Saturday, April 1, 2017

I tried not to steal your pills

So, I've never considered myself much of a thief. In fact, I can't recall anything that I've ever stolen. Well, except for a sweatshirt I accidentally carried out of a store while Christmas shopping several years ago. I didn't even realize that it was in my hands and I didn't remember which store it had come from, so I couldn't return it! I tried to give it to Chad as a Christmas gift, but it didn't fit him. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, not much of a thief. I actually returned a twenty dollar bill to the bank once when the teller gave me three instead of two. She nearly stroked out that I brought it back. I will not steal from you. Or anyone else.

Unless it's pills. Then I will rob you blind. Well, the old me would. When it comes to pills, they are all mine. My pills are mine. Your pills are mine. If you don't think so, just watch.  Well, don't really watch. I need you to look away so that I can steal your pills.

Over the years, any medicine that came through my house was free territory for me. My motto was "one for you, two for me." If it was in my house, it was mine.

Along the way, I decided to get clean, and I seemed to be pretty successful, provided there were no narcotics or amphetamines in my presence. Then, I was in trouble. Big trouble.

Unfortunately, I married a man with dental problems. His teeth are straight and white, though, because that would have been a deal breaker....I'm a teeth person. They just aren't as strong and healthy as they should be; even though I've never met another person who brushes, flosses, and power washes (his words) their teeth like he does. Anyway, I was clean and sober, and he had a dental procedure. I can actually remember where I was (in a parking garage) when he called and asked me to pick up his prescription for him. I cursed him under my breath for making me do that. I picked the script up at the drive-thru pharmacy, and I vowed to not even open the paper bag they sent out to me. But, I did open it, and I immediately regretted it....but not really. I then proceeded to unscrew the lid on the bottle and just stare at the contents. I was super jealous. I wished that I was the one who'd just had a mouth full of root canals. (What a freak!!!) I put the lid back on the bottle and placed it back in the paper bag where it belonged. All the way home an internal argument took place.

I am NOT going to take those pills. Definitely not. Well, maybe I will just take one. Or two. No, I'm not going to take those pills! Nope. Not doing it. But, if he doesn't end up using them, I won't let them go to waste. I'll give it a few days and see if there are any left. No! I'm not taking them. Oh, I know I'm gonna take them. But I'm gonna try hard not to.

That dialogue truly happened. Addiction is absolute insanity.

I walked into the house and to the bedroom and handed Chad the bottle. Before I left the room, I said, "You better put those pills up. Because I want them in a bad way." I was proud of myself that I told him what I was thinking. So proud that I found myself digging through our bedroom for them the next morning as soon as he left for work. I eventually found them in his sock drawer stuffed into the toe of one of his white pairs of socks. I opened the bottle, poured them out in my hand, and counted them. He hadn't taken very many and he seemed perfectly fine when he left that morning, so I was sure he wouldn't miss one or two. So, I took one or two and vowed that I wouldn't take anymore. I positioned the sock in the exact way I had found it (I secretly thought maybe he had it placed a certain way so he could tell if it had been tampered with) and closed the drawer. I decided not to take anymore.  Until later that evening when I found myself in the drawer again. And the next morning when I again found myself in the drawer. I counted them every single time. Nope. He hadn't taken a one. I kept this up for the next day or so, until I realized there were only a couple pills left. I took one and left the last one for him. You know, in case his teeth started hurting. I wasn't that heartless.

The next day, I was putting clothes away in our bedroom. He walked into the room and started toward his dresser. I held my breath as he reached for the top middle drawer. He opened it up and I waited. "Misty! Did you take my pills?" I just turned around and stared at him. I couldn't really lie.  I mean, I could have blamed our young children or our German Shepherd, but I knew he wouldn't buy it. He picked up the bottle and threw it at me and said, "Well, why did you leave me one?! If you're gonna steal my pills, take them all!" So, I did what any self-respecting drug addict would do, and I took the pill. He did offer it, after all.

That type of situation happened way more often than I would care to admit. I would start out with all intentions of steering clear of anything I couldn't/shouldn't take, but I failed miserably. I wanted to stay away from them, but I guess I wanted to get high more. One of my friends, Destiny, told me once, "Misty, you won't get clean or stay clean until you want to be sober more than you want anything...more than you want to get high. Plain and simple." I wasn't there yet. Because as much as I wanted to be honest and responsible, my desire to get high was stronger.

Last week my oldest daughter had her wisdom teeth removed. I was worried for many reasons. I was worried for her and for me. Addiction runs deep in her blood too, and I was scared for opiates to be introduced to her. I was just as scared to know they were in my house. Her boyfriend went with me to take her to her procedure, and he was also the one who took all of her paperwork, including her prescriptions. I pulled up to the drive-thru pharmacy and he handed me the scripts. I tried not to look at them, but I found myself reading them none the same. When I read the word Norco (the new Vicodin), my breath got caught in my chest. My drug of choice. In my hand. I left the prescriptions there for Chad to pick up later. He told me he would be giving her medicine to her and for me to keep my hands off. I happily obliged. Then, a little conversation started in my head. It sounded kind of like an argument. It went something like this.

I'm glad he put those pills up......I wonder where he hid them.

I'm not going to look for them.......Surely he's gotten smarter than the sock drawer. Wonder if they are in the safe? Maybe in his nightstand where he keeps his medicine?

I would not dream of taking one.......One little pill wouldn't hurt. No one would ever know.

Luckily, I've learned to distinguish between those two voices. I know which one is reason and which one is insanity. I know which one is right and which one is wrong. I know which one wants the best for me and which one wants to kill me. I know which one is truth and which one is a lie. And I quickly told the wrong one to shut up. My daughter's procedure was on Friday morning and my Recovery small group is on Friday evenings. As soon as our women's group started, I told them about the battle going on in my mind. They showed me love, support, and encouragement. My good friend Kristina looked at me and said, "I've never seen this Misty. In the years that I've known you, I've never seen you openly express a struggle. I think you're going to a place you've never been before." She nailed it.

I never once looked for those pills. After that initial freak-out moment, I forgot about them. I truly didn't give another thought to those little things that used to hold me captive. For the first time in the last decade, I didn't steal pills that I knew were there....somewhere.

You see, I am in a place I've never been before and I'm headed to a place I've never been before. Recovery is like that. I'm growing and learning and changing every single day. And somewhere along the way, I think I've finally figured out what my friend Destiny told me. Last week, I may have had an extremely short moment where I wanted to get high, but you know what I wanted even more than that? Way more than that? I wanted to stay clean and sober.

I want to be clean and sober more than I want anything.

Because staying clean and sober gives me more than I could ever want. 

It gives me life.

A freaking amazing one at that. 

1 comment:

  1. As a former addict who tried and failed many times before succeeding. Thank u for sharing your story I enjoyed reading very much always be brave and stay strong and keep inspiring others around. God bless you and all u do from here