The Honeymoon is Over

I was reading a handout on the different phases we go through when we get off of drugs. It talks about how your brain chemistry changes and your moods. There is a honeymoon phase when we are clean, and I believe I am leaving this phase.  I now realize that my short-term memory issues may be more permanent than I had first thought.  I am now in what I am choosing to call the scattered-yet-working-your-ass-off phase.  I am done with anti-psychotics, and other psychotropic medicines.  They only seem to make my memory holes wider.  I am using an old technique I learned back in college to exercise my brain and memory.  I think of an oldies song that I loved and I try to force myself to recollect the lyrics.  You can’t pick an easy one though where they just repeat the same verse over and over.  The one I am working on now is a 70s song by Reunion called Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me), which is about the names of about a billion oldies artists. Check it out on You-tube –the lyrics go really fast!

Anyway, I won’t say that I have lost enthusiasm for my program of recovery.  I am committed to my surrender each day; to allow my Higher Power to have control over my life and I have had to face this dilemma….In working the steps, I’ve had to recall choices of self-will (give examples of where I asserted my will.)  Well that could go on forever, but the point is that I had to recall certain triggering memories in my past, and understand the difference between due to my disease of addiction versus accountability for my actions. Do you know what I mean?  I feel like the literature illustrates in the first step that we are “people who are afflicted with the disease of addiction”…”whose lives are controlled by drugs” and other statements that make it sound like we had no control over what we were doing.  “…we were powerless over our addiction and our lives had become unmanageable.”  But understanding what my disease of addiction means to me, and holding myself accountable for my actions while in active addiction is a harsh awareness at times.  I hold high standards for myself and for those around me.  Sometimes too high.

So what’s my point today?  Hard work has always been a part of who I am; both my standards and those of my children include a strong work ethic (which by the way seems lacking in the millennial generation).  I am committed to working hard at my job, as I am committed to working hard at my recovery.  That being said, I am having to motivate myself to work at memory recall, checking in with myself, doing my daily yoga and meditation, doing my step work, and going to my meetings.  It is in this phase that I will find out what I am really made of and who I really am.  I still use DBT skills to process my emotions, and other skills to maintain mindfulness and not dissociate, and I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the mode of pushing myself (and probably pushing others around me as well).  I have memorized a lot of the standard literature from the meetings and this is good for me because it does force me to exercise my memory.

As for my mood swings, yes I have noticed manic episodes and depressive moods, but I also know how to normalize these feelings and not let these interludes last long.  Do I still use sex as an escape mechanism? Yeah.  But I understand why I do it now. It’s my way of forcing myself to feel and deal with something.  It should just be all about the pleasure, and it will be for me at some point.  It’s the prescience of the act itself and the foreplay that makes it satisfying for me; the ability to tantalize someone.  These escapades of fancy keep me in the moment.  It’s a reason to keep moving forward; to keep working hard; to stay clean.  Today is 150 days clean for me.

Peace, love, blessings and motivation to all!

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