by Dr Gonzo
This is my blog & my hope, writing daily will help me see my progress and log supporters.
|I have been putting a lot of effort into planning and executing my holiday to Thailand at the end of January. Travelling O/S has changed significantly because of the pandemic, but I was hoping the world was coming to grips with this, our new normal.
I live in Queensland, Australia, and the government here has done a great job of keeping the virus infection numbers down to some of the lowest in the world.
Unfortunately, the result of lower virus infection rates is complacency when it comes to people's attitudes towards getting vaccinated. We are at around 75% double dose, but in order for the government to open our borders, they want 90% fully vaccinated and we might not have the numbers by the time I return. If this is the case, I will have to cancel my holiday because I cannot afford an already expensive trip, then on return, be placed in hotel quarantine for ?? days, at my own expense.
Add to this the new variant Omicron. There are now so many questions hanging over us all. Will the current vaccines be effective? How effective will vaccination be against being hospitalised? And given it's apparent infection rate, how long before the world shuts down again?
I paid the extra fee so I can cancel and get most of my money refunded. I have lots of options here at home for a nice place to go for a break and for that, I am thankful.
|Today, I did my intake interview for a program Vicki runs. It is expensive, but if my application is successful, I will be subsidised for the full amount, and so, my fingers are crossed that I might finally face my demons and find peace. There is, of course, a long waiting list, and if I am accepted, it will be months before I can expect to begin the work.
All else is going fine. I'm training heaps and rolling with the punches of this roller coaster ride of methamphetamine withdrawal. There's been a few moments where I have had cravings, but with the memories of the last experience still fresh in my mind, nothing that I would call a code red.
I want to offer a huge thanks to LeJenD and Hummingbird...both of these wonderful women have supported me throughout my journey, despite the health and time issues life has thrown at them. They have both been there for me, and without their continued support, I don't know where I would be.
I'm not doing this for anyone but me, although, because I have received so much support and understanding since starting this blog, I want success not just for me but for all who have been kind enough to show me their support.
To all of you...thank you.
|We humans sure are strange critters...that's my conscious mind's assessment of 'us'. But, if we take a moment to step back from the person we 'think' we are, we may have a better idea of what it is that makes us tick...why we do the things we do.
Our subconscious mind rules our lives...especially when it comes to emotional decision making. Habits are a classic example of this. What makes me want to do drugs? A large study found that around 90% of addicts have suffered childhood trauma. I will never use this as an excuse to get high...and the only reason I mention it, is I find it interesting in my own case (I love watching people do things, with no real idea why...and I include myself in this).
We like to think we are civilised...above our primitive past, but, when it comes down to it, we are just another highly social species who live in a hierarchy and do things without much thought as to why...based mostly on our past experiences, both good and bad.
Sometimes, it is too painful to relive bad experiences, and the subconscious mind tricks us into thinking that the best way to deal with this pain is to suppress it...push it down so far that we can live our lives and forget. I am a classic example of this type of behaviour. From a very young age, I was subjected to regular beatings from my older brother...who was himself subjected to abuse.
While I recognise I was abused...even acknowledge that it is a probable cause of my addiction, I have not dealt with it in a professional setting, and is something I know I need to do in order to break this cycle of abstinence/relapse that has gone on far too long.
Tomorrow night at my group meeting, I am going to ask Vicki if she can help me with this in a one on one setting...and if she can't, I will ask if she can recommend someone who can. I am aware of why I act the way I do, but being aware is not enough to change these subconscious choices I make. I am both victim and perpetrator alike...and I don't want to be either. I need to learn how to become a survivor.
|Stress affects us all, and we must find a way to deflect as much of it as we can...or suffer the consequences. My body reacts to Cortisol by way of mild autoimmune disease. Both my shins become red and itchy. So much so, that at times, I find it hard to sleep. And, as soon as the sheets touch these areas, it can drive me insane.
Lot's of factors come into play...sleep, diet, and lifestyle choices all contribute. There is no set rule, and I cannot predict when or how severe a flare-up will be, but one thing I know will bring about these symptoms, is when I feel a lot of stress. I wish I could better control how I react to these external pressures. I do however know that attaching a GAF (give a fuck) level to things that invariably come, can and does help.
I have to ask myself...how much does whatever is frustrating me matter?... And...Is it worth getting these terrible rashes? Especially considering that in most cases, I have little control over the causes of these frustrations anyway?
I can choose to let some things slide, in order that I don't have these free radicals circulating in my blood. Exercise definitely helps to bring a level of calm. Not doing meth also has many benefits...financial, emotional, mental and physical...and although it has only been a short period since I messed up, I can already feel myself levelling off from the after-effects...and thank God for that.
Life gives and it takes away...in every facet...learning to roll with the punches and to recognise and appreciate when things are good (and at the moment, things are good). Knowing what we can and cannot control, and not expending energy on the latter, is the only way I can see to make this life more livable.
|I have worked so hard over the last week...I'm physically drained tonight. Three workouts and a bike ride every day, and to top it off, today I push mowed my lawn.
A day off sounds good, but that ain't happening...nine weeks to go before I fly out to Thailand, and I intend to be in the best shape (physically and mentally) I possibly can be.
Everything else is on track. I still need to secure my mom a bed in aged care in the weeks before I leave, but I'm not panicking...it's just the way it has to be.
I attended my meeting on Tuesday, and it was a mixture of emotions. I couldn't say that I was over the moon that I fucked up, but I am proud of myself for not allowing it to become an excuse to fail. Vicki was proud of me for taking the steps that I have...number one...flushing what I had leftover down the toilet...number two...making myself accountable and not hiding my shame...number three...taking what happened and learning from it...and number four...paying off the dealer, so he now owes me money. Money I know he will never repay, and worth every cent to keep him away from me.
I'm not kidding myself. This has taken me back to square one. I have begun all over. But, I would rather be back at the start, than where I might have been...back doing drugs every day with no future to look forward to.
|Recovery continues...today I did my first workout since the 'event', and I felt so good when I was done, I went for a bike ride. I'm just as strong as I was before...I was due for a break after three months of solid training, and so, no physical harm was done.
I have another addiction...Powerade...or the sugar it contains. As a form of restitution, and because I want to stop drinking this poison, I stopped buying it and haven't had any Powerade for a week now. I must admit, I feel pretty good about this decision...another positive that has come from my mistake.
I refuse to cry...at least, not because I took drugs when I know I shouldn't have. I learned more from this mistake than I would have from saying no...the cravings would have continued to niggle at me, but now, the fear of going through another episode, keeps me in check...at least, that's the plan.
I believe everything is meant to be...it was a moment that had to happen in order for me to become more aware of myself and of these doubts that began to close in on my psyche.
I made a mistake, but it was mine to make. I suffered the consequences, and it was all on me. Now, I will reap the benefits of that mistake...learn and grow and next time I am faced with cravings or temptation, I hope I can remember how it felt...such hopelessness and sorrow, where just the previous day, I had felt so much strength and confidence.
I survived, and that's all that matters. I refuse to wallow in my failures...rather, I will channel them towards a greater future...my future.
|It's been a while...I could feel myself slipping...nothing I grabbed onto would hold back these feelings...cravings to use.
Eight weeks clean and I came to a point where I knew that I would relapse.
I had no contacts...no one I could call, and so, I was safe. Then, in a moment I can only describe as fate, there was a knock on my door, and there before me, stood someone I hadn't seen or heard from in two years. He was my dealer, but later, we became friends (as good as friends can be when drugs are at the core). He had been sent to prison, and as soon as I saw him, I knew what I was going to do. I didn't use the tools I had been taught and nothing mattered to me at that moment, except getting and using meth.
I do not blame my friend...it was me who pushed him to get the drugs for me and looking back now, it was all meant to be.
I have never hit rock bottom...emotionally, mentally or physically, but I had no idea what was to come over the next few days. I now wonder, if I did know, as crazy as this sounds, would I still make the same choice.
Not having any drugs in my system for so long, meant my tolerance, which was at an all-time high when I began weaning myself off meth eleven weeks before, was at an all-time low, and me, thinking this was an opportunity to get as high as I had ever been before, made up a dose which was far too much for my system to handle.
I blacked out for the next ??? hours, and then, I dosed again...and again...until it got to a critical moment and I knew I was in serious trouble. I stopped at that point and tried to keep myself 'alive'...and eventually, my heart rate settled and I was through the worst...or so I thought.
It didn't occur to me that within a day or two I would go into withdrawals. That had never happened to me before, but when I realised this was the case, it was far too late to go back. And so began the longest night of my life.
I was so tired from not sleeping and what the super-strong meth had done to my body. I was completely dehydrated, had no gas left in my tank, and all I wanted to do was to rest, but as soon as I laid down, a demon, in the form of crippling anxiety, arrived to tell me it was having none of it. At one point, I called a 24-hour hotline, in utter desperation that they could help me overcome the irrational fear and hopelessness I was experiencing.
I took a shower, which helped, but when I came back into my room to lay down, claustrophobia and another wave of anxiety overtook me...this went on most of the night, and eventually, I prayed for it to end. I have only ever prayed once before in my life, and that was a very long time ago. That was the last thing I remember before waking up four hours later. I thought I would die once I fell asleep from sleep apnea.
But it still wasn't over and I spent the next few days dealing with the aftermath...the mental and physical scars...my face looks like I have gone a few rounds with a pro boxer, with two black eyes and bruises all over.
This was a terrible thing, but something I believe had to happen. Rather than cry about it, I'm determined to use this to my advantage. I already have. I had some of the drugs left over, which went down the toilet (I have never flushed drugs before). I'm pretty sure this will never happen again. I couldn't even leave the house until yesterday...worried about what people might think about my face, with both my eyes swollen and blackened. Today I did go out by wearing a mask which helped hide my injuries.
I feel ashamed of myself, but I will try to hold onto these memories the next time I feel myself slipping.