Before I get into a heavy post that is a preview of tomorrow's post- I have a Lenny update. First and foremost- THANK YOU to everyone who has sent us well wishes here, on Facebook, in my email and through texts. Thank you to all of you who shared our plight on your own blogs or on your Facebook pages. Thank you to the people who bought stuff out of my Etsy shop to support his vet bills and/or to not make Christmas suck for my kids. I have been blown away but all of you, it was a humbling experience to say the least. I am continually amazed at the relationships I have made with each of you and I wish I could personally hug you all because it meant a lot. The update is basically it may be diet related. He needs to be in the hospital until Thursday but his catheter comes out tomorrow. He hasn't eaten anything and only has taken in a little water- but he's peeing through the catheter ok. They are doing more blood work tomorrow but as of right now, it looks like it may be the shitty food Matt bought him. BUT it could become something that comes back because APPARENTLY, once male cats gets this they are more prone to it coming back. But we might know more tomorrow after blood work to make sure he doesn't have a fucked up kidney or something. So stay tuned.
OK. So this is a heavy topic for me. It's one that I only recently talked to my own mother about because a book I read basically scared the shit out of me. It brought up a lot of things I wasn't ready to deal with. But at the age of 28-- I need to. Because I could be a statistic.
I? Am an addict. I am not currently addicted to anything...but I could be. I could fall of a sober wagon any day. My biological father is an alcoholic and is addicted to pain medication. I have an uncle on my mother's side who was a drug addict and died alone as a drug addict. I am genetically predisposed to it. And while normally that doesn't mean anything to people, it means something to me.
I have mentioned before on my blog that I don't drink. I don't frown upon those that do and I'm capable of being around people who are drinking. I know I can't drink. I have only gotten drunk a handful of times in my life, mostly as a teenager who was at a sleepover. The only one I can really remember in detail is the one that convinced me I had a problem. I was a teenager and I was as a sleepover. My friend and I snuck out to a party with older kids. We were thrilled to be invited and thought we were so cool. I drank. And drank. I don't remember the particulars but I remember carrying a bottle of Jack Daniels with me and I called him my boyfriend. I remember waking up, in a house that I didn't know, without my friend, wearing a shirt that wasn't mine. I was terrified and ended up walking back. It was during my walk that I realized two things- first, I couldn't control spinning out of control. I wouldn't even see it coming. And second, I knew I couldn't drink ever again.
It's not that I even like liquor. I don't, actually. It's the feeling I get as soon as I take a sip. I can feel it course through my veins, my entire mentality changes and I can feel like a complete transformation is happening. And I can't get myself to stop. I have to drink until I pass out. Because I'm older I can look back and see how dangerous it was- quite frankly, I could have died. And I never told my parents. I never told most of my closest friends because I was scared. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed that I could turn into my father.
Fast forward to today. I suffer from chronic migraines. I don't take daily medication to prevent them because not only can I not afford it, but because they are addictive. And they can cause schizophrenia. Awesome. But what I do have is a pill called Maxalt, that relieves the migraine pain. I can finally afford them with our new insurance so when I picked up my last prescription I have over 50 of them. In my house. I can take them anytime.
And I want to.
I have to talk myself out of taking them every.single.day. It's a battle. They are in a drawer near my bed and I know they are in there. I know exactly how many I have left. I know the feeling I get within minutes of taking it. It basically feels like I'm heavy. So heavy, every limb in my body weighs 50 pounds. I'm heavy but I'm light as a feather and feel like I'm floating. The pain goes away so fast and I feel like I'm floating. It makes me drowsy so within an hour of taking it, I'm fast asleep. I can't function when I take one.... yet I want that floating feeling. I can feel the drug dissolve in my stomach and flow through my veins. Logically- I know I have to watch it because I could so easily become a statistic.
And it scares the shit out of me.
I never wanted to be that person. I thank God every day that I recognize that this could very well happen to me. I think about the people who become addicted to something. I think about the lives it ruins and the despair of slowly dying. I think about the feeling of control you think you have but you don't. It's like having voices on my shoulder. One is telling me it's ok to take them- take as many as you want- you'll be fine, you'll know when to stop. And the other is telling me that I can't do that, I couldn't stop, I wouldn't see myself spin out of control.
And I'm grateful.
I'm grateful to have a family that I can talk to when I need it. I'm grateful to have enough education to know I am not in charge of an addiction. I am grateful to know that I've made the right choices and that I recognized the potential for something worse. I'm grateful that I'm able to look past myself and see my kids. I see them and I realize that I have to do better for them. I have to show them that you can break a cycle. That it doesn't have to be the way nature wants it to be. That you can live above the excuses that are automatically in place.
But god damn, it's hard. I've talked to Matt about it and he's supportive. He doesn't drink anymore. I don't mind if he does, really- I don't. Every once in awhile I might get a margarita. Or a fruity mixed drink. But I'm with people who know my story- they know to watch me, to talk me out of ordering a second.
It's also lonely. I don't get invited to a lot of stuff because it's mostly held at bars and because I don't drink... people assume I wouldn't want to go. It sucks, but it's the way it is and I knew that when I made my decision. I would rather be lonely than a drunk.
And honestly? Acknowledging this stuff? Makes me feel better. It makes me feel accountable. It's like it's real and it's no longer an elephant in the room. Do family and friends need to worry? No. I know what could happen and I'm actively fighting against that. I don't need to be in a dark place to recognize I don't want to be there. I see my father, I hear the stories and it scares the hell out of me. I'm sad for him because he doesn't recognize he has a problem. He's lost his family, his kids, and his whole life... yet it isn't enough. At least now I know it'll never be enough and it really never had anything to do with me. It never had anything to do with my mom. With anybody but himself. And once I came to that conclusion I've been at peace with the abandonment. Sure- things could have been different... but they weren't. These are the cards I'm dealt- and I need to play them.