It was an adventure, always an adventure. From the moment I opened my eyes at daybreak to the moment I closed them at night.
It was fun, it was exciting ;I was a warrior, a princess, a soldier in the military, I was a counselor, a teacher, a mediator, an actress and I was invincible! I was a child full of life.
For the first twelve years of my life I had built in boundaries; a safety net so to speak. My father was in the military so for the most part we lived on military bases.
For some reason no matter where I went I felt safe.
When my Dad retired, we moved, I mean really moved. We moved across the country, away from relatives, away from everything that was familiar to me.
No boundaries, my parents were done parenting (it was all they could do to adapt from living military life to the life of civilians), Dad facing surgery, looking for a job and my 12.5-year-old hormones were raging. The equation went like this; sense of adventure plus no boundaries, plus no parental attention plus raging hormones equals boys using drugs. So I became a girl using drugs with boys using drugs.
That was my life for the next 12 years. I was quite the functional drug user, I was. I was the one called on to hold the drugs, I was always the designated driver, even though I was as messed up if not more than my companions. I remember waiting about 20 minutes for the red light to turn green before I realized I was at a stop sign. But I continued to always be chosen as the designated driver. I was the CARETAKER. Imagine that. Perhaps it was due to all the years I watched the polished discipline and control of the Marine I called my father.
I could lie like nobody’s business and make up a story to get out of everything. I got caught at school rolling a joint (out in the open on the steps leading to the gym) and convinced the principal not to call my parents. I should have been arrested on more than one occasion. It was like I was a chameleon, I could become whatever color would make me blend into Normal and hide my addiction.
Sobriety came after I married my drinking buddy. It wasn’t until I stopped using that I realized he was an alcoholic. Again, I think it was the Marine that saved me. It wasn’t because he said or did anything; it was the example of being responsible that he set before me. Being responsible meant paying bills on time and cleaning up the messes that the alcoholic left behind.
My skill in lying came in handy again. Now I had to lie for the alcoholic and get him out of his messes. I couldn’t let him see how his abuse was slowly destroying me, slowly killing the adventurer, the warrior, the princess in me. I was polished, disciplined and in control. I was becoming a robot programmed to whatever the alcoholic wanted me to be. I was a shell void of life. As a result, I became whoever, whatever people wanted me to be.
When I finally left the alcoholic, I thought I would get my life back but it wasn’t very long before an addict came into my life. The addict now has 7 years sobriety.
I am coming out of the fog and realizing I need to find me and become me again.
I have been caught up in the crazy world that is a relative of addiction-it’s called codependency. To be quite honest-it has been harder and far scarier to consider leaving this world than it was to leave my substance abuse behind.
It’s messing with my mind and emotions on a daily basis.
It hurts down to the very core of my soul. I fight within myself everyday-it’s become like an obsession.
I reason myself out of it everyday. I try to convince myself that it isn’t true but the pain from remaining in it is just as painful as the steps to break free.
I heard some words from an old 80’s song the other day-it’s become my motto-my mantra. “We can take forever just a minute at a time” Bee Gees (More than a Woman)
Just do life a minute at a time-stay in the moment. It feels so similar to overcoming my addiction but it is SO different.
It’s so hard to explain but it also is explaining so much about why and how I became an addict at such a young age and why I married an alcoholic and why my life has been so, I don’t know, I just don’t know what it has been.
I am coming up out of the fog.