Life outside of plastic bags
I did not wake up one morning and have one year, two years, five years, a decade, or sixteen years clean. When I read literature, personal stories, and academic articles so much is left out of any description of the process of recovery. It is as if nothing after the first year exists. It is assumed if you can make it through the initial year, you are magically released of addictive thinking. This is simply not true.
Sometimes, whether you have four days or four years clean, you are going to feel like absolute shit. Addiction is like an abusive relationship. Despite the fact that you are clear this is no good for you, you still romanticize the memory of your time together. "Remember when me and you were cool, drugs? We could hang out all day and never get tired of each other? We did big things together ". But then those drugs beat your ass over and over and over. You FINALLY left but you can't forget them.
When you get into recovery, everyone thinks you should be so motherfucking happy. Yay! Meetings! Yay! Pee in a Cup! Yay! Medication! Yay! The complete loss of freedom! It is 100% okay to admit you feel like shit. It is normal. In fact, when I got clean, I realized I was a person who experienced a lot of depression as part of my daily existence.
In a life without drugs, things are not perfect. The reality is you will experience a broader spectrum of emotions. In the earlier months, the main emotion is pain. Anyone who does not acknowledge that is woefully misguided. It is as if you woke up from an extended nap only to realize you are broke, you have not spoken to your family in months, you have achieved very little of your potential, and you have little human interaction beyond people who support your dysfunction. But hey, that self awareness is a good start. Then, you start having appropriate boners again and pooping on a regular basis. You realize life is not as horrible as you imagined.
Getting clean is hard and it is worth the struggle. I stick with feeling good with small things. I enjoy the ability to not degrade myself on a daily basis. I enjoy my work and feeling like I am accomplishing things. I enjoy not feeling sick every eight hours, eating food (some times with other people), having some one kiss my face. I get hugs from people and I realize they care about me. I feel it. I see changes working in my life. I cannot promise you a lifetime of happiness. But I can promise you something different. Maybe all you really need is a chance, a spark of life.
I think of all my readers fondly. Whether you are clean or in the bag today, I love you.