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Addiction and Recovery: Chapter 1

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

I’m shocked at the human staring back at me in the mirror. I have been deprived (or blessed?) of the luxury of seeing my own reflection over the past seven days. During this time it’s apparent I have gone through a metamorphosis of sorts. I’ve been unaware of the change that has taken place.

Instead of dead, dull eyes staring back at me, I see green, sparkling jewels.

The sunken in cheeks still need time to fill in, but there is a definite change. I even go a little bit. It is as if the bright, crisp world I saw through the truck windows has taken hold of my being. Thank God… Because the alternative was surely death.

I welcomed the strong pain medication that was pumped into my veins every 15 minutes. Not only did it take away the excruciating pain, but it also quieted the overactive brain that’s been my constant companion since childhood. Little did I know that this medication would become a constant starfish sucking on my soul. I’m so alone with this because I know there is nothing anyone can do. I’m not sharing my secret as I don’t want anyone to feel even a bite of the fear that swims through my body every moment that I breathe.

Two weeks before my birthday, I knew that I was slowly killing myself. I called Panola West in Batesville and asked if they had a room for me as I needed help getting rid of the venom flowing through my being. The kind intake nurse accepted me for treatment over the phone.

Now that I had a solution, I informed my loved ones. My counselor, my husband, and my daughter applauded me and thought that I should start my journey right away. I told them that my friends were coming for the weekend to celebrate my birthday and my decision to enter treatment, so I settled on going to Batesville on Monday instead.

My weekend didn’t go as expected. The love and support I thought I’d receive from my friends didn’t materialize. Instead of being brave, I lose my courage. And instead of going to Batesville, I take a 90 degree turn and head north to Memphis.

I don’t see a way out. All I know is shame, loneliness and fear. I feel powerless over the strong drugs that now have occupied my being for almost 2 years and somewhere over the weekend, I pretty much gave up.

No one knows where I’m at. I’m totally alone. I pay cash for a hotel room and decide to stay there until I:

1) die or

2) have an epiphany that will make me turn around and head south for treatment.

I never found out which option I would have chosen because the man I love so much along with our best friend, Matt, realized I was gone and that something was wrong. To this day, I don’t know how they found me, but it’s very likely they saved my life that Tuesday morning. After a scare that I will write more about later, I entered treatment two days after I had planned.

By the time I finish this blog entry, this was 16 days ago. I will complete 40 days of treatment before I head home where I will continue my recovery on an outpatient basis.

The world looks so different when at home. I always walk down to the lake to watch the sunset, but here in treatment, I get up at 6 AM each day to watch the sunrise.

Although there are people who are already trying to use my illness to hurt us as a family, I know that I am becoming stronger and more at peace than I have ever been before.

This was just a few days before I entered treatment and one can tell I don't look well.

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