I’ll start this one be saying that no one starts out in life wanting to be an addict. No child responds to the infamous question of, “what do you want to be when you grow up?’ with the remark “a drug addict”. Eventually I think its safe to assume that we all become addicted to to something at least once in our lifetimes. No I don’t mean only chemicals. Addicted to exercise, books, meditation etc. These things don’t always cause problems but my point is that we can all grasp the basic foundation of how a chemically dependent addict feels because most of us have been or will be addicted to something in our lifetimes, weather its a good thing to be addicted to said thing or not.
When I started treatment, the doctor who had been prescribing me the pain medication for my back gave me a 30 day “taper” off of the pills That I had been taking for almost 5 years. The treatment facility I attend is an abstinence based program but agreed to let me starting classes while I tapered off of the medication. Everyday in class we say “clean and sober until we meet again.” This made me uncomfortable because I said it…but I wasn’t sober yet. I felt like that was cheating. Cheating my peers and myself. This just drove my determination.
Who is ready to hear the good part? My name is Brittany Tayler Schlotman and I have been 100% clean and sober for the last 7 days. Not one Tramadol. Gone. Done. Over. And i can hardly hold back tears as I type this. I had never made it past 12 hours without the medication before. That is 640,988 heartbeats since being sober. And every one of those heartbeats, beats towards life. Freedom. A second chance.
I am not through the woods yet. Not by a long shot. My recovery will stretch a lifetime. I will always have addiction in my blood. But i will not surrender to it again. I have spend hours and hours trying to calculate all the things that surrendering to this disease took from me, what I let it take from me. But then I woke up and you know what I realized? What is more important than what I lost…Is what I have gained. Then, now and beyond. I see a future beyond this. There was always a light at the end of the tunnel…I just didn’t turn around to see it. Now I have.