Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How Did I Do It?

Happy 4th of July.

I have had a few people ask me how it is that I got and stay sober.  There are a few things that keep me sober, but here is how I stopped using in the beginning. Well...the second beginning.

That day in August, when I knew things had to change, I knew what I had to do to get clean and be there for my kids.  I had tried this so many times before  But after the episode with my son, things looked very different.

In my mind, I had to get BOB into treatment.  I knew that I could sober up with meetings and my community of sober women, who I had already established in my previous stints of sobriety.  If I could get HIM to stop bringing drugs around me, and using, than I could stop using. This is codependency at its finest.  I should have had my name in the dictionary next to the definition.

I probably needed treatment.  But I didn't want to do that to my kids again.  And I knew that if I went to treatment, Bob would be home using alone.  What's worse, I thought our families would take our kids. Which, by the way, would have been the right thing to do if we kept on that path.  They didn't know that we had relapsed.  At the time, it seemed like going to treatment would be the WRONG thing to do.  It never is the wrong thing to do, but again, my decision making sucked.

My sobriety date was Monday, August 23, 2010.  On Friday of that same week, I went to the Northwoods Retreat, put on by Hazelden.  I have been to that retreat every year since it started.  Not always sober, but I have been there.  I went to that retreat and got brutally honest.  I knew that when I got home, I had to ask Bob to leave. I also made a promise to myself that if I couldn't stay sober, I would go to treatment.  But luckily, I was able to pull it off.

I told him that he could come back if he went to treatment again.  He refused.  I started telling our families that he was a meth addict, hoping it would help push him.  I left out the part that I was also a meth addict.  I even went so far as to bring his dad our meth pipe.  No one actually believed me.  But Bob wanted to come back home, so he finally went to treatment.  He went in to the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud, MN on September 23, 2010 for their chemical dependancy program.

During his treatment there, they diagnosed him with PTSD and made him deal with it.  Taking a person's drugs away, and making them deal with the worst thing that ever happened to them, can cause a mental break down.  As I said before, that invited a whole other monster into our lives.  His struggle since has been severe.  He is drug free at the moment, but the mental struggle is major.  He is getting better, slowly, but surely.

At that point, we had already lost our business.  Bob had been working for my dad, but he finally lost that job.  Our house went into foreclosure.  We had to apply for welfare.  File bankruptcy.  If I would have wanted to keep using meth, I don't know how I would have gotten the money.  I don't want to think about it.

I am really good at being sober when shit is awful around around me.   I can rally and clean up the mess in life.  It is when things are going well, I get bored, I get antsy, and I want to use.  I have said that the last two years haven't been easy with life issues.  I am in a way, very grateful for that.  I think the lack of money, and Bob's illness has helped keep me sober.  It has let me get enough sobriety under my belt, that I am loving life sober.  When our money situation got better, I didn't feel like using.  I don't feel bored this time.  I don't feel like I'm missing anything.  I can focus and take care of my family.

That is how I got sober.  How I stay sober is that I go to meetings.  I call my friends in my program.  I hang with the winners.  I practice acceptance, gratitude, and letting go.  I PRACTICE those things, I really suck at those things.  But I can tell you this.  I am not bored, I am not antsy, I am feeling good.  Oh, and I am back in school working toward becoming a licensed drug and alcohol counselor.

I pay attention to my part.  Life isn't rainbows and butterflies all day now.  Some days are good.  Some days are bad.  But I don't have to use at either of them.  I can deal.  And that is what I do.

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