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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:59 am 
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Someone asked me not too long ago what I lost because of my addiction. My only answer at the time was “about three years of my life”. For the last 18 months that’s what I’ve honestly believed. However, lately I’ve been going over things in my mind and I’m wondering if I’ve been lying to myself – or maybe I’ve just been ignoring the bigger picture.

See, I stopped working over three years ago due to my disabilities and haven’t yet been able to go back. About a year after I stopped working my husband also lost a large chunk of his overall income. These financial issues led to our losing our home a little over a year ago. At age 45 for me (and 58 for him), we’ve had to start over and are now renting and living paycheck to paycheck – again. We basically had to start all over again. I realize this situation isn’t unique what with the state of the economy. I just wanted to offer some background info.

So lately I’ve been thinking about exactly what role my addiction played in me not returning to work when we lost the house. Maybe if I’d not been such a lazy slug only concerned with my drug use I would have or could have found a way to go back to work and save our house. Since I’ve realized this possibility I can’t stop kicking myself. I know it serves no real purpose to wonder about what-ifs, but I’m thinking maybe it’s time I acknowledged the reality of my deeds (or lack thereof).

I honestly don’t know what any of you can say, but I thought I’d reach out nonetheless. Maybe some of you also want to share your story on this topic. Have any of you ever second-guessed yourself like this? Or made the realization that you/your addiction did more damage that you’d first thought? I don’t want to wallow in self-pity, but it’s been my experience that dealing with these kinds of issues head-on is the best way to be able to move forward. It saddens me greatly to think that my addiction cost us our home and possibly my career. This is a crushing realization.

Thanks for listening, all of you. You’re really great.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:41 am 
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I know it's so hard to to play *what if* in your mind, esp when it comes to you and your family and major things like that. However, try not to. You can't change the past. You can only learn from it and move on. (Hey, that's what you tell me all the time, right?)
Life sucks sometimes when we get shit like that thrown at us, but all we can really do is be grateful it didn't get worse and be grateful we are in recovery now.
You are one of the strongest people I know. You will over come this. :D

As for me, I guess I always think about what time I lost with my children when I'd be too sick in withdrawal (or when I was in prison for a month due to pills) to play with them, or read to them or take them to the park. I hate thinking about that. It's very painful. All I can do is make up for it now.

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Laura

Of course there's such a thing as angels. Only sometimes they don't have wings... and we call them mothers. -Unknown


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:08 am 
Mel, your post hit really close to home. While I didn't lose my house I look back over the past 6 years or so and wonder, what the hell happened? I used to have a "career" but now I haven't worked in years. The people around me think I made a conscious decision to be a fulll time Mom, but the truth is after my last job ended it was just easeir to isolate and keep my using secret if I wasn't working. Now I'm 44, have gaping holes in my resume, don't have a job to go "back to" and don't even know what kind of work to look for. (Where I live there are hundreds of applicants for every job anyway, even unskilled jobs). Some days I just think it's all over. But I have to hold on to what Laura said above. I have to just be grateful that it didn't get any worse and I have to just do the best I can for my kids now.
You have helped more addicts than probably anyone here. I know you've lost a lot, but what you have been through has given you the insight and experience to help all of us. Maybe that's not much consolation. Viktor Frankl said, "suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning". I hope you ( and all of us) find meaning somehow in this experience of addiction.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:45 am 
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Thanks so much, both of you, for your very kind words. And they are sinking in. I would like to think that sharing my insight is helpful to others. I've received so much from the people on this forum that it pleases me tremendously to be able to give back.

I'm going to discuss these feelings with my therapist today, I think one session on this topic should be enough for me to deal with it and move forward.

I spoke to my husband about it yesterday. He listened with the kindness he always does and then he told me about some of the things he did not do that he feels guilty about. The thing is, people DO get emotionally attached to their home and I'm no exception. It was the closest thing to my "dream house" I'll probably ever get, so losing it caused me so much grief. Grief that I pushed aside for a very long time. And as we all know, pushing our emotions aside never solves anything; it only leaves us with residual unexpressed feelings.

So posting this and talking about with you all, my husband, and my therapist is allowing me to express long suppressed feelings. I'm hopeful that soon I'll be able to move forward, although I'm sure I'll always have some misgivings about it. They can't completely go away overnight.

Thanks again. You are so thoughtful, kind, and giving and I'd like you to know how much I appreciate you - all of you.

(Ok, enough of my mush! :lol: )


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Hi,

I read this earlier today and was not quite sure how to respond. I guess probably because you have been so strong and such a huge help and support to everyone here, that when I first read it, I wrongly thought, that you must be having a bad day, like you are somehow smarter or stronger than the rest of us. I sincerely apologize, I should have responded.

I can't even imagine how it would feel losing your dreamhome. I know if my addiction would have continued any longer, I would have put us in jeopardy of losing our home. As a matter of fact, I have put us in so much debt, that I am really not sure how we are going to get out of it. The worst of it is, I still have not been honest with my husband about how much debt we are in, so I am still dealing with what my addiction has done to me/us.

Your husband sounds awesome and I am so glad that he has not made you feel like your addiction is responsible for what you have lost. The fact that he also shared some of the things that he feels badly about is realy incredible. I only hope that my husband is as supportive when I tell him "everything". I mean, he has been awesome, but mostly he does not want to talk about it. When I told him what was going on and about going on Sub, he just said, "Great, going to be good not to have to worry about THAT any more", and that was about it. Whenever I bring it up, I can tell he is not listening, or he will just say 'the past is the past', or some equally indifferent thing.
You still have what is most important, you are doing well on Sub, you have an awesome husband, and a great family of pets that I know how much you love!

I hope that talking to your therapist helps today. I know you have an awesome therapist so I believe he will help you get some peace with this. Like you said, I think there will always be things we lost that we have misgivings about, but I think eventually we are able to forgive ourselves, and look forward to what recovery will bring us.

I think so much of you and you have been such a huge support to everyone here and I want to thank you for everything you do. Thanks for sharing this!

Ginger


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Thanks, Ginger, for the kind words. I did speak to my therapist yesterday and I'm SO glad I did. He - having a better memory of how things were over the last 4 years than I - went over some of the things that led up to losing the house. He illustrated quite clearly for me what I was going through and together we figured out what I had control over and what I did not. That helped me immensely, you can't imagine.

I'm so glad I didn't hold on to this self-pity or guilt and hide it away. Because I shared it with you, my husband, and my therapist, I'm now comfortable with the past so that I can move forward.

One very important thing I learned from my therapist - the world's best, I might add (LOL) - is that when we're in a situation and we have no control, blaming ourselves for things actually gives us a sense of control; because if something is "all my fault" well, then I had control, didn't I? I don't think I explained that very well, but hopefully you get the point.

Thanks again to all of you, for giving me a place where I feel safe to share things like this.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:37 pm 
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Well.......today I turned 45. This is the second year in a row I have spent it alone. I lost my wife.....who finally told me enough is enough. I lost a 6 figure job.......a boat and the 5 bedroom home we recently purchased (she still lives there with her new fiance). I lived in a friends garage for 2 months and after 4 months I got a new job making the same income and moved 7 hrs away....I was away from my boys 6 and 7.....driving there every 2 weeks staying in a hotel to see them....during this time I got on sub and heard so many AA stories where no matter how bad the guy beat his wife or cheated...she took him back after he was sober for awhile....This gaveme hope and I held onto the ideait could happen for me.

I am now back in Charlotte...I live 3 blocks from my kids....and I see my old home and his truck and know that she is never going to give me a second chance......I guess I thought I would have a chance but at least I get to be a father and apart of my boys life whenever I want. I have not dated in two years........I was holding on to hope but maybe I am suppose to be alone. I had it all......a great family...job...home.....and love.

Today I have my addiction in remission.....my boys who think I am superman and a cat named Sammie Gracie Lucky Kitty....but I am alive and grateful.

Jim


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