Monday, October 26, 2009

Recovery: testing temptation


It has been more than 3, but less than 4 years that I have not used meth. I don't know exactly how long. I am not even sure of the day we got arrested. I used to obsess with remembering everything, knowing everything about any event in my life, having a point of reference for everything.

Something so extreme snapped that day that I just looked forward and couldn't look back. I tell myself I am going to find my discovery (from my arrest) and look at the date, just because it really IS an important date... but I never do. What happened that day is more important and whether I know the exact date isn't what matters. Choosing to never figure it out is my own way of confirming that.

What has happened since that day? I am reminding myself, because lately I have felt temptation for the first time in a long long while. I will have a brief thought kind of sneak in and linger in my head... almost whispering.... making me chase it to let it materialize... Shawna you are strong enough to do anything... you could use meth just one time and not do it again.... one time wouldn't hurt anything... It would be fun... everyone is doing it again... it could just be a social thing... I look around, afraid, almost as if I think someone else might have heard it too. I quickly resume normal thoughts, dismissing the evil whisper, haunted by its existence.

I am realizing that I have become too comfortable with my life. The fear of my past has faded away. I am living anxiety free. I have confidence in myself and I don't look to others for approval anymore. As a whole this is a great place to be, that I have worked hard on developing. Now that I am here, I am not using those strengths and all of their capabilities.

What do my positive outlets consist of right now?

Writing is one of my tools that helps me to actualize everything- thoughts, feelings, accomplishments, strengths as well as weakness.

Reading gives me the opportunity to gain perspective, develop my own thought processes, and learn. It also gives me a mental break from the transgressions of each day.

Praying allows me time to reconnect with my inner peace and to channel positive energy. My faith is still developing and praying is like my reset button when my thoughts are overwhelming.

I have 2-3 people that I talk with on a regular basis that provide positive affirmations of similar beliefs, life goals, and encouragement to continue making practical, productive, and progressive decisions. I communicate endlessly online to give and get support.

This may seem a bit out of place to some, but it really is something that I take very seriously and is quite the occupation. Oddly enough I am far from the "typical" mother. My mothering is not defined by a schedule, a huge extracurricular agenda, mass amounts of housework or cleaning, or a system of expectations. I quite honestly spend the majority of my day here- at the computer doing the afore mentioned activities (okay praying happens during the night usually) with intermittent periods of cooking, cleaning, and supervising.

Our family life revolves around open communication and there is a very simple code of courtesy that is in place. It was not so easy GETTING it in place, but it is here now. Give and take is visibly present, and everyone does thier part to make sure all persons' needs are met. Some of those responsibilities are obviously parental by nature, but the older kids do an exceptional job of participating in whatever areas of day to day life that they are capable.

It all comes together rather seamlessly which is what I always hoped for, but now that I am looking at it present day, it is almost TOO easy. I have a pretty serious fight or flight response, and at one point I was basically an adrenaline junkie that thrived off of creating fight or flight responses. Even worse, meth turned me into a mini sociopath. I only wanted the end result (to be high) and I convinced myself of all the reasons it was okay and justified all of the ways that I got there. Once I did get there it didn't matter because it all went away, lost in a superficial euphoria. A lot of the healing processes and tools that tamed the addictive personality in me, also addressed my addiction to creating problems and then solving them. My conscience returned as soon as I came down those 7 miserable days in jail, and has been a strong voice, ever present in my healing and recovery.

I believe that there is a certain amount of "life energy" if you will, that a person needs to expend before they become bored. For me boredom creates opportunity for old or bad habits. I have spent much of my life energy in the past 3+ years healing, growing, recovering, evolving, and creating new thought processes. Now that a healthy existence seems to happen by means of auto pilot, I have created a void that needs to be filled.

Its complicated, but gainful employment cannot work in our situation right now. As much as it would be welcomed, it is a damned if you do, damned if you don't outcome, and after weighing heavily the options, we have decided me staying at home is best.

Volunteering is highly appealing to me. There are so many areas of my life that I could share to benefit others- speaking at weight loss surgery support groups or addiction recovery support groups, volunteering hours at the Action center (community center, shelter, and food bank, that helped us). The problem lies in working it around my 2 year old's needs and schedule and my husband working nights and weekends (a bar schedule).

My goals for this week are to brainstorm ideas of activities that will give me a sense of personal accomplishment outside of my life as wife and mother, to materialize a plan of action that will make some of them possible, and to solicit the support of my husband and friends, as needed, to allow me to accomplish these goals.

It feels so good to have enough insight to recognize that I am experiencing a test of my will and to develop a plan to overcome a weakness that I have recognized.

A poem I wrote about Meth


Hell's Door

Urges so overwhelming

Self control the main factor

Get through the pain

or regret my judgment after

Discouraged about the future

Guilt over past choices

Desperate to quiet

my fighting inner voices

Determined on life’s path

Feelings I didn’t ask for

Looking for strength

Walking past Hell’s door

I am thankful everyday for the choices I have made and who I have become.



  1. You have an unusually strong sense of knowing yourself, I think that will keep you on track. Have you ever considered writing a book about your life??? Please keep pushing those evil voices away.

  2. "Now that a healthy existence seems to happen by means of auto pilot, I have created a void that needs to be filled."

    I found this statement to be the most interesting to me. I have found that the absence of chaos, would cause me to seek out trouble so that I could have the normalcy. Now that peace is my normalcy I cannot tolerate chaos. I do however have a need to EXPRESS myself, as you said about energy/boredom. I am still and believe will always be in the process of finding my "doing".

    Thank you for sharing yourself with an open and VERY real life.

  3. I think you also are on the cruise trip in the ocean of infinite possibilities of your life.
    It is great that you are aware of it and thankful. the end of the day life is beautiful, isn' t it?

  4. Barbara- I actually started writing with the intent of completing a book 7 years ago. Life took too many turns and it got stranded in early stages. This blog is me nurturing the writer in me, getting prepared to continue my book.

    Jennifer- I can definitely relate to wanting the absence of chaos. Since I am living rather peacefully, my void is searching for positive outlets. I am just more aware that old habits prey on voids.

    Lorenza- Yes yes it is beautiful!