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Adventures in Sobrietyland

Discussion in 'Freedom from Hell ~ Staying Clean~' started by Trigger, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. rugby

    rugby Well-Known Member

    Yes it will keep you clean..... Remember we have to play the tape through..... When we go back out all we remember is the nice euphoria, not the damaged relationships, drained bank accounts, and feeling of desapair and panic. Everytime I relapsed I regreted it big time. Remember all you have to get through is today. Chances are you won't want to use tomorrow if you don't use today. Sounds like you're doing great don't destroy everything you have worked so hard for!
  2. Bonita

    Bonita Well-Known Member

    What again happen to your fingers? did you break them all and all in a cast? Oh.. no voice dial on iphone? hehehe. Joking... I suggest you call someone to go hang out with, have coffee or just chat on phone about how fast spring came upon us. Trigger, you been around long enough, played this game long enough and know what the next step is.
  3. Mr. Guitar

    Mr. Guitar Well-Known Member

    Did you make it through triggsy?
    Whats been going on, are you still on the east coast?
    Wishing the best for you, Peace.
  4. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    ^ thanks man. your small message means a lot to me. i still remember walking the streets in hollywood, shoulder to shoulder, when some homeless guy asked us for change and you replied-- "hey-- we're broke, we're junkies, man..."

    that still makes me laugh.

    and yes, posting on ODR that one day kept me from scoring. reading your post some time later, kept me clean again. it's not always like that, but it was a neat thing to try, and writing/communicating has the power to keep me safe... sometimes.

    i have found some peace beyond the drug lifestyle. my life seems even weirder without drugs, and i've been painting/producing work more than ever these days. however, no matter how artistically productive i am, it is virtually impossible to escape reality. and unfortunately this year has been all about facing things.

    Mr. Guitar, i envy people like you, rain, G, etc. who seem to be able to push drugs aside, and not really be tempted to pick up again. More than that-- be able to hand out all sorts of advice about staying clean. it seems like suspicious magic to me. and though i'm not physically addicted to anything, and use nothing on a daily basis... i still find it hard to speak authoritatively about sobriety.

    still, my ultimate goal is abstaining from all chemicals. when i do cave and have a sip/puff/pill, i at least try and pay attention to the circumstances that lead me there. i am still on the east coast, and i have no community here. no one to hang out with and very few people that will answer/ return my calls. at one point, some close friends just gave up on me. i guess i'm an intense person, and it must get tiresome to hear stories about failure and drama. i'm in my 30s, and i'm supposed to have stories about babies, awkward dates, political choices, danielle steel novels, or whatever... where i'm living, i guess i don't fit in and the isolation is hard.

    i really feel like no one wants me around, i don't know any other way to say it. one of my old friends used to say that intense personalities get old quickly. that people either love you or hate you, and if it's love, it burns out quickly. people don't like inquisitive minds and lots of questions. they don't want to hear about dreams, because it might remind them of their own which they aren't pursuing for whatever reason. people are scared of me, or i make them uncomfortable-- but not purposefully. i'm just living in a conservative community.

    some memories surface... right after i moved here, the guy i'm living with became offended because i guess he felt rejected by me. he threw me against a wall and told me how ugly i was, how old i was becoming, and basically told me i was a wash up. he was drunk, and the next day pretended like he was the victim in the incident. no apology, of course... the next day i gave up drinking and that has been one of my proudest achievements. being able to stay way from alcohol.

    incomplete, but that's my story. i'm not a role model like you, Mr. Guitar.

    it feels good to write about this, even if it's dark stuff.
  5. Mr. Guitar

    Mr. Guitar Well-Known Member

    Thanks? I think, sometimes I can't tell if your being sarcastic haha. :wink:
    I don't know if I'm the best role model, or if I can really speak THAT "Authoritatively" about sobriety. I can only really mention some of the things that HAVE WORKED for me. Im a firm believer that there is no one correct way to get and stay clean, it's not in ANY way, a one size fits all thing thing, ya know? However, I think there are without a doubt some common things that are present in the actions of EVERYONE that has managed to stay clean, for any extended length of time. By the way 4/20 was 2 and 1/2 years without any dope for me :D It hasn't been 2 and 1/2 years of complete & total AA sobriety (but very close), & I am very proud of where Im at.

    As for temptation, to say that I havent been tempted to pick up at all would be total bollacks, as we both know. There have been a couple times where it was damn close, However each time, I made it through. Like you said its about recognizing the "triggers" that made me feel that way in the first place, to make sure next time those feelings surface, they can be stopped before they are actually acted upon.

    As for you, the fact that your not physically dependant on anything, is a MASSIVE accomplishment, IMHO. You should be really proud of that, considering where you were at with dope, speed, alcohol... those are all incredibly hard things to kick as you know. So everything else aside, Id say in that aspect your doing bloody great, and good on ya, you should be really proud of yourself!

    You seem so focused on what your "supposed" to do, and have stories about: babies, husband, 401k etc.. All that jazz. Don't worry about it! Just be you. If those are the things you really want, then make a plan on how to get them, but are they really the things you want.. right now at least? Its great your cranking out lots of art what are you doing with it? Is it able to provide you with a living? If so thats always something thats incredibly sastisfying.
    Do you have any goals at the moment.. short term or long term? If not then make some. Try to get some purpose for yourself no matter how small or large, That always seemed to help me in the past when I felt a bit... lost.

    Intense personality? ha thats an understatment! You certainly can be a bit....stand-offish? Again though you are who you are, embrace it, and others will follow. (just got to find them first) Also, for someone who is totally all sorts of shades of grey, sometimes you can see things, & respond very black and white, IMO or course ;). Maybe try to be more open, forgiving, embrace life, & learn to love yourself (* sorry I just threw up in my mouth a little bit) but seriously. The more you work on yourself, try become a better person and really start to respect and improve yourself, the more people will WANT to be around you. You are a very smart person, your talented, unique, not just another mindless zombie robot. you have a lot of things going for you, lots of things to offer, just get behind them.

    I hope this didn't come off to preachy or D-baggy, it really wasn't my intention, just my $.02, which is about what its worth. Then again I am a role model, right? :D

    P.S. Congrats again on the sobriety, impressive and awesome, go you! Post more often! I'll check back in for hopefully another post or a PM.
  6. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Oh, don't put me into that category! While it is true that I don't think about using when I'm working and happy, it is categorically untrue that I NEVER think about it, ot never struggle with it. Currently things are really rough, on every front except the work one, and I'm not there right now. I go back soon, though, and that is all to the good...seahab, and all that.

    So things are bad, and life is difficult, and I've had a helluva time staying away from dope. I haven't picked up, mostly because I know that the voice I frequently hear in my head (you know the one..."just once" and a load of other crap like it) is an unmitigated liar.

    Oh, sure, there is always the possibility that I could use that "just once" and be OK - I've even done it, a couple of times. But is it worth the risk? Oh, hell no. I like my life now...and have to remind myself of that sometimes, and of why it is true, even if it means spending several hours in front of the idiot box watching The Deadliest Catch. Whatever works, right? Hell, if it keeps me away from dope, I'll cheerfully load all 7 seasons of that show (which I dislike in many respects) onto my laptop and watch it over and over, every day. Thankfully, though, it has not come to that as yet.

    I also think you are doing remarkably well. Not copping a habit is itself a huge step, though I would have to say that I doubt that is a sustainable state in the long run. I know that it would not be for me.

    That said, I'm not 100% clean myself - I still haven't given up the occasional drink or two (OK, sometimes even 3 or 4) nor stopped smoking weed. I don't really give a sht about that, though - I'm not putting needles in my arms, not strung out on hard drugs; and that was my goal in the first place. I don't have to live in a self-imposed hell now, and while, as I've said, it is not always easy - it is a monumental improvement over where I was a year ago.
  7. guinevere64

    guinevere64 Well-Known Member

    yeah dude, i don't really belong in that category either. had drugs a week ago when i had to have emergency gyn surgery, then 5 days later my husband had a root canal and brought my favorite drugs into the house, and 2 days later i had to ask him to get rid of them because i was looking at the pills every day. (he thought he had hidden them but of course if there are drugs in the house i know where they are; i am not proud of this, it kind of makes me sick that i went behind his back and found them) i didn't take any but thought a lot about it, it was becoming an obsession again, because the drugs i'd had the previous week, including fentanyl!--activated my physical desire all over again. texted him from a meeting to give the sh!t to somebody else till he may need it again, and he did. if it hadn't been for my willingness to write about it and to tell a lot of people face to face about every aspect of what i was going through and take direction from them, i'd be using today. ...

    sometimes i just want to forget, to not-feel, not-care, etc.

    for me active addiction is a lot about hiding and running. i just can't do that sh!t anymore. i mean, i can, i could, but i'm tired of that life, i still remember how fu cking exhausting it all was, and like Rain i'll do most anything not to go back that way.

    i guess by contrast my version of recovery is about love. still not good at loving myself but, also, still learning. as long as i don't pick up, i can stay on that project. ... also, got a dog 2 weeks ago. i think she's a german shorthaired pointer/black lab mix. talk about love. she absolutely LOVES ME. never experienced that before.

    this is my dog Flo with my friend P, who's helping me train her.

    how are you doing?

    love, /G

  8. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    it's been so hard to bring myself to update this, but it's time to do a little honest free writing. basically, today i've been off opiates for 21 days. it is a major victory, as i've been struggling since May. back then, i had this spree that lasted 3 weeks. i was out on the streets, shooting H, the whole potboiler... i am on the east coast and part of it was, just wanting to be on the other side of the color line in this imperial city. i hate the white washed neighborhood i live in. ok, that's too negative-- i was basically opiate free for 1.5 years. a lot of that time was spent technically sober from everything, but i knew i had this relapse in me. i was unhappy, and not really doing much about it. it was not worth it to me to be sober and face that unhappiness... in order to actually solve the problems in my life (without drugs), it would take too much hard work and time. i never really learned how to be a well rounded person sober. had no idea how to hang out with friends, date, have sex, without drugs and alcohol. i was terribly lonely.

    anyways, after doing H for three weeks, i was shocked that i felt full blown withdrawal-- as if that wasn't the obvious result of that kind of behavior. around 40 hours in, i hit the sub, still amazed, but physically relieved. a week later, i went straight back to the needle. what is a long, harrowing drama for me, can be summed up simply for you-- i spent the summer bouncing back and forth between H and sub. i was like an insect stuck in the bottom of a ceramic bowl that was too slippery to fully escape.

    nearly immediately, i realized i couldn't just give in and be an addict. i have a lot of dreams that pull me in the other direction. they're too embarrassing to mention here, but sometimes this little Tinkerbell comes to me, when i'm really far gone and hopeless. this figure usually has a powerful feminine voice, calling me back. i sometimes relate her to women i've known in recovery, or in my career. the face has changed over time, but i have come to realize that this little Tinkerbell is my future self, or at least who i want to be sans drugs.

    lol, the thing i did different this time, was instead of just talking to the Tinkerbell, i dusted off some old numbers and called people. lots of shame just admitting where i was at. NO-- the shame isn't the worst part. the worst part is confiding all this dangerous, stupid information KNOWING that people want/need to help, but they can only listen. and i felt like i was just making everyone suffer by letting them in on a terrible secret. here on the east coast, i live very near to family and have a roommate who has become a dear friend. at different times, i told everyone... but there were obvious bruises on my body. i am a shitty poker player, so everything was written right there on my forehead.

    a lot of things happened at once. i broke the news to my dad over lunch-- worst cobb salad of my life. he's a great man who probably should have practiced better birth control... anyways, i finally told him that opiates were the huge problem. that i am not sure how to ever cure myself, if a cure was even possible. that i had been street scoring, and illegal activity, blah, blah. during the entire lunch, i was terrified of him loaning me money. i knew i would just end up scoring. you see, the only way i could really stay sober, was to stay broke.

    a couple of days later, i shot a bag that i thought was fake, but may have been tainted. i blacked out in the shower... i felt like i was dying, but the weird part was i was fighting like hell to stay alive. i was surprised at how badly i wanted it, and for some reason, this meant i had to claw my way out of the bathroom and into a cooler room to revive myself. i fell down several times, and once my head cleared, i realized i had broken my rib. i was sucking in these shallow, sharp breaths. i decided against going to the doctor. i would not be tempted by a norco script and i'm tuff. at that point, i could go for days without using. a rare oasis.

    that same week, i started psycho therapy. i was dire straights and broke, but there are government funded places you can go. the whole idea was to address my ADHD. this diagnosis was one of the few clues i had about why i am like this. so i laid out my history for this young, young doctor. it was basically a classroom situation. i may have been the first addict this guy had ever come across. i told him i had been prescribed adderral and xanax, but had stopped taking it a year ago. i guess i thought the whole therapy experience would be more Jungian-- the talking cure. i think this 'doctor' was just there to medicate me with more boring types of drugs. we tried talking, but i just couldn't bring myself to confide anything, and felt like i was wasting time. he offered me lithium, but i agreed to go on Wellbutrin, and i even stayed on it for 3 weeks, giving it the old college try.

    HEY-- i have to stop writing right now, but i am going to post this, because i am afraid i'll chicken out and just cooly delete this later. i am sorry to let you guys down, but i wouldn't be here writing if there wasn't some sort of positive resolution. this first part is the sad part. after all, i am 21 days clean and finally starting to feel safer.

    sorry for the typos. some of the keys are sticking.
  9. Robyn

    Robyn Well-Known Member

    Glad you posted Trigger. You're not letting anyone down, I'm sure of that. I've relapsed more times than I can count over the past 20 years.
    Depression has been a big problem for me on and off opiates...may be why I started using in the first place. I've also talked with many therapist over the years...seemed none of which really knew what to do with an addict.
    I hope you'll keep posting. I know you're in a tough spot, but your sense of humor is priceless.
    Good luck--
  10. gettingbetter

    gettingbetter Well-Known Member

    Cobb salad isn't as good as the idea of Cobb salad, anyway.

    Love you Trigs.
  11. Robyn

    Robyn Well-Known Member

    Thinking about you and hoping you're okay, Trigger.
  12. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    i'm ok. i'm at 24 days off opiates, just really got sucked into some of the drinking this weekend. i'm just drinking to fit in and socialize. i figure a few glasses of wine is better than isolation, so i'm not being terribly hard on myself. it's sticky...

    getting back to the Wellbutrin, that 3 week period was great for dissecting some of the shame. one of the most interesting questions ever posed on ODR was-- if you were given a choice, would you choose to be born normal, and not an addict? it took me awhile to answer that one. lots of layers of self hatred. but you know what? not only would i choose to be me, addiction included-- i can't even imagine being me without some of these horrible (and great) experiences.

    *** DELETE *** ok, i just deleted some somewhat angry stuff about AA. really, inducting Wellbutrin was turbulent and i experienced entire days of irrational anger. i was contemplating returning to the program for obvious reasons, but that wall of anger was there. i feel sort of bullied by the program, but eventually i came to understand the part that was my fault. i'll leave it at that.

    the comedic part of the Wellbutrin was that my libido went through the roof. lol, lust seemed like such a natural thing after all the opiates, it made me smile. otherwise, Wellbutrin kept me from drinking, made pot smoking ineffectual, and did nothing to keep me away from the needle. but remember-- i had a fractured rib... have a little compassion? after 5 days of abstaining, i went back.

    but still, at that point, i was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. way back in january, i found a small chapter of buddhists here, that was a budding chapter of the dharma punx group, sluggo had turned me onto, back in LA. they were really happy to see me. usually only about 5 people show up, and it was just one of those things where the chemistry is right. these weekly meetings on sunday nights, became something worth staying sober for. i am forced to talk a lot, because there are only 5 of us. i was impressed, listening to how people actually applied buddhist principles to their life, and somehow decided that i would try and do the same. sounds stupid, but usually i just listen and learn, but now the desire to commit is there. i hope to write more about this later-- when i was still shooting up, i'm not sure i saw any of this too clearly.

    at the 3 week mark, i decided to quit Wellbutrin cold turkey. wait... directly before that, i used H for 5 days straight, and then grabbed my last sub off the street. the last two days of scoring H, involved having lunch with my dealer at a homeless shelter. it was real eye-opening. the word 'rehab' got tossed around a few times this summer, i just assumed i couldn't afford it. but while at the shelter, pretending to eat bad meatloaf, someone told me about this welfare camp for broke addicts in west VA. the shelter sponsored it, i went into this other room and looked at photos about it. grumpy, poor people paddling canoes, but i promised myself i would go there if i kept sinking lower and lower.

    friday of that week, i took my last scrap of sub. that next monday i quit wellbutrin. i was terrified back then. you see, most of my days were spent underemployed or just plain unemployed. i was covering my bills, but i had SO MUCH spare time on my hands, that i could not guarantee... staying off H every single day, just seemed impossible. i was absorbing a lot of anger in the city, but still feeling so ******* isolated and angry.
    i live in Washington DC, and this upcoming election is just super intense, and you get sucked in.

    and then my higher power kicked in. i guess technically, the republicans rode in on their elephants and offered me a job. it wasn't easy-- i was tested, screened, interviewed and competing with several other people that i thought were entirely more appropriate. i'm just this art school grad, not very politicized at all. but the GOP is shrewd, and i feel like ethically i might be in a grey area... that is another post. i have to wrap this up, because this job officially starts tomorrow. i will be working 50+ hour weeks, with lobbyists, copywriters and journalists. they don't even give us lunch breaks, just cater lunch so we can keep working. i will be thrown into the middle of a global happening, and i thrive on these types of work environments. logistically, it would be impossible to hold this job while using smack.

    here's the key thing-- this job pays me what seems like a truckload of money. more money than i have ever been paid. with money, comes options. by xmas, i could buy myself another car, drive back to LA, rent another little bungalow and do what i did before... hopefully sans drugs. OR i could fly to Panama, teach at my friend's art school, hunt down some ibogaine and see what that is like... lots of things could happen.

    i know, i know-- new jobs are like geography cures. there are no guarantees that i will be able to stay safe. i just feel so lucky and happy that this summer is over. i hope i stay vigilant about recovery and continue to keep this thread alive.
  13. Robyn

    Robyn Well-Known Member

    I'm always amazed when people pose that question. I mean, am I grateful to be an addict? Hell no. Alot of "what if's" at 58. Yeah, I'm in a better place now and I've had an incredible life so far, but I can't help think about lots of wasted time...
    Congratulations on 24 days and your new job, Trigger. Money=freedom for sure.
  14. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    You should come out from behind that burka.. or whatever. say hi a little.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  15. gettingbetter

    gettingbetter Well-Known Member

    Trigs, I married the GOP lookin for an answer to my problems. I don't blame you for gettin paid in the endeavor.

    I have more to say but I just want to ask you to read "Hills Like White Elephants" by Hemingway because I wonder if that's in any way a metaphor. But I have to go to bed.
  16. Trigger

    Trigger Well-Known Member

    Dani! will read... used to love Hemingway. i have an update i'm dying to tell you, but i have to wait until after work.

    good to see you, AumuA. glad to be back in general.
  17. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Hey, Trigger -

    Haven't seen you around in awhile, hope you're OK...

    In answer to your question, I've thought about it quite a bit, and if I could change it, I would choose not to be an addict. I wasted WAY too much time on that sht - who the hell knows what I might have accomplished if I hadn't been a junkie?

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