure I can’t have just one drink and I know that. I had my first therapy appointment for the first time in months and the first one in Columbus MS on Wednesday. During my inpatient stay I apparently had to fill out a questionnaire that I don’t remember but on that questionnaire it asked me if I thought I had problems with drugs and alcohol. Apparently I said no to one or more of those. Well obviously in my therapy appointment I told her yea I have a problem and thats why I’m in IOP and why I go to meetings. So I can recover. So I can begin to heal. She smiled and said “your answers changed.”. I immediately started to cry. I don’t know why. I guess because for the first time I was starting to be honest with myself and others. Honesty is a beautiful thing. If you can’t be honest with yourself who can you be honest with.
This little lady (me) was born at 11:59 on August 13th 1989 and there is nothing wrong with me aside from the fact that I look like a smurf and I almost didn’t survive my own birth. I was 3 weeks early. I had a double hernia when I was born and was in the NICU for 3 weeks. If you think there is something fundamentally wrong with alcoholics and addicts well you are right and wrong. We are not BAD people, we are sick. It is a sickness. An allergy that creates a craving that cannot be quenched. We cannot have just one of ANYTHING. Moderation is foreign territory for us. Do not judge and do not be dismayed by our recovery and our success. We know what pain feels like.
I have lost my best friend, my high school sweet heart, I was made fun of in school, I was in a verbally abusive relationship, and I felt all that pain while on drugs and alcohol. I have now felt all of that SOBER. S O B E R!! I had to relive all of that pain. And I thought it was bad then. No. No. I screamed so much that 3 days later I still can’t talk. I fell down in the shower just screaming out in pain. Later that night I went to the ER thinking I was dying of a broken heart. I thought for sure I was having a heart attack. I knew I was dying of a heart attack. I just knew it. The only good thing about that visit was it tested my sobriety and I got to see some good looking nurses lololol I will not stand by and let this disease ruin me and I also will not stand by and be quiet about it. I am a writer. My job and my duty is to help people and thats exactly what I’m going to do. “NOBODY puts baby in a corner!”
The world needs to hear our story and they will hear mine!