Sunday, September 23, 2018

Change?! MY?! Addictive?! Behaviors?!

Last year at this time, I was beginning to see the validity in the suggestions I had been hearing from my team and others. I realized that, I had to fully focus on my healing and recovery, which I desperately needed to do; for myself, and for my daughter. Which meant that I had to stop homeschooling my girl. I finally, and reluctantly, decided to enroll her in school. I felt like I was giving up, as though I was weak because I couldn’t get it all under control. But, big surprise, I AM NOT SUPERWOMAN! (That was a hard one to accept! LOL) Amid the feelings of grief and loss that I had over this transition though, I also began to give up the twisted sense of control that I thought I had, and the many excuses that I was desperately clinging to.

With my daughter in school, I now had the time and opportunity to attend this CAB (Changing Addictive Behaviors) group the team had been encouraging me to try. I was beyond nervous, and my anxiety was through the roof again as I prepared myself to go.  Many irrational thoughts bounced around my mind, excuses and reasons as to why I shouldn’t and couldn't go. I mean seriously? Me? Attend a GROUP?! People? Strangers? Talking about my feelers? HOW was this going to be good for me?! I had many fears surrounding the stigmas held about Mental Health and Addictions, the people I might see, specifically and generally. I was also full of my own expected and perceived unreasonable judgments about others.

The group was small, consisting typically of 2 facilitators, and about 4 or 5 of us clients. I immediately felt comfortable with both of the facilitators, one a comically serious, chatterbox, and the other a down to earth, peaceful, wise mama figure. Despite the intimacy found in a smaller group, I felt very uncomfortable. Each session began with a brief check in, which I consistently glossed over, only sharing how I currently felt that morning, and occasionally suggesting a topic. I totally avoided acknowledging where I was in my “clean time”, because I didn’t have any; though I was certainly not alone in that. I typically showed up hungover. I began to have a sense of relief in the comfort of being among people who not only GOT my fucked up ways of being, they too HAD these thoughts, patterns, behaviors! I listened avidly, absorbing bits of the Smart Recovery tools that they shared, even taking a few worksheets home to "work on". Still, I shared very little about my own journey and struggles. I was too afraid, and fully immersed in shame and guilt. I felt like a fraud.

While I always felt a sense of peace and acceptance after attending CAB, I still easily, and readily succumbed to the many excuses I was able to create in order to NOT attend. The team continued to gently push and encourage me to go, but I still wasn’t ready to commit to myself, to dive into my healing and recovery.

I needed to get honest with MYSELF before I could begin to share my truth with anyone else.

The months grew darker, literally and internally, as we came in to November and December and the holiday season. My motivation lessened, the Rabbit Hole became a dangerous place of comfort, and there I set up camp, prepared for, and anticipating the warm blanket of numbness. 

I stopped going to CAB and fully immersed myself in dangerous behavior, depression and drunkenness.

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