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[ Personal Narratives ]

Shaken But Not Broken

My recovery and dating life should work hand and hand. I tend to search for red flags and when I see a little something out of the ordinary I try to analyze it. As if I have a sign that flashes in my head that says, abort! abort! There’s different things I look at when it comes to dating. Dating another addict makes things difficult from the beginning. I have to maintain my own recovery as well as them in theres. It’s worse if you were both addicted to the same substance. Codependency is a strong drug within itself. It’s a situation I never want to relive.

I recognize that I self sabotage. Red flags pop up and I not pick and try to see all the wrong. As if I am looking for all the wrongs and there’s only a couple goods in the sea of bad. All because I don’t want to make the same mistakes again. Because somehow I think I can check mark everything off and in the future I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I am a fixer, it is what I do. I don’t want to be that anymore. I shouldn’t be looking for someone to fix. That shouldn’t be a requirement. I like to think and be in control of my life and things around me. It’s a curse and a blessing. 

Now several years away from drugs I still look back on those days and when it comes to dating I would like to think I’ve widened my outlook. But the same type keeps inching their way in. A part of going to the groups we live and love that anonymous factor. How many times has someone told you they’re an addict in the beginning of dating them? I haven’t figured out how to finess the whole, Well I am an addict conversation with someone if we’re dating. What’s the particular time to bring that up? Third date? Fourth date? I haven’t found it yet. It’s in the awkward pause part of a conversation that needs to be had. I’ve been asked, why do they need to know? Why wouldn’t they? I run into people that know me from when I was using at grocery stores, laundry mat and parks. I distant myself from them. Running into them can be a bit awkward depending on who it is. I have had dealers banging on my door, he threatened to shoot at my house because my ex owed him money. A dealer that has known my sister all their lives cornered my sister in a grocery store. Saying she wanted to get ahold of me. They want to keep their customers any way possible, right? The person I choose to date should know when I abruptly dodge someone that there is a deeper meaning. I don’t want to hide it from them. I shouldn’t have to hide it. I don’t want that person to go in blind.  This last time was such a struggle. I struggled within myself and with her. I saw how easy it could be for me to get back into the same routine as I did before. I somehow saw all the signs and still thought, hey this might work. I had to try to think about this situation from the outside looking in. I saw how I was acting. How I’ve let this take me down a road I never wanted to go again. I saw how Incorporating this person into my life would be. There’s not many people that I would get up in the middle of the night and walk to get them because their roommate kicked them out. My mind isn’t fogged by drugs and I see clearer than before. This could have easily been my life. Relationships are work. But this work didn’t feel right. Within time it will feel right with someone but not this someone. 

This part of my journey has taught me many things about myself. I am strong, weak, confident but insecure. I am human. I make mistakes. I try to find perfection that is not there. I have to commit to the fact that at my rarest, under all this skin I am perfectly imperfect and that is okay. That it is okay to be me. That it is okay to be wrong but it’s not okay to dwell in it for very long. That you can not pitch a tent and live there. You must keep moving. This is definitely different from ten years ago. It’s a whole new game. But I am not alone or feel alone this time. There are still these dark days that bring doubt, fear and reminds me of the suffering. It’s not an easy journey for anyone. Some days I remind myself of what I’m really aiming for. Little reminders of what I really strive for. I have had a hard time lately getting back on this path. I have lost focus, concentration and my willingness to just get up and go wasn’t there. I get distracted and I am thrown into a daze. This time this daze rocked me emotionally and mentally. It made me rethink what would be my many pages of things I want to do and where I would. This cyclone pushed me off track. Then someone or something comes along and shakes me to my core and I realize I need to refocus and move, keep moving. There are many steps I have to jump to but I am staying on this ride as long as I’m allowed. 

I have changed, life, thoughts, dreams and goals. It has all changed. It has taken me a long time to get my power back. Longer than I have thought or really like to admit. I am who I am because of what I’ve been through. It has made me weak bet yet stronger. 

Throughout my life I have encountered greatness and brought greatness to others. A strong support system is key to for me. I haven’t had this essential tool all my life. It was like a foreign language to me. I was operating in the only I. Me against the world thinking. I sometimes find myself using this. I depend on strong willed individuals that tell me when I’m wrong or when I just need to take a breather. Some have stayed by my side and some have fallen off to their own course. I have the great people I have in my life because God somehow moved mountains and hills to let them be there and I am better for it. This isn’t to imply that I am perfect. But I am perfectly placed at this moment in time in our imperfect world.

This part of my journey sometime in the future will seem so little, a small pebble in the sea. But for now it is my present and I will try to find the good in all the bad around me. I will embrace the fact that circumstance are just the here and now, not forever.