Sometimes I Miss It

Despite the madness of my addiction, sometimes I miss it. It doesn't mean I have any desire to return to it, but it's important to acknowledge those feelings in order to move on.

Note: Parts of this post describe the use of drugs, which may be triggering to some people.

Lately, when I fly, I begin sleeping almost immediately. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired or not; as soon as we start taxiing and then lift upwards on takeoff, I’m lulled to sleep by the white noise and gentle rocking of the plane.

My trip to Austin last weekend was no different. I zoned in and out of sleep while trying to find a comfortable position pretzeled up in a ball. During this sleep, and also during random moments in random days, I flashed back to living by myself in the midst of an active addiction. IΒ will flash back to any number of situations and I can never predict which ones will come at what time. One thing that I know is that they come.

This time, I was focused on the actual act of injecting heroin. My eyes were closed, but my mind was very aware of the act of preparing heroin and injecting it into myself — something I had conveniently learned on the internet. Yay for internet!Β It’s been said that the ritual of preparing a drug can be an addiction in and of itself, and this is one scenario that will often replay itself in my head.

My recollection of those years can be fuzzy, but my memories of numerous drug preparations are crystal clear. It’s one of those things that can be seen as a blessing and a curse — on one hand, I’m able to remember the chaos that used to be my life and on the other I sometimes look back longingly at a time when I could indulge in hedonistic adventures without the stresses of living a responsible adult life.

I’ve been in recovery for six and a half years.

Sometimes I miss drinking outside with friends in the warm summer months. Sometimes I miss taking stimulants and being able to get all my work done, my whole house cleaned, and still have energy for more. Cigarettes smell marvelous to me when first lit. Sometimes I miss opiates and the way I was able to just sit and numb out my existence to the world when I felt like it was getting too hard. Hearing tablets shake in a bottle is still a sound that catches me off guard with flashbacks to lonely times when my only friends were pills.

I still romanticize drug use. Stories about celebrities in rehab or drunken exploits fascinate me, although I tend not to go in search of them anymore. In every new city I visit, I always wonder where the drugs are hiding and how hard it would be to find them. Always.

Just because I am in recovery doesn’t mean I am recovered.

I’m honest with you as always, and that means sharing that sometimes I do miss the way I used to live. Sometimes I crave it instead of vilify it. This doesn’t mean I’m planning on acting on any of it, but the thoughts aren’t something that go away when the drugs do.

What I don’t miss are the consequences. What keeps me sober and in search of a better life for myself is being able to remember what happens next.

I don’t miss the hangovers. I don’t miss the guilt and shame. The lying. The anxiety around where the next high would come from and how I would afford it. I don’t miss the drunken embarrassments. I don’t miss the feelings of wanting to die but not actively wanting to take steps to make that happen.

The easy escape always comes with consequences. This isn’t just a story about me and my problems with drugs, but about any behavior. Every time you choose to escape life with another distraction, remember that life is still thereΒ and will be there when the distraction is over. It’s up to you to decide if embarking on an 8 hour Netflix binge in lieu of getting work done is worth the consequences. Will you still feel great about those extra drinks in the morning? Will restricting what you eatΒ actually make you happy? I can tell you from my experience that it won’t, but sometimes you have to go through that on your own to find it out.

Recovery isn’t about abstaining from drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc. and never thinking about them again. It’s about taking your experiences, learning from them, and finding a better way to live. It’s figuring out what works in your life, keeping it, and throwing the rest away. It’s a continuous, introspective process that I feel everyone could benefit from in one way or another.

Sometimes I miss it and that’s ok. I used all of those behaviors as ways to comfort and protect myself, so it’s only natural that they’d still call to me. I can acknowledge the thought or feeling, remember what it leads to, and let it pass. The world goes on and so do I. πŸ™‚

Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud.

Questions:

  • What do you do with destructive behaviors?
  • Is there anything you’ve stopped that you still think about (behavior, food, etc.)?
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42 Comments

  1. November 17, 2016 / 5:06 am

    I can think of so many bad habits that I miss in one way or another. Just because somethings bad for us doesn’t mean we don’t crave it. Thank you for being you!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Coping With Weight Gain FearMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:24 pm

      Of course! Thanks for reading girl πŸ™‚

  2. November 17, 2016 / 5:42 am

    a) I too zonk out in planes. Like clockwork.
    b) I think it is natural to feel nostalgia for a time gone by–including the destructive behaviors, because it isn’t like EVERYTHING was bad then–like if you were in a relationship that was terrible, but had its benefits (otherwise, you wouldn’t have stayed). It is your brain’s way of protecting you–reminding you that you are NOT a garbage human being. What is also important is to remember why the behavior was destructive. and to use that to recommit to your new pattern of behavior.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Inspiration from the Past: Don’t Give UpMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:24 pm

      Absolutely!

  3. November 17, 2016 / 5:42 am

    This post punched me in the gut — knocked the wind right out of me. I have never had a problem with drugs or alcohol, but starvation has been my drug — the powerful feeling that comes when my stomach walls clamp shut and the illusion of control in a world that is out of whack. I am (as you are) “recovering.” I fight anorexia and binge eating regularly, although it’s been years since I had a physical problem. All the best to you, Erin. I am so grateful you’re honest about your struggles. You inspire others as you speak your truth. And yes, there’s a lot of darkness on the Internet. But there’s so much support, too. Thanks for being a part of that.
    Rica@ Yoga Mat Monkey recently posted…Evolving: Post Election ThoughtsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:26 pm

      It can be any destructive habit which is why it’s tough. Those thoughts can come up at any time, you know. I’m glad you’re still working on recovery and getting away from sabotaging your happiness. Stay strong girl!

  4. November 17, 2016 / 5:47 am

    Erin:
    Thank you for sharing your truest of feelings. Thank you for letting me and others inside your world to learn and grow. Lori Peters

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:26 pm

      Thanks so much for reading Lori!

  5. November 17, 2016 / 7:34 am

    I think it’s so important to share this, for most of us who have t been gripped by addiction have no idea how much of a challenge it is and even though you’re sober doesn’t mean you’re not still in recovery.
    Bri recently posted…My personal, professional and fitness goals for NovemberMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:27 pm

      Totally. Thanks so much Bri!

  6. Hillary
    November 17, 2016 / 7:43 am

    Thank you for being so honest. Sometimes I romanticize the past addiction.. the drinking… like drinking outside with friends, or dancing so hard because you’re having an out-of-body experience… escape. I miss the escape the most. Life keeps coming. But we stay strong. Being mentally strong is better than any escape.

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing Hillary. The escape is definitely much easier and it’s tough to keep dealing w life when we’ve spent time escaping it. You got this girl πŸ™‚

  7. mike
    November 17, 2016 / 8:08 am

    Fascinating. I have never used drugs. But following your story is fascinating and educational.

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Thanks so much mike for reading!

  8. November 17, 2016 / 9:01 am

    I think this totally makes sense but it’s good to hear from an outsiders perspective. I guess I always thought when people have been sober for like 20 years, why can’t they just have 1 drink. But it never ends, an addiction is an addiction and those feelings are probably always there lurking under the surface.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #89My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:34 pm

      Yeah it’s the fact that I still have those thoughts come up that let me know that I won’t be able to just have that one haha

  9. November 17, 2016 / 9:10 am

    It does make so much sense, that sometimes I miss feeling like I was so healthy when I was exercising a lot and eating lots of vegetables and fruits, but my mind was in the wrong place. I’m so thankful for repentance and a change of mind, because I don’t miss so many of the consequences.
    Emily recently posted…WIAW: Why I Eat Ice Cream Every DayMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:35 pm

      Absolutely. I almost included that as well. Sometimes I miss being thinner but then I remember how unhappy I was during all that!

  10. November 17, 2016 / 9:18 am

    I’m repeating myself, but I truly appreciate your ability to take your experiences and apply them to self-exploration and understand ourselves, as well as how WE, the readers, can apply these to our lives too. You’re not just talking about yourself and then peacing out!
    I never thought about the dwelling on PREPPING for things. I can only imagine how those memories can really stick in your head. Learning to not feel guilty if I indulge in “junk” food is less of a struggle, but still one. It’s like we’re conditioned to think of these foods as “bad” or something πŸ˜›

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      Totally. That’s something I still deal w as well – like sometimes if I haven’t worked out for a couple days I’ll struggle w eating something “unhealthy” and not try to beat myself up.

  11. L
    November 17, 2016 / 9:33 am

    Your gift is definitely writing ! Very articulate and from the heart. So proud of how your recovery inspires and uplifts others. You should write a book!!!!!!

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      Aw thank you so much!! It’s on my to-do list πŸ™‚

  12. November 17, 2016 / 9:59 am

    Yes I get this. The parts I miss were the escape and the rituals. Which is totally ironic since those were like a personal prison. Sometimes I wonder why then I realize I was just hiding from life. Protecting myself. Preparing myself for something unknown.
    It’s great to be able to look back and see how far you’ve come. Knowing that it’s impossible to go backwards and only forward is comforting to me. Thanks for the great writing.
    Danielle recently posted…WIR sleep less play moreMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      Thanks for reading Danielle! It’s crazy how we can miss something that makes us so unhappy.

  13. November 17, 2016 / 11:15 am

    Wow! Powerful post, Erin. I bet a lot of recovering people will find some comfort in knowing they are not alone. And even if drugs are not our vices, I know others can relate totally to the feelings of thinking about “what was.” I sure can. Thanks as always, for opening up!
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…Class review: The Bootybarre workoutMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:40 pm

      Absolutely. It’s any kind of behavior that can cause chaos in our lives. Thanks for reading Ashley!

  14. Steve
    November 17, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    I read this and it really hit home. I think you hit the nail on the head. Physical addiction is overcome long before we get through the call of past vices and their promise of release from reality. Well done on all counts. You have cleaned up your life but don’t ignore the realities and you write well about it.

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Thank you so much Steve πŸ™‚

  15. Caroline
    November 17, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    Erin – THIS is the reason I return to your blog everyday- your posts are so genuine, so real and honest and I admire your ability to share things like this…given how incredibly judgmental people are when they’re behind a screen. While I follow a number of healthy living blogs, I don’t normally comment as I don’t have a blog myself, but I want you to know how much I love reading your posts and I know I’m not alone. Addiction is not an easy subject to address, and you should know that your vulnerability in discussing it is truly admirable. <3

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Caroline that is so sweet! Thank you!

      P.S. you can always comment if you don’t have a blog πŸ˜‰

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 17, 2016 / 8:43 pm

      Thanks ash πŸ™‚

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 20, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      Thanks so much Christina πŸ™‚

  16. November 18, 2016 / 7:29 am

    This is such a powerful post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Sugar is my obsession.
    Runwright recently posted…45My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 20, 2016 / 9:40 pm

      Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚ Sugar is a tough one too for sure!

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 20, 2016 / 9:42 pm

      Aw thank you (insert blushing emoji πŸ™‚ )

  17. November 18, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    Erin, what well-articulated, wise words for such a horrific, terrifying issue. I’m going through some personal struggles with addiction (not myself, but a loved one), and your posts on the topic are quite inspiring and almost comforting in a way.

    I like that you made the point of mentioning that even though you have these reminiscent thoughts, you’d never act on them. I think that’s a key part of being in recovery (from the outside looking in anyway), and one that a lot of people might not think about. People might think because a person went to rehab, they’re “cured” of all addiction-related ideas, senses, etc. Not the case.

    As always, thank you for being so honest with your readers about your battles. I know you know this, but it really does help. πŸ™‚

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 20, 2016 / 9:44 pm

      I know you’ve had a tough time dealing with things. I hope they’ve gotten a little better? Thanks for reading ellyn πŸ™‚

  18. November 21, 2016 / 1:26 pm

    Wow. So I’ve had a draft of a post with this very similar topic on my blog for about a month now – talking about how I miss those acts of protection and safety that I once clinged to. But it’s a really, really hard and vulnerable one to write. So I appreciate this so much. It can feel so raw – so naked – and scary to face life without those ways of coping and numbing, so of course we will miss them. They made us feel safe…. but only for such a short time. It can be so hard to restrain from giving into those actions by simply thinking about the future and how you know it won’t help you in the long run – because in the short run, you just want that release. It takes a lot of trust and a lot of strength. I’m getting there. But when I feel awful and I know that going to the gym or counting my calories will take my thoughts to a “better place” it can be hard to not give in. Thank you for this again, Erin. This really made me feel much more compassionate.

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 27, 2016 / 9:38 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing Cora. It can definitely be a tough thing to write about. I always find that once it’s out I feel better and it helps get rid of some of that shame I can bring on myself. That easier road is of course easier but sometimes it’s hard to take the one that is actually best for us. Hope all is well πŸ™‚

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