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September 19 • Again with the Again

Day 803


I did it again.


I guess it is one of the common frailties of addicts to relive and recommit mistakes, but if I never say that phrase again, it will be too soon.


Yesterday, I was so pumped about my clean thoughts and the lack of struggles that I asked my wife if I could read my journal entry to her. Although she has complete freedom to read them anytime or to ask me to read to her, I rarely ask to do that. Last night I sensed that she was reluctant to hear for some reason, and I should probably have deferred, but I wanted her to know that I'd had a really good day. I thought that's what she would get from my words, but my track record on correctly anticipating her reactions to such reveals should have been a clue for me to be careful.


It did not go well, from my perspective, at least. There were a couple of phrases that served as triggers for her, a couple more that suggested I still struggle all the time even when I say I'm not, and a general missed reception of what I thought was an optimistic tone.


What I wrote yesterday was not celebrating the lack of long, laborious, temptatious wallowing in my addiction; I rarely have those days anymore. But my past habits and fantasies still lie in the grass waiting for vulnerable moments to take cheap shots at me, and that often happens many times an hour. Nine times out of ten, I'm able to release those intruders within seconds, and the tenth time might last thirty seconds before I realize what I'm doing and run whatever fire drill is appropriate to quash the sneaky little bastards. But what she heard made her question my honesty with her and me. I get it. I would have thought the same thing.


This balance between what I feel, what I felt, what I communicate, and what is communicated is tough. It sometimes requires brutal honesty, and other times the common sense to tell a fellow addict instead of the person dearest to me. I'd always rather tell her. She even said last night that the more uncomfortable misunderstandings we have, the fewer we'll have. I guess that makes sense, but it's good to know that she believes that.


Still, I weary of the shame that is stirred in me and the pain that is shaken in her by the very acts that I think will be well-received. I need it to get better before I get weaker. That sounds like an ultimatum and one that I have no standing to express or expect. Still, that's how it feels.


All is well this morning, despite the hole I dug for myself last night. Today I'll try to be both smarter and more vulnerable. How the hell do I do that?


One day at a time.


–JR

 

I'm gonna smile my best smile

And I'm gonna laugh like it's going out of style

Look into her eyes and pray that she don't see

That learning to live again is killing me


–Garth Brooks, “Learning to Live Again"

 


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