These are my journal entries from November 2007. There were simultaneous transitions going on; the physical transition from the Rehab to the Homeless Shelter; and more importantly, from a drug addict to someone choosing life.
I would like to make note of the entry from November 9th. In that entry, I bitterly complain about a close relation. The full story was that I wrote to this person’s mate, who was experiencing their own tribulation of a different sort. I did not know that at the time, nor did the letter writer explain it.
However, drug addiction being the selfish disease that it is, all I saw at that moment was that the person was mean to me in my time of trouble. The truth is that it was a very motivating letter. I subconciously began an “I’ll show them” campaign, which I waged successfully. The close relation and I are now closer than ever, and I do feel I owe him a bit of a debt for the ‘pep talk’.
I hope as I continue to post these journal entries, they will help you get an understanding of what it’s like to go through the system and come out scathed, but all the better for it on the other side. Here are the November entries:
November 2, 2007
This is not a test – repeat! This is not a test! This is real life closing in. either I live it or die. Time to decide: sobriety or death? I choose sobriety, I choose life! It’s time to stop being afraid and dive in; dive into all the problems, create solutions, and work them no matter how long it takes. I know it will take a long time to fix all the problems that I created through my addiction.
November 3, 2007
It’s a bad Saturday morning. I am so itchy, headachy, queasy, stuffy, tired, and have a little sore throat. But, I’m up now, so I might as well participate in life.
I am going to stop crying and start concentrating on the good things in life. Sure, I have to do all the things I need to do (and there are a lot!), but really, isn’t that a good thing? Think about how I lived my life while using; worrying all the time about where to live, paying bills and child support, but not doing anything about them. I wasn’t really living at all. Working towards goals, I think, will make me happy. I feel, I feel! I think. I am finding clarity. I pray to continue to grow this way, to live life and be thankful to have it; as opposed to the alternative, a using, useless life which I have already experienced.
I feel melancholy tonight; again, I think for what I have lost, and what I never had. It is more than one can bear; it seems, to wake up and realize that you have lost everything. Somehow, under the influence of drugs, it hurts, but it just worsens the destruction. When you strip away the addiction, you begin to feel, and you grieve for all that is gone. My son, again I go back to my son; how can I live without him? Now it seems impossible, yet all was numbed and pushed aside while using. Sobriety is a rude awakening.
November 4, 2007
This is a very stressful day for me. I don’t know why. I am letting outside influences affect how I feel. It makes me feel edgy, testy. I have to remember am not responsible for what others do. I don’t have to let it “rent space” in my head. I need to deal with my own sobriety and growth and stop sending my energy out to other things. I need to accept what I need to accept and do what I need to do to get and stay clean.
I thought I was in love with Angelo for so long; and now I realize that it was an addiction also, all a part of my disease. I have to let go of the ties that keep me bound to my addiction.
I project, I always make things worse! I need to learn to LEARN before I worry! I have to learn to live life one step at a time. It’s the only way I will be successful. When I start looking at all my problems as a whole, I become overwhelmed, and nothing is fixed; I fail every time. I have to place sobriety first, and then prioritize.
November 5, 2007
I dug a hole to China with a crack pipe, and everything dear to me fell in. When I look at what I had, and what I lost, it is hard to believe how much has happened in such a short time. I have to be careful not to say, “Happened TO me” though, because I did this to myself.
November 8, 2007
Good morning, world. This may be my turning point. This morning I worked on acceptance and not judging others, and it felt great. I also realized that I have stopped saying, “I am a loser”, “I am stupid”, and “I am sorry” all the time. When I am wrong, I will admit it, but I have to stop being sorry for who I am. I can and will prove to myself and others that I am a good person!
I may be going to a homeless shelter tomorrow. I am scared and nervous, but I know I need to move to the next step, and unfortunately, there’s no more jumping ahead (or falling behind, I hope). This step has to be done before I move on to the next one, whether I like it or not. This is a temporary inconvenience for a permanent change in my life.
November 9, 2007
Things got really bad today. I received a letter from someone close, telling me how the family will not trust me or help me or believe me for several years. The letter said, “get a job and keep it”, and “get an apartment and keep it”. The writer has no idea what this Chemical Addiction stuff is about, and the letter is full of mean spirited words.
November 11, 2007
Deana, the nurse, is really pushing for Spring House, a half-way house. I am worried about it because it’s a one month blackout, no calls or visits. Then three months of staying in, and then you can go get a job. Four months without my son? I don’t know.
November 12, 2007
It’s Monday morning. I am really wondering now what’s to become of me? I really want a new life now, but not sure yet if it will ever be so. The doctor is going to give me passes off the floor to go to welfare and look for a place to live.
I think I am getting better, even though I am upset by my family losses, homelessness, and poverty. Some of these, I can fix. Others, I must accept.
November 16, 2007
I talked to my sister Karen tonight. We have some differences, but she’s the only one in the family who supports me and my efforts toward sobriety. Plus, she is taking care of my wonderful son, which I am grateful for. It does hurt to realize he is forging a bond with someone else acting as his mother, but it must be. My son deserves happiness.
November 17, 2007
Saturday morning. Time is ticking by, but I need to learn to sit still. Everything does not have to happen NOW. Among other things, being here is a lesson in patience.
I am trying to learn to live in the moment and not be in a hurry for everything to happen. I am trying not to project the future; it will come, and it will be good if I do the right thing, and the next right thing, and the next.
November 18, 2007
I love talking with my son! It makes me so happy! I will try not to regret the past. I will try to concentrate on now, and I think our relationship is slowly starting to get better, because I’m sober! I just have to remember what I want out of life, and drugging and drinking will keep me from ever having it!
November 19, 2007
At dinner tonight Leona, the mental health aide, told me they have a bed at Homeless Solutions in Morristown. Believe me, I am not excited about living in a shelter, but, as I said before, I must deal with the wreckage of my past. The number one issue now is being homeless. I have to start all over again, and I think Morristown is just as good a place as any. I feel it really is time to say good-bye to Bergen County.
November 20, 2007
It’s time to return to life. Now what? We shall see, I pray, always in sobriety. I just found out that I am not leaving here until next Tuesday, so no Thanksgiving with my family and son! I just can’t worry about it, though. I have to practice not projecting, and have patience, faith and courage.
God, I miss my son! It hurts more and more every day. They say you have to forgive yourself to move on; but how can I forgive myself for sending my son away with my drug use?
November 22, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving in Rehab. Ha! I am all out of sorts today. Spilled my milk (but didn’t cry!). I cannot wait to talk to Zach today. He went to NYC with his girlfriend and her parents last night. I can’t help it; every time he goes out, I worry, especially to New York!
The parade is on, but nobody in here wants to watch. They are letting me for now, though. It’s pretty funny, watching the dance and song numbers.
Spoke with Zach, Karen, Tina, and my other sister, Elaine today. It sounds like it was a nice Thanksgiving. Man, I love my son!
November 23, 2007
Christine, the social worker, just did my Chakra. She said I need to get back into crystals; amethyst, rose quartz, and a shiny green crystal.
This is such a strange place. I hope that Morristown is easier to handle, but I am not counting on it!
November 24, 2007
It was a pretty good day. The only group we had for the day erupted with petty arguments and the nurse running it lost control of the group; but after that the day wasn’t bad. We watched movies, and I slept for two and a half hours. I spoke with Zach on the phone. Dinner wasn’t bad for a change; pulled pork. Lunch was horrible; beef and mushrooms in brown sauce. I really can’t complain, though. I have learned so much in here. Besides, at least I know where my next meal is coming from!
I am worried about the shelter, but I can’t freak out and leave and think I have a place to go with family and friends. Those days are gone. I have to do this on my own.
November 25, 2007
It’s a new morning, and another chance to work on myself. The lessons needed to live life on life’s terms. It was a nice day, and I called my daughter Morgan to ask her to get my stuff together, and, I was sober! I have been in here for a month, so I have been sober for thirty-one days so far!
November 26, 2007
Tomorrow I am supposed to leave for homeless shelter. I am so nervous, but there’s no other way around it. I have no options left, I already used them all! I have to go!
November 27, 2007
I am not leaving until tomorrow now. I am nervous again, but I’m getting used to it. I am glad that I stayed for an extra week. It has helped me to accept the things I cannot change. Who knows? This could turn out to be a great thing — or not, but it has to be.
November 28, 2007
I am leaving today. It’s time, God knows.
November 29, 2007
I am at the homeless shelter. It’s not so bad, as homeless shelters go, at least from the little that I know about homeless shelters! It is cold today, but the inside of the shelter is roasting!
Okay, I have a plan now. I am going to go to welfare tomorrow, and apply for General Assistance, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Rental Assistance. Then I will get a suit from “Dress For Success”, and update my resume, so I can look for a job and become self-sufficient. I am ready. I am DONE with drugs and alcohol. Actually, though my drug of choice has been crack, I think I will have a harder time with alcohol. I was in downtown Morristown today, and there are bars galore there! But, I just have to remember what happened at Frankie’s. I was living at my cousin’s, so I thought I was away from the drugs. But I started drinking, and then thought, “Why not drugs, too? I’m already drinking.” Please, no more, not for me! I want a life now; an apartment, a job, my son.
I had a nice conversation with Karen today, and I spoke with Zachary. He got a “hoodie”, it’s warm, he says; and fancy sneakers at Bob’s with Jim and Sean. They were eating at Applebee’s, and then going back for a winter coat for him. He said he doesn’t need one, but Jim insists he get it; he never wants to wear winter coats!
I am going to Tina’s house on Saturday to see Zach. I am going to help her put up Christmas decorations, and eat dinner there. I am so excited! Thank You, God, for the opportunity to see the blessings in what I have already, and how much family and staying connected to “normalcy” really means to me. It is so good to feel good again!
November 30, 2007
Tomorrow I will be one month and six days clean! I am so happy and proud this time, because this is what I really want!
Next time, December and Christmas in a Homeless Shelter; what fun!
copyright 2011 meg marlowe