There’s nothing like becoming closely acquainted with the kitchen floor. Normally those cold tiles against my cheek and the motion of the room would be a result of being drunk or high, or on a really good night, both.
Last night, as my friends were celebrating the approach of the Christmas break by getting wasted, I lay on my kitchen floor wondering how I got to this point. Trying to make sense of the mess that my life has become.
After an intense therapy session yesterday, it took me hours to reconnect with myself, with the present. I wanted to participate in the festivities with my co-workers. I desperately want to belong in that environment, like I used to. But I was so wiped out from therapy I passed out in the kitchen. That’s how I ended up face down on the tiles.
I couldn’t open my eyes because the room was spinning around me. I had to just lie there and wait. And in that waiting time I wondered whether I had reached the bottom. I don’t know what the hell that is, but it crosses my mind every now and again.
I think I’ve realised now that there is no such thing. It’s all relative. I know this because I’ve given up on the idea that after reaching the very worst point, everything starts to get better. That’s just not how it works.
What is really confusing is that the really tough days happen more now that I am ‘in recovery’. During my breakdown, every day felt black. And the more these black days happened, they became the status quo. They weren’t black anymore, they were normal. I was flatlining.
Now those days feel so much worse. Because there is some light. There are moments or hours that feel brighter. That means those dark times are so much harder to tolerate. They reinforce everything I am working against, they knock me down. Worst of all, they remind me I’m not in control.
This stage of recovery is a daily battle. Against self-harm, rage, grief, addiction, panic and suicide. I have to fight every day to just be functional.
There’s no instant gratification in this process. And there’s no returning to life as it was before. That’s probably one of the hardest things to handle, that being out of place. Missing out. Not belonging or having a role. Watching my friends celebrate together and feeling like I’m always going to be a satellite. Wondering whether I can ever reconnect with that old life and feeling so scared that I might have to leave it all behind.
Photo credit: Nadine Heidrich, Creative Commons.