To be honest, recently I’ve felt like this:
Except I’m at work and don’t really have a bug. I think I’m suffering from a slight head cold but it’s probably more that the raw food detox has decided to rear its ugly side-effect-ridden head this week. I will spare you the details, but just know that I feel gross. The good news is, today is better than yesterday. And unlike Monday and Tuesday, I have no headache today. Score! This is also probably because my acupuncturist is a wizard and I saw her last night! I know in recovery all we have is today but I think when you’re sick its ok to look forward to tomorrow.
Speaking of detoxing…detoxing is usually a significant stage in early early recovery for many people. I know daily drinkers end up getting shakes, etc. And for drug addicts a whole host of things happen that are far too gross to discuss. If you’ve ever detoxed, you know what I’m sayin. I don’t really remember having to ever detox from alcohol, and I never got the shakes. Usually a horrific hangover or close-call drunk driving experience would stop me from drinking for at least a few weeks at a time. I didn’t ever drink enough consistently to have some sort of physical ailment without it.
For me, my biggest “detox” phase was actually 6 months before I actually started going to NA. That summer, I had been using that C-word for about 2 months straight, every day, every hour. And for some reason I decided it would be a good idea to quit using before my final language exam (I was in summer school) even though I’d been getting straight As all summer, despite my habit. So for about 2-3 days before my exam, I detoxed. I slept for most of it, would wake up starving, eat and then go back to sleep. After months of use, I started to get really paranoid and I started seeing bugs all over my room…beginning stages of “cocaine psychosis” I believe. So I detoxed, it was pretty bad. I don’t remember ever feeling so sick in my life. Of course I could still drink and do other things at that point, so it probably wasn’t the worst thing I could have experienced. Also, I was using again within 2-3 weeks, after getting an A on my exam.
That was probably the last time I remember using the same thing so consistently that it required me to detox. When I got clean the first time around in March 2007, my “bottom” was much more psychological than physical, although I took up smoking to curb my cravings and it took me a few weeks to stop using completely. The worst of my disease manifested itself psychologically and emotionally. I wanted to kill myself when I came into the program, and even around my 1 year anniversary I was plotting my own demise. Today I know that being sober is the difference between life and death for me. If I relapse, I won’t lose my apartment, my job, my family, my friends, my money, etc. I will die. It’s that simple for me. So I get to choose…if I choose life, I choose to be sober, to go to meetings, to have a sponsor, to work the program. My other choice is death. That may sound crazy to some people, but that’s my reality today.
I have my first sit-down with my new sponsor tonight! I am very excited about getting started and since I’ve never worked steps the AA-way I feel like a newcomer again. It will be humbling for me to go through steps 1, 2 and 3 for the 80th time, but this time it will be a whole new way of doing things. Even after years of recovery, you have work to do and I seem to have more work than others, but I am 100% OK with that. It’s a process. And I appreciate it.
What do you feel like today?