Addiction & Relapse: The Demon

Hello to all! I apologize for getting unbelievably off topic these last few posts. I thought I’d just separate my two topics into two different blogs/websites just to avoid confusion and annoyance to anyone who reads this blog specifically for the recovery and addiction related content.

(For those who are interested in the love, dating, infidelity etc. Topic, please, please, please consider following my other blog, Love, Infidelity and Everything In Between. I am operating under my actual identity rather than my alias, as you all know is Jay Orgullo.)

ANYWAYS, on to tonight’s topic… Addiction and Relapse. The Demon Who We Hate. The one who brings out the worst in us. The faceless beauty who only causes self destruction and a sense of impending doom. It’s been such a long road since I’ve published my first book. I even decided to start writing another one, because let’s be honest, recovery is such a bumpy road.

There are so many factors that play into sobriety, so when you’re only going through the motions but don’t put your heart into actually staying clean, the overall process becomes a drag. See, recovery was never depicted as an easy experience. Off the bat, we are told by doctors, counselors, fellow addicts, and anyone else with knowledge on the topic that staying sober is by far the most challenging aspect of recovery that we will face. The constant whispering from our demon telling us that we can just start over another day, it’s only one hit. Or the physical power hold that our demon has on our body, constantly punishing us and reminding us that it can all go away if we just take that hit, snort that line, shoot it up, pop that pill, whatever.

If you aren’t mentally capable of resisting, what good is professional help going to do? It becomes a waste of money each time you go to rehab knowing that you’ll only be back after a few weeks or months of sobriety. Shit, chances are you don’t really want to go, you’re only there because your parents or your wife gave you an ultimatum. I mean, if I’m being honest here, one of the main reasons why I got clean was because the love of my life said she’d leave me if I didn’t get clean. Here’s the funny part though. I got clean, changed my overall persona, and she left me anyways.

Imagine that. A recovering addict whose only life purpose was to love and provide for his girl and two beautiful kids. Now what’s left? An air mattress, a tv, a PS4 and a small closet holding a suitcase full of clothes, hygiene materials and condoms (incase I get lucky). I thought that I’d have it all again after getting clean. I was planning on proposing to the so called “Love of my life.” The woman I basically dedicated my new outlook on life to, and for what? To be tossed aside while still revive from the travesty I caused for myself. Losing my house, losing my job, and losing myself just wasn’t enough. Now I lost my family.

So what would many do in this predicament? Give up? Use it as a motivation to strive? Ehh. Well I ended up moving back to my mother’s house for a little while… Just to have her kick me and my son out too. And no, it wasn’t because of anything drug related, I promise. I had it with the constant disrespect and she wasn’t quite done so to my car I went!

After a few weeks in my car and around Massachusetts’ hotels, I finally found a room to rent and here I am. Reminiscing on the life I used to have. I once had everything a young man could want: A house, money, a beautiful girlfriend, and amazing kids. All dwindled down to a mostly empty room and an iPhone to create my content. But I shall strive. I’m not too motivated at the moment, but one thing I know I can do at a 6th grade level is WRITE. Writing is what I know, writing is what I shall do.

Which brings me to another topic I wanted to discuss; relapse. What is relapse? Well all my fellow addicts are too familiar with the term but for any new readers, allow me to enlighten you. Relapse, of Latin origin re-(back) labi (to slip) thus combined to relaps-(slipped back) then adopted to late Middle English. A noun and a verb which the dictionary defines as “a deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement.”

But WHAT DOES THAT MEAN. Essentially it means that we as addicts find ourselves repeating the same old patterns that led us to rock bottom in the first place. It means that we weren’t mentally strong enough to continue on the path of sobriety due to the chronic use of illicit drug we introduced our bodies to. It means that we need to reevaluate our motivations and our overall purpose in life because we are worth something. We aren’t meant to roll over and die from overdose. We aren’t just “junkies,”“zings” or somebodies source of income. We demand respect but can only earn it.

COVID-19 and Relapse

So I wrote an article about how this ongoing pandemic will affect those in recovery. The constant lack of communication, visitation and overall activity leaves everyone (addict or not) in a state of dismay. It’s already hard enough for people who don’t have jobs or don’t associate with people, but now to be constricted and limited to our house as if we were animals? It can quickly deteriorate the mentality of someone who is already fragile. Studies show that 40%-90% Of people relapse at least once during their time in quarantine. I mean, I can understand why but I don’t know… is it worth getting sick or spreading the virus more? Are there any alternatives we have to avoid feeling that dread that follows this impending isolation??

For evidence’s sake, I went on to read other articles on relapse and how COVID-19 is affecting addicts throughout the country and it’s all pretty obvious things. I mean, we’re already told in counseling or in rehab that having a solid support system is crucial to remain sober. That’s the thing though, COVID-19 is an addict’s worst enemy. Due to the limited human interaction we have, and the isolation on top of the inability to even attend any types of NA meetings, this whole pandemic has been a painful experience. I used to attend these group sessions for people who are in recovery but one common complaint I noticed is that many of my group mates are so much more depressed and unwilling to remain sober ever since the in person sessions were canceled. Again, the limited interaction really takes a toll on the people who rely on human interaction to stay motivated.

The article “Is COVID-19 Triggering Addiction Relapse?” gives us an inside look on how this pandemic is affecting our fellow addicts. It states:

For people in recovery, connection and a strong support system are particularly important

Ashley Cullins

Simple yet crucial. I’ve heard my fellow group mates cry due to the lack of interaction in their lives, praying that they soon get the in person session they deeply crave. Being able to see a person as you speak and radiate your vibes of positivity is a huge factor for most people and is absolutely a real thing. We all have that sixth sense where we’re could feel the support and positive energy when we are in an accepting environment and some use it as fuel. Just like a vehicle, once that fuel runs out, the person stops running.

I actually read somewhere that we are unfortunately hitting our second wave of Covid-19 cases so what does that mean for us? As a whole, it means that we will be put on lockdown again and many businesses and hangout spots will be closed again. As much as I hate to say this, stay home! I know it sucks. Trust me, I’m alone now. I have no support system aside from the very few few few people who care enough to read my content. Although it may be discouraging to most, we must keep a strong mentality. If you relapse, it’s not the end of the road. You absolutely can start over but saying that absolutely defeats the purpose of sobriety and erases the weeks, months or years of dedication you put into keeping away from you drug of preference. Do you really want to go through withdrawals because one day you could access your dealer but the next they decide to take the pandemic seriously? That’ll leave you stuck at home going through the excruciating pains that happen when you don’t feed that demon what it wants.

I know it’s not the same as being in person, but you have a phone so use it! Call your group mates, call your counselor, your parents, siblings, significant other or friends. Use your social media platforms to interact with new people. Or do what I do, complain about your life and call it a blog!!

Either way, you are capable of amazing things once you put your mind to it. Be good people!!- Jay


Sources:

“COVID-19 is causing people to relapse” https://www.addictioncenter.com/news/2020/04/covid-19-is-causing-people-to-relapse/

“Is Covid-19 Triggering addiction relapse?” https://www.google.com/amp/s/riahealth.com/2020/08/11/covid-19-addiction-relapse/amp/

Published by The Reticent

My goal isn’t even success nor redemption. The damage I’ve caused is way too deep. I look to provide a mental and emotional sanctuary to those need it and remind our people that change is possible. Who knows, maybe if I had that I’d really have success and redemption.

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