This week I talk about relapse as it relates to old habits and addictions. It took a lot out of me to tell this story and to be honest I almost did not hit publish on this post. I have been going back and forth in my mind as I try to convince myself that this message is relevant enough to post. I tell a lot of my own story but I have met fellow travelers on this journey of life who have been in the grips of addictions that are much more advanced than mine. On a periodic basis I am grateful that I have been able to get most of my impulses under control.
Addiction is no joke and if you are actively engaged in an addiction that is ruining your life I encourage you to get help. From personal experience I can tell you that the line between being fine and falling apart is very thin and is a dangerous one to walk. I have destroyed many wonderful opportunities and ended connections that had the potential to be wonderful because of my own addictions. Depending on where you live in the world help will look different for you and the anxiety induced by the process of asking for help is real. Of course I can not tell you how to live your life but I hope that this message can be a reason for you to take a good look at yourself and try change habits that your future self would regret
This story details my thought processes as I have tried and failed in the past to put an end to certain bad habits. The idea behind this story plays into the innocuous habit loops that lead to fueling an addiction before you become conscious of it.
This will be the day I kick this habit
Cold turkey failed in the past but I am smarter now
I will taper slowly from 3 days a week to 2 days a week to 1 day a week
I must confess that I am proud of myself
3 weeks sober!
This habit is gone forever!
I mean… its just one
Besides I have been good for 3 weeks
I can have just one…
Siigh… oh yeah
I remember now I am an addict I don’t do just 1
1 becomes 2 becomes 3
Before I know it I have a new daily habit
I finish before I realize I have started the triggers are anything really
it started off as a feeling
Now it is a damn habit
A habit that has become an addiction
I want it when I wake up
I crave it when I go to sleep
To be honest, I know I don’t need it
I don’t need it but it is not my choice really
I know it has been a while
I know gravity has pinned me to this bed
I know I can kick this but I think I need help
I mean I feel fine I think?
This will be the day I kick this habit.. again
I woke up with my head in my hands
My body is craving
It’s craving things I do not even like
It just wants something
I will take a walk
Sunlight always helps
The triggers are everywhere
My triggers are normal behavior for you
I have been hiding for a while
My friend rang me up
Dude I haven’t seen you lets have tea!
Tea leads to other things and I am back at day 0
Old habits die hard
We need to catch up but next time I will try to say no
This story details the emotional aspect of loving yourself through a relapse and the real process of doing whatever you can to get another fix. I like this particular story because it highlights the awareness of how outrageous certain behaviors are but that does not place you above them in any way. I also try to explore epigenetics and how certain behaviors might just be you playing out your gene expression.
Sigh…. It has happened again.
I find myself craving the things that make me weak
What started as fun is now an addiction
I find myself hiding so that I can use
Food, internet, alcohol, negative thoughts, drugs, masturbation, sex
It’s all the same
I trade one for another
When one door closes another one opens
The other day I tried to quit again
I burnt the evidence and threw it away
I fought through the headaches
I fought through the nightmares
I fought through the shame
I started to feel proud of myself
I think I put this thing behind me
I am a star!
I am a star that just fell to the ground
At this point I am standing over the trash can
I am looking at the remnants of my burned evidence
A mental pathway as old as my grandfather has been activated
I am digging through trash to get a fix
Two puffs and I am back to day 0
I guess I will try again tomorrow
This time I am going to kick this habit
This time I am going to rise
This time I am going to be a star
This story follows the sneaky nature of slipping back into an old habit. I have found that one thing usually leads to another. There are times when I definitely want to include myself in certain celebrations and events but I have to be cautious of how seemingly innocuous things can lead to a full relapse into habits that I thought were gone.
Dude you look great!
Let’s celebrate with a beer
We get to the bar and sweat starts to form on my brow
That’s strange because it is winter.
We order a round of beers and I say my cheers with water
I am only a few days in and I am trying to be good
We order food and there I see my kryptonite.
Fried, golden, juicy and delicious
I have been good a little food won’t hurt
A little food turns into a lot of food
Seconds later I am clenching my stomach
I overdid it again…
I never smoke but one stick won’t hurt.
It’s just one after all
One becomes two becomes many, and about that beer?
I guess I will join in this round
I drink one for me
I drink another for my father
I drink another for my grandfather
I drink another for the ancestors
I think I am in control but the truth is that I am a puppet
I have strings I can not even see
They pull me when I look away
It is hard to say they pull me when I pull myself
I choose to take those drinks
I choose to give in to those impulses
I choose by not choosing
The Macklemore song I refer to in this episode is called Otherside. It was one of the first songs I heard by the artist and It made me sober up to the face that I was developing a dangerous habit. If you are also interested in how he talks about addiction and the process of discovering his problem and getting help I would suggest watching this video.
Feel free to leave a comment if you resonate with any part of this and let’s talk about it.
Thanks for reading and until next time,
Continue being awesome