My Brain Is On The Pavement. But At Least I Showered

by Bill Brenner on September 9, 2011

It’s hard to pinpoint the moment my recovery started getting wobbly and I started getting sloppy. I don’t know if it’s fully accurate to call this a relapse, but it’s pretty damn close.

Mood music:

One thing is certain: I’m in a shaky place lately, and this is as good a place to sort things out. Talking is always better, but sometimes I have to write it.

I’ve been very tired lately, and in my fatigue, my recovery program from binge eating and other addictions has gotten sloppy. Twice in as many weeks, I’ve forgotten to pack an abstinent lunch before leaving the house. When you’re recovery is on sturdy ground, that’s a mistake you NEVER make.

I haven’t been making it to many 12-Step/OA meetings of late, and I can’t remember the last time I called my sponsor. I guess I’ve been too tired and short-fused to go over the same bullshit, over and over again.

I haven’t gone on any binges, thankfully. But I know how it works. I’m not stupid. When you start getting careless, you open yourself up for the crash.

I’ve been going over the last few months in search of the moment things started to go wrong.

My father having three strokes was certainly a factor. It’s hard not to worry all the time when the guy who has been the strong man in your life is suddenly in a wheelchair, not able to do much for himself. But I decided early on to be strong, cool and rational for other family members.

To do that, I guess I felt I needed a crutch. I didn’t want to binge eat or drink, so I smoked. Then Erin found the cigarettes I was hiding, and I resolved to quit that, too. Then and there, much of my patience for people went down the garbage chute.

I won’t lie: It still pisses me off that I had to stop smoking. Sure those things give you cancer. But to me it seemed much safer then the other things, which leave me in a mental state that disrupts everything, even my ability to dress myself. And so I start wearing the same clothes repeatedly, so I don’t have to think much about my appearance.

And, in the last week, I’ve been quietly re-assessing the status of things with my mother. I think I’m finally ready to reconcile, though it’ll never go back to the way it was. It can’t go back to the way it was. And so I have to think carefully about how to do this. That makes me even more tired.

At least I haven’t stopped taking showers and brushing my teeth. I’ve done that before, and it’s not pretty.

My next actions are clear:

–I’m going to consider all this a break of abstinence and go back to square one.

–I’m going to get a new sponsor. The current one has done his best with me, but I haven’t returned the favor.

–I need to start getting to more than one meeting a week. Actually, one a week is a good place to start.

–I need to make an action plan to deal with my mother.

–I need to start being honest with myself and stop pretending I have perfect control over everything.

I’ll come out of this. I always do. This is part of managing my life. You go through periods when everything is running like a Swiss watch. Then there are times when the machinery falls out of its casing, scraping your wrist on its way to the ground.

Venting here is how I deal with it and keep upright. I do it publicly because there are many people like me out there, who have no answers and are looking for a place to start.

Take it from me: Writing it out is a great place to start.

From there, realize you can’t fix yourself without help. Next, go find that help.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

elias September 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I commend you for being so honest with yourself, and I wish you all the strength and power from within & above to get yourself back on track.

I will say a prayer for you as well. Most of all, be kind to yourself.

God Bless & stay strong!

–Eli

Lisa September 10, 2011 at 2:44 am

Sounds like you’ll get over this hill soon and you should be commended for handling it so well since you only came close to relapsing.
Good luck and God bless!

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