My Recovery: Exhausted
So today I transferred from my 8 week VA Treatment Program to the 3 month VA Work/Treatment program in Brockton. When I wrote Sunny Side Up: Hope/Promise I was filled with the excitement for the next step in my recovery.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that’s not exactly how it went down. I took the shuttle over at 8:30 and I was dumped at the main building with 1 very heavy bag, a lighter bag, and a garbage bag. It was freezing cold out, and I had to walk quite a distance to Building 7. Not fun.
Well I was doing the intake and slowly but surely my anxiety was about to make a surprise attack. I didn’t like the building. It’s twice the size of my previous program. There are 32 residents versus 17. I was intimidated and fearful.
All of my mindfulness training, CBT training, breathing exercises decided to go south! Barely making it through orientation, I grabbed my sheets and felt–wait for it, wait–friggin’ tears! What??!! I had to get out of the room and just barely made it before the waterworks came. My inner kid was bawling.
Yes, a place of promise, a place where my recovery was going to be the latest and greatest, brought me to sobbing heavily in the shared bathroom. I was miserable! The room was half the size of my other room. There were 15,000 new rules. My stuff was all searched through and sprawled on the bed and the floor.
I lost it. Why now? Why not in jail? Why not when I got to my 8 week program? Why was I sobbing like a baby? Dear readers I was not in good shape. Then comes a friggin knock on my door and I’m thinking to myself “Great, just what I need. My new case manager about to burst through the door.”
Well, he did let himself in (and I was super pissed about that) and then I broke down again, pointing to my pile of belongings all over and sobbed “Look at my fucking life!” I remained inconsolable, but managed to avoid any of the other residents as I rushed out to fresh air.
Long story short, and only after I had to see the Director of the Program–ya, no kidding–who tried to get at the issues and I just said the place had a bad soul and it was bugging me out, lol. Was it fear? Was it intimidation? Was it stress? I didn’t know, but I knew I had to get my shit together, this was going on two hours!
Then I had the guts–although I have no idea where I found them, to show my vulnerability and reach out to a friend. She asked if she could call, then just called anyway haha. I have never cried in front of anyone but my mother before in my life–I don’t think. She talked me back into reality. She gave me my perspective back. My Goodness, what the hell happened to me?
I must say folks, this whole business of changing and looking within is emotionally exhausting! Maybe I never grieved my situation. Maybe I was grieving new transition. My friend suggested that I had set myself up so high, that when I got here and was slightly disappointed, the floodgates opened.
Who knows? Perhaps all this strength and resolve and optimism was just hiding the fact that I needed to be weak for once. Maybe I just had to breakdown and feel that it was ok to do so. I am not sure, but I just know that I was embarrassed at my emotional reactions and my friend was there when I needed her. I have a tremendous attitude of gratitude for that.
She basically reassured me that it was normal to break down. Better now, than in 6 months. Better to go through the growing pains of the heavy burden of recovery, than to just skate by and lie to myself. So, my dear readers, your humble Ruminator is far from out of the woods. This shit is exhausting, my Gods!
That being said, tomorrow is a new day. Jeez…