I’ve been holding off on posting because of the shame I’ve been experiencing associated with a short relapse I had at the beginning of this month.
The whole episode began last month when I fell into a sharp depression. This wasn’t too surprising. I’m bipolar and spent most of last year in a mildly manic state. Anyway, what goes up, must come down and I did just that… hard. I’m sure shooting dope, going on and off my meds and not eating half the time didn’t help either.
So, as the depression set in, a friend of mine from rehab this summer, E, decided she was at the end of her rope and ready to come in to treatment. I arranged for her to fly across the country and get into the facility I was at. This turned out to be a fateful decision. From the moment she arrived, it was clear she wasn’t ready to stop using yet. We got to talking and I, desperate to slake my depression, decided that going back on heroin would be a good way to feel better. It should be noted that, while the heroin would make me feel better in the short term, it would cause far more trouble in the long run.
We came up with a plan to bust out of treatment, sight-see for a week in town (while using) and then fly back across the country. When the day came, the whole thing went down perfectly and we were off and running (and using). Along with the using, I also ate almost nothing for the entire time I was out. I know it’s unhealthy, but I dropped down to a 30″ waist during this time. My eating disordered brain thought it was fantastic.
Everything was going fine until I checked in with my wife, less than 48 hours before our flight. She, fortunately, was able to make me see that I was acting crazy and repeating the same mistakes I had made last year. At the last minute, I changed my mind and begged to be let back into treatment (I was). I tried to get E to come with me, but she was set on flying, so we went our separate ways.
As soon as I got back in, after a mere five days of shooting dope, the depression returned, worse than ever. I eventually became suicidal and had to be checked into the hospital. I was there only briefly, during which time my medications were adjusted and I started to feel much better.
Now I’m back in treatment/sober living, a little bit wiser and a little bit poorer, but otherwise ok. I’ve changed my recovery program from being AA-centered to focusing on the Buddhist-based Refuge Recovery. Even though I’d rather not relapse again, I still can’t tell if I will at some point or not.