Sunday, February 28, 2010

So maybe alone I stand...

I am still here. Darkness encompasses me. I welcome the privilege of feeling. Once upon a time: was not a story. It was the beginning. Open to interpretation. Numb-ale. That which can be numbed. I choose feeling. Hard, hurt, dark, mad , undesirable. OPEN TO INTERPRATATION. Triumph, healed, light, happy, desireable.... Here I am....


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Words that help me see the light... an addicts prayer....

Prison gates won't open up for me
On these hands and knees I'm crawlin'
Oh, I reach for you
Well I'm terrified of these four walls
These iron bars can't hold my soul in
All I need is you
Come please I'm callin'
And oh I scream for you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show you what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me

Heaven's gates won't open up for me
With these broken wings I'm fallin'
And all I see is you
These city walls ain't got no love for me
I'm on the ledge of the eighteenth story
And oh I scream for you
Come please I'm callin'
And all I need from you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'


Hurry I'm fallin'

All I need is you
Come please I'm callin'
And oh, I scream for you
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin', I'm fallin'


Hurry I'm fallin' 

(lyrics- Nickelback- "Savin' Me")


Friday, February 26, 2010

I am hiding...

Darkness is coming for me. I cannot tell as of yet if it is just one of those days, or if it is one of those times when darkness comes and tries to take me to that place.  It has been lingering... grasping at me, despite emotional defenses being armed.

Every time I have an emotional turnover that really impacts my well being, I always consider if it is severe enough to merit a visit to the Dr. The answer is always no, but the question is more important than the answer. The question is one of my tools. It reinstates that facing it alone is not the only option. Facing it alone has been too unbearable in the past, and has almost led to ending it alone.

My body feels the drain. Insomnia taunts my exhaustion, leaving me powerless and tearful. Sleep calls to me, reaching for the longing in my soul that calls out to her. Seconds seem like hours; the clock is the constant bearer of bad news; time my newest nemesis.  People around me do not understand and I take the time that I need because it is not easily given. 

I see the sun peeking through my window, hope floating by on vague but distinguished rays of light. The darkness is two steps behind, but I am hiding with hope.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Under the Knife While Under the Influence

A collaboration of subjects on several other blogs got me thinking, well more accurately, remembering.

For those of you that may not know, I have breast implants. I had gastric bypass surgery 6 years ago and proceeded to lose 140 lbs in less than a year. I was a hanging, saggy, mess of skin and bones. I wanted and needed reconstructive surgery. I did not need the breast implants, but I wanted them and felt that after everything I had been through, I deserved to get them.

This sounds like a story that just about any person with similar experience could easily tell. My story is different because several weeks before my scheduled surgery, I began using meth. On the day that I went to my surgeon to have my pre-op tests and blood work, I was high on meth. I smoked it within a half hour before the appointment and immediately after. Did the Dr. know? I am not sure. I am not sure if substance testing is routine before plastic surgery.

At my preop appointment I was given some medications to take the day of my surgery and for after my surgery. This included Valium for nervousness and some sort of medication that had to do with blood clotting.
I was snorting and smoking meth all night and day by this point. I was staying up 2-3 days at a time and rarely sleeping. I was terrified that if I went under, the meth would react badly with the general anesthesia and I may have awareness or wakeup during surgery.

Even though I knew it only took 3 days to get meth out of your system, I could not stop using. I also knew that Valium was very effective at easing the withdrawal symptoms of meth, and I just happened to have enough to take for three days so that I could be safe for my surgery. I STILL could not stop using.

I smoked right before going to the hospital for my surgery. I was so high that I believed I could handle if I woke up during surgery. Are you fucking kidding me? I believed I was a good enough actor that my Dr. would not notice my pupils that were dilated nearly to the point of erasing the brown color of my eyes. Either he didn't notice, or he didn't care.

My surgery went on as planned. I was under for 14 hours. I had a complete body lift which removed 16 pounds of skin, reshaped my abdomen and butt, and inflated my deflated love sacks to that of a full C cup. I paid for an extra night of inpatient recovery because I knew I needed it. I imagine that those two nights were so much worse than they would have been, because I was feeling the physical withdrawal of the meth. I had a morphine pump that kept me from feeling the full effects of all the pain.

The first time that I had to get out of bed, it took me 45 minutes, assisted by two nurses just to get to the bathroom. There was one of those toilet extenders on the seat so that I would not have to bend as much or far to sit, as not to rip open the stitches I wore like a belt, fully encircling my waist. I looked at it and started bawling. It looked so faaaar away. I did in fact rupture a few stitches and it took an hour to get back to bed. I almost opted to have the catheter put back in.

I was finally discharged, with a new prescription for Valium and also one for a large bottle of liquid percocet. You would think with all of the legal medication in my possession, I would have been able to reason that it would be a good time to stop using the meth. Except that I hated opiates. I hated the way they made me sleepy and woozy and out of it. I hated that I would doze off midsentence and that I couldn't drive a car or care for my children while on them.

I was also in a new relationship, with a "normal" sized body and womanly curves, instead of rolls, for the first time in my life. I wanted to be amorous, not sleeping and drugged. I used the valium and percocet to sleep the first day. Then Bryson had to go back to work and I was responsible for my kids alone. We lived with my step grandma at the time and since she was unsupportive of the surgery to begin with, she refused to be helpful during my recovery. It didn't take long before I was craving the meth. Wanting to escape the physical and emotional pain, but still be awake so I could take care of the kids. I was calling Bryson asking if he would get some more by the end of that day.

It is quite a reflection for me to see just how deep my addiction ran at that point. Sadly that was at the beginning, and is one of the more modest stories of the amazing feats of Shawna, super-mom-tweaker, master manipulator, and criminal.

I don't think of all of those times very often. I do not see the reflection of my fake breasts in the mirror, and instantly think of the fact that I was high on meth while they were being inserted. I have buried my hatchets and live in now, but sometimes I remember who I used to be.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

A reminder from Lou and some hindsight- Updated*

As I was reading Lou's post here, it brought back a lot of memories. Actually, they are fond memories.

Ahhh, the familiarity of that long hard road back into living in sobriety from living in addiction.

Some of my fondest memories and most serene moments were when I was facing a hardship that was at one time unimaginable.

For example, the second time I had to go back to jail because of a court error, only this time I was sober. I was not withdrawing. The concrete of the cell did not make my body ache and writhe from simple contact. I was not afraid of how long I would be in there. The charges against me were not pending, while I cowered in a bunk bed, itching and shaking from the lack of meth amphetamines in my system, soaked in sweat and regret. I never thought I could survive a night in jail. Then I thought I could never survive a night in jail without drugs of some sort, but there I was, soaking in only my sobriety and I survived.

Or the time I sat waiting for the bus to get to work, in 3 feet of snow and temperatures in the single digits, unaware that the weather was so bad that the city was nearly shut down. (I had never set foot on a city bus OR went without a car from the time I was 16, up until I went to jail and came out with no home and an impounded car that I could not afford to get out). It was 7 am and I had to wait for 2 extra hours because the buses were behind and I had to get creative to stay warm. I had only  my bus pass- no money for lunch and no cell phone (couldn't afford it), and no one to call even if I would have had the change.

I grew numb from the cold. I made it to work by 10:30, just to learn it had been closed due to the snow (I didn't have a phone for them to call me and tell me), and even though I already thought I couldn't take a moments more cold, I went back to the bus stop and did it all over again. I arrived at my scary apartment in the city, just about 5 in the evening, barely able to move because I had to walk from the main street, (about a mile) in my wet clothes that had defrosted on the bus and were now frozen to my leg hairs. Yet I was thankful to have a shower and ramen noodles to warm me. Despite all of the commotion from the murder in the building next door, I was just thankful that today, my door was locked, and no murderer or drug dealer would be knocking on my door.

Another, distinct experience (there were many), was when I unexpectedly got my period on the way to a supervised visit with my children. I had already stopped at the dollar store to spend my last $10 on some cheap games to play with the kids and some snacks, that I agonized over whether they were healthy enough. I ran from the bus, afraid blood was going to soak through my clothes, ran in and out of the bathroom to take care of it, and got to the door of the Human Services room just in time to see my case worker's disappointed glare, her finger tapping her watch, and the clock on the wall informing me I was 2 minutes late before she got the chance.

I saw my kids on the other side of the room and she told me my visit was cancelled  because I was late. She told them to go ahead and leave and we would "try again next week." She did not let me say good bye. As I sat and wept, and tried to explain to her what had happened, she proceeded to inform me what a worthless and unreliable parent I was. She also added that no woman does not know when she is going to get her cycle and that it was a pathetic excuse. All I could think of was how wrong this situation was. I wanted to go get high to ease the pain, SO BAD.

(You might be wondering where the serenity comes by now... read on)

The next bus wouldn't be there for an hour, so I had nothing to do but sit and wait and try to stop crying. About 10 minutes after the whole ordeal transpired, another mother walked in (10 minutes late for her appointment with her children). I had watched her children sitting and waiting for her, while the case worker, (a different one than mine) explained to the kids that their mom might not make it again. I knew this mother. She was in my drug and alcohol class. She had tested positive earlier in the week (something that would have ceased my visits immediately if it were me and my case worker).

She explained how her boyfriend had gotten in trouble with his PO, and he was her ride, so that is why she was late. I couldn't help but to look at the graham crackers and apple juice in my bag, and the games for my kids, and then notice the grease soaking through the Mc Donald's bag she had brought. She was allowed to proceed with her visit.

I sat there for the next 30 minutes. I was filled with sadness and rage, initially. I would get up, intending to go ask to speak to (confront)  my case worker, then rethink it for fear of being documented as an unruly client. More tears than I wanted, came. When my caseworker would walk through the lobby, I would work hard to conceal them, for fear of being documented as an unstable client.

So many things went through my mind. I had so many questions and no one to ask them of. Suddenly, I started asking them of myself and answering them.

Do you deserve to be seeing your kids today?

Why does this woman get to have so much control over my life?

Why did that other mother get to see her kids and I didn't?

Am I a good mother?

What did I do to deserve this?

I KNEW I was a good mother damnit! I was not going to let her defeat me. As the tears dried on their own, I got up to walk to catch my bus, and I realized many things. Whatever the consequences, or how unfair the situation appeared, I would not be there if had not chosen to use drugs and commit crimes. I really was the more advantaged mother in the situation, because that mother would likely never truly recover and might lose her kids indefinitely because I was aware of how many times she had already tested positive.

I still had my sobriety, I still had the opportunity to see my children again. Instead of leaving in anger, I left with intention. Intention to prove to myself what I was capable of... to show my case worker who I really was, and to always be at least an hour early for visits.

Six months later, as I sat down to my final interview with my caseworker, someone who I had actually developed a kinship with and who ultimately stood up for me in court and asked for what was supposed to be a one year treatment plan to be expedited and my children returned immediately, I told her THANK YOU for holding me accountable and creating an environment where I had to prove to myself that the mother I always should of known was there, really existed.

She said THANK you for being the mother that she always knew existed.

The incredible, unbelievable irony, is that she was late for our last meeting because she had started HER period unexpectedly.
I didn't cancel the appointment.

The point for me became that I could not control every situation and that because of my (criminal and negligent) actions, I was going to have to go through some things that I had once thought too horrible for even the worst person to experience. The unbearable became bearable.

I had no choice but to ask and answer my own questions. I had fucked up so bad, that no one asked questions anymore, because they didn't believe my answers. I had to prove I was worth a question or a concern, and even then, no one was anxiously waiting to hear my answer or ease my pain.

I remember a time when every lie I told, was believed. I remember when every guilt trip and exaggerated emotion was met with an eagerness to accommodate and a desire to fix me. My grandpa called it love. I recognize it now as enabling EDIT* my self destructive behaviors and addiction.

(I read something by Ken posted on his blog, The Interventionist, that brought more clarity to my use of the word enabling. Please check out his post, What We Talk About When We Talk About Codependency.

As quoted from his post:

 "Enabling: Shocker: enabling is not intrinsically bad. If  I enable my kid to go to college, or my wife to open a studio, or my dog to go to a groomer, or my DVR to catch LOST, have I done something wrong. No, and neither have you. Enabling is recovery shorthand for behaviors that either facilitate an active addiction by financially subsidizing it, or by interfering with the logical consequences of addiction. That is about the extent to which you can generalize about enabling. Anything beyond that isn't much more than a name to call someone. Instead of helping someone to empower themselves, it gives them something to feel a little guilty and ashamed about."

Letting go and letting our children suffer their own life consequences is hard. Choosing not to let go and to fix and micromanage their choices, is often interpreted as reflection of our own belief that they are not capable of doing it on their own. Children come to expect that their mistakes will always be erased and that their consequences will be cushioned. Drugs and alcohol come along to provide the relief from the disappointment of being labeled incompetent or underachieving. These behaviors, if continued into adulthood can create insecure people with low self esteem and that is dangerous, especially when the consequences become too big for Mom or Dad to erase or cushion.

I cannot express enough that no one could have fixed it for me. The opportunity to fix one's self is ALWAYS present, even in isolation. It isn't a button, it isn't a word, or a billion hugs that has the capability to "fix" an addict. It must come from a desire within that individual, and the followed through intention of finding the opportunities to gain happiness and contentment without an illegal substance.

Recovery, bless the lonely road that led me to you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

RIP regret

I cannot define you here and you are not worth the words that are hurting me and lacking me RIGHT NOW.  I have decided to leave you behind and choose forgiveness and growth. I need serenity! "I believe"



Sometimes I pretend like my childhood didn't hurt  so much. Sometimes I forgive things I don't understand, but I pretend like it is my choice.It is easier if I take responsibility. I can NOW depend on ME. I talk so often of my Grandfather- the single source of light that I claim. I realize the work that was put into his creation, existence, and aftermath. The very pain, negligence, and deprivation that happens of a 9 year old boy, turned adult, when his father dies, and he is left to be the sole provider for 7 sisters, a mother, and a half brother.... AT NINE, during the depression...

 Brings whole new meaning to "uphill both ways"

Then take this man and lose him his daughter by suicide when she is 26, his wife AND life partner 3 days later and bury(cremate)  them both by the same service, and place him with the 8 year old girl, his granddaughter, and here is ME.

Sometimes the hurt he caused, and the aftermath of my transgressions, his upbringing and misunderstandings, and the weight of  what is and what aught not be, weighed down like an iron fist. NOT heavy enough to stop me from risking my kids, lying, breathing in relief from an iron smoke mask of denial. No one could fix me. Not the mom I wished I had. Not the guilty Grandpa that had lost it all. It was all within me all along. Grandpa, I love you. I forgive YOU for what I did not know. I am thankful for all the love I thought was conditional but was experienced and boundaried.

I am here because I value my life. I wish for a lot, but am thankful for more...

hit publish...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

just... adjusting, tired, existing. Just HERE.

I haven't been around for much in terms of the blog world. It took me all day to catch up on all the blogs I love, but I just didn't have the energy to comment. Sorry. We got our tax return and I have been busy catching up on bills, buying long desired things, and well honestly... just being worn out by so many THINGS. I also got a much needed break from my mischievous much loved, beautiful terrible, two year old, but being away from her for 3 days still caused stress and anxiety .

I am really thankful that we are able to do these things, but having a lot of new stuff is exhausting. I finally got a laptop, but as excited as I am for this long awaited luxury, I am not comfortable with it yet. I am used to the computer environment that I so loathed before, and typing on this portable computing powerhouse is awkward. I do not feel the solitude that I have in my office. It was something that separated me from my family, something that I thought I didn't want. That caused me to want a laptop so that I could be ever present in my family's life, something that I took for granted. Now I AM ever present... and I am thankful... AND grieving my solitude.

This is one of those adjustment times in my life. I have no expectations of accomplishing anything. I am content with one moment at a time and I have realistic expectations of just existing until I adjust and adapt to all of the change. I have a lot to consider, a lot to be excited for, a lot to adjust to, and only the future to get through... one moment at a time.