January was a month of…let’s say…healing. December was a low. My father-in-law dying was a low. My hurting husband reverting back to a child as he dealt with his hurting (raging) mother criticizing him for anything and everything was a low. It was some heavy shit. The lead up, the moment of, the funeral, the coming down. It wasn’t anything that I was expecting, and I’m sorry to say I was not my best self. It all got away from me, and, if we’re being honest here, the anxiety meds and alcohol didn’t help.
We drove home from North Carolina on Christmas Eve, in the middle of a snowstorm, after a full week of crying and a full night of yelling, and we almost got into a wreck. When the truck in front of us spun around in our lane and hit the side rail before sliding across three lanes of traffic before crashing on the side of the road, I thought we were going to die. It scared me so bad that my heart started skipping beats and wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t breathe, and I genuinely believed I was having a heart attack. We avoided that truck, which is great. But we watched it crash and just drove right on by, like it was nothing, like it didn’t even matter. And my body was just like, nope, not one more thing, not this. I eventually calmed myself down and, more importantly, vowed to myself that I’d stop taking the meds and stop drinking. I told my husband that I was tired of feeling fluttery and sick and detached from my body. I told him I didn’t want to drink anymore, and he said he wanted to stop, too.
So we did. I did. The comedown was a bitch, not gonna lie. I barely gave my body enough time to come off of those benzos, especially when you consider I was dropping alcohol at the same time—just six days of a half-dose, instead of, what my doctor would later tell me, should have been a much longer and forgiving withdrawal period. Truthfully, it was awful, and I felt every second of The Substances leaving my body: exhaustion, brain fog, nightmares, headaches, eye floaters and flashes, skin numbness, skin burning, twitching, sweating, and a racing heart. Today marks 31 days of clean living (woo hoo), but apparently I can expect to feel a less-severe version of these symptoms for about five more months. That’s okay. I’m in it for the long haul.
So this is where I’ve been, this is why I haven’t written much. I’m assuming my desire to communicate, to write, to express thoughts, will come back to me. For now, I’m pretty much like:
Ironically, though, I feel pretty good, all things considered. More like myself. Better than I’ve felt in months, in fact. I’m taking care of myself, meditating in the morning, walking everyday, drinking water and green smoothies, spending time with my kids, laughing with my husband. I feel quiet inside. Still. I’m listening, watching, taking it all in, instead of just reacting. I’ve been rethinking my place in, I dunno, life. What do I contribute? What makes a good person? How can I add something positive to this planet? What kind of example do I want to be to my kids? At the end of the day, it comes down to this: I want to create a life for myself that doesn’t require me to numb myself in order to live it. After the garbage year of 2020, what better goal for 2021 could there be?