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Recovery My cliché recovery journal

chinup

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
3,406
Location
Greatest city on Earth
awesome!!! happy late birthday! i'm so glad you had a good day. surely beats a birthday using, when someone might 'give' you a pipe or half a strip of something but really they now think you owe them probably more than they gave, and otherwise its just the same mundane shit. realising you've not thought about drugs for some period is massive, it shows that freedom really is possible.


yep money lost all value to me too, £60 was a gram of dark, £120 teenth of light, £200 eighth, actually pretty large sums of money were just nothing to me. i'm still pretty shit with money, like i feel like cos i'm not spending it on crack i deserve to spend it on whatever i like. i'm addicted to this game of thrones browser game (sad i know lol) and i've spent well over a grand on it in total, and i justify it by reminding myself i'd spend that in a day when i was using. but it doesn't work like that cos i don't do the stuff i did to earn money now and have a shed load of debt. i'm not getting on my back about it though, i just need to shift the mentality that i deserve everything i want right now cos i quit crack, when it doesn't work like that, the reward is having a life not 20 pairs of converse. it sounds like you're a bit more balanced than me, coke instead of squash is definitely good, squash is gross!

ha even if the hot girl is the main reason for enjoyment, you'll likely soak up something recovery related while you're there. do be careful around girls though i've seen people relapse over jumping straight into a relationship, though i'm sure the odd casual shag is ok.

i need more tools for emotional instability rather than cravings, cos tough my recent therapy helped, i can still end up in tears from perfectly fine in like a minute. a log might actually be helpful for that though, to work out the causes of emotional instability.

i've attached a picture of the baby cat. i wanted one since i was in rehab, now i'm realising what a big responsibility it really is i couldn't have coped earlier in recovery. he's gonna need a lot of care of attention for months to come, i'm still coming home from work every lunch just to check on him. i went to rehab in september 2018 so its been a little while now, except my week of getting caned in april, but didn't do any b or w.

21111
 

Rio Fantastic

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,383
Location
Birmingham
awesome!!! happy late birthday! i'm so glad you had a good day. surely beats a birthday using, when someone might 'give' you a pipe or half a strip of something but really they now think you owe them probably more than they gave, and otherwise its just the same mundane shit. realising you've not thought about drugs for some period is massive, it shows that freedom really is possible.


yep money lost all value to me too, £60 was a gram of dark, £120 teenth of light, £200 eighth, actually pretty large sums of money were just nothing to me. i'm still pretty shit with money, like i feel like cos i'm not spending it on crack i deserve to spend it on whatever i like. i'm addicted to this game of thrones browser game (sad i know lol) and i've spent well over a grand on it in total, and i justify it by reminding myself i'd spend that in a day when i was using. but it doesn't work like that cos i don't do the stuff i did to earn money now and have a shed load of debt. i'm not getting on my back about it though, i just need to shift the mentality that i deserve everything i want right now cos i quit crack, when it doesn't work like that, the reward is having a life not 20 pairs of converse. it sounds like you're a bit more balanced than me, coke instead of squash is definitely good, squash is gross!

ha even if the hot girl is the main reason for enjoyment, you'll likely soak up something recovery related while you're there. do be careful around girls though i've seen people relapse over jumping straight into a relationship, though i'm sure the odd casual shag is ok.

i need more tools for emotional instability rather than cravings, cos tough my recent therapy helped, i can still end up in tears from perfectly fine in like a minute. a log might actually be helpful for that though, to work out the causes of emotional instability.

i've attached a picture of the baby cat. i wanted one since i was in rehab, now i'm realising what a big responsibility it really is i couldn't have coped earlier in recovery. he's gonna need a lot of care of attention for months to come, i'm still coming home from work every lunch just to check on him. i went to rehab in september 2018 so its been a little while now, except my week of getting caned in april, but didn't do any b or w.

View attachment 21111
That's adorable! Aww oh my god, you're making me want a puppy or a kitten! I wish I wasn't going away in September! :(

I wouldn't beat yourself up about what you're spending money on. We're both still in really early days, so whatever we're filling our time with and spending our money on is much better than what we were doing before. Obviously that mindset wouldn't be a recipe for success if carried on indefinitely, but for the time being I think we're good. Holy shit though - a grand on a browser game is a crazy amount! In terms of working on emotional stability, have you ever used ABC forms??

I've been pretty good recently. I went out with my Mum today - she took me to see a play called "The Politics of Smack & Crack" - it was about two drug addicts in 80s Manchester, set to the backdrop of the riots and showing how Margaret Thatcher's policies basically led directly to the heroin epidemic. It was awesome - the actors were fantastic and the play itself was great. I don't usually like plays, but this one was exactly relevant to my interests and we had a really good time. Been getting back into exercising, going running/lifting weights about 4 times a week, and every time I go it's provided such a great mood lift. I don't expect it to be physically visible on my physique any time soon, but I enjoy the process so much that I honestly wouldn't be bothered if it didn't affect how I look at all - that would just be a nice bonus! I had a tough day the day before yesterday - I'd been feeling consistently good for like a week, so when out of nowhere I had a day with a slightly lower mood it hit me harder than it did when it was happening with regularity. I kept thinking about using, but I dealt with every craving and was never seriously tempted to actually give in, and thankfully by the next day I was back to feeling optimistic. I think the next thing I need to address is my diet - I eat WAY too much sugar and junk food and have been giving myself a pass on it since I was focusing on sobriety, but I think it's time to address it now since I want to be feeling the best I possibly can be and not hindering myself by eating shit all the time. Feeling pretty good overall though - can hardly believe I have this long sober and that I'm doing better than I've done literally in years!!
 

chinup

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
3,406
Location
Greatest city on Earth
you've got plenty of time to get a baby animal once you're settled. it is really fun.

i'm trying not to beat myself up but i've been a bit hard up recently so i feel bad. but i do know i need to spend money on enjoying myself. as do you. it is a crazy amount, but its been over about 8 months, which sort of makes it less painful.

i haven't heard of ABC forms i'll have to take a look now!!

ahhhh glad you enjoyed the play! i know someone involved in that, they're in recovery too. i really wanted to see it but it sold out up here super fast. maybe i'll make more of an effort to see their next production, now i've got some independent validation, cos i'm not a huge fan of theatre either really. its good you got to enjoy some time with your mum. parents are fucking hard, especially when you've destroyed their trust and hurt them a lot. i found it so so hard with my mum for so long.

i'm glad you're getting some exercise and finding it gives you a mood lift, knowing ways to get a boost is really important.

i know what you mean about when you get a bad day after a few good days you're somehow less prepared for it. feeling good lulls you into a false sense of security, especially when its such a huge relief after struggling for ages. its awesome you recognise you're doing well and have got a decent time clean. your mental and physical health will be improving massively, even if it doesn't feel like it so much.

ha i eat way too much junk too. i need to stop, i still feel so uncomfortable with my body still. plus it makes you feel like crap, which is not useful.
 

Rio Fantastic

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,383
Location
Birmingham
you've got plenty of time to get a baby animal once you're settled. it is really fun.

i'm trying not to beat myself up but i've been a bit hard up recently so i feel bad. but i do know i need to spend money on enjoying myself. as do you. it is a crazy amount, but its been over about 8 months, which sort of makes it less painful.

i haven't heard of ABC forms i'll have to take a look now!!

ahhhh glad you enjoyed the play! i know someone involved in that, they're in recovery too. i really wanted to see it but it sold out up here super fast. maybe i'll make more of an effort to see their next production, now i've got some independent validation, cos i'm not a huge fan of theatre either really. its good you got to enjoy some time with your mum. parents are fucking hard, especially when you've destroyed their trust and hurt them a lot. i found it so so hard with my mum for so long.

i'm glad you're getting some exercise and finding it gives you a mood lift, knowing ways to get a boost is really important.

i know what you mean about when you get a bad day after a few good days you're somehow less prepared for it. feeling good lulls you into a false sense of security, especially when its such a huge relief after struggling for ages. its awesome you recognise you're doing well and have got a decent time clean. your mental and physical health will be improving massively, even if it doesn't feel like it so much.

ha i eat way too much junk too. i need to stop, i still feel so uncomfortable with my body still. plus it makes you feel like crap, which is not useful.
wow, who do you know involved in it?? and yeah if it comes around again I would 100% recommend seeing it. it's way better than I expected.

how long have you got now?? what are you doing with your time??
 

chinup

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
3,406
Location
Greatest city on Earth
hey how's it going? sorry for the massively late reply. i hope you're making good progress. you still doing foundations?

i know someone from NA up here involved in it so I can't really break their anonymity I'm afraid, but I will feed back when I see them that I've had an independent positive review cos they'll be well chuffed with that.

to answer your other questions: i've been in recovery since september 2018, pretty nuts really. right now with my time i mostly play this stupid browser game, or play with my kitten, or attempt to do my job. i wish i spent more time reading, playing my bass and meditating, i've been feeling shite recently and haven't meditated at home in ages and i'm certain there's a connection but i'm too apathetic to do anything. i go to courses at the buddhist centre once a week so i meditate there at least.
 

Rio Fantastic

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,383
Location
Birmingham
Hey guys.

Time for me to take my own fucking advice. I relapsed last Monday after getting 52 days clean. The causes were so trivial and unimportant that I'm actually tempted to exaggerate them just so it doesn't seem so ridiculous, but I'll disclose them - who the hell am I lying for anyway? What's the point of dishonesty in my own sobriety journal?

I'd been feeling mostly pretty good in the week or so leading up to the relapse. I'd say I had 5 days of just feeling great - positive, optimistic, energetic - but then a couple of days where my mood would dip slightly and I'd have to consciously deal with thoughts of using. I only realized in hindsight that this is my mind probing for excuses to use. Unfortunately, as I tend to do, I tried everything I possibly could to deal with it except just reaching out to somebody to talk about it with another human being. I always do this. I never reach to others for help - I place the expectation upon myself that I should be able to handle everything solo, and then shut myself away in isolation when I should be out there connecting with people and receiving the support I so desperately need at times. In all fairness, I did go to Foundations on Monday. However, I didn't have a very positive session - the person I get on with most wasn't there, and the guy I talk to the most had just dealt with his ex-wife suddenly dying of an unexplained cause at the age of just 42. This may sound absurdly selfish, because it is, but that put a gloomy spin on the entire session, and I left feeling worse than when I arrived. I can't believe how fucking pathetically selfish I am - here's this guy dealing with a sudden death without relapsing, and here I am relapsing partially because the resulting session was kind of sad. Fuck me.

As I left Foundations, there was a whirlwind of thoughts spinning round my head, but they kept returning to the same old familiar conclusion of "Take drugs". However, I was still in the process of actively denying them at this point. I didn't want to give in, and I was doing what I could to try and get my thoughts onto a more positive track. When I got back I read over some helpful quotes that had gotten me through cravings before and then went for a run. This lifted my mood a little, but not enough to change the mindset that I'd found myself in. I added fuel to the fire by idly browsing Facebook, focusing on happy people being successful and functional and hanging out with their other successful, happy friends, and though I know that it's stupid to compare my backstage with everyone else's front performance, I found myself comparing myself to all these people I used to know as an excuse to tear myself apart and make me feel worse than I already was. And of course, that same solution was still rattling around my mind - "Why don't you just get high? Just for today?"

I still didn't want to give in though. I decided that I was just going to watch a film, relax, and wait out these cravings. I usually download movies but I wanted to distract myself immediately so I was just browsing a streaming site when my connection was lost. My internet was cut off for failure to pay my bill. I was so frustrated and unhappy - my life at home revolves entirely around the internet. I don't have a TV - the only thing I do that isn't connected to the internet is read books. I was extremely irritated since it wasn't meant to be cut off until the grace period of a week had gone by, and it had only just been 3 days. I called my Mum to get the bill money sent to my account to make the payment, feeling depressed, cynical, irritated and miserable. That solution was becoming much more attractive by the minute. "It's not your fault the internet has been cut off. This is a perfect reason to get high. Why not just give in - this one time?"

I had the money sent to me and then called my ISP. When I angrily explained the situation to them, they agreed to switch my internet back on and because they'd turned it off several days early they agreed to waive this month's bill. So, though my internet problem was solved, I was left with some money in my account that wouldn't be missed and wasn't intended for anything else. I didn't need much more convincing at this point to use. I figured I'd made so much progress in 52 days, and I let that convince me that using once wouldn't erase all I did. I went out and bought a £10 stone of crack and 2 bags of H. From the moment the crack pipe hit my lips, the smoke hit my lungs and the buzz hit my brain the slumbering beast inside of me was awoken, and all I could focus on was more. More. More. What I had wasn't enough. I got more money. Scored again. Stayed up all night. The next day I sold my vape and conned my Mum out of some money to score again. Kept getting high. Decided smoking was inefficient, got some needles. Found a temporarily recovered vein in my arm. Shot up snowballs all day then went over to my old using friend's place and got high with him all night. Staggered out at 6AM to get the first bus back since I'd left a bag of H at my flat. On the way bumped into an old acquaintance who eagerly asked me if I could score base. I told him I could. He gave me £20 and agreed to meet me after he'd come back from work. I used it to score then blocked his number and the phone numbers of our mutual friends. I passed out some point, and the next day I just spent sleeping all day, as I'd been awake for 3 days, nodding but not actually sleeping. The next day I technically had 2 days clean, but I wasn't ready to stop yet. Conned my Mum out of some more money - at this point she was getting rightfully really suspicious - and then scored again. Tried to sell a new extra mattress I had and had agreed the sale but the guy couldn't pick it up till the next day. This frustrated me immensely, so I called my Mum again for some more money.

This time she wasn't having it. It led to a really heated argument - I become an asshole with no regard for others when I've been using and am focused on using again - which ended with me making her cry and then hanging up the phone and breaking my living room door. I sat there frustrated and spent the rest of the evening sobering up. As I became sober from my last hit, I realised how badly I'd fucked up. I realized it had to stop. I realized I couldn't trust myself the next day to share that resolution, so I texted my Mum and told her everything, then put my phone and debit card in an envelope and posted it through her door, detailing in the text that she was to keep it for at least a week no matter what I say.

That was 5 days ago, and I've been clean since then. I'm going to try and learn a lesson from all this to apply next time around, since I still firmly believe that within every lapse is a lesson that can be applied going forward. The main one is that I need to stop being so caught up in the external world and relying on it so much for my happiness and self-esteem. I am very prone to mood swings and I've been trying to have it both ways - when things go well I pour fuel on the fire to amp up my mood to be as excitable, giddy and happy as possible and enjoy riding the wave, but then when something bad happens I attempt to be stoic and unmoved but I can't selectively apply that mentality. If I want to let my feelings escalate when I'm in one of my good moods then that means riding the wave down when I'm depressed as well. I can't encourage and cultivate my reactive mood only when it suits me, no matter how much I want to at the time. I'm going to have to consciously temper my good moods with realism rather than feeding into them - not to bring myself down, but to guard myself against dramatic mood shifts in general. I need to stop being so reactive to whatever situation I happen to find myself in, and try and reign my emotions in all the time, not just when they're unpleasant, and try my best to develop a stoicism that can guard and fortify me for when the inevitable downturns come.

Secondly, I can't always handle cravings all by myself. I've tried practically everything else - this time, going forward, I really have to remember to reach out to someone. Just a text or a phone call admitting that I'm struggling at the first sign of it I believe would mitigate a lot of the issues. We all need help sometimes, and I think by convincing myself simultaneously that I can handle everything alone and that I'm a burden to others then I ensure my own relapse. I am certain that people would rather have a 15 minute phone call from me than deal with me when I'm using. I'm like a hurricane through people's lives. I've come out of this lapse that didn't even last a week owing my Mum hundreds of pounds more, owing my friend £20, having burnt bridges with 2 others and made a prick of myself with the SMART facilitator when I asked him to lend me money. If I don't want to end up like that, I must get used to reaching out to others before that point is reached.
 

somnilicious

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
1,482
Location
Orlando, Fl
Hey guys.

Time for me to take my own fucking advice. I relapsed last Monday after getting 52 days clean. The causes were so trivial and unimportant that I'm actually tempted to exaggerate them just so it doesn't seem so ridiculous, but I'll disclose them - who the hell am I lying for anyway? What's the point of dishonesty in my own sobriety journal?

I'd been feeling mostly pretty good in the week or so leading up to the relapse. I'd say I had 5 days of just feeling great - positive, optimistic, energetic - but then a couple of days where my mood would dip slightly and I'd have to consciously deal with thoughts of using. I only realized in hindsight that this is my mind probing for excuses to use. Unfortunately, as I tend to do, I tried everything I possibly could to deal with it except just reaching out to somebody to talk about it with another human being. I always do this. I never reach to others for help - I place the expectation upon myself that I should be able to handle everything solo, and then shut myself away in isolation when I should be out there connecting with people and receiving the support I so desperately need at times. In all fairness, I did go to Foundations on Monday. However, I didn't have a very positive session - the person I get on with most wasn't there, and the guy I talk to the most had just dealt with his ex-wife suddenly dying of an unexplained cause at the age of just 42. This may sound absurdly selfish, because it is, but that put a gloomy spin on the entire session, and I left feeling worse than when I arrived. I can't believe how fucking pathetically selfish I am - here's this guy dealing with a sudden death without relapsing, and here I am relapsing partially because the resulting session was kind of sad. Fuck me.

As I left Foundations, there was a whirlwind of thoughts spinning round my head, but they kept returning to the same old familiar conclusion of "Take drugs". However, I was still in the process of actively denying them at this point. I didn't want to give in, and I was doing what I could to try and get my thoughts onto a more positive track. When I got back I read over some helpful quotes that had gotten me through cravings before and then went for a run. This lifted my mood a little, but not enough to change the mindset that I'd found myself in. I added fuel to the fire by idly browsing Facebook, focusing on happy people being successful and functional and hanging out with their other successful, happy friends, and though I know that it's stupid to compare my backstage with everyone else's front performance, I found myself comparing myself to all these people I used to know as an excuse to tear myself apart and make me feel worse than I already was. And of course, that same solution was still rattling around my mind - "Why don't you just get high? Just for today?"

I still didn't want to give in though. I decided that I was just going to watch a film, relax, and wait out these cravings. I usually download movies but I wanted to distract myself immediately so I was just browsing a streaming site when my connection was lost. My internet was cut off for failure to pay my bill. I was so frustrated and unhappy - my life at home revolves entirely around the internet. I don't have a TV - the only thing I do that isn't connected to the internet is read books. I was extremely irritated since it wasn't meant to be cut off until the grace period of a week had gone by, and it had only just been 3 days. I called my Mum to get the bill money sent to my account to make the payment, feeling depressed, cynical, irritated and miserable. That solution was becoming much more attractive by the minute. "It's not your fault the internet has been cut off. This is a perfect reason to get high. Why not just give in - this one time?"

I had the money sent to me and then called my ISP. When I angrily explained the situation to them, they agreed to switch my internet back on and because they'd turned it off several days early they agreed to waive this month's bill. So, though my internet problem was solved, I was left with some money in my account that wouldn't be missed and wasn't intended for anything else. I didn't need much more convincing at this point to use. I figured I'd made so much progress in 52 days, and I let that convince me that using once wouldn't erase all I did. I went out and bought a £10 stone of crack and 2 bags of H. From the moment the crack pipe hit my lips, the smoke hit my lungs and the buzz hit my brain the slumbering beast inside of me was awoken, and all I could focus on was more. More. More. What I had wasn't enough. I got more money. Scored again. Stayed up all night. The next day I sold my vape and conned my Mum out of some money to score again. Kept getting high. Decided smoking was inefficient, got some needles. Found a temporarily recovered vein in my arm. Shot up snowballs all day then went over to my old using friend's place and got high with him all night. Staggered out at 6AM to get the first bus back since I'd left a bag of H at my flat. On the way bumped into an old acquaintance who eagerly asked me if I could score base. I told him I could. He gave me £20 and agreed to meet me after he'd come back from work. I used it to score then blocked his number and the phone numbers of our mutual friends. I passed out some point, and the next day I just spent sleeping all day, as I'd been awake for 3 days, nodding but not actually sleeping. The next day I technically had 2 days clean, but I wasn't ready to stop yet. Conned my Mum out of some more money - at this point she was getting rightfully really suspicious - and then scored again. Tried to sell a new extra mattress I had and had agreed the sale but the guy couldn't pick it up till the next day. This frustrated me immensely, so I called my Mum again for some more money.

This time she wasn't having it. It led to a really heated argument - I become an asshole with no regard for others when I've been using and am focused on using again - which ended with me making her cry and then hanging up the phone and breaking my living room door. I sat there frustrated and spent the rest of the evening sobering up. As I became sober from my last hit, I realised how badly I'd fucked up. I realized it had to stop. I realized I couldn't trust myself the next day to share that resolution, so I texted my Mum and told her everything, then put my phone and debit card in an envelope and posted it through her door, detailing in the text that she was to keep it for at least a week no matter what I say.

That was 5 days ago, and I've been clean since then. I'm going to try and learn a lesson from all this to apply next time around, since I still firmly believe that within every lapse is a lesson that can be applied going forward. The main one is that I need to stop being so caught up in the external world and relying on it so much for my happiness and self-esteem. I am very prone to mood swings and I've been trying to have it both ways - when things go well I pour fuel on the fire to amp up my mood to be as excitable, giddy and happy as possible and enjoy riding the wave, but then when something bad happens I attempt to be stoic and unmoved but I can't selectively apply that mentality. If I want to let my feelings escalate when I'm in one of my good moods then that means riding the wave down when I'm depressed as well. I can't encourage and cultivate my reactive mood only when it suits me, no matter how much I want to at the time. I'm going to have to consciously temper my good moods with realism rather than feeding into them - not to bring myself down, but to guard myself against dramatic mood shifts in general. I need to stop being so reactive to whatever situation I happen to find myself in, and try and reign my emotions in all the time, not just when they're unpleasant, and try my best to develop a stoicism that can guard and fortify me for when the inevitable downturns come.

Secondly, I can't always handle cravings all by myself. I've tried practically everything else - this time, going forward, I really have to remember to reach out to someone. Just a text or a phone call admitting that I'm struggling at the first sign of it I believe would mitigate a lot of the issues. We all need help sometimes, and I think by convincing myself simultaneously that I can handle everything alone and that I'm a burden to others then I ensure my own relapse. I am certain that people would rather have a 15 minute phone call from me than deal with me when I'm using. I'm like a hurricane through people's lives. I've come out of this lapse that didn't even last a week owing my Mum hundreds of pounds more, owing my friend £20, having burnt bridges with 2 others and made a prick of myself with the SMART facilitator when I asked him to lend me money. If I don't want to end up like that, I must get used to reaching out to others before that point is reached.
Damn.... This sounds like me to a "T".... I hope you are starting to feel better. I narrowly avoided a relapse yesterday.
 

Rio Fantastic

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,383
Location
Birmingham
I know that these entries have been long and I don't expect anyone to read them all, but I'm finding them therapeutic to write out so they're serving a purpose regardless of if anyone actually sees them or not. I just wanted to record for posterity how I've been feeling these last few days. When I'm about to relapse, I partially justify it to myself by dismissing my concerns over the after-effects by reassuring my ego that after an unpleasant day or two I'll be back more or less where I was before relapsing. I fail to comprehend how entirely relapsing fucks me up mentally & emotionally and how different I feel in the time after a relapse compared to before. I only realize too late, after using, that the "depression" I had that drove me to relapse is nothing on what comes afterwards. Compared to how I've felt these last few days, even the worst of how I felt the month or so before using is trivially minor. Before using, I can tell myself "I'm depressed now anyway, so what fucking difference will it make if I take heroin or not?? I may get depressed afterwards, but I'm miserable anyway!" Without the fresh memory of a relapse and it's consequences in my mind, I can even believe that (I'm pretty good at lying to myself, I'm sure you other addicts can relate). However, comparing the "depression" I have pre-relapse when I have some clean time to what comes after using is like grouping together a paper-cut with a broken spine as both being "injuries" and thus comparable. The difference in degree is vast and scarcely comprehensible to me when I'm sober.

Though I feel a little better today, I am NOWHERE near where I was last Sunday or even last Monday morning. The memory of the last few days is still clear, so before it fades I want to record it here so that I can't lie to myself again, telling myself I'll bounce back in a day or two with everything intact. The process of recovering from these lapses is a long, arduous process of reconstruction from the ground up. Regardless of the reality of it, it certainly feels as if I'm starting again from a blank slate. I feel entirely disconnected from the person I was before lapsing. I am starting again in everything, and just the thought of jumping straight back into the routine I'd built up before lapsing repels me and fills me with dread. I can hardly even relate to the confident, (mostly) positive, functioning and busy guy that I was just last week.

Describing the feeling I have after a relapse as "depression" can mischaracterize it as sadness, but it's more like an immense void. Like a heavy leaden blanket draped over my mind, suffocating my emotions, snuffing out my positivity and literally weighing me down. The most striking part of it is that it creates a gulf between my current mindset and that in which I got used to in sobriety. The distance between me feeling shitty and me feeling optimistic seems so large as to be entirely insurmountable, and no matter how many times I repeat to myself that given a little time I'll feel happy again, every cell in my body tells me it's an empty promise. I am not just pessimistic - I become unable to even remember what it's like to feel naturally positive. Literally the only thing that causes even a tiny spark of positivity is the thought of taking drugs. Everything else - from getting out of bed to talking to my friends to eating a meal - seems at best like a giant chore and at worst like an enormous exhausting effort, a trial that I'm dreading. My first thought upon waking every morning is a deep sinking feeling at the thought of facing the world, and I want more than anything to go back to sleep. Not because I'm at all tired, but just because when I'm asleep I don't have to be conscious & alive. Until this morning, every day I'd lay in bed for up to an hour when I'd already slept as much as I possibly could, just because I couldn't even muster the minimum effort required to drag myself out of bed.

Describing this state as being "lazy" would not only be an understatement but in my mind would also be a little inaccurate. I've been lazy before when well. I've had things I know I should do, but procrastinated on them in favor of browsing Twitter or watching another episode of Breaking Bad or whatever. This is different. There is an immense inertia hanging over me that makes it difficult to do literally anything. Getting up from the sofa is a monumental effort. Brushing my teeth seems like a huge hassle. Cooking and consuming food is only done when I'm having actual stomach pain from hunger since the many steps involved in producing something edible seems like it requires an enormous amount of my dwindling energy, and then after I've made it I'll only eat a little bit of it before I become overwhelmed with how disgusting it seems. I can force myself to do something, but the effort it took to hoover my flat the day before yesterday honestly seemed to take more out of me than lifting weights for 90 minutes had the week before. The total lack of energy is crazy.

I am usually pretty good at moderating my own thoughts to stop negative thought cycles before they start, so though in this mindset I will naturally want to indulge in cynical, self-defeating, critical & depressive thought, I usually automatically catch them before they can develop. However, even when doing this what remains is the general feeling of negativity. Everything seems dismally hopeless. I try and look forward to something - anything - that isn't drug-related, and find myself unable to conjure even the slightest bit of enthusiasm for it. My future life plans, which had so excited me and filled me with energy and optimism prior to lapsing, like university and the girl I'm into, now fail entirely to produce even a flicker of hope. They instead seem like more ultimately futile efforts to distract myself from the misery that is fundamental to my life.

I want to emphasize how difficult it is to overcome this cognitively. I can make myself think "These ideas excited me before. I was feeling happy & confident only a week ago. I always go through this after a lapse, and I always get through it in just a few days" and I believe it - it's undeniably true - but I cannot conceive of ever really feeling happy again. Emotionally, I can't connect with that concept at all, so it becomes easy to believe that any happiness I had before was just some kind of delusion, or that I was lying to myself, and the real bedrock of my existence is one where I'm enveloped by the void. That dark, suffocating void that boxes me in and is unescapable. That snuffs out any joy, happiness or positivity in it's all consuming embrace. Two solutions seem apparent when I'm lost in the void - drugs or suicide. I don't know how people with severe depression keep facing the world for months or even years - I am certain that if I was in this head space for longer than a month I would need to turn to something dramatic.

Being around others is extremely difficult when I'm in this headspace. Not just because I'm a downer - though I am - but because I feel literally cognitively impaired. It's as if I'm brain-damaged - I can't hold a conversation. That part of my mind that usually comes up with even basic responses to conversations, let alone jokes or ideas or questions or any of the usual conversational content that means I never have to endure awkward silences, is entirely shut down. I can basically respond to what people say to me - I can answer questions, laugh at jokes, give standard greetings - but I'm like a reactive automaton or an AI that is programmed just to give basic replies to people. At some point in the conversation I will be expected to produce something - a question, a joke, a comment, a topic - and I simply can't do it. Inside my mind is nothing. Just a blank, empty expanse. I realize that the longer I'm around someone, the sooner they will realize that there is nothing inside of me, and either they will want to get away from me - who wants to be around someone that can't contribute anything? - or the conversation will get awkward. Realizing this, I stay away from people as much as possible, and when I'm forced to interact with someone, I cut the conversation short as soon as possible and make my excuses before they realize that I'm just an empty vessel and that the part of my mind that has my personality has been rendered entirely inactive.

I'm not just awkward conversationally when I'm like this. I'm physically impaired as well - I'm dyspraxic, so I'm not the most co-ordinated guy at the best of times, but it's turned up to 11 when I'm depressed. I will bump into tables, doors & ceilings that I've been automatically avoiding for the years I've lived in my flat. I slipped the other day with a pizza cutter and put a gash into my finger. I dropped and smashed a cup because I simply failed to carry it 3 feet. As well as being clumsy, I feel literally weighed down. My movements are slower (along with my thoughts and responses), and it feels like I'm wading through treacle. The short 5 minute walk to my local shop feels like it's hours away. It's like I'm carrying a burden or have suddenly gained 5 stone that I'm lugging around.

In a word, it's awful. Despite having gone through this many times I still somehow manage to convince myself once I have X days in sobriety that I've come so far that I won't be propelled right back down here after a lapse, but I am, every time. Of course, it's also accompanied by the guilt of lapsing, the despair of another failed attempt and the pessimism for my future sobriety.

The only silver lining is that it is mercifully brief. I have felt myself improving a little bit every day, and I know that that will continue as long as I keep sober. And why shouldn't I suffer a little? I'm glad that this happens afterwards, else it would be too easy to just continue using. This period of misery is a necessary evil, for it is like a penance or contrition for the sin I have committed against my better self, and I can be redeemed by waiting through it. It never lasts longer than a week, and though a week sober won't leave me back where I was when I had 50 days clean, I can at least feel OK rather than like I'm drowning. Existence becomes extremely difficult when you have completely demolished your supply of dopamine & endorphins and your brain is down-regulating your receptors. It's crazy that such an intense shift in mood, perspective and outlook can ultimately be boiled down to a simple deficiency of a few key chemicals in your brain, but there it is.

I am finally starting to feel better. It's been a long 5 days, but I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel again. Next time I feel like relapsing, I'm going to read through this post, and hopefully think again.
 

Rio Fantastic

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,383
Location
Birmingham
Damn.... This sounds like me to a "T".... I hope you are starting to feel better. I narrowly avoided a relapse yesterday.
Thanks somni. I am starting to feel better. What happened yesterday?? How are you now?

I've been distracting myself by reading the trip reports of an ex-Bluelighter called "ForEverAfter". Reading trip reports probably isn't wise, but I have always adored this guy's writing. I think he's so relateable and has a really unique voice.The "Junk Mail" series is a work of depraved genius, chronicling crystal meth addiction in a raw, unfiltered and ultimately incredibly compelling way. Does anyone share my stanning here?
 

somnilicious

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
1,482
Location
Orlando, Fl
Thanks somni. I am starting to feel better. What happened yesterday?? How are you now?

I've been distracting myself by reading the trip reports of an ex-Bluelighter called "ForEverAfter". Reading trip reports probably isn't wise, but I have always adored this guy's writing. I think he's so relateable and has a really unique voice.The "Junk Mail" series is a work of depraved genius, chronicling crystal meth addiction in a raw, unfiltered and ultimately incredibly compelling way. Does anyone share my stanning here?
Nothing in particular.... Just the endless abyss of life and the black hole that is my forever anhedonic heart. Ive been laying in bed starring at the wall all day. Sorry I don't have much to say because I honestly feel worse than dead at the moment.
 
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Rio Fantastic

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,383
Location
Birmingham
Nothing in particular.... Just the endless abyss of life and the black hole that is my forever anhedonic heart. Ive been lying in bed starring at the wall all day. Sorry I don't have much to say because I honestly feel worse than dead at the moment.
I know that feeling! I wasn't able to face this thread for weeks at a time because of that feeling. Just know that it will pass. Hope you feel better soon!
 

chinup

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
3,406
Location
Greatest city on Earth
hey rio, sorry to hear you've relapsed. was kinda useful for me to read that you were straight back on it like a fiend. my brain is fucking with me big time and i keep trying to convince myself somehow i could just get one dark and that would be it.

i can really empathise with the feeling blank, and not wanting conversation cos its too uncomfortable. i've been feeling like that all week though its getting worse and now i mostly avoid it cos i'm just trying not to cry.

its amazing how much damage you can do to relationships in a few days, given how long it takes to repair them again. though i have to say whoever gave you that £20 was an idiot its obvious when someones been up on light for days and it should be obvious not to give that person money. i'm not excusing you stealing but i also know you really didn't have much choice.

i'm afraid i don't have much to say right now. glad to see you back online and back on getting your life back.
 

Rio Fantastic

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,383
Location
Birmingham
hey rio, sorry to hear you've relapsed. was kinda useful for me to read that you were straight back on it like a fiend. my brain is fucking with me big time and i keep trying to convince myself somehow i could just get one dark and that would be it.

i can really empathise with the feeling blank, and not wanting conversation cos its too uncomfortable. i've been feeling like that all week though its getting worse and now i mostly avoid it cos i'm just trying not to cry.

its amazing how much damage you can do to relationships in a few days, given how long it takes to repair them again. though i have to say whoever gave you that £20 was an idiot its obvious when someones been up on light for days and it should be obvious not to give that person money. i'm not excusing you stealing but i also know you really didn't have much choice.

i'm afraid i don't have much to say right now. glad to see you back online and back on getting your life back.
Thanks chinup. I'm finally feeling better now - not 100%, but I am feeling less & less depressed. Honestly though, these past few 5 days have felt like a month, like a fucking serious endurance test and I'll be more than happy to embrace the light at the end of the tunnel. If only I could go back to last Monday and see that 11 days later I would still be suffering the consequences of my stupidity and be nowhere near the place I was at then maybe I'd have thought twice.

It's a really tempting delusion to sell ourselves a relapse by promising that we will moderate or control it, but it never works out. The minute that you take that first hit then you no longer have any incentive to stay sober. For me, I couldn't control it at all once the drugs hit me, and I was using as much as possible. I'm really pretty lucky that all the avenues of getting more closed to me last week and forced me to get sober and confront with a clear head what I'd done, else I doubt whether I would have made the decision to cut the relapse short if the drug supply was still coming.

I agree that the guy was being stupid lending me the money in the first place. Not to minimize my responsibility, but what the fuck did he expect?? And you're right, it was EXTREMELY clear that I wasn't sober. It was obvious from a mile off that I was fucked up, and he knows I've struggled with H addiction on and off for years. He also really didn't make it any easier on himself - my initial offer was to give him the dealer's number and he could go get it himself, or even to take him down there afterwards so he could score on his own but - whether out of laziness or cockiness or just plan stupidity I don't know - he insisted that I be the one to go and meet him afterwards when I have it. If he'd taken one of my original offers, he'd have gotten his speed. I didn't set out to rob him - he just manufactured this situation where I was coming down and had £20 of his money in my pocket and no real incentive to score for him. He even had the nerve to complain and act annoyed when I asked whether I could take a little bit of the base after scoring for him, and that's what really drove me over the edge. His irritation at that simple reasonable request is what really guaranteed I was going to steal the money. However, saying all that, I do feel bad about it and I am going to pay him back as soon as I'm able to. I can justify it all I want, but at the end of the day it's still a really scummy thing to do.

What's been going on for you that's given you cravings??? Anything in particular??
 

chinup

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
3,406
Location
Greatest city on Earth
i'm glad you're on the up. its weird how time does that, and its usually only when you feel like shit that it feels like forever. well done for picking yourself up. and even if you've lost something, you won't have lost all the work you put in in a few days of using. and you should get it back quicker if you put the work back in.

i think knowing full well i couldn't control it is one thing that's helped me not relapse right now. like the fact that on my little bing back last april, i did two drugs i don't even like, i.e. powdered cocaine and codeine, just cos they were there, and i've always been like that. if it alters my mind i want it. honestly before i went to rehab it was ridiculous the amount of random pharms in my blood stream. and i couldn't remotely explain why i was taking them. mostly they all felt nice with heroin but i knew that was just cos i really liked heroin.

i'm actually pretty impressed that you tried so hard not to let that guy let you out of his site with his money. it definitely makes you less of a shitty human being in my eyes. its got to be a bit comforting to know you don't go straight to maximum scumbag level in days, cos when i was using i'd certainly have done my best to part him with his money. i'd probably have charged him double too. and also is it not just commonly known that payment for getting someone to buy drugs for you is some of the drugs? ridiculous lol.

in terms of me, i am actually feeling a little better today. i think i've been worn down slowly for weeks cos i've not been sleeping well and getting tireder and tireder. i had a nasty cold 2 weeks ago and have another now and can't take time off work cos my contract is up for renewal and my boss expects people to work all the time regardless of circumstances. i noticed it was getting a bit dangerous about 2 weeks ago when i heard people arranging to score on my walk home. i'd not even thought of using but it took everything not to ask them to get me one. then on monday i found out that i might lose my job at the end of march, having been lead to believe its safe for months.

walking to and from work is the hardest cos i dunno if you know manchester at all but i live on the edge of moss side and walk through rusholme to work, so basically as close to the source for dark as you can get while staying in the uk. when i lived in leeds dark bought from the pakistanis in bradford was like a different drug, i've never got over it. so i know i could get in probably half an hour and if i got lucky it'd be really really good. i can't really afford to live anywhere less druggy without causing a massive expensive commute for myself. most places i can afford are actually way worse than where i live now lol.
 

EPL1

Bluelighter
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,202
Thanks chinup. I'm finally feeling better now - not 100%, but I am feeling less & less depressed. Honestly though, these past few 5 days have felt like a month, like a fucking serious endurance test and I'll be more than happy to embrace the light at the end of the tunnel. If only I could go back to last Monday and see that 11 days later I would still be suffering the consequences of my stupidity and be nowhere near the place I was at then maybe I'd have thought twice.

It's a really tempting delusion to sell ourselves a relapse by promising that we will moderate or control it, but it never works out. The minute that you take that first hit then you no longer have any incentive to stay sober. For me, I couldn't control it at all once the drugs hit me, and I was using as much as possible. I'm really pretty lucky that all the avenues of getting more closed to me last week and forced me to get sober and confront with a clear head what I'd done, else I doubt whether I would have made the decision to cut the relapse short if the drug supply was still coming.

I agree that the guy was being stupid lending me the money in the first place. Not to minimize my responsibility, but what the fuck did he expect?? And you're right, it was EXTREMELY clear that I wasn't sober. It was obvious from a mile off that I was fucked up, and he knows I've struggled with H addiction on and off for years. He also really didn't make it any easier on himself - my initial offer was to give him the dealer's number and he could go get it himself, or even to take him down there afterwards so he could score on his own but - whether out of laziness or cockiness or just plan stupidity I don't know - he insisted that I be the one to go and meet him afterwards when I have it. If he'd taken one of my original offers, he'd have gotten his speed. I didn't set out to rob him - he just manufactured this situation where I was coming down and had £20 of his money in my pocket and no real incentive to score for him. He even had the nerve to complain and act annoyed when I asked whether I could take a little bit of the base after scoring for him, and that's what really drove me over the edge. His irritation at that simple reasonable request is what really guaranteed I was going to steal the money. However, saying all that, I do feel bad about it and I am going to pay him back as soon as I'm able to. I can justify it all I want, but at the end of the day it's still a really scummy thing to do.

What's been going on for you that's given you cravings??? Anything in particular??
Hello my old friend. It's been a while. Good to see you around still. Don't have a lot to say, a lot has happened lately and I haven't been here much.

Having said that I wanted you to know I have missed you, you are loved, you are important and special, the way you ask about others when you are sometimes struggling yourself is a beautiful thing, and I am here for you anytime, as always.

Keep fighting Rio. You're worth it. xo😘

Love,
your friend always,
Ash.

<3
 
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