On October 23, 2007, I had finally had enough. At about 2:30 a.m., I began screaming in my head, “I don’t want to die like this!” I started picturing Zachary, my son, having to come to my funeral, knowing that I had died as a drug addict, as a crackhead. I could not let my son down like that, not anymore.
When I was in Rehabilitation, I began a journal, which I then transcribed to Word documents. These are the first few entries, which I have edited somewhat to make them more coherent. It’s amazing to read the rough draft of these entries, and see just how little clarification I had at that time. I think even edited, the chaotic frenzy of a life gone terribly awry shines through. The surrender is apparent, but the next steps appear to have been incredibly hazy. It seems that I was still dreaming of how to succeed, plotting and planning at this point, trying to get instant gratification with little work, and still so very desperate. It’s very sad for me to ‘look’ at this poor addict, and almost impossible for me to admit now that she was me. I do not know this person, but I am so very glad she is gone. Here are the first four entries in my Rehab and Homeless Shelter Journal:
October 29, 2007Here I sit in another institution, Bergen Regional again! When will I ever get it together?I wish I could take the last two years back; the last seven, the last thirteen, the last fifteen. I am not saying I was always a bad mother, because when I was raising all three kids and I was sober for six years, I think I did a good job. However, it was in an abusive environment, so it was still not the best place to grow up. I wish I could take it all back, but I can’t. I can’t change the past, as much as it hurts, I can’t change it. I can change the future though, as hard as it seems. It’s scary! I have a plan. A sad little, baby steps, day-at-a-time plan, but I have one.Release to rooming house, look for a job, pay child support and bills, and hopefully take the bus to see Zach about twice a month (at least), if he wants me to. That’s it for now. If I can do all that and stay sober, that’s a real head start to a real life! Then I will look for a job I want and hopefully move to South Orange to be near Zach and my family. Then I will be happy.I don’t want to live this way anymore. Thirty-six years later (into drugs and alcohol), have I had enough? Yet? When will I stop? When I’m dead? There’s no joy in a life filled with drugs, only miseries and bottoms and trap doors to lower bottoms. I want OUT!October 30, 2007Today, I wake up. Today, I work towards a goal, which is life! Today, I give up my reservations and plunge head first towards sobriety. Today, I look for change in my thinking. I have the tools to work a sober life, and I need to use those tools today, and every day to deal with the wreckage of my past, and work on the success of my future.Losing the reservations is the first step for me to regain my sobriety. I can’t work a program unless the thoughts of going back out subside, and it seems like they have! I just worry that it’s being here that makes it seem possible. It’s easy in a controlled environment. But I want this, the clean life, more than anything; I want to live now.I go to sleep tonight, believing I can do this. I need to believe and be strong.October 31, 2007I am sort of glad to be alive today; what a weird way to feel! I am not used to this! Now comes the hard part. I need to find a place to live, a job, find clean friends, and start to find me again! How many times can I get clean, only to relapse? What does my life mean to me? What does my son mean to me? What do drugs and killing myself mean to me? Is that a choice? Why? Why would someone choose to use drugs and destroy their life? How come it will be hard not to?
Let’s talk about something wonderful, my son! Zachary is the best thing that ever happened to me! Although I really have so many regrets about how I screwed up with him, I also have a heart swelled with love and pride for him. Every time I think about Zach, I start to cry again. I would kill anyone who hurt him, yet I hurt him the worst of all.Why do I do what I do? If I don’t finally get this, then I will not be alive to get anything. I need to remember, when I get out of here, what has happened so I don’t let it happen again.Am I writing too much? Am I making any sense? Not much else to do in here.It seems impossible right now that I will ever have a good life. Ever have a place to live, a job, maybe even some friends, and visits with Zach. It all seems so far from achievable. I have fucked up for so long and so badly, it’s hard to believe it can ever get better. It’s hard to believe I will ever get better. But, I have to believe; it’s all I have left. Drugs and drinking and the “friends” that come with it must all be a part of my horrendous past. In order to live, I must WORK at sobriety, and believe in happiness. At the very least, believe I can have ME back, and at the most, have my son and family back.November 1, 2007I am so depressed today. All I can think of is getting out of here. I am very worried because so far finding a place to live is not working, and when I do, then I need a job, and my work history is crummier than ever, so this is not going to be easy. I almost said, “Who’s going to hire me?”, but I won’t dwell in the negative places in my head. It is going to be very hard to get back on my feet. I understand that. I think that is why I am so depressed; I am so used to running away from problems, but I can’t run anymore. There’s nowhere to go, and I am all run out. I have to face life on life’s terms for the first time in years, and I’m scared.I keep Zachary in my head like a prize. If I get my life together, I get to have my son back in my life, and that is worth all the pain. I should be used to pain by now. Hasn’t it been painful all these years when I knew I was shutting Zach out, screwing up, and ruining both our lives? Why do I think it will be more painful to do the right thing?I don’t want to fail anymore; I want to be a winner. I don’t want to use ever again! I want to be able to support myself again. I want to be a good mother, sister, cousin, and friend. I want to be good to me.I just talked to Zach for ten minutes! As hard as it is to be apart from him, I am so thankful to have the phone and his sweet voice. How wonderful to listen to him tell me of his life. I long for those stories now. It pains me to remember the times he tried to tell me things, and I ignored him. Oh, how much I missed as a user! My wonderful son’s life and I blocked it out because of my addiction. So much that I lost, so much time; a childhood I can never get back. Two childhoods, his and mine, lost to me because of drugs and alcohol. They have to be my worst enemies; how could I ever want them back in my life? They took and destroyed everything dear to me!How great to realize that I don’t have to use anymore! I can be free from my addiction. If I really want it and work for it, I can have a life!