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The Work. Part Two.

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

There was a lot of work that had to be done in the following weeks. The first week I spent sleeping, eating, and attending meetings. I was like a baby bird that needed to be nurtured and nourished back to life. It took two weeks for me to piss a clean drug screen. I was perplexed that the poison(dope) did not filter out sooner. I had my probation drug screen appointment coming up. The Monday before my appointment on Tuesday, no lie, I finally cleared a negative one. I was drinking water and taking over the counter medication to help flush out the toxins.

{In fact, earlier in February when I had relapsed the week at home, I had my drug screen. I drank shots of vodka before I left. I went to my probation appointment drunk with a confidence that I would not get caught. Eric thought I was completely insane. He told me not to go. I told him that I did not require testing for alcohol. I would be fine. Insanity. I walked my happy butt in the office and tried to pee. I was very dehydrated from the night before drunk fest with Eric. I began chugging water. I finally tested and it was negative. My next stop was the liquor store and then Zasby's to buy us all lunch.}

I had my checklist that I was slowly checking off. I met with my probation officer and was very grateful that she had not learned of my latest arrests. I only had a couple of months left and it would be terminated. I already had enough anxiety worried about my current pending charges while trying to get a decent job. By this point, I was visiting the kids every afternoon that I could. I would pick them up from daycare and cook them dinner. The uproar had diminished between Eric and me. We did not really acknowledge the other, but we kept the peace. The social services lady spoke to Eric and me. She closed the door to the opened case. I was glad it was over. Eric knew I was an excellent mother. That is why he always let me have access to the kids when I got sober. Eric's main concern was me driving the kids while intoxicated. My record had proven I drove while under the influence. I do not blame him for that. I would have never intentionally hurt my children. But I put them, me, and others at risk. I am so thankful today that God covered me from experiencing that heartache. I do not think I would have lived through it. I guess, I was always conflicted because I knew Eric took shots of vodka and drove the kids as well. My impairment may have been more noticeable, but I wrestled a long time with the punishment I received and the family's judgment while he did the exact same thing.

The next item on my checklist was attending Bentley's sixth birthday party at a nearby bowling alley. I was very heartbroken. This year Becky -Eric's mother planned the birthday party. I loved planning my kid's birthday (still do). I had always taken care of everything that concerned the kids. It was a slap in my face, and I am the one that caused it. Eric looked like 'dad of the year' as I appeared to be the 'mentally deranged' woman that could not stop using drugs, not even for my children. I remained strong and did not let anyone effect my affection and love for them. As far as I was concerned; they were my babies and everyone else could kiss my ass. I said my goodbyes, walked to Betsy (my car) and cried. I was hurting and embarrassed that I let myself go. I imagined the conversations they had about my rapid weight loss, piece of crap car, and clothes I wore. The words continued to echo in my will never be good enough. You should end your life now. I began to pray for strength as I was driving. I did not want to go back to the apartment. I wanted to drive off a cliff. I was low on money. I had yet to start looking for a job. I did not want to ask my dad for help. I was in tears from heartache, lack of money, lack of direction, and the battle with my own demons to live. The drugs were out of my system. I was in a very depressed state with paralyzing anxiety. I faked it the best I could. But there was no faking it when I was alone in my car.

I called my daddy. I was embarrassed to ask for more money; but I had to get a new tag and insurance for my car, or I would end up arrested again. I needed food, cigarettes and money for my anti-depressants. We talked small talk for a few minutes. He said, "Jill. You do not sound like you are okay. What do you need baby?" I tried my best to hold back my tears, but I could not. I sat in a parking lot crying to my daddy. He reminded me that "life is sometimes a shit sandwich." I would get through it. I had to stay mentally strong and get a job (money would solve 95% of my current issues). My daddy is not someone who believes in depression or that addiction is a disease. In the past, I held that against him. I am now emotionally mature enough to realize that people, including our own family, can only meet us where they are. My dad had not dealt with depression and addiction. It was foreign language to him. He did what he could do. He sent me money to a nearby Walmart. I will admit, a heaviness lifted after I spoke to him and received the money. I felt I now had a chance to move forward. Two more checks off the list after I took care of my tag and insurance.

As I look back, I am amazed that simple, everyday tasks were so difficult for me. I went from a very mature young lady who paid my own bills, bought my own vehicle, paid off my own student loan to a very co-dependent woman. Although, I did pay the bills and take care of our home life. I did not make my own money anymore; I became codependent on Eric, in a very unhealthy way. I wanted so bad to cut the cord between us; but I was incapable of fully releasing him from my life. I blamed it on the control he had over me with the kids. Truth was, I missed Eric. I missed my comfort zone.

All the change was difficult but somewhat exciting. I linked up with old friends from my AA meetings. Maverick and others boosted my self-confidence. I was seeing my babies. I was in steady prayer for the right job to come along. I went on a few interviews. I had a couple of job offers. The one I wanted was the patient care coordinator at a mental health clinic. It was not your typical clinic. It was a clinic that specialized in brain scans and holistic practices. Insurance was not accepted. It was pay out-of-pocket. It was an expensive and extensive three-day assessment. At the end of day three, your physiatrist would evaluate your results and give you a treatment plan. I loved the thought of helping other people. I could relate and was very empathetic, caring in nature, and was capable of learning new skills. I knew once I learned the computer systems it would be a piece of cake. I was good with people. I started the job. My new adventure. My new journey. I loved it. I made friends with the girls that worked there, and I was wonderful at it.

It had been two months since I had relapsed. What helped me rebound back so quickly is that I made a checklist, gave myself realistic expectations, and had support and someone in my corner. That is how I came back to life. I was happy. I started to feel like myself again. I gained back my independence. I paid my rent. My family was proud. Me and my dad helped pay the kids daycare bi-weekly. When I did not have meetings or worked late, I drove to put the kids to bed at night. I picked them up on Friday and took them back to Eric on Sunday afternoon. I had a positive attitude about my future. I was casually seeing someone else. But-I began dabbling into things, not substances, but relationships and psychics for internal satisfaction. It was subtle but impactful. I had one problem that always seemed to resurface. Me. I ignored the junk, suppressed my emotions, and ran back to my comfort zone. I did not want to face my pain. I wanted to move as far away as I possible could from it. I kept myself busy with work distractions, the kids, and my oddly new relationship with Maverick.

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