Through The Eyes of Chad

My journey living with HIV, Addiction, Loss and Hope

Roller Coaster Of A Day

I do not own this photo.

January 26, 2018

Today has been a really rough day for a number of reasons and really no reason at all.  The emotion that lays right beneath the surface keeps trying to find ways to destroy my mind.  

I have been reading this book called good grief and there a few lines that have stuck in my mind since I read them.  ” We are in a state of shock, we are sometimes temporarily anesthetized in response to a tragic event”  It then goes on to say that if this last more than a few days its probably unhealthy grief.  My mom died 27 days ago and unless I really force myself I do not feel any emotion.   That all sounds great to not feel the pain of loss, but I have been down this path before and that left me addicted to crystal meth, destroying my body, and nearly my life.  Some say that it is really great to have this consciousness about myself. Maybe it is, but if I can’t find away to let the emotion out whether I know it or not it will destroy me.  

Today that expression of emotion came out in a bad way.  I really was not very compassionate to myself.  A mistake that I made haunted me in my mind all day long.  Not really because it needed to but because I made it.  I haven’t felt this frustrated with my actions in a long time. I can’t help but think that all of this emotion that I have buried has something to do with it. 

I have a lot of people that care about me. A lot of people that have reached out trying to be there for me.  The truth of the matter is even though a lot of people are trying to be there for me, I am still very alone.  I have always kept most people at an arms length. There are a number of theories and even books written about vulnerability.  I unfortunately have an enormous amount of trouble being close to people and being vulnerable.  I have learned that it is often common for children who have grown up with parents who may have struggled with addiction.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming my parents for my inability to be vulnerable, but I do think it contributed to it.  I never learned that it was safe. In fact I learned the opposite.  Having struggled with addiction myself as an adult I know often times when you are in the struggle you just don’t have the ability to be there for others.

I used to think that losing my mother would be the one thing that would set me back out there using drugs.  Today, I am living this truth that my mother is gone, but I am not using drugs. I don’t want to use drugs. Even if it temporarily might make me forget about things.  I have no confusion about the consequences that come with choosing to pick up another drug. That doesn’t mean that those thoughts don’t occur. I would be lying if I said that I never think about it.  I even dream about it sometimes.  

Not dealing with my emotion and not taking care of myself mentally was the catalyst that started my using drugs in the first place.  I think that is why it is even more important that when I start to recognize old behaviors, such as treating myself badly, hiding feelings, avoidance of feelings that I force myself to face them.  The way I usually do that is by writing.  I never considered myself to be a writer.  But when it comes to raw truthful emotion it is really freeing to put it down in words. 

As this roller coaster of a day comes to a close I am grateful to know that I have tools to address some of these things head on. I am also grateful that even when I am not sure what to do that I can choose to do nothing.  Sometimes that is the best that I can do.  Each day is different and what I am capable of changes with each day as well.