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Friday, February 8, 2013

Guest Post - People Change

Today I have a guest post from a friend of mine who blogs in her own right over at Accidentally Mommy. She tells a tale of highs and lows, addictions and game-changers, and I am honored to have her words here.

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Addict.  It’s an ugly word. It brings up visions of junkies in back alleys, nodding from their latest score.

It most definitely doesn’t conjure the image of a successful young business woman, with a steady job, a paid off car, and her entire future ahead of her.

I wasn’t that kid that got lured into drugs by pot and peer pressure.  I was that kid who, during DARE seminars, looked at the example drugs with awe and wonder. The descriptions of their actions fascinated me. I remember the exact moment I decided I wanted to try each and every one of those drugs.

Of course, as I got older, I became more discriminating. I’ve never done meth, I’ve never smoked crack. Speed was nice, but it didn’t last long enough. Acid was fun, but the bad trips outweighed the good. Ecstacy left me depressed for days. Heroin made me sick before it made me nod, and that just wasn’t worth it. Opium gave me nightmares. Cocaine, though... Cocaine was the love of my life.

I stoned my way through my teenage years and into adulthood. When I finally landed in my “dream” job, it helped that I worked in a company where the drugs flowed like honey.  Anything I wanted, any time of day, for any price I could come up with. Entire lunches consisted of lines of coke and a cup of coffee.

It was well established. I was an addict. I couldn’t wait for weekends to end, just so I could go back to work, do the job I loved, and exist on the substance that made me feel like I could fly.

I did so many things high.  I rode horses high. I jumped horses high. I attended family functions, counseled clients, went dancing and drinking.  And at the end of the day, I can honestly say I was happy and enjoying the fuck out of my life.

Then one day, and this is where the parable changes, my car broke down irrepairably.  It was a rainy summer day in Florida, and I sat in my car and sobbed. I had just put a down payment on the cottage that was on a friend’s land where my horse would be outside my window. My job was at it’s peak, and so were the drugs.  I railed, angry at the universe, angry that the last wall to my complete freedom had suddenly been ripped away from me, since my new house was a good 40 minute drive from work.

In that moment, I looked to the sky, as it thundered and lightening struck, and I pled.  “Dear God, please... help me find another car, and I’ll never touch another drug again.”

Dontcha know it, the next day, my big boss found me a well-running, if ugly, vehicle for the petty sum of $500.

I quit cold turkey.  No more cocaine and coffee for me. Not another bean, not another hit, nothing.
Now, after this lengthy diatribe about my illicit drug use, you’re probably wondering why the hell this is appearing as a guest post on a child-related blog.

The reason is simple.

Three days after I quit cold turkey, I found out I was pregnant.  Was it providence? Was it a coincidence?

It didn’t matter at the time. I was getting an abortion, and that was the end of that.  But I couldn’t. I didn’t.  40 weeks later, my beautiful daughter wailed her way into the world and I became the most adult I’d ever been in my life.

I have a son now, too.  I often contemplate what my life would be like right now without my kids.  I wonder if I’d even still have a life.

I’m not going to lie to you - some days are difficult.  Some days the coffee alone just doesn’t cut it, and I wish for that little bump to amp myself up.  But I resist.  I do it not just because of the deal I struck with the universe, but I do it because of them.

“Once an addict, always an addict.  Some of us are just in remission,” is the statement I’ve heard bandied about.  I don’t buy it, though. People change.  That’s all people ever do is change.
I have changed.  May marks my ninth year of being clean. I still enjoy a glass of wine, but that’s the strongest I go. And I’m raising my children to not follow in my footsteps. Instead of focusing on those mysterious, alluring substances that beg for experimentation, we instead focus on the potential for other opportunities. We talk about how pleasure can be sought in productive ways.  If I’m doing my job right, my equally as inquisitive daughter and son will never sit and say to themselves “I want to do that.”  Instead, they will say “I’d rather do this,” with “this” being anything other than the substances I chose to whittle my hours away with.





 

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