I’m sure some of the people that once visited this blog concluded I relapsed since it’s been such a long time since I’ve written. That’s what I would think. The truth is, I’ve been opiate free since June 13, 2012. There are however, several reasons I stayed away.
Reason 1: Embarrassment. I was a little embarrassed about how crazy some of my posts were during my detox.
Reason 2: Exhaustion. Put simply, I was tired of writing. I wrote so much through my detox that for a while, I didn’t want to write a sentence.
Reason 3: Focused. I was focused on living my life drug free. There is a reason many couples crash when one gets clean. I had to focus on that because I nearly lost my family after getting sober.
These are three very short reasons, but in reality they are quite complicated. I will try in the coming weeks/months to get more in depth with each. No promises though. I think I have some valuable
“after the fact” info to pass on, but I’m not completely sure I want to.
One thing I will pass on now is that I have not used any AA/NA programs to get where I am. I agree with their belief of passing on what I have learned about detox, but that is just about where my agreement with them ends. Anyone that has read this blog knows that I will never call myself an addict, I don’t give a shit about remaining anonymous and I have never been powerless against my former drug of choice.
Today is 170 days I’ve been off methadone. I have virtually no physical symptoms of detox left nagging me. I won’t lie though, everything is not okay. That may seem surprising, but is it really? I don’t think so. Nobody being honest says life is always easy. There will always be problems. The good is that I now have the strength and fortitude to face the problems instead of cover them under a methadone blanket.
One of these problems can be getting to re-know others. I am not the same person I was on methadone; not even a little. I am a brand new person, and while that is great for me, it leaves some asking, “who the fuck is that?” What I mean is this: If I met someone while I was on opiates, they never really knew me. I never really knew them either. Who’s fault is it? Doesn’t matter because it’s still a problem needing to be dealt with.
I am dealing with the problem. but the outcome as yet, is uncertain. No matter what, I can still live in peace because I know nothing will be masked or buried. Problems will be solved, and I will be happy through it all. Funny how I once thought the pink liquid was all I needed to be happy. Makes me laugh now. Real life baby! That’s as high as I’ll ever need to be. So thankful to be where I am- truly!
The day I decided to quit methadone at 12.5mgs, I called my wife. The first thing I said was, “It’s over”. My voice was cracking and she didn’t know what in the hell I was talking about. At the time, I couldn’t believe she didn’t know what I was saying. I hung up the phone and felt as if there should have been extreme excitement on her part. Hell, I thought she should have had fireworks planned to celebrate. Not the cheap Florida fireworks either, the true ones from South Carolina that go “BANG!”
It took me several months to get back to the point of knowing what I did, I did for me. I quit methadone because it is a God given gift, whenever we choose, to put addiction on its back. I celebrate largely alone because those who haven’t experienced detox don’t know. They can’t know I’m stronger because of it. It has made me and defined everything I’ve always wanted to be as a human. I wear it now because I’m not ashamed. I’m not anonymous because I am everyone. My name is Aashton, and I am not an addict!
I’ve been thinking the past few days about how awful living was a year ago. I was addicted to sweets as much as methadone. I was also addicted to unfeeling and unhappiness. No matter what I did, it was not going to abate- not while I was on methadone. I would’ve never admitted it though. It’s amazing how proud I could be while nurturing a self esteem so low.
Many times ex-addicts say he/she couldn’t look in the mirror, but unless you have personal experience, it’s probably a cliche’. There were of course times when mirrors couldn’t be avoided, but even then I made no eye contact with self. This was so unlike me. Maybe I’m a little vain, but if there was one thing I always fell back on, it was my reflection. Methadone stripped it from me while I wasn’t looking.
The good news for me- I’m making eye contact again, and there are a few things I notice. Foremost, I love what I see. I am older, but there’s no grey yet. Actually that’s not completely true, but you’d have to get really close to see ’em. My skin is smooth with color again. My neck is strong and holding my head high. Surprisingly, I noticed my green eyes have turned blue. Maybe this is a common thing, but I don’t know how I feel about it. I liked my green eyes dammit. Can’t have it all I guess.
I was about to head out for a morning workout and decided I was too sore. I think I will write instead. It’s something I’ve avoided since quitting methadone; almost to the point of wondering if I’d ever feel like writing again. I just couldn’t get inspired and was very depressed. I felt it was supposed to pass, but silently wondered if it would. I couldn’t force myself to visit the blog. Really weird considering the amount of time I spent here during my detox.
I’m 47 days clean now and I have a few things to say, but most will have to wait. Even though I’m sore, I’ve decided to go do cardio. This is the difference in my life now. Commitments have value again, and I love the new me. Trust me this time- I won’t be gone long. I have much to say.
Until then- fuck you Colonial Management Group. I’m free now! I can fly wide as I wish, and I don’t have to ask your counselors for permission. All I have to do is walk out my front door and take off. You hate it don’t you? It’s sad to say, but I believe you do. I got a story to tell.
I think I’m waking up after a long nightmare. There’s been a tropical storm overhead for almost a week now. The sky has been looking just like I have been feeling- dreary. Well, the sun burned through the clouds today. It’s fitting because my life is burning through the muck as well.
There was much life outside today, and I’m part of it again. It’s been so long. I’m not chained to a damn thing anymore. Yeah, I got two middle fingers in the air facing north to the clinic- always will. But what I am most now, is proud.
I’m proud I’m alive. I’m proud I’m an American. I’m proud I have my wife and kids. I’m proud I feel love when I say it. I’m proud I endured every second of detox because it is so damn worth it. Methadone may be needed for some, but it ain’t got a thing on the emotion in my heart now. Told you I’d be home soon Mamma- I’m really home!
My Dad tried teaching me years ago about the importance of truth, but I failed to see it. It’s not a big surprise because I wasn’t ever looking for it. If I had been, I would have realized, the simple truth in many situations is all I needed to right a thing.
My Grandmother is one of my ultimate heroes. I think back now over the many lies I told her throughout my addiction to opiates. It’s hard to accept it, but if I’d just been honest, I would have saved her a lot of pain. She always knew something wasn’t right when I would go to her for money, but I continued to lie.
What if I’d just come out and said “I’m hooked on drugs, and I needed to have it to keep from being sick”? It would have been the truth, and I could have proven it quickly if I’d hung around for about 6 hours. Still I lied; I lied to everyone about everything when I needed a fix. I left a path of destruction inside my loved ones, and it was one of the worst of all things I did while using drugs.
I wholeheartedly believe my Grandma would have still given me money, but she would have known exactly what it was for. Instead she had to wonder, and eventually come to realize I had lied. That must have been very hard for her. Not only did she know I had lied, but she had to wonder why I would cheat her. I know for a fact, she beat herself up over and over about it.
This is one of the big reasons I think it’s ridiculous to say we should go around apologizing to those we have lied to and hurt. They have heard our words and frankly, they are sick of them. My grandma is sick of them. All she wants now is to see results. Results of not using will be the only thing that will make her a believer anyway. So far, I know she’s happy with what she sees.