Monday, October 8, 2012

Every day triggers.

A while back I wrote about gardening being a trigger for me. Sometimes I don't even know where or when my triggers are going to be.   I really don't have them much.  Triggers are different from cravings.  I don't crave, but I feel like I could really fuck up quickly by acting on a trigger. They come hard and fast.  That scares the shit out of me.  Which, is a very good thing.

For instance, Bob and I went out to lunch last Friday (I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but you know, my birthday and all.)  We walked in and were waiting to be seated.   There, lined up on the counter was all of the bottled beers this restaurant served.  Beautiful bottles of fall ale, and hard ciders.  My face was the same level as those colorful, delicious 12 ounces of SHIT THAT WILL MAKE MY LIFE FALL APART.  But what runs through my mind is, "It is only the glass that stands between me and total ruin, BE CAREFUL!"  Like one could burst open and land in my mouth.  Then self pity, and bummer run through my mind.  I always see the newest flavor of booze, beer, cider and just wonder what it TASTES like.  And I feel sorry for myself, for a moment, that I am not a normal grown-ass woman who can have a beer.

Of course, I also know how to play the tape all of the way through.  One taste, and I'll be driving by the dealer's house JUST to see if he by chance still lives there, and we know what happens after that.  I end up watching dirty movies, locked in my room.

And by the way, I went to TWO meetings on Saturday.  But I'll tell you more about that on Wednesday.

Speaking of the dealer.  Because of my school schedule and rush hour, I sometimes take the back roads to class to avoid the freeway.  This puts me driving by the road, that leads to the road, that leads to my old dealer's house.  I honestly don't drive down the road exactly.  But I honestly have to pay attention so that my car doesn't suddenly turn in that direction.  It is like there is a monster living inside of me that will take over if I am not totally on guard and careful.  It is that crazy in my head.  I wonder if he moved, I wonder if he is doing yard work, and then I keep driving.

Again, I run the tape through.  And I really just have these thoughts quickly and they pass.  But I think I will never be safe from the addict that lives inside of my brain.  I am glad I have a lot of help to hold on to the good life.

Also, there are simple things like lighters. I lit some candles in my house as I cleaned it the other day. I don't smoke cigs. Well, I don't BUY cigs. Cigarettes (nicotine) are the ONE thing that I can have ONE of and my brain doesn't want to give up my kids to get more. Cigarettes haven't always been like this for me. I used to be SO addicted to smoking. But since quitting drinking and meth, they don't taste as good. In fact, they taste shitty.

Here is where the addict in me shows her stupid head.  I still smoked for a LONG time, and will still smoke on occasion, EVEN THOUGH they taste bad.  How stupid is that??  I will smoke one before AA, or during break at school, but I never buy them anymore. The last time someone offered me one, I turned it down. So weird. I don't smoke anymore and it wasn't even hard to quit. I just stopped doing it because I couldn't make it taste good.   And I tried HARD to make it taste good.  Then, I forgot to keep smoking.

Funny, writing that makes me want to buy some smokes. Thank goodness I'm in bed and its 6:45 AM, because this girl ain't moving.

Back to triggers and lighters. Lighters were a HUGE problem when smoking meth. Can't smoke meth without lighters. Can't light the glass bubble with rubbing two sticks together. We never had enough lighters. We bought them by the packs.  And they would run out so often.  Bob would go to Walgreen's at 3 AM because we ran out.  I am sure the clerks there had NO idea what he was up to.  I am surprised he had the guts to go.  I wasn't moving.

So when I want to light a candle, or the grill (I suck at grilling) I start looking for a lighter. That act makes me think of using. Where's the lighter, where's the lighter?  Bob still has a lighter hidden so we have one (behind the picture, above our mirror in our bedroom) when we need it.  Putting my thumb on the lighter and lighting it, makes me think of using. I get very triggery with lighters.

Going to the bank triggers me. We could never pull out enough cash from the ATM to get our drugs because it wouldn't allow us to, so we had to go to the bank. Central Bank in MN is probably the best bank in the world. No shit.  They let me keep my account open with a negative balance for over a month before they shut us down.  Then they let us open an account once we had our shit together.  Those people would cheer when we brought our account up above a negative balance and were nice enough to take us back.  I don't think ANY bank would have done that.  You just don't get personal service from banks like that.  They gave us another chance.

Because of this, we have no check cards, credit cards or even an ATM card.  So when we want cash, we have to go to the bank the old fashioned way.  Also, the way we did when we used.  So sitting in the drive-thru, I used to wonder what they thought about me pulling out so much money, so often.  I figured they thought I was gambling.  But maybe the scabs on my face told a different story.  Anyhow, now I don't have to hide my face.  I can look them in the eye.  And I know that I am buying groceries, not drugs.

Anyway, those are some triggers off the top of my head.  That is the chronic part of my disease where, if I don't take careful care of it, I can get VERY sick.   I combat it with my medicine of people, meetings and reading that beautiful Big-Book.


  1. I honestly admire your every day of courage. Seriously.

  2. Yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of the day my husband made the decision to quit drinking. I have no real idea of the courage and determination that such a decision requires as I don't have the addiction struggle. But I can tell you that my admiration for him and others like you is deep and heartfelt. Even after all those years, he still has days that trigger his urge to drink but thankfully they don't come often. And every year on Oct. 7th, I thank him for the decision he made and continues to make for me and our two sons. He and you and others that struggle but overcome are inspirations to others as he, like you, shares his story and offers his hand to help others climb out of the trap that is addiction. You have many pulling for you.

    1. Congrats to him and to your family. I so appreciate people who do this before me and show me how. Without folks like him, there isn't any hope for folks like me, and I can maybe be hope for others. That is how this works!!

      Thanks for sharing that wonderful story with me. It makes me have warm fuzies!!

  3. I feel like such an asshole suggesting this but maybe you could use a different type of lighter, like those long ones for the grill...they feel totally different so maybe it would help? (I know it's WAY more complicated than that but I thought maybe just maybe....)
    I'm a clueless non-drug-user in love with a recovering addict........I just found your blog and am looking forward to digging in your archives & getting all up in your business.

    1. I love it! Get up there girl!!

      We actually do have one of those longer ones around here somewhere. And yes, you are right, they don't make me feel icky. Thanks for reading AND commenting.