I spent most of my life avoiding anything that made me feel uncomfortable. Panic attacks prevented me from reaching for a lot of things in my life. Couple those panic attacks with drugs, alcohol, and tumultuous relationships and I had the perfect circle of sickness going. The affect that had on my children is a whole other story (which will be told) but for now I’m going to talk about my three R’s: recoil, react and run. Those three things used to be my only set of coping skills. The recoil part of me stemmed from my youth. Recoil is what I used as a little girl to avoid any type of feeling. React came to me when I started to weave the web of my addiction. And run was always there when I made a mess and couldn’t fix it, particularly with the relationships.
It’s no secret that addicts and alcoholics tend to seek out those as sick or sicker to hang out with. I know for me anyone in their right mind (no offense to those of you who stuck around) would have dropped me like a hot rock. In my B.C. years (before children), I sought out the ones who could “rock-n-roll all night and party everyday” (thank you K.I.S.S. for the song). That song was a light-hearted way to define my life, and in fact reminds me of someone that will remain nameless (she was one of the ones that stuck around and I love her to her core). So at this point I’m 19 (ish), my mom is dying of cancer, and I am a full blown addict and alcoholic. I am now reacting to all of life’s circumstances that I do not know how to deal with.
Here comes run, I remember the first time I did this in the literal sense. I was working for the company my dad worked for for many years. He helped me get this fabulous job and I’m sure he hoped that I wouldn’t mess it up. But, I messed it up in the biggest way possible. I had a meltdown in front of a young supervisor and I walked off the job. I raced home in my little red truck and proceeded to sketch out some type of note explaining to my parents what a piece of shit I was and that I had to leave. Talk about guilt, I had to run because parents like mine didn’t deserve a daughter like me. I fit as much of my stuff in the back of that little red truck and I left for no where.
To rid myself of my three R’s I had to identify them. I had to find new ways to cope and to do that I had to tell someone my deepest darkest secrets. I’ve spent many years searching for sobriety and peace of mind and realized that for me I have to use many different avenues. I tried to stay in one place and kept digging myself a deeper hole. Once I opened up and started to accept all the parts of me that needed to change, I opened my heart and my mind to healing myself on all levels. I have a deep spirituality but that is something no one could teach me. For me it’s my foundation. I know I will never be “fixed” or “cured”. My favorite line I’ve ever heard regarding drug and alcohol addiction is “you can turn a cucumber into a pickle, but you can’t turn a pickle into a cucumber.” So, to sum things up, I’m a pickle.