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You Don't Need Drugs For Hard Times

Old 06-21-2016, 09:58 AM
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You Don't Need Drugs For Hard Times

I always used to think that I needed drugs to get through the difficult times in my life. Specifically the month of June since in June is father's day and the anniversary of when my dad passed away. Since 14 I completely convinced myself that without heroin I would not be able to make it through this month, boy was I wrong.

On top of it being the dreaded month of June, I also recently found out my mom has breast cancer. Even with the normal stresses of the month and the news that my mom is sick and will need a huge surgery and chemo I have a million times better at handling my emotions and stress this year then I have EVER been in the past.

I started preparing for June months ago with my counselor. We set up a plan for different healthy ways to handle stress and emotions. I wrote letters to my dad to get all my feels out, I journaled extra, I learned extra breathing techniques to calm me down when I feel the anxiety building, I lit a candle every night for my dad to keep burning through the night as a reminder of him watching over me, and I made sure to really stay plugged in with my family and loved ones. Yoga, working out, making sure I didn't stop taking any of my medicines, and just making sure I kept small goals to achieve each day helped me really make it through the day.

I know that when we are in the midst of addiction we think we cannot focus without our substance of choice, or that "Oh I'd get clean if only so and so wasn't going on right now". I promise you, if you put in the work and equip yourself you will be able to handle hard situations so much better sober. I made sure my psychiatrist, doctor, and substance abuse counselor really knew what was going on. I upped my counseling sessions and my doctor and psychiatrist tweeked my medicine dosages a little bit and provided me with anxiety medication that is not a benzo to help me if I needed that little extra help. I also took recommended supplements from GNC that help keep you calm, collected, and balanced.

Did I cry more this year then any other year? Yes. Did I feel more emotions in general this year then when I was on drugs? Yes. But I embraced my emotions, stayed connected with my support system, prepared and equipped myself for this month, and made sure that I never gave up on myself.

No matter what is going on in your life recovery is always possible and always more beneficial then numbing yourself with substances. I am so happy that I will be able to fully be there for my mom through everything without having to always worry about my fix or not being there emotionally. Substances do not make you handle stress and pain better- they make you disconnected, numb, irritable, and prolong the pain by not allowing yourself to process it.

There is NEVER a moment that I regret getting sober and finding recovery. This is the first year since my dad passed away (he passsed away in 2005) that I have not been on drugs and I wish I would have found recovery so much earlier.

I hope everyone is hanging in there, keep moving forward!
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:05 AM
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This is a great post, Adeline, and I couldn't agree with you more. Planning ahead and doing things that bring peace to your life is the way to get through a tough time.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:46 AM
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Thank you for that Adeline, and congrats on having and utilizing all of the tools you can. I think dealing with emotions, whatever they are, is one of the hardest parts of recovery.
I'm sorry to hear about your mom. Prayers for her and you.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:48 AM
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That is great Adeline....and I'm so sorry about the loss of your Dad. Also sorry for your Mom's diagnosis. I have had cancer twice and it can be fought if found early enough. You won't regret being sober for her, and for you.

My hub died in October so I know the 'anniversary' stress you speak of. It is a great idea to honor him with a kind of ceremony, rather than running and numbing. He would be proud of you.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:58 AM
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Great post Adeline. Good for you, excellent job!
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:38 AM
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Excellent post once again Adeline
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:35 PM
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Thank you all SO much, the support on here never fails to amaze me!

Cherrybreeze- I agree about dealing with emotions no matter what the emotions are. I tried to run from my emotions for so long but they eventually catch up with you no matter what- all you can do is make sure you are prepared to handle them in a healthy way. Thank you for your prayers, I am a huge believer in prayer.

Frickaflip- Thank you, and yeah this is her second time having breast cancer (last time was 16 years ago.. she is only 50 now!) so they are going to be more aggressive even though it is stage one just to make sure they minimize any chance of it coming back. She is in great spirits and jokes that she will finally get the boobs she always wanted..I'm so happy we are a family that uses humor to get through things. And thank you so much for saying he would be proud of me, I finally truly believe that which I think made dealing with the emotions of the anniversary easier. I'm sorry to hear about your husband.

Anna, Cam, Soberwolf thank you all for your support
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:30 PM
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Thank you so much for this excellent post. Thinking ahead about events or anniversaries that are stressful and then planning your reaction to them is great. When I was first sober I didn't think about stuff like that but really, that is what living in recovery is all about.

My Dad was in the hospital for a long time around Thanksgiving and I made myself plan for the worst. He's better now but I needed to plan. You said it far better.

What a great way to honor your Dad and Mom. I hope your Mom beats this thing! Being sober and there for her is the best
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:56 PM
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Thank you Ruby and I am so happy your dad is doing better.

I would have never thought planning would help, hell I spent all my life being an addict and trying to "forget" about anything unpleasant. This is one of the reasons I am so thankful for my counselor, even if I would have eventually figured it out on my own, it never hurts to find out about tips, tricks, and life strategies sooner rather then later
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