Where are we guys? It’s been a while! Not sure as to why but for whatever reason I have been experiencing a creative block and so haven’t really felt like writing or communicating anything although I am pleased to tell you that I have continued with my journey and am now ten months sober! Woop woop! I cannot tell you what it means to me to be able to share that with you. I am just so overjoyed and proud.
I’m not going to lie, things have been incredibly difficult and I have been pushed to my absolute limits but none the less I have managed to stay clean. I have continued to go into my local drugs and alcohol service and received tremendous support from my key worker. We schedule a slot in each week whereby I would go in and vent, offload or whatever I need in the form of support that week. All the while being probed, quizzed and questioned, making me think and do the work so that I develop my skill set and the tools I have in my tool box. In all fairness I am now equipped with an arsenal for whenever the cravings kick in and I want to use or for when I just feel that I am not coping all that well. Suffering with mental health issues as well as drug addiction can be truly testing at times.
At one point we felt that I needed to broaden my social network and so I have started to attend ‘Smart Recovery’. This is a group where addicts are encouraged to drop in and receive structured peer support and enjoy a session led by a key worker on a given topic for that particular week. The main purpose of the session is relapse prevention although unlike N/A or A/A groups there is no twelve step program in place. So far the group has been a tremendous support and success and already I am starting to become friendly with some of the women there. After exchanging numbers I now go for coffee with one of the lady’s who is also on a similar journey to myself. Although not exactly the same, I have to be honest in that it is nice having someone to talk to who can relate to what I’m going through.
Having worked so hard over the last ten months I have now been asked to volunteer at my local drugs and alcohol service drop in centre. My key worker mentioned this to me a few months ago and I suppose it planted a little seed in my mind acting as motivation. I thought if I could just push forward, stay clean and sober then there were opportunities out there for me. In all fairness, with the university degrees and the qualifications that I have, also my experience with mental health and drug addiction my key worker has always said that I have so much potential. After having been through so much this really touched and stayed with me. Now here I am filling out the paperwork so that I can start in a few weeks time. I will keep you updated on my progress!
To be honest I do feel a bit nervous in that I have been out of the loop for a while and fear that too much pressure could cause me to relapse. I have to remember that above everything else my sobriety is my number one priority. Although, I have been reassured that the voluntary work will start off really slowly and will only ever go at a comfortable pace. The onus is on me however to communicate how I’m feeling and how I’m coping with things as they develop and progress. Hopefully the more I get involved the more my self esteem and confidence will lift and grow. To be honest these are also things that I am working on with my key worker. I have to remember that my self esteem and confidence aren’t going to grow while doing nothing, sitting alone at home alone. I have to make a start and put myself out there!
From previous posts you will be able to read and see that I have been suffering with acute anxiety. The other day I had the worst panic attack and I was only trying to board a train! It came from out of nowhere, all of a sudden I just felt so claustrophobic and overwhelmed. I couldn’t breathe, it felt like there was just no air going into my lungs. Being an addict I numbed myself for so many years but now all my feelings and emotions are starting to come rushing back. Working with my key worker I am trying to ‘normalise’ these emotions and feelings but sometimes when that fight or flight kicks in they can just be so over bearing and too much leaving me in a state of absolute fear. I do however refuse to let these emotions stop me from doing things and so if I struggle with something I will make it my goal to do it again. Then again and so on until ultimately I will hopefully have no problem with it. I am a strong proponent of feel the fear and do it anyway!
So I think I am going to leave it there for today, I am just so pleased that I have checked in and updated you all on how things are and how my journey is going. I plan to blog a lot more over the next couple of months and then hopefully we can celebrate my one year anniversary together! Of course it is one day at a time but this is something that I am really looking forward to, wondering how I will feel with one year’s sobriety under my belt. Of course if you are on a similar journey or have experience in this area then it would be lovely to hear from you. Always curious and forever intrigued I would love to hear your thoughts on my posts and page.