The Battle

Never in my wildest dreams would I expect breaking free from an addiction would be more difficult than battling cancer. When I was sick, I had doctors, nurses, and family taking care of me and doing all the things that were needed to keep me healthy. For instance, providing or cooking meals for me to eat. I guess that’s why I still don’t know shit about nutrition. But now I’m faced with a sickness that requires me to work at getting better. There’s a big difference. I essentially have to learn how to take care of myself and that sounds so stupid being 37 years old and not having the first clue of how to do any of it. But it’s the truth. I don’t know how to live. Learning how to live is a whole lot harder than just floating through a serious illness with all the support in the world to do the work for you. Now, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t easy for me to be slammed with chemo, lose all my hair, deal with the pain and constant nausea, or to be confined to an apartment 4 hours away in St. Louis from all my friends. But I had my family who rallied behind me and took care of everything to the point that I didn’t have anything to stress about. Even though I had all this, my addictive behavior really kicked in during this time so I could numb out whatever I didn’t want to remember. I have a special knack for being able to block things out like, “This isn’t happening to me. No, this is definitely not happening.” And my brain would lock it up somewhere that I never accessed. I found out that if I stayed high on something, I never had to unlock those memories. That might be part of the reason I struggle the way I do to get clean. Not only do I have to learn how to do the basic things that everyone does on a daily basis, I have a flood of memories that I don’t know how to deal with. So I stay in my bed for days. Just laying there. Not able to sleep. But too apathetic to just get up and do something… anything. I’m figuring out just how much work is really involved in battling this different type of illness called addiction. I have to overcome depression in the midst of trying to stay away from drugs that solve that problem. How does one do that? I wish I had my family to rally behind me through this battle but I simply don’t. And that’s perfectly okay. I understand that my father just won’t ever understand the complexity of my problem. I’m sure he gets the seriousness of it but doesn’t know how to help me. Hell, I don’t even know how to help me. All I can do is learn as much as I can from other people who have been through the same thing, and pray that at some point, I don’t pick up the drugs again.