Yesterday I relapsed pretty hard. I took a cocktail of things, including my DoC (which are opioids), meaning that I will be resetting all my counters; and washed it all down with a big dose of “I don’t give a fuck anymore”. To be completely honest, I did think about posting here to reach out, but I obviously didn’t. I felt sad, depressed, a little suicidal, and somewhat frustrated and angry with the cesspool of stress my life has been, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it even if I should have.
When I woke this morning and I was able to look at the world much more objectively than the previous day’s pity party would allow, I asked myself why I didn’t reach out, and the first answer was one that I’ve explored before; that being the fear that no one would answer my call for help. My formative years were full of having to fend for myself and not receiving help if I needed it–asked for or not–and that imprinted on me the idea that there was no point asking for help, and if I did then I was only setting myself up for disappointment.
But as I mused over this, trying to break it all down again to figure out why I have such a visceral reaction to reaching out (to anyone not specifically to this forum), asking for help, or even telling someone else that I might be having a crisis, I realized that I was also afraid on a very deep level of being punished, scorned, derisively dismissed, or mocked for doing so. This was a new realization, one that I’d likely buried away because consciously admitting to such a thing before would have only brought out feelings of defensiveness that would have driven any such realizations back underground to be comfortably forgotten. So I spent time exploring and picking these thoughts apart and I will continue to do so for some time, I expect.
The idea that I would be ignored, scorned, dismissed, or made fun of in this forum is not something that would consciously come to mind; however, I can definitely say that I do have a conscious fear of taking the risk of reaching out and saying I’m on the edge, only to get nothing back. I think the people in this forum are amazing, and I see it as an extremely open and supportive place, so this is not a negative statement toward this forum, but rather an honest confession of my own fears in this area of my life. I’m still only making baby steps in asking for help in mundane ways. Doing so in areas that really matter are difficult in the best of times, even with a conscious effort, but when I’m emotionally compromised I tend to backslide into old patterns which include the idea that I must do everything alone and that it isn’t worth the risk to ask for help even if I suspect I really do need it.
I don’t enjoy putting my deepest feelings down in words for my own consumption, let alone for others to read. Leaving an honest record of how I feel has always been an unsafe thing for me. To keep a journal was simply asking for it to be found and to be punished for what I’d written. But I’m doing so now to keep myself accountable, to not be a hypocrite, and to allow myself to be vulnerable no matter how uncomfortable or down right frightening it might be.
I wouldn’t say that yesterday was worth having to reset my counter. I’m still not feeling great physically and emotionally, and it’s taking everything I have to not go back for more; for just “one more time since I’ve already messed up”, which then would turn into the same tomorrow and the next day and the next day until I’m back to making it a habit. But I did have an insight into my own behavior as a result of it and that’s what I’ve decided to take out of this experience.
The way I look at things is that if I learn something from an experience, then it wasn’t a waste, no matter how bad the experience was. I’m not proud of my decision, but I’m not going to emotionally punish myself either. What’s done is done. I can’t change the past, but I can choose what I’ll do in the future.