“Anything great will only be appreciated if I am given the opportunity to feel the absence of it, or experience the reversal of it. It is only then that I can even begin to understand its majesty and cherish it in the manner I should have all along.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough
WOW, it has been almost a year since I have written in here. Between this and my paper journal, I was so good for awhile. Then, I stopped with both. A lot has happened in the last year, and at the same time, not much has changed.
Kevin came home from rehab around December 22nd, 2015, and has been out ever since. We are both still on methadone maintenance, and we are both clean, which a few caveats. I stopped my every single day use over a year ago on November 3rd, 2015. In the last year, I have used probably 4 or 5 times, and I have not used once since March 20th, 2016. But even though March 21st is probably my “official” clean date, I have considered myself clean since November 2nd, 2015. Before that day, I was using every single day, multiple times a day, for three years. A couple random one-time uses in the last year is huge progress for me. That said, I still consider March 21st my clean date because I have not used even once since then, and I have pride in the fact that I am at 7 and a half months completly clean.
Kevin’s clean time is a bit more complicated. He has been largely clean since September 30th, 2015 (when he entered rehab). However, he too has used maybe 6 or so times since then. All the uses were one time uses, never a mini-binge or anything. Most recently, he used this past Saturday and Sunday, but for a reason. He missed his clinic on Saturday, and his clinic is closed on Sunday so they give bottles on Saturday for Sunday. Since he missed Saturday, he did not get his Saturday dose, nor his Sunday bottle. He had to work AND umpire this past weekend which he could not do sick, so he ended up buying a half bundle to sniff, just to get well. He apparently bought another half bundle on Sunday because he had used four on Saturday and after using one Sunday he still felt sick. So, yeah. He used, but it wasn’t for the purpose of getting high, and he got back to his methadone on Monday. It wasn’t something either of us were happy about his having to do, but I am happy that he didn’t shoot the bags like we did when we were in active addiction, he sniffed most of them and smoked one or two through his vape. He doesn’t consider this a relapse or a use, and considers himself clean since March like me… I tend to disagree, but whatever. The date and timeframe isn’t really important. What is important is how his life is going, and how he is managing his life and his addiction. His use didn’t lead to a slide back into active addiction and that is what is important.
As for me, I currently have 4 take home bottles which I love. I also recently got another new counselor. My first counselor, Sarah, that I had from July 2015 through the end of December 2015, was awesome. She helped me a lot. She was a big part of my support system that helped me to stop my everyday use back in November, and I just loved her and was devastated when she left. I was lucky to get a great replacement counselor, Heather. I had her from February 2016 until late August. I loved her too and was devastated once again when she told me she was leaving the clinic. Things were up in the air for awhile. Counselors were leaving my clinic left and right, and they were in the process of hiring a bunch of new people, and I was without a counselor all September. In October, I finally got a counselor named Kevin. I met with her for the first time on October 13th and I was really happy to learn that, just like Sarah and Heather, Kevin is a young 20-something woman. I feel much more comfortable with female counselors, and I like having a counselor who is near my age. I have only met with Kevin 3 times so far, but I really like her. She’s very nice and she’s funny, and we get along great, so I am very relieved about that. Unlike Heather, she has been bringing up my lack of a general practioner at every meeting, and also has been bringing up my taking the Bar exam. The doctor thing I get, and I do plan to get one in the coming months, but I really hope she lets up on bringing up the Bar EVERY time because I’m just not ready to take it yet.
As far as methadone maintenance goes, it has been a real life saver as far as getting Kevin and I clean. However, it is not without its drawbacks. I have been experiencing some serious side effects from the methadone of increased sweating, cravings for sweets, and weight gain. The sweating is out of control, as is the weight gain, and the cravings for sweets definitly are not helping with the latter. To combat some of these side effects, I recently acquired Vitadone. For those who don’t know, Vitadone is a multi-vitamin that is specially made for people on methadone maintenance, and it is supposed to help with the excessive sweating, with the cravings for sweets, and with regularity, and it contains a ton of vitamins and minerals that are just good for you in general. It is missing Iron though, so that people with Hep-C can use it, and the Calcium it contains is not very impressive, so I may buy and beging taking a Calcium and an Iron supplement because, as a woman, those are two vitamins I despeartely need. Besides those two things, though, it is a very comprehensive multi-vitamin and I am hoping to see some results. It is not cheap so I only bought a 1 month supply to start so I can test it out and see if it really works. I am really hoping it does help because the sweating is out of control.
The weight gain is also a huge problem. I have NEVER been as big as I am right now, and I hate it. I finally decided recently to stop sitting around on my fat ass and to do something about it, and so I started Weight Watchers. Now, I was not stupid enough to pay $20 per month for WW’s official app, when I could get a different app for a one time $4 purchase that could do pretty much everything the WW app can. I downloaded iTrack Bites on October 30th and began tracking everything. iTrack Bites lets you choose from any of the 3 WW programs: the original program from before 2011; Points Plus which they had from 2011-2015; and SmartPoints which is their new plan. I chose Points Plus because a lot of people online expressed happiness with that program and said they had good results, and also because the SmartPoints program gives sugary foods much higher point values than Points Plus.
I love sugar as it is and the methadone makes those cravings even stronger. I know myself and I knew that if I tried to make too extreme a change by cutting out most or all of the sweet foods I love, I would eventually end up saying “fuck it” and quitting altogether. I knew I would have a better time sticking to my diet if I was mainly eating fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, while also still being able to get my sugar fix each day so long as it fit within my daily points. And it seems that I was right! Now, it has only been about a week and a half, but I have been doing really well. I have not gone over my daily points one time. I get 31 points per day plus 49 points per week, but last week I did not use a single one of my weekly points, and I think I am going to try to keep that up. The weekly points are really (I believe) supposed to be a safety net for if you go over. They are also there so that you can still enjoy going out to restaurants and drinking alcohol without completely blowing your points goals. Since I don’t go out to restaurants often and I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t have much of a reason to use them. I am not even sure how any could lose weight if they ate all their dairly points and weekly points each week, so that’s why I don’t plan to use any of them if I can help it. Like I said, the diet has been going well, and I feel like I might have lost some weight, but I won’t really know for a few weeks. All I can do is keep it up and hope it is enough to combat the methadon weight gain effect. If the eating is not enough on its own in a few weeks, I think that is when I will begin adding exercise.
Speaking of exercise, I am debating between PIIT28 (or just using Cassey’s Blogilates monthly calendars), BBG, and Goddess Training Program for my workout routine. BBG is not really for beginners so I most likely will not start with that, but might take it up later. Blogilates and Goddess, though, can be easily modified for beginners. Blogilates is like fast paced Pilates/yoga exercise videos that exclusively use your own body weight to build lean muscle and burn fat. Goddess Training Program, conversely, is all about going to the gym and lifting weights 3 days a week, while taking long walks on non-lift days. Both seem like great programs. I really want to do Goddess, but I hate going to the gym, and I don’t really know much about weight lifting so I feel like I would need someone to come and help me, and Kevin is not currently a member of my gym. Maybe I can work on getting him a membership and we could go together. That would be ideal.
I can’t believe we are already approaching Christmas AGAIN. I spent so much money on gifts last year, I definitely need to reel that in this year. I don’t have that much to spend. I think Kevin and I will just have to each buy gifts for our own families and put both names on all the gifts. I will buy for my mom, dad, brother, sister, and grandparents, and put both our names, and he can buy for his mom, sister, nephew, aunt, and dad, and put both our names. That way we don’t both have to buy gifts for all those people. I also need to spend less on each person than I did last year. I have no idea what to get anyone besides my sister. I already bought her a pair of Lularoe leggings in solid black, which are apparetnly really hard to find so I was so stoked to find them for her. I’m going to get her a top to go with the leggings. Other than her though, I have NO idea what anyone wants. I will have to start sneakily asking or something. Or I could just do gift cards. I always love getting gift cards so maybe that would be the best option for my brother. For my parents… I don’t know. I’ll have to think on that. I made my own Christmas list to give to my mom and grandma, and Kevin’s mom and aunt, because they all have been asking me for lists. I pretty much just put long black and white shirts (to wear with my new Lularoe leggings that I LOVE), make up, and a couple books. All things I really need and would love.
This entry is getting to be obscenely long so I will end it here. Hopefully this is the beginning of me being better about writing in here, but who knows. Only time will tell.