Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One More Do-Over

Been sailing some choppy seas of late. Despite my failure to post here, I've stayed well connected in my recovery circles. I've had to – the beast came back.

I'm not looking for pity or shame. You poured out compassion and good advice when I slipped last month. I can't tell you how much I appreciated your words. I guess I just wasn't really ready to listen. Even though I stopped using, I spiraled down further, into depression and self-destruction. Then I used for a week. Then I asked for help and stopped it again.

I scared people who care about me. Their focus shifted from “How can we keep Eli from using?” to “How can we keep Eli alive?” At this moment, I don't have a clear picture of what the hell happened. From where I stand, it's a blur of DXM and lies, razor blades and adrenaline, porn and cigarettes. But no tears or screaming. Just a muted and futile and desperate attempt to run far away from home, only to end up right back in my living room, dizzy and afraid.

I'm alive and breathing, and I'm facing the right direction. I've spoken to the people who know me best and I'm listening to their counsel. I'm taking it one day at a time, and trying to rebuild from where I left off. I have a few basics that I'm holding on to. One of these is that I'm not going to kill myself. I'm just not. My dad asked me to stave off any self-destructive thoughts by picturing my own funeral, and my kids crying. That seems to be working for now.

As far as my addictions, I'm spending my time working my program and enjoying the good things that are in my life. (Mainly my chihuahua.) I have this complicated mess of marital problems, psychiatric loose ends, and addictive coping mechanisms – and I'm trying not to think too hard about any of it. Today, I see it basically like this: My marriage has improved, but like any journey of the human heart, there are wounds that run deeper than I can bear. These are my triggers. I have a right to call it like it is: we've got a long ways to go. At the same time, I must develop the tools and resources necessary to respond to these triggers without self-medicating. That's my job, my side of the street.

Today my wife and I kissed again. We aired our feelings, gave them the space they needed, and owned up to our shit. And I know that my story, especially this month's events, makes a mess of the lines we are supposed to draw in the addict-codependent relationship. I've read your posts. I've read of those who are staying, those who are leaving, those who are in agony as they try to find the right path. All I can relay is where my road has taken me. My Linsey is here, and I am here, and today we chose again to walk in the same direction.


  1. Eli,

    It took tremendous courage to come here and admit where you are in this battle. Don't ever give up dear friend. Take it from me, it's a hard road but one that is well paved with kindness and compassion from those who care, those who have walked it themselves. I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers on the smoke dear one. It's worth trying over and over until you get it right. (Hugs)Indigo

  2. ELI, whatever is going on in your life (hopefully--LIFE!) I want you to know I am SO glad to hear from you

  3. Eli,

    All I can say is that stuff happens, and all we can do is our best to get ourselves facing the right direction and then just put one foot in front of the other...moment by moment.

    Hang in there and continue to be brave by getting back to what you know works for you.

  4. And I continue to pray for you and your family - for your mental, physical, and spiritual health.

    Thank you so much for letting us know what's happening with you.


  5. I love your title here today. God gives us "do overs" all the time. You have been blessed to get that chance. I am so grateful to hear from you. Recovery is such a process, but we get through it Eli. I'm not always sure how, but we do get through to the other side. Don't ever give up. The miracle might just be around the next corner. I'm praying for you my friend.

  6. I love you! Let's do another get-together soon. -- FF

  7. Sending prayers your way.

  8. You know what's amazing about all of this, is that not only do we get do-overs we get those opportunities to forgive ourselves and allow our pasts to be that, our pasts.

    You have the strength, you've show the courage with this post, now just breathe, and remember that it will always be the small things that mean so much and the loving things that will give so much to you and yours...time and work will heal.

    Glad you are here, glad you are alive!

    Much Love,

  9. Eli, I think that your writing about this is helping those who are sick and suffering. And each of us gets to start over if we truly want to do so. I'm hoping and wishing the best for you.

  10. Eli we are all here for you and we all love you - no matter what. Keep writing, we're listening!

  11. I tell myself in short conversations with God, what I can't carry today I pray I can lay at your feet tomorrow. Some days we carry and others we lay it down.

    I've been having some hard days lately and i'm 20 years in. It happens, temptation knocks, you get strong then weak... but always reach out-slip or no slip up. We'll be here. Prayers to you and your family. Tammy

  12. Just thinking of you and hoping that you will check in and write about whatever you are experiencing, no matter which direction. Keeping the pain out of the dark has a way of reducing it... and I know I worry about you when you haven't posted for awhile.

    Wishing you peace and kindness to yourself.

  13. Just checking in on you to see how your doing. Probably lousy and good at the same time. Hang in there okay. We are when you need us. Take care and hugs. Tammy

  14. just for today that is enough. praying here friend.