Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Overcoming Adversity!

Today I am posting my contribution to the Overcoming Adversity bloghop that Nick Wilford is hosting in order to help his stepson, Andrew, attend a specialist college. Andrew has an amazing story of his own, which has inspired this bloghop, and I'm excited I can be a part of it.

In the latter part of my life, I've had many family members and friends struggle with drug addiction problems. Sadly, some have lost their lives because of an overdose or other drug related accident. But others still continue the fight to stay clean. This story was inspired by them. For all of them!

  Thirteen Months, One Week & Four Days  

          I throw open the door to my small apartment, let it slam shut, and I sink onto the floor. My hands shake and my heart races as I pull my knees up and rest my forehead against them.

            Just breathe.

            It’s been thirteen months, one week and four days since I’ve been sober, but people still look at me like I just stepped out of rehab. Thirteen months, one week and four days I’ve been working on earning their trust and living a normal life and today I think it might tear me apart. Half the time the problem is mental, but the other half… my body still aches, craves and needs a fix. Today it’s both.

            I try to force my hands to be steady but that only makes them worse.

            “Aarrrgh!”  I scream, hoping to release some of the tension. It doesn’t work.

            I look to the ceiling and run my fingers through my hair. Please God. Please help me.

            You don’t spend eleven years enjoying instant gratification and have it go away. It will never go away. I know it. I’ve had it told to me time and time again. I’m living evidence of it and I’m not stupid enough to deny it.

            But days like these – the really crappy ones, where I go to work and end up having to deal with every jackass that walks through the door – these are the days I wonder how long I’ll make it. How long I’ll survive the “real world,” as everyone calls it.

            Screw the real world. To me the real world is dealt in secret. You watch your back, trust no one and forget about everything with a single shot, or hit of the pipe.

            Truth is – I don’t know how this happened. I wasn’t raised this way, and seeing the hurt in my parents eyes, sucks. But now I have no way to get rid of it. No way to make me forget, or at least not care.

            Thirteen months, one week and four days and sometimes they still look unsure. They still wonder if I’m clean. And I want to be clean, but my body wants to be satiated.

            A tear trickles down my cheek. I wipe it away and get to my feet, angry for being such a sissy.

            “You cannot control me!” I yell to myself – to the craving. I let the adrenaline race through me.  I follow it through my veins and let it surge in my body with a new kind of freedom. A high that cannot land me in jail, that will not make me lose my job or my family.

            I am smart. I am clean. I am free.

            I am smart. I am clean. I am free.

            The words echo in my mind and I try to believe them. My hands are no longer shaking and my breathing slows. Life slows, and I push away the part that yearns for the fast pace of life past.

            I can do this.

            When I open my eyes, everything is still.

The same.

            Except for me.           

            For now, I’m better.

            I throw my keys and wallet on the bar, and allow myself to crash on the fuzzy orange couch I found at a thrift store.  It’s ugly but comfortable.

            My eyes wander to the clock and I realize the day will be over soon. That’ll make thirteen months, one week and five days.

            A smile touches my lips and I flip the t.v. to my favorite sitcom.

             I can do this.
For other great stories of inspiration from this bloghop check these out:

1.Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh2.E Louise Bates
3.David Powers King4.Hilary at Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
5.Getting Past The Fist6.Denise Covey, LAussie
7.Bards and Prophets8.Leigh Covington
9.Tyreans Writing Spot10.Livia Peterson
11.Christine Rains12.Meradeths Write Stuff
13.Donna Hole14.Michael Pierce
15.Nicole Singer-Write Me A World16.Elise Fallson
17.Carrie Butler @ SYAW18.Tobi Summers - Chock Full of Words
19.tara tyler20.DL Hammons @ Cruising Altitude 2.0
21.Empty Nest Insider22.PK HREZO
23.C.M. Brown24.Clare Dugmore Writes
25.Kathy- Imagine Today26.Tangent Shell
27.The Open Vein - E.J. Wesley28.Mina Burrows
29.Use Your Words...30.Ilima Todd
31.Carrie-Annes Magick Theatre32.Kelley Lynn
33.J. A. Bennett, A Writers Journey34.Melissa Maygrove
35.Trisha @ WORD STUFF36.Damyanti@Amlokiblogs
37.Candilynn Fite38.Michelle @ Writer~In~Transit
39.Kittie Howard40.Mary Pax
41.Misadventures in Candyland42.Krista McLaughlin
43.Writing Off the Edge44.Read is the New Black
45.Elsie Is Writing46.Stina Lindenblatt
47.The Eagles Aerial Perspective48.Breakthrough Blogs
49.Lara Schiffbauer50.I had a little nut-tree...
51.J.L. Campbell52.Samantha May: Writing Through College
53.One Magic Bean Buyer54.Brooke R. Busse
55.Writers Block56.Justine Dell
57.Father Dragon Writes58.The Kelworth Files
59.WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS60.Dreaming of publication
61.In Between - Adriana Dascalu62.Defending the Pen
63.Left and Write64.Michael @ In Time ...


S.P. Bowers said...

I know people fighting this battle. Well written.

Trisha F said...

This was really well written. I can't imagine the torture of addiction, as I'm one the lucky ones who hasn't struggled with it. I do know people who have though. It's such a tragedy.

Al Diaz said...

Very real torment and a strong awesome determination.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And I'm sure that is a daily battle for so many. Very powerful, Leigh.

Shell Flower said...

You really put us in the struggle with this piece. Great job with the writing here. I am sure this was not easy to write, and that is another way of overcoming adversity. Awesome!

ilima said...

This was so great. I felt like I was right there dealing with it myself, wanting to cheer, "You can do it!" Nice job.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've had cousins and a Grandfather fight that battle, and I think you captured it really well. Great writing!

Sally said...

Brilliantly written. What a struggle any addiction is, legal or otherwise.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Very well done Leigh. Addiction is heart breaking. So heart breaking.

David P. King said...

I know you're not the drinking type, but holy cow! That's one of the most gripping addict senses I've read. I really believed what the character was going through. Well done! :)

Rena said...

Addiction is hard. Very hard. I think you've written this well. Good job.

Anthony Dutson said...

Awesome! I've had family members battling the same addictions. Now matter how hard they fight, they feel like a ticking bomb. It takes a lot of courage to get that mentality turned around.

Nicely done!

J. A. Bennett said...

So beautiful Leigh! You've really laid out the struggle. I've never dealt with addiction, but I've seen it cripple people. Good for your character for making it work!

Nick Wilford said...

Excellent piece Leigh, very evocative. I was right there in the moment. This must be one of the hardest things to overcome and you did a great job in making this so inspiring. Thank you for taking part!

Krista McLaughlin said...

That is a depiction of the struggle. I know someone who is trying hard to be sober and every day is a journey for her. Great addition!

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic entry! It's gritty and real. I lost my father because he couldn't win against his addiction. I've seen what it does to people. Well done.

Ella said...

I admire the courage it takes to stay clean, stay sober. When my father died, my mother started drinking. It was like losing two parents, at once.
Well Done~

Empty Nest Insider said...

This is such a realistic portrait of an ongoing struggle. I'm sure that this will provide comfort for so many that face this on a daily basis. "I am smart. I am clean. I am free," is such an empowering mantra.

Thank you for your extremely thoughtful comment Leigh!

Damyanti said...

So very well written.

Mark Koopmans said...

I've a few family members, including my brother who struggle with this every day... thanks for giving "voice" to such a powerful subject.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Great story, Leigh! And wow - what a list of participants! Impressive turn-out for an important cause!

Donna K. Weaver said...

That's an awesome story! I have kids with mental illness and one spent 15 months in an adolescent treatment center. Sixty percent of the kids there had been addicted to drugs. They had something they called the Rule of Thirds because it referred to the percentages relating to adolescent drug addiction. One third would die. One third would be in and out of treatment for the rest of their lives. Only one third would break free. So scary. All the more meaningful for the ones who manage to escape.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

What a wonderful blog post, so inspiring.

Samantha May said...

This was so powerful. Awesome job, Leigh!!

michelle said...

This is a real issue, a daily struggle for many...
Powerful and so inspiring.
Thanks for sharing Leigh.

Nicole said...

Great entry! I like the idea that the choice to stay strong comes moment by moment.

Tara Tyler said...

excellent portrayal! i cant imagine!

Coleen Patrick said...

Such a tough struggle. Very powerful piece Leigh!

The Golden Eagle said...

I can't imagine going through that kind of inner conflict--thanks for sharing this story.

Kathryn Purdie said...

Wonderful short story. I also have friends and family who have dealt with addiction, and some have made amazing recoveries. But it's always hard, as you've shown here. We don't give enough credit to recovering addicts.

Louise Bates said...

Wow, Leigh, this was so inspiring! What an awesome message of hope and strength.

Tammy Theriault said...

wow I totally loved it in all the emotions you can feel just by reading.... I especially love the ending when she smiled that she was able to get through 1 more moment

Naila Moon said...

Very well written and I too have known people fighting addiction problems but winning.

I wanted you to know that I am featuring you this week on blog. COme by and thanks for following me.
~Naila Moon


Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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