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i turned six today.

yes. six years. today was my six year anniversary. my sober date. six years clean today.

i turned six today.

nobody remembered. i celebrated alone. i turned six alone today.

i was reflecting back today on all of my past anniversaries. there was only one where someone remembered. it was my 90 day one. my friend…my friend that is now gone…he came over to where i was living at the time. he brought me a 90 day chip. gave me a hug.

it was something that always meant a lot to me. being remembered. mattering in that moment. mattering enough to be visited. and…no one really ever gave me presents…so…the 90 day chip was significant in more ways than one. i still have it. i still have that chip.

i relapsed off and on that first year. so my original sober date changed. but those who matter know the actual day. today. those who matter to me know the day. year after year…they never manage to remember it, though. i suppose i get it. life is busy. i don’t know. honestly, i don’t get it.

my husband didn’t remember and i just reminded him of it yesterday. this is also our son’s birthday. so…that should make it that much easier to remember. my mother doesn’t ever manage to remember…ever. which…it’s my mother so that really doesn’t bother me. i wouldn’t want to share this with her anyway, to be honest. this is special. she would taint it with evil. the people who took me in for that year…the ones who are like parents to me…they never remember. my friend who is gone now, he never remembers. and so on and so forth.

i’m not overly vocal in my life about my addiction. my past. i never really speak about it. it’s not good for me to talk about it a lot. just makes me miss it. also, my husband hates hearing about me, my life, my past. no one is really all that interested. so…perhaps that’s part of the reason. no one ever thinks about it because it’s never brought up?

i tell ya, if i were to relapse i’d sure catch plenty of hell, though! no one can manage to remember my sober date, but they’d all manage to give me shit about a relapse. maybe they should think about celebrating all the hard fucking work that goes into me staying sober day after day after day.

because it is hard. it’s exhausting. there are those few days that happen where i love being sober, most days are mediocre and then you have the bad days where i just fucking hate sobriety. it’s hard. it is one day at a time. it is waking up to a new day every morning and starting all over again.

the only relief, the only true relief from addiction is death.

so every recovering addict (and alcoholic) that stays alive is strong, in my book. waking up every day and fighting the same demons you just defeated the day before, the same demons you know you will have to fight again tomorrow, is courageous. it’s heartbreaking.

addiction is more than a desire to want what you cannot have. addiction is like needing to breathe…it’s a necessity. addiction is to the addict what breathing is to a human being. what food is to any living being. it’s not something that can be debated. it simply is. and the only clarity that comes with addiction comes with sobriety. it’s a bit of a catch 22.

even when you are clean, addiction is still there. perhaps muffled, but there. depending on your mental condition, addiction becomes louder and clearer or more muted. regardless, though, addiction is always there. always.

i can always feel the need for the drugs. even on good days. it’s like a low electric current that constantly buzzes beneath my skin. it flows through my veins. pulses in my heart. on bad days it overtakes me. it becomes me. it no longer buzzes beneath my skin, it propels my body. it powers my being. it becomes what fuels my heart to beat. with every move that i make, every thought, every feeling…it pulsates. the more i fight it, the stronger it becomes. it overtakes me. my only hope, my only way out is to be paralyzed by the pain the need and desire causes. the paralysis destroys all action that might occur. paralyzation becomes my friend, and my enemy. i become trapped in a hell i can’t escape from…and while trapped in this hell i am unable to go and look for the drug that is calling my name.

i have had so many days lately that i have just wanted to throw it all away. say fuck it and go get loaded. i’m not for sure why i haven’t. something stops me. someone stops me. the Lord.

it’s a story for another day…but i never wanted to get clean. i was on a path of destruction. my goal was death. i was headed there. so damn close, too. so damn close.

another miracle happened.

and seven years later…here i am.

i often wonder why God keeps working so hard to save someone who hates this life so much. it seems like it would be so much easier on Him if He’d just…let me go. nope. here i am. still. and we go ’round and ’round.

it seems like a lot of wasted effort on someone who has nothing to offer. it seems like a giant waste of time. i’m nothing more than a waste of space. i don’t understand why. why not just let this piece of trash…this nothing…die already? it’s a relatively small request on my part, really.

i just don’t get it.

so…today i “celebrated” my 6th birthday. alone. i crafted some. i stood outside in the freezing weather, closed my eyes and let the wind and the snow whirl around me. it took my breath away. i sat at my kitchen table, alone, and stared out the windows into our backyard. i leaned my head back on the chair and let out all of my air…and i thought about how empty life really is. how pointless.

i thought about how empty it was when i was loaded, too. but how, at least then i got to have the temporary feeling of euphoria sometimes. now…nothing. never any up moments. never. never any drug-induced happy moments to savor. just reality, all the time. i chuckled to myself as i wondered why sobriety was worth it?

i know, though. i know.

i turned six today.

by myself. no one cared. no one noticed or remembered.

which just reinforces the fact: they wouldn’t even notice if i were gone. none of them would. none of them.

2 comments on “six years

  1. Kerry Reimer says:

    Congratulations, I really appreciate your raw honesty in putting this out there. I hope there is some peace in being able to express yourself here on your blog. You did it wonderfully!
    As someone who recognizes the feelings of addiction that you describe so perfectly, I can empathize, but can never feel what you feel.
    I do know the mindfulness training (MBSR) that I have been doing for a few months is a real help in living moment by moment, not in torment but in enjoyment. I read Tolle’s The Power of Now earlier this year and now Jon Kabat Zinn’s “Full Catastrophe Living”. Both have been guiding lights in the journey.
    As tough as it is getting involved in community of like minded, caring people when you suffer like this, it is crucial. I see the loneliness in your words.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. penelopie says:

      thank you so much for taking the time to read some of my blog entries, and for your kind and thoughtful words. i will make a note to check out the books that you have mentioned. i enjoy reading very much and appreciate the suggestions. i will keep your advice in mind about seeking out, and getting involved in, a community. you are correct. it is very beneficial to do so and there is always a bit of danger/risk when one isolates as i am doing right now. having just been through a few difficult situations with some people i was close to, though, i am currently withdrawing for awhile. but i acknowledge what you have said and will keep it in mind. i thank you, again, for your time and thoughtfulness. i hope that you have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

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