I feel like a broken record with these posts right now, so I apologise to anyone who takes the time to read this.
Since losing Katie, I haven’t been coping well. I’ve said before that I’ve been constantly thinking about suicide and self-harm, but I haven’t been 100% honest about how it’s affecting me in regards to my addiction recovery.
For a while my cravings for substances were rare. Unless I was having a very bad day, I really didn’t feel like I was in danger of relapsing. However, the past month, whenever I see something as small as a glass of alcohol, or a Tylenol pill, the cravings start, and they’re bad. I haven’t spoken out about it because I’m scared. When I made the decision to leave NA, there was only 2 people who didn’t tell me it was a bad idea… One of those was Katie… and I was scared I would just be met with “I told you so” if I spoke out about just how bad it is…
Friday night I ended up being so overwhelmed by my urge to get high/drunk that I broke my silence, I had reached a point where there was no way I was getting through the night without drinking/using if I didn’t talk to someone I knew would keep be accountable.
Part of me feels like going back to NA would be the right thing, but I also remember that I really didn’t get on with the program and I just ended up spiraling even more. With the UK looking as though it’s heading for another potential lockdown, there really aren’t many support groups around, and the physical in-person support is what I need. Online groups are available, yes, but I already have people online.
It’s not just how much I’m missing Katie that’s causing this… There’s my job, which just feels like hell on earth right now, my parents constantly arguing and trying to bring me into it, and just the way I see myself in general right now.
I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. Losing someone you are close to is never easy. Certainly, losing someone who was a support for you is even harder.
Please don’t apologise. It is important for you to have some way to release these feelings that is healthy for you. Nobody here will read this and think, Oh, I’ve just wasted me time. You are a well known, well respected member of this forum and we all care for you. We read because we want to, because we want to be here to support you.
I can definitely understand how this would be tempting for you. These are things that you used in the past as a way of coping, and now as you suffer through so much pain, the thought of any relief is no doubt welcome. With traumatic experiences like this, it has always been better for me to feel those feelings and push them out into the world - I would say aloud the events that had passed (I compartmentalize almost reflexively, and so if I don’t make it real for myself constantly, I will lock that pain away in my brain and never continue through the grief stages.), I make sure someone I trust knows how I feel, and I consciously make myself feel the pain. I know it doesn’t need to be said, but grieving sucks. There is absolutely nothing positive that I could say about the process - until you go through it. That’s when you can look back and see what you’ve overcome and the pain you endured successfully. If you do take the time to grieve, the pain will lessen. Katie will always be your friend and she will always be with you. It is okay that you’re hurting and we are here for you if nobody else will be.
I honestly can’t say I blame you here. At the same time, it may just surprise you how people react. You haven’t yet done anything wrong, there is no reason for anyone to blame you. I think it is understandable to want to share your feelings when something like this happens and, I would hope at least, that people would understand that this is not about relapse per se, it’s about hurting. We a hurt and we all have ways to deal with that pain. I think sharing how you feel is a good way to go about it, and I think if people give you a hard time in your moment of need, it says more about them as a person than you. It is your choice to reach out or relapse (I’m glad you’re reaching out.), and those who call you a friend also have a choice - listening to you and supporting you in your thime of need, or not.
This is awesome! I know it couldn’t have been easy for you, but you still pulled through with a little help. This means you are capable of doing this sober, which is very positive indeed.
This is hard. While something like this program may or may not be necessary, if it didn’t work for you the first time, I definitely wouldn’t recommend that you do it a second time (insert disclaimer that I am not a professional). I also understand that physical support is what you need right now. I know when my grandma died I was supported heavily by my husband throughout the process, although she was diagnosed with brain cancer so I think I started grieving before she actually died, because we all knew what was coming even if we tried to be positive for her when she was around. I cried a lot during this time and I got very depressed. The week after she died I got really sick because I was so stressed for so long and that will often leave me feeling sick. It is very unfortunate that times like this keep us from being together when we need each other the most. Is there anyone in your immediate household that you can open up to about your feelings?
Does your job offer bereavement leave? I think it helps to reduce all possible stressors during times like these because they definitely build up. When it comes to parents, to be completely honest, I would tell them to leave me out of it and don’t speak to me until they sort things out. You don’t need that in your life right now and they, as your parents, should know better.
You are a good person, Kayla, who like many of us here on the wall has been dealt a bad hand. You’ve helped a lot of people here and continue to inspire them. You’ve overcome addiction in your past and even now are reaching out rather than relapsing again. You are strong. You’ve been through so much and you are capable of making it through this too. I believe in you, for what it’s worth. This too shall pass, my grandma used to say. And so far she’s been right. Hang in there, friend. You can do this, just give it time.
If there’s a need to be a broken record: then so be it. There’s nothing wrong with that. It won’t make anyone go away or love you less. It won’t change the way we see you and care about you. You’ve been very strong, you’ve been leading multiple battles at once, though you are still you, loving, caring, a true fighter with a golden heart. It’s not unseen. It’s not ignored. And I’ll always be grateful to you for reaching out when you feel the need to. In the end, it’s okay if you are struggling with the same feelings, thoughts, or if some old demons keep coming back. You have the right to share what’s on your heart. It doesn’t invalidate your efforts, it doesn’t invalidate your victories, it doesn’t invalidate you.
You’ve lost someone who happened to be a beacon of light to you. I’m aware that in such circumstances, when our heart is grieving so deeply, then words can seem useless… for the most part. Though Katie is still with you somehow. Her voice keeps living through you. She believed in you, as many of us in this community, she supported you through your decisions and that is not something to be ashamed of.
Recovery is made of so many crossroads and adjustments. When you make a decision, you can’t guess what will happen the next day and how it’s going to affect you. You can only try, do your best and react as much as possible when you see that something feels wrong. That’s what you’ve been doing Kayla. And the decisions you made yesterday were not wrong. Life just happens… there are ups and downs, and it’s okay to say it.
I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling so much. But also very proud of you for finding the strength to break the silence by raising your voice. Your voice is so important, precious and valuable. Again, there is nothing to hide or be ashamed of. How you feel makes sense - this year has been crazy so far, and there’s now personal circumstances that happens to add another layer of stress and heaviness. Struggling is certainly the most human reaction you could have.
It sounds like now is the time to make a decision between getting back to NA meetings or not. Though I would like to react to what you said:
Online groups are available, yes, but I already have people online.
Yes, thankfully! But is it the same? Can you find the same value and support through NA meetings and online friendships? Totally an open question by the way, as I understand that the answer would be very personal. I also understand that the physical in-person support is very different. For what it’s worth, I feel the same with therapy and it would be hard for me to have to switch for online meetings. Though, given the circumstances with covid, maybe it’s better than nothing? Again, just an open question. Ultimately the decisions are yours. And I hope you keep in mind that you have the support of so many people in this community. You are so loved Kayla. Please keep hope in your heart. I believe in you and I believe that you will make the right decisions to keep receiving the support you need during this difficult season.