Living Now By SC

It just fits..

I just got done putting my 7 year old to sleep, and laying here with her I realize that it is amazing how my children just fit with me. I was laying half on the bed and half off the bed with her intertwined around me, and somehow it just worked. I know that some will know what I am talking about. It takes a few minutes to get comfortable with my children, but then we find that perfect spot, and once it its found they are usually asleep, within minutes, and I am not far behind if I stay holding them. I have to put them down within a couple of minutes of them sleeping, or else I will be out with them. That’s only part of how my children just fit with me.. They are so much like me sometimes and other times I see a lot of their dad in them. They know how to play perfect with me most the time, they sense when something isn’t right, and they just know things about us. It’s amazing how it happens most of the time. I don’t know if it is the same for a father and his children, if it is the same for other mother’s and their children or not, I just know how it is for mine. I didn’t get to see my older children for a while, when I was having issues, and I couldn’t sleep most nights. The two years that I went without being able to see them, I swear the most that I was able to sleep was 2-3 hours at a time. I would wake up for no reason and falling asleep took me forever, I know that it may sound weird to some people, but some of that right there was a reason that I used for a while. I wouldn’t sleep, but if I used and stayed up for a while, then I could actually sleep for hours when I first fell asleep. I wanted to be able to sleep everyday all day when I didn’t have them and couldn’t see them, but I couldn’t sleep at all. I didn’t realize that by just getting my life together and getting back into their lives I would be able to sleep again, and I do mean sleep. I will never forget the first night that they came to stay with me, I fell asleep within a matter of minutes. I was holding my little girl (she’s 7) and putting her to sleep for the first time in 2 years, and I think I was asleep before she was asleep. I was so comfortable and she just fit, it made sense for her to be cuddled up next to me. If I had known this before, it would have given me another push to get clean faster. I know now that I should have done it regardless, but the cycle of using sucks you in and it is almost impossible to get out for most people. Even when you loose everything, it’s so hard.. I guess for me it was that when I lost everything, it hurt so bad and I didn’t know how to handle the pain and it became easier to use and not to have to think about it then to face it. Then you just keep using because everyday hurts worse and worse and you can’t figure out how to get it back right away. I don’t know but maybe if you could get everything back you lost the day after you decided to get clean, and it would all just come back to you right then, more people would be able to quit and begin recovery. It don’t work that way though, you have to quit using and you have to learn how to handle what hurts, you have to learn how to feel emotions all over again. Learning how to feel the pain that has built up over time, is the roughest part of recovery. That is a huge learning process, I remember when I first started the only way that I got through mine, I had to channel it, I was mad at everyone else, and I guess that it had to be that way. For me I had to sit for hours and think of how to get back at everyone that hurt me, and how I was going to make them pay for it. I would sit and research laws, and read up on DFS, and make them follow all the rules, and call Jefferson City, and report them for anything that they did wrong, I had to channel all my anger in hurt into something else. I was mad at the world and I had to control everything. There were some days that I would call my caseworker and ask her questions that I already knew the answer to just to see if she knew, it made me feel better that she didn’t know and I did. It was just part of it, it was part of what I had to do to be able to deal with the hurt that was given to me. You know what is the most amazing thing, I had no idea about any of this until right now… It just came to me right now typing this post, how I got through those first few months of living clean, and what I did to be able to feel the hurt and handle it. Looking back now I know that my counselors knew this, I remember my one pushing me to read the Art of War.. By Sun Wu Encouraging me to go in that direction, not for any other reason except for they knew that was what I needed to do to get through those first couple months of feeling all the pain that I had tried to ignore for all those years. Addicts that have turned to drugs, have to develop a coping mechanism, when they first get clean to be able to deal with all the trauma that they have caused in their lives for using drugs. See.. this is why everyone in recovery needs to write something.. It helps you understand more things then you ever imagined.. I guess writing just does that, I bet there are a lot of people who blog and write a journal and learn more about themselves writing, then anything they have ever done..

Good Night I feel awesome.. I just learned something new about my recovery…

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Recovery.. NA Versus Outpatient Treatment..

Being in recovery I have learned that there are different types of people and different things work for everyone when it comes to having a successful recovery. Before I had thought that I didn’t want to go to any sort of “groups” where it was a class type setting, I thought that I didn’t need that, and had it not been required of me to attend I would have honestly never tried it and I would still be struggling with using. I had tried NA, a couple of years ago, cause that’s what most people said worked for them, and really that’s what most people hear about and that’s what is said to keep most people clean. To me I think that is a lie. When I tried going I came to realize that most people going there, make it okay to justify their addiction, and it makes me personally want to use more when I left than not going at all. Then there, just like treatment, you have those that are being made to go, not that they actually really want to be there anyways, and you know that they are still using and just being around those people makes you want to use again. Going to treatment has helped me more than anything. I have come to learn that I am a fact orientated person and that I am the type of person that wants answers. I want to know why it happened to me, what goes on in my body chemistry, and what it is that goes on within myself on a factual level. I like being somewhere that there is a actual structure to each group, and not just a sharing time all the time. Yes some of the groups are still groups that people can share their thoughts and feelings, but there is someone there that monitors those groups and helps people see and understand when they are using that time to glorify their addiction. Then there are the groups that I have come to really like and those are the ones where a actual recovery subject is picked and we get to learn a actual lesson about recovery. (If you want a example of this, read my first recovery post, or about being a kid post). When I first started doing treatment, I was there for 6 hours one day a week and in those 6 hours that I was there, it all went by the hour, so you get a 15 min break every hour, and each hour would be different from the last. In NA when you attend those sometimes you are there for 2 hours sometimes you are there for 4 hours and each hour runs together. If it is a large NA group the “sharing” time can last 4 to 5 hours depending on the people that are there. Sometimes a person will talk about themselves for a hour or more. I don’t mind hearing someone else story, but I really like it to be on my time, and there to be a limit to it if its not, but that’s just me and how I feel.

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Give Positive Comments..

One day at treatment we did this great exercise.. We got a piece of paper and we wrote everyone’s name on it, then next to everyone’s name we wrote a good comment about that person. When everyone was finished, we turned our papers in and the group leader went person by person and read what everyone had wrote about that person, without telling anyone who had said what. At the end of reading everyone’s comments about that person, they were asked if the comments that were read, were what they expected or if they had expected something different. Then they had the opportunity to either think to themselves about what they thought their biggest downfall was, and if any of the good comments that were read about them had changed that view of themselves. Most of the people had said that their negative thought about themselves was something that was personal to themselves, and “No” no one had commented on that particular thought about themselves. I noticed that day how when it was the persons turn to hear all the positive, good comments about themselves, that even if they didn’t realize it, they got a big smile on their face listening to the comments, and you could tell the way that they went from feeling just okay, to feeling really good about themselves even if it was just for that moment. Everyone enjoys hearing positive things about themselves, and everyone needs to hear those things once in a while. We as people all make mistakes, with those mistakes we end up getting really down on ourselves for those mistakes, and when someone says something positive to you about you, those mistakes get forgotten even if only for a couple of moments, and they feel good about themselves. Even though most people said that none of the good and positive comments that people had said about them had nothing to do with something that they felt was one of their downfalls, that didn’t even really matter. While those comments were being read, they weren’t thinking about that things, they were listening to hear what everyone else had to say about them. How would you feel if when you opened your email, you got to see just one positive comment about yourself? I know that it would make me feel good.. I have come to realize that blogging everyday not only helps me take those few minutes to myself that I so desperately need, gives me the opportunity to talk about things that are on my mind, helps me answer my own thoughts, and helps me create solutions to problems that I didn’t even know were really there until the end. There have been some blog post that I have started with just one crazy though which lead me to something else, which lead me to the understanding of a problem that I really didn’t know existed, into not only the understanding of the problem, but also the answer to the problem. Its amazing the things that I have been able to see just by writing about different things, and then the answer just comes… Then there is the other, I check my email and see the likes on the different post that I have made and it makes me feel good about myself, just as it did that day in group. In life we get to hard on the people that we love, and we end up being hard on them about different things, but then we forget to give them just as much praise as we did criticism, for the things that we did good. We are so quick in life to over look the good things, and only see the bad things in life.

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I have lost a lot in the past due to my addiction and my struggle with drugs. Over the past year I have worked really hard to get back the most important things that I lost… my children. I could sit here and write a mile long list of the other things that I have lost, but instead let me tell you a little bit about what I have gained. I have gained the knowledge that I am not alone, and that there are others out there suffering from addiction too. I have gained the knowledge that there is help out there and with help, recovery can be successful. There are counselors that understand, and that have risen above and beyond their own addictions to help those still struggling. I have learned that not everyone is a addict, but recovery is much like life itself. For me I feel that going through addiction and recovery I have gained more now, then what it took from me. I heard a song on the radio the other day that was about the hardships and the bad things in our lives, end up being blessings in our lives. I know that when I had my baby in February of 2012, even though I didn’t deserve for Division of Social Services to take her and they didn’t have really any reason other than my past and what had happened in 2010 to take her. Then because they took her it gave me the push that I guess God felt that I needed to stay in treatment, to attend the extra parenting classes, and the push to get back in my older two children’s life. Without everything that has happened to me I wouldn’t be the person that I am today, I wouldn’t know the people that I know, and most of all I wouldn’t know what I know today. It has made me who I am, and it has taken my life in a direction that I never thought it would take. It has made me think more of my future than ever before. The events have made me actually stick with things, where as before I started a lot of things but never stuck with them. The hard things in life are the things that you actually learn from. If you really sit and think about it, the hard things are the things that you learn from, the easy things in life the things that you enjoy, those are good things, easy moments and everyone needs them too, but you don’t learn from them like you do the hard things. The things that make you cry are the things that you learn the most from. I am a better person today than I was before everything that happened. I actually think about the future now, I know that there is going to be a future for me and my children. I still live a lot in the moment, cause that’s all anyone really has. There is no such thing as tomorrow. Someone at treatment said one day, that they stayed clean for 5 years by telling themselves everyday that they would use tomorrow, and then when tomorrow would come they would tell themselves that they would use tomorrow. As you see tomorrow never actually came. It really is amazing the things that I am able to see now, the things that I took for granted before, that now I know can be taken from me just as easy as they were given to me. I cried myself to sleep every night when I didn’t get to see my children.. I couldn’t hardly sleep when I didn’t get to see them. I would stay up all night and just lay awake thinking about the moment that I would get to see them again, praying that nothing happened to them before I actually got to see them again. Thinking about what I would say to them, the things that they wanted me to do with them, that I hadn’t done, because I thought other things were more important than them. I remember that first weekend that they got to come to my house and I got to see them for that first time, I slept like a baby. Before everything happened, I always took sleeping like that for granted, I remember bragging about how easy it was for me to sleep, and then I knew what it was like to never sleep. I took that time to play games with them, read to them, sit and hug them for hours, run around the house and play with them like I was a kid, and just hold them and fall asleep with them in my arms. All my children are special, but I have one that just stands above the rest. I have the one that everyone that has kids should have. I have that extraordinary child that helps me and in a way that I guess only I can understand guides me in a way that I never thought possible for children. In a lot of ways I have been down a hard road, but then in even more ways, those hard roads that I have traveled have lead me to the best place that I could ever imagine being… Here where I am at today!

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Be a Kid…

The other day I went to treatment and I got in at least one group, and part of the discussion that day, was about being hard on ourselves for the mistakes that we have made. Learning different ways to lighten up, and being able to bring out that child within ourselves that we once were.. We did a exercise and it don’t matter who you are a addict or not everyone can do it.. We got a plain piece of paper and with the opposite hand that we would normally use to write with we drew a picture of our earliest happiest memory that we had. (Believe it or not, when I was done doing this, I felt some sort of peace, like when you finally solve a problem and it feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders) Then when we were done with that one, we flipped the paper over and did another one, only this time we still used the opposite hand, but we held the pencil like a little kid would hold the pencil. The counselor said that your childhood memories are stored in the opposite side of your brain, the one that normally don’t work and one of the way to activate that side is to use the opposite hand.. Okay maybe I am having a hard time explaining this, but most of the people reading this should understand what it is that I am trying to say. It was a great exercise, and when I got to the second drawing I was remembering more of my childhood. It was weird, like a flood of old good memories that came back to me. As addicts we spend so much time beating ourselves up for what we have done wrong, and maybe its not just a addict thing maybe its a adult thing. As adults we sometimes forget that we can put the computer, tablet, or cell phone aside and turn up the music, grab the hair brush and sing and dance with our favorite song as if we were 7 again. Its okay to put everything aside and run around the house with your kids, playing tag, having that pillow fight, or play that game of truth or dare with them.. Last night my kids and I had a balloon fight.. During the afternoon, we ran around the house and just acted plum crazy, tickling, chasing each other around pinching each others butts, and trying our best to hide from one another. Its okay no matter how old you are to sign as loud as you can, (or in my case as bad as you can), do that stupid dance, or whatever it is that makes you laugh, and I mean laugh like you did when you were a kid playing with your friends acting silly. This is one of the greatest pieces of advice I can give those reading this. I have these moments all the time.. I love being silly with my kids, I love running around the house with them chasing them or running from them, (and I do mean running in the house), jumping on the beds, singing as loud as we can, screaming, and just laughing until we are rolling on the floor. This is done so often here in this house, that my baby that is a month old was sitting in her swing yesterday and she started crying so I gave her, her binky, and then my 7 year old went to wipe chocolate all over me so it was on, and we spent the next hour running through the house screaming and yelling, and the baby fell sound asleep and slept until we quit, then she woke up. When your busy being a kid, there are no over due bills, there is no mistakes that you have made, there is no stress, all there is, is laughter and fun… And its better than you can even imagine.. Try it sometime..

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First Recovery Post…

Everywhere we go there are social classes. There are the ones where the doctors and their wives hang out at. There are those that the lawyers and their friends hang out with and etc. But what happens when you take a bunch of addicts or a bunch of recovering addicts and put them all together? I have been around to know that most of the time it don’t turnout good. You have the ones that are really serious about their recovery, they are doing good for themselves, they are finally getting somewhere in their life, and they have been going through it for a while. Then you add to those that are new to recovery, their lives are still a mess, they don’t really want to be there (they are cause it is a requirement or they are doing it to make others happy, or the last time that they used they had a bad experience and decided that they are going to try to quit, well until something gets put in front of them) You put them with the ones that have been in recovery for a while and somehow or another most of the time, the new ones end up somehow getting the ones that have been there for a wile back into using. This is a crazy cycle and people wonder why the success rate of recovering addicts is slim to none. People wonder why addicts tend to relapse so many times… There really isn’t a system that works and I have thought about the problem but its a really hard problem to fix. The out patient treatment programs almost need to have people entering the program and then the people in the program take a test of some sort to determine where they are at in their recovery, how serious they are about their recovery, and if they are “faking it to make it”, and then separate them into some sort of ranking and keep them in that ranking until they are ready to be moved. By working the out patient recovery program this way it would eliminate some of relapse. It would eliminate what I like to call social relapse. This maybe a really good idea in theory, but designing a testing system to categorized people would be tricky, as every person is different and they do think differently. I would say in order for this to be completely successful you would have to have a “inside person”, that could help with the process. The other most common mistake in recovery, and this is another one that I have seen quite often is what I call the right now, right now, I am all better and it has only been a week. In recovery we all start off really strong and I mean really strong, during the first six months of my recovery I wanted kept telling my counselor.. “I feel like I am on a treadmill, like I am running and running as fast as I can, but I am not going anywhere, my life just seems to be staying the same.” This is where most people new to recovery find it the hardest. I guess that I had convinced myself that if I got clean my life would get better instantly and it don’t work that way. I had to remember that I didn’t become a addict over night and nothing was going to get better over night either. I have since come to realize that recovery is like someone getting ready for a marathon. You have to first spend time in a gym when preparing for a marathon. You have to learn the rules of the marathon, just like you have to learn the rules of living a sober life. Starting in the gym when training for a marathon is so that you can build your endurance to be able handle things that are going to come your way when you start your training outside the gym. Well in recovery you have to “train” to be able to handle the other side of society and you have to be able to say no to the temptations that are going to come your way in life. You can start to see the analogy, recovery is a marathon, a life long marathon.

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