I found out a good friend relapsed. She has a lot at stake this time, and she does suffer from mental illness. I hate to say it like that, it seems like such a loaded description. I searched for a better terminology, but could not come up with anything. She has been in treatment for about a year, and it seemed she was doing great. Until the demons in her head came calling again.
So, she relapsed. And has some serious consequences. The real kicker is that she called me after the trouble had begun, and not telling me the whole truth...she called me for help. And I fell for it. She did check herself into a center for dual diagnosis the day after I sent her fifty bucks. For that, I am proud of her.
She has been released from treatment, demons still circling over head. She is clean, but she still is suffering from extreme anxiety. And she did fess up, but then asked me for more money...well, not really asked, but hinted around at it. I just feel like a sucker. I tried to give her some solid advice from my perspective. I don't think she really liked my advice, but I hope it made some sense to her. I most certainly did not give her any more money. I just do not have it to give, I did not really have the fifty bucks to give the first time...most certainly not to be used on drugs.
Anyway, I am so disappointed she relapsed. But, I understand. I understand how it happens, it happened to me in the past. But, then, I had nothing at stake. Now I do. And it is different. She has a lot at stake now, too...and she still relapsed. I was thinking about how I felt in those early days of recovery....the whole first year was hard. She lives in a city with a heroin problem, and she still hangs out with people who use...or are still in some cycle of abuse. And I understand how hard it is, especially when you are still surrounded by it. I understand how it happens, yet I am still disappointed.
I am let down because she lied to me. I am let down because she used. And I am disappointed that she has brought some pretty serious consequences against her. In less than a couple of weeks, she has some very serious consequences. I am disappointed. I feel like I am having a loss of words when I try to put my disappointment into words without sounding cliche.
I think about being clean for only a couple of weeks. My life was still completely absorbed with drugs. It took a long time for that to go away. My friend had been on buprenorhine for quite some time. And I think about my reservation with both buprenorphine and with methadone. I am not against either of them. I actually think buprenorphine is a great treatment, and I think methadone can be a good treatment...you just have to be committed to getting your life back on track. But, from my standpoint, I do have some reservations with both treatments. But when I was in active addiction, both of these treatments were good solutions. I think these two treatments are excellent stepping stones. And I truly believe that these treatments are life long for some people, and that is great. I think if your life is productive, and together, and free of chaos and bankruptcy, and you need methadone or suboxone to live normally...then more power to you for doing something about your problem. After all, we could all hope the addicts in our lives make their lives happy and productive, however they do it.
But, my reservation with those programs is that you do not shed the cycle. You still have to get up every day and take your medicine. You wake up thinking about your medicine, and if you don't think about it...the sickness will inevitably come calling to remind of your opiate's presence. You are not truly free, and in an small way...you are a slave to a habit. The presence of opiates in your system still has some hold on your life, even if you are in control of it by taking your medicine on time. You are still stuck in the cycle.
It was when I broke that cycle that I really began to be free. When you can wake up in the morning, and the first thought than comes to your head is no longer dope, in some form...I think you making your way to real freedom. You will still think about it for a long time, but as the time goes on, you start thinking about it less and less. One day, you look back and realize you haven't thought about drugs in days. And then eventually, when they do come to mind...the urge to use them does not immediately follow. For me, I still think about drugs, especially because I write about my experiences so much. But now, I think about using, and the thought that immediately follows is "it is just not worth the bad things that could happen...it is just not worth it."
Maybe I am just lucky, and I am willing to accept that. I now think about it like this...what if I got caught and they took my son? NOT WORTH THE RISK...AND I KNOW HOW EASY IT COULD HAPPEN. I think...what if I od'ed and my son tried to wake me up for hours before we were discovered. NOT WORTH THE RISK. I think of all the scenarios that could happen to adversely affect my son...even if I just used once. AND IT IS NOT WORTH IT. Even the best high times, would not be worth my son. He is the best high I have ever had. He is the best feeling I have ever had. He is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I realize that drugs could take him away in an instant...AND IT WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO HIM. IT IS JUST NOT WORTH IT.
I am blessed to be where I am today. And I am disappointed in my friend. I am really sad for her too. But, it makes me thankful that I am no longer in those shoes. And it makes me even more thankful that I am miles away from those...I never want to wear those nasty old shoes again. For that, I am truly blessed.
In my addiction, I honestly could not imagine a life without drugs. I did not think I could be so happy without drugs. I really had no idea how good things could get once I got my shit back together. And I wish I had known, because I would have done this a lot sooner. It was hard getting here, but damn, I am sure glad I did. And I want to stay here. It really was worth the struggle.