Tag Archives: addiction

Motherhood becomes me

For the first time in my life I feel content in my own skin. It’s as if my skin needed to be stretched to an uncomfortably pregnant degree then shrunk back down again, a little looser, a little wrinklier. I feel more me than ever before. Maybe I was always meant to be this woman, this Mother. I lived as a reckless, petulant child, a depressed and listless sleepwalker and an unpredictable addict. I never quite felt right, like I was put together sloppily; my limbs loose and awkward, toenails and hair follicles seeming too alive while my intestines contracted and died over and over again.
Today as I pull up my jeans I feel a sense of contentment. My ass might be a little flatter without an hour a day to devote to pilates. My tummy a bit loose and with the faintest of stretch marks. My engorged breats are almost always ridiculously lopsided. My eyes reddened and burdened with a months worth of luggage.
I turn briefly towards a mirror as I walk out of the room. I don’t stand, turn, squat and peek from odd angles obsessing over every square inch of my body the way I used to do every single day. I feel good and fuck it, they were after all my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans. I may fill them out a bit differently than before but I love the differences because they represent the Mother that I have become.

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Selfish

My greatest desires are for solitude and anonymity. Neither of which are possible especially now that I am bringing a new life into this overwhelmingly intrusive world.

I am a selfish ass bitch, always have been, mostly with my self. I am an only child which automatically gives a person the right to be selfish but I have taken selfishness to an entirely new level. I am not talking about the kind of “no, you can’t have a cookie, they are mine” kind of selfishness but the much more destructive kind that causes a person to withdraw from reality without any consideration for those who still reside in a world where people say “hello”.

I am secretive and sneaky as shit when I need to be. I became an amazing liar, mostly to myself. I faked a life and almost succeeded at death before I realized I was so full of shit that I could barely breathe. Terrible way to die, suffocating on your own stinking shit.

Opening myself up, airing out my rotting cavities, hanging my bloody panties out on the fence, staring into my own asshole just to see what’s in there. Offending my senses, arousing my curiosities, I peered further and found that I am not just a selfish alcoholic on the verge of collapse, that I am flesh and blood, that I am real.

Now that I am pregnant and feeling more “real” than I ever could have imagined, I would hope that I would lose some of my selfish ways and see shit from some entirely new plane of Motherhood consciousness that I should somehow have gained access to. No such luck. I am feeling even more selfish, more reserved and less communicative than ever. But I am remaining positive that the destructive nature of these emotions are being put to good use and with all hopes of a positive outcome for the kid. I am positive because now the basis of my selfishness is founded solely on love. Love and a huge amount of “get the fuck away from my kid or I will kill you” sort of emotions.

Fuck, all I do is contradict myself. In one afternoon I address and mail about 100 invitations to a baby shower that I am halfheartedly committed to and then suddenly and belligerently swear off all human contact simply because I couldn’t fit into my fluorescent Hawaiian gown.

As I resign myself to black stretchy yoga pants I realize what I am really feeling (besides the kids knees pounding into my ribs). I am afraid. Afraid of the moment when the kid is no longer just “mine”. He is going to come out and be a part of the world. He will be held by other people, cuddled by family and friends, stared and cooed at by strangers and licked by my dogs. His toes which once tickled my insides will soon be kissed by lips that are not mine. My selfish ass bitch self is fucking angry about this. I want to scream out, “He is mine motherfuckers, back the fuck off!”

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What’s left besides bones and hair?

What does a hopeless waste of a life look like? A 59 year old crystal meth addict wearing booty shorts and high top Chuck Taylor’s? Insanely red hair with two inches of white roots? Ninety pounds of gauntness on a 5’3″ frame that’s shrinking by the minute? A gesticulating mess of limbs with an oscillating jaw spraying saliva in every direction?

“What’s your address?”

“Umm…I don’t know, let me go see.”

“You have lived here for months!”

She wanders from room to room. Never ending organizational projects fill up spaces where a life should be. Collections of nothingness, picked through and stripped to the bone.

Days and nights are meaningless when your eyes have forgotten how to close.

She is gone, she was never actually there.

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A kick in the face

Today I am reminded that I am an alcoholic, that I am a bulimic, that I am very fucking far from cured of any of the self-destructive behaviors that I am so undeniably addicted to. I can walk around with my rotundly pregnant belly and want a drink just as badly as the drunkard falling over in his seat on the bus. I can feel my baby squirming around inside of me and want to binge on junk food for hours just for the sake of purging, the wonderful empty high of bulimia. I can imagine holding my Son in a few months as vividly and yearningly as I can imagine smoking an entire pack of cigarettes in one afternoon.

Annoyance, simple everyday annoyance brings this shit on. Not life shattering events, not horrific news of some tragedy, not a fight amongst lovers or friends, not even slightly more complicated feelings like anger or stress, just plain old annoyance.

I had an appointment today, I contemplated not going, I always do, and I always go. I seem to have a busy calendar as of late with appointments at the Doctor, the Dentist, the Therapist (sort of, not really an actual therapist.) You see, when you go to the OB/GYN and are honest about your shit they will refer you to a counselor type person to assist you through your pregnancy. The woman I was assigned to happened to be an addiction and eating disorder specialist, so she will obviously know everything there is to know about me. It actually isn’t all that bad. I talk incessantly and answer questions before she can ask them and leave her pretty much speechless except to schedule our next appointment.

The annoyance began on my walk to the train station. The sun was absolutely blinding, the wind blowing my hair into my face, wisps sticking to my lip gloss slathered mouth. My feet already blistered, begin to throb within minutes. I don’t want to be outside today, the traffic too loud, the streets too crowded. Waiting for the train, I shift my increasing weight from foot to foot and try to avoid eye contact with some creepy asshole staring at me. Already I am done with this day. I want to escape, I want to scream, I want to fall down on the ground and throw a tantrum like a child.

Trudging my way up the long ass hill to the Hospital I almost take off my heels because who gives a fuck anymore, barefoot and pregnant, embrace it.

My annoyance turns me into an uppity ass bitch, click clacking in my heels down the hospital halls. What a scene I am, in my dress and coat, my bouffant and my eyebrows. I heave my bright red leather luggage I haul around as my purse, up and onto the reception desk, rummaging for my ID.

“Yes, I am her, can’t you tell? Are there others?”

Losing track of what’s real I want only to sit and write, to ignore the day that surrounds me, engulfs me.

The hour goes by in the usual fashion, my prattling on about healthy meal consumption and yes, of course I intend on attending meetings more regularly.

I leave and face the harsh assault of sunlight, traffic and obnoxious ass people crowding around me on the train.

Why did I leave the house today?

Hauling my ass home, completely aggravated with every living thing from the green grass and bright flowers to the singing birds in the trees. I don’t even wave back to the friendly neighbor who chirps hello from her porch, I just want to go home and crawl into bed. No, what I really want is to go home, open a bottle of wine and light a cigarette. My brain doesn’t give a shit that I am pregnant, it wants what it wants and it is screaming it loud and clear.

Well fuck you brain, fuck you Regina, you selfish goddamn brat. You don’t get what you want anymore.

Home. I write. I eat frozen yogurt. I watch my dogs play. I take a nap. I am ok.

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Sensory awakenings

Bullshit. I see it on everyone’s face, I hear it in everyone’s voice and I smell it, the rotting stench of deception and ulterior motives. I attribute my new-found sensory abilities to my sobriety.

When I was drinking, I could deal with absolutely anything with this one simple theory “where can I get a drink?” It made everything so simple, my goals were simple. And once my goal achieved, the problem itself was a distant obstacle, not worth dealing with. Situations were glazed over in an effort to simply “get by”. And I did, I got by for years. I didn’t accomplish much, but I survived and I fooled everyone (almost) into thinking I was fine.

Sobriety has given me  a new outlook on my surroundings and of course myself. I had no idea that I was even capable of feeling the emotions that now come up on an almost daily basis. I am hostile, I am appalled, I am fucking annoyed. An onslaught of sorts is occurring and I feel almost….violated, especially by those around me that I never paid much attention to in the past. I discovered that I don’t care much for most of the personal relationships that I once needed. And I have found that because most people never knew the actual me, the me beyond the girl having a good time with a drink in her hand, that I must either put in the time to introduce myself or forget about the relationship entirely.

I find myself constantly questioning people’s sincerity, and my own as well. I may have stopped consciously lying but I still find myself holding back my feelings and honest opinions when speaking to people. I don’t have to “get by” anymore, I don’t have to keep a calm exterior to avoid fucking up the balance between the reality I have created and the reality everyone else lives in.

The path is now clear, the wine bottles hauled away with the garbage. I can see all the bullshit, it’s as close as the end of my driveway. But I’m not letting it in the front door quite yet. I still need a little more time to think this through, plan a strategy that requires more tools than a cork screw.

 

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I never want to feel that way again

“When was your last drink?”

“October 13, 2011, about 3pm”

“What was it?”

“Champagne, I was at work and I drank that shit all day”

I was a fucking mess. But goddamnit if the ED part of me doesn’t love how thin I was at the time. I had quit eating regular meals and had dropped to well below my average adult weight. I was also shitting blood every day and was covered in bruises. But I was thin, my stomach flat and my clavicle nicely exaggerated.

I realized today that both my first and last drinks were champagne (excluding the wine I got drunk on at two years old). I don’t even particularly like champagne, I was always privy to vodka, from Stoli to Popov, I wasn’t picky. I never once bought a bottle of champagne. It was a work thing, an availability issue, it was free and there for the drinking.

My last drunk week was a chaotic disaster of lies. I had promised to quit drinking a week earlier. A promise I knew I would not keep, one of thousands I had made to others and to myself. Fuck promises, they mean nothing. I was sneaking and lying, two things I am ridiculously talented at. But this time was different, I felt bad about it. I felt…..guilty, at the time an extremely rare emotion for me.

It was near the end of my shift and I was sipping on my travel coffee mug (filled with champagne) while I was scrubbing a mountain of dishes. The heaping mound of trash behind me filled the small back room of the kitchen with the foul odors of a busy morning. I was covered in grease, coffee grounds and questionable slime. My back ached and sweat dripped between my breasts, it was a normal afternoon. I patted my apron pocket to make sure I had my smokes handy, a compulsive movement I did numerous times a day out of comfort and security.

Suddenly, I was completely disgusted, with myself, my situation, with every fucking aspect of my life. I threw up into the sink, hot liquid spraying out of my mouth and nose, choking spasms of revulsion let loose all over plates of egg matter and bowls crusted with tomato soup. I screamed and spit violently, wanting to be rid of everything inside me, my burning esophagus, my rotting stomach, my fucked up brain, my worthless soul.

And that was it, I was done. I didn’t feel like a liar, I didn’t question why I felt the way that I did. I felt primal, my survival instinct kicked me in the head and I woke the fuck up.

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I want to feel like this forever

“When was your first drink?”

“God, two years old I guess”

“Two?! Ok, I will rephrase. When was the first time you got good and drunk?”

“Yeah, two. But I know what you mean. I was 13 the first time I willingly got drunk”

Ok, here are explanations of both….

Booze was never taboo in my family, it flowed freely at parties and my parents never kept track of what was in the house. In fact my first official drunk was when I was just a toddler. I obviously don’t remember this but I have heard my Mom tell the story over and over, laughing every time. I apparently stumbled over to the coffee table, grabbed a glass of red wine and downed the entire thing, a professional drinker at two! She told me that I screamed all night long, eyes rolling around in my head (I must have hated the spins as badly then as I did years later). She was too afraid to take me to the hospital for fear of persecution from Child Protective Services. I toughed it out that night, I survived to drink again one day. There is no stopping a determined toddler with DNA mapped out perfectly for addiction and substance abuse.

My next good drunk, New Years Eve, 1993. I swallowed my first glass quickly, my mood as sour as the champagne. I was struggling with bulimia, and by struggling I mean not having enough time to vomit between meals or enough hours in the day to obsessively run mile after mile. I hated school and everyone there. The only solace in my life was my new-found love affair with smoking.

My second glass, enjoyed a little more than the first but still gulped with purposeful intent. I feel the bubbles in my nose and this makes me gag a little as I am reminded of the sensation of vomit spraying out of my nostrils which unfortunately is a daily occurrence.

My third glass marks the end of the first bottle. I sneak out the back door for a smoke. I hold my glass of champagne in one hand and my Marlboro Light in the other. I feel like a fucking supermodel for about half a second. I am in love with that fleeting sensation of power, sex and maturity. I am no longer a child, if I ever was one at all. I stare at the night sky inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly, luxuriantly.

The second bottle of champagne disappears in no time at all. My Mom is asleep in front of the television, Dick Clark counting the year down like pennies thrown in a fountain, meaningless wishes and a waste of time. I stumble into my room and collapse onto my bed. I have one loud continuous thought reverberating through my head, “I want to feel like this forever, I want to feel like this forever….”

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Shopping for a whale

Halfway there and I am over it. Annoyed and anxious. I want a fucking cigarette. I feel huge and uncomfortable. Have I ever felt contentment for more than half an hour at a time?

Who the fuck said pregnancy is beautiful, fatty fetishists most likely. Lay me on a beach and watch the spectators gather because I am a fucking whale. When this boy is done cooking so am I because I am not eating for a long time.

I bought clothing today in the fucking PLUS SIZE department of the thrift store! I kept saying “I am pregnant that’s why I am buying this hideous black tent dress….I would never wear this style but I’m pregnant and growing by the second….oh god am I really wearing this.” When the clerk tried to have a conversation with me about kids I hurriedly grabbed my phone and mouthed an apology to her as a response. I don’t know how people tolerate me, I sure fucking can’t most of the time.

After shopping for massive amounts of stretchy black fabric to cover my bloated rotundness, I went out to lunch by myself. The chirpy hostess greeted me with “congratulations!” What the fuck?! What if I really was just fat? She then explained that my crazy Mother has apparently announced to everyone in the neighborhood that I am pregnant or more importantly according to her, that she is going to be a Grandmother. Everyone can go fuck themselves.

God, I just want to live my life as if I were invisible.

P.S. I’m fine, please don’t worry about me.

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Narcotics and bloody gauze

There is a bottle of pain pills in my purse, nestled in with my lipstick and a wad of bloody gauze. This is a precarious position for an addict to be in. I haven’t taken a pain pill in almost a year and I haven’t had a drink in 146 days.

I just got home from the Dentist’s office and there is a gaping bloody hole in my mouth where an infected tooth once resided. Having a tooth extracted is one of the creepiest feelings I have ever experienced. The novocaine wore off more than half an hour ago, my entire face is throbbing. It feels as if the tooth was partially embedded in my right eye. My sinus cavities still tender from sickness now tingle from the annoying disruption to their dark cavernous environment.

I realize now that I have absolutely no tolerance for pain. I have never just sat with any kind of pain, I always used the slightest bit of discomfort as an excuse to take a few extra vicodin. I don’t know how to deal with this experience, mentally or emotionally.

If I just take one and go to sleep I won’t even feel the effects of the narcotic so it won’t really count, right?
I know the medication is safe in moderation during pregnancy especially in these circumstances.
The pain that I am experiencing might be traumatic for the baby.
Rationalize, make excuses, obsess a little more.
Just take the fucking pill.
 

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Cell phones and Cigarettes

As I sit with my coffee this morning I mourn for a friend, a companion of 18 years. Oh, cigarettes, I miss you so. I long for the ritual as much as the sweet smoke inhaled deep into my lungs, blanketing my insides with comfort, lovely poisonous comfort. Even the packing of the box against the palm of my hand, the swift tear of cellophane and pull of silver paper, crumpled together and shoved into my pocket gave me a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment. When both my hands were busy I would pull the cigarette from the pack with my front teeth, I don’t why I loved this little ritual but I did. I was a multi-tasking smoker, able to smoke an entire cigarette without the use of my hands. Does this count as a talent?

I remember my first cigarette at 13, walking home from school with my good friend Chelsea. She lit a Marlboro Light and handed it to me. I was in love with the very first drag and bought my first pack later that day. When I couldn’t afford my own smokes I stole my Dad’s GPC Menthol’s. I later switched to Camel 99’s and finally to Winston Lights for the additive free aspect. I always assumed my Parents knew I smoked and never really tried to hide it but they still pretended to be shocked the first time I lit up right in front of them.

Most of all I miss my mornings spent with coffee and cigarettes. I actually find myself having a hard time getting out of bed lately. I used to awaken with a smile upon my face and anticipation bubbling in my lungs. I smoked as the coffee percolated and smoked as I took my first sip of caffeinated motivation and smoked as I finished my third cup. Now what? I wake up and make one cup of weak ass coffee and sit, awkwardly, unsure of what to do next. How does a day begin without a smoke? I am really trying to figure this one out.

This morning I began think about how I will approach the topic of smoking with my Son. I truly hope that he never smokes that first cigarette because if he gets even a fraction of my fucked up addiction riddled genes he will fall in love just as I did. Then I realized that I don’t see nearly as many kids smoking these days as I once did. I attribute this due to fancy cellphones with all the email, texting and internet whatnots. When I was a teenager I relied very heavily on the distraction of smoking when I found myself in social situations. When I was uncomfortable I lit a cigarette, when I was embarrassed I hid behind a cloud of smoke, when I wanted to look like I didn’t give a shit I flicked my butt into the street. Now kids have cell phones in their pockets to fiddle with and appear distracted by. No more staring at the floor during an uncomfortable silence, just pull out the phone and pretend to check email. Cell phones have saved kids from cigarettes!

With my luck not only will my kid smoke but I will find pictures on his phone of him smoking while naked in public with a stolen stereo on his shoulder. I quite like the entertainment having a Son will bring to my life, even the uncomfortable shit like telling him not to smoke while I will probably still be secretly longing for my long-lost love Winston.

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Leap Day – 1996 (a long walk home)

I wrote this on February 29, 1996  (I was 16)

Today is Leap Day, whatever that really means
I am completely ashamed and embarrassed
To never show my face again would be completely fine with me
I’ve let myself down
I am so foolish and so easily persuaded
I have no control
My heart aches and my mind bleeds
Desolate and empty with a fake smile and hello
They say today’s the day to take a chance
I only wish that it were yesterday
to start all over again
What a feeling, I cannot express
I’m becoming who I always feared
The one who has no control
I’ve let everything slip away
let my mind drift and sway
My eyeliner smeared and my hair is a mess
Why do I talk so, just to like myself less?
And today is Leap Day whatever that really means
 

    I remember that day, every awful minute of it. I was in the harsh grip of bulimia and my body was shutting down on me. I couldn’t make it through one day at school without being sent to the nurse’s office for falling asleep at my desk. I was passing out pretty frequently but managed to hide it from friends and family. Most of the people at my high school thought I was on drugs and I just found it easier to let them believe that. My throat was so raw from constant vomiting that my voice had a raspiness to it that I rather liked. I didn’t much care for the intense indigestion and constant taste of bile in the back of my throat but I accepted it as a punishment of sorts. Punishment for having splurged at dinner with an extra helping of casserole, for having attempted to digest a meal, for having the insane idea of eating in the first place.

    February 29 could have been like any other day except maybe I was feeling a little vulnerable or possibly I was looking for help, for someone to understand. I still cringe at the thought of what I did that day. It still makes me feel weak and pathetic. I decided to talk to the one person who was aware that I was ill in one way or another because she had been forced to watch me sleep on a cot in her office for months. During my daily visit to the Nurse’s office I told her what was really  going on with me. It felt good to have finally said it out loud but then before I had even finished talking she had the phone in her hand and was telling me that she had to call my Mother. I begged and pleaded with her, told her I wished I hadn’t said anything, that I made it all up. But she would not be deterred. The call was short and she sent me home.

    It took me hours to walk the half mile home. I stopped for coffee at a 7-11. I sat on a wall and smoked cigarettes watching the traffic, wondering what it would be like to walk blindly into the middle of the street. I felt disconnected while the world moved around me in slow motion. When I finally arrived home my Mother was in her bedroom with the door closed. I could hear her crying. That really pissed me off. Why the fuck did she get to cry? I was a good 5 solid years into my relationship with eating disorders, this really shouldn’t have shocked her. She never did come out of her room that day. We never actually spoke about it at all. However, she did go with me to a Doctors appointment where I first met a Doctor I will refer to as Dr.Croak. He came to be a very generous man who for many years supplied me with all the vicodin a girl could want for.

    I was then sent to a Psychiatrist who wanted to hear in graphic detail every sexual encounter of mine and when I refused we simply sat in uncomfortable silence interrupted only by his heavy mouth breathing and occasional “hmmmmm”. I was prescribed Prozac and that was it. My mood improved thanks to the pills but my eating disorder never left me, not for one second. Oh, it changed over time, got better in hiding behind things like stress or casual dieting. I became an amazing liar, a truly great fucking liar. I had been lying for so long I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Everything was a lie and my Family bought into it because they were damn good liars themselves. They chose not to see or acknowledge in any way that something was wrong with me or themselves.

    I can still relate to every word of what I wrote 16 years ago, I can still feel the despair and anguish of that day as if I were still on that long walk home.

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