Friday, woke up feeling like toasted shit, having only lightly slept, with bedbug bites and a pulled back muscle from being on an uncomfortable couch. Brushed my clothes off, washed up in a sink full of dirty dishes, canceled my Friday therapy appointment because I just feel too awful and dirty to bother going. The day felt hot and hopeless. Fuck it, I would just get high. I had my medication, so I took that at least, thinking it would help. It did. About halfway through, I just thought to myself, this is stupid, I want to go home and I did. You might count this as relapse, but I count this as success. Maybe it was medication induced, but I'm the one who took the medication. Who stops in the middle of a bender, when money is still available and drugs can still be found? Really, all I wanted a bath, food, and sleep, in that order. Came in the door and stripped off the grubby clothes (bagging them in the bathroom to avoid any creepy crawlers). Ran the tub while I ate cold pizza, naked, in my kitchen, and then I drowned myself in hot water, scrubbed all over twice, and threw on a fresh t-shirt before tumbling into bed.
Strangely, I couldn't sleep. This has never happened before when I came home from a bender. Usually once I hit the pillow, it is lights out. Plus, I'd taken my night medicine a few hours early. I should have been conked out. Instead, the best I could do was drowsing, nodding off, and then jerking awake. My body hurt all over. I took some ibuprofen. I got up and tried to read, but kept dozing off and jerking awake. I went back to bed, same thing. Why wasn't I staying asleep?
I hadn't gotten high in so long, the withdrawal just from coming down hit me really hard. Shakes, sweating, hot and cold flashes, pain, a total inability to stay asleep. It's like the worse hangover of your life, it can be, a whole body hangover. Saturday, today, finally real sleep hit. I'd been exhausted all day.
Here come the dreams.
I'd forgotten about these, the lovely dreams. Dreams so vivid they feel more real than life. They only happen after the edge of exhaustion, after you've not really slept in days. I could force myself into constant wakefulness if I could only have a solid day or two living in these dreams. But I can never remember them when I'm awake, they are always too disjointed, with colors more vivid than can be described. It's the only time I feel anything but a painful nostalgia in my life, when I'm sleeping, when I don't wake.
The worse my life is, the better my dreams. This has always been true. When my life is going well, I have nightmares of indescribable truth. When my life is a total disaster, it is a suffering just to wake.
I slept most of the day and woke with AgtOrange's bronchitis. Seems like all that afternoon cuddling hit me true. My lungs are on fire. In brief moments of consciousness, I've been reading a great book called How to Be Sick, which uses Buddhist philosophy to deal with a chronic illness. I'm still learning here.
It may be time to walk away from this recovery schedule, to scrap the plan and come up with something entirely different. All this time, there is a part of me still waiting, still hoping, still thinking somehow, someway, I'm going to get better. I'm going to go back to the fully active life I had before. Maybe this can still happen, but I should not longer plan for it. I've been sick almost four years now. I'm not getting better physically.
I should give up on the idea of a 'recovery' schedule and start on the idea of a plan for living life, my life, as it is now, within the pain, within the disability, within and beyond it. I can still learn; I can still grow. I just can't get better.
And once I'm finally, finally to terms with that, I can start moving onward. At the end of the day this isn't about addiction, mental health, or even disability. It's about clinging to the past, and allowing the past to cling to you, about being stuck and unable to move forward, unable to change and adapt to tragic changes.
There is not a one of us whose bodies will not break down and die. Some of us are unlucky enough to have that body break down early, but either way it was inevitable. It's built into us, into our bodies, into the system of life and death. It was always there. We were always born to be broken. It's what we do after that, that matters.