History’s Lessons: Actions in Addiction and the Resistance Ahead

“Quote words that affirm all men and women are your brothers and sisters.”

-Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams  

Days Sober: 110


When my husband was using my bones were brittle from stress, my back bent with burden, my walk labored with stress,  my mind tired from the worry, my thinking distorted by anxiety.  Since my husband has been sober and home from rehab, life has been easier. My husband is 110 days sober today, he is back at work, going to meetings, and taking the Vivitrol shot along with counseling every 30 days. We are talking and connecting again and enjoying life’s simple pleasures as a married couple; shopping, cooking, movies, breakfast, date nights. Much of the heaviness that comes from living in the day to day of active addiction has fallen from my shoulders, a forgiving of the tremendous load, my curved back straightening, my mind clearing.  A few weeks ago I remember thinking, this must be what life is like for “normal” people (whoever that is…right?). 

Days since Donald Trump took the office of Presidency of the United States: 7

It has been a long week. We are living in a shadowy time. A time that threatens religious, gender, and racial persecution, that promises censorship and “alternative facts”, that is wrought with corruption, conflicts of interest, and greed, a government that houses a white supremacist and self-enriching billionaires, that will realize mass deportations, contain more humans in detention centers, ramp up militarized policing, with possible reinstatement of torture, a time of Muslim bans, a turning away of the refugee, probable repeal of healthcare for millions, building of toxic pipelines, climate change and science denial, enactment of voter and protest suppression, nominations against civil rights and public education, and policies against women and reproductive rights. I have to admit, many of the old feelings are coming back, the darkness I experienced when my husband was using. Feelings of exhaustion, devastation, fear, helplessness, frustration, anger.  The tremendous weight, the burden to shoulder…well…it’s back. It weighs heavy on my heart. My back may be bending, but I will not let it break. My heart may be heavy, but I will not let it break. 

As I reflect back on the obstacles I have faced, that I still face, with my husband’s opioid addiction, I realize I have much to learn from my history with addiction. The actions I took when my husband was using will serve me in the days that lie ahead.

-Take Care of Myself: I will be no good if I’m a wreck. I must remember to sleep, eat nutritiously, exercise, and turn off social media. I will allow myself to unplug and do things I enjoy like watch HBO, read, do yoga, and spend time with friends. I will allow myself to take breaks from the news and I won’t feel guilty. I will continue to go to therapy. 

-Education: Ignorance is bliss, but it is not an option. I must continue to educate myself and stay in the know with facts.  I will not normalize or fall into a state of complacency. 

-Support: I will continue to support myself and my husband in sobriety. I will support those in need in the community. 

-Action: I will dedicate at least 40-60 minutes per week to take small actions to enact change. That may be petitions, emails, letters, or calls to senators and reps;  meetings with groups, acts of civil disobedience, or marches. 

-Community: I will stay engaged in my community, offer my time and support to local groups when I can, and help others around me.  I will participate in community actions and offer my time and assistance to grassroots organizations.

-Work: I will not get distracted from my work treating children with communication disorders and their families (and I need a job of course). I will continue to write in my blog. 

-Marriage: I will support my husband to do his part during these dark times, and that is to keeping working the steps and stay sober. He is staying off of social media in order to remain centered and focused on sobriety.

My struggle with addiction has allowed me to discover my voice. Your voice. Our voices. They take shape in many forms and we all have our own role. All of you whose blogs I follow, who follow me here, you have powerful voices; I believe now they are more important than ever. 

Our voices of resistance take shape in the smallest and biggest of undertakings. Across diverse modes, in multifaceted expression.  In the way we live our everyday lives. Resistance and love resounds in

the work that we do

the people that we support

the art we create 

the words that we speak 

the prose that we write

the thoughts that we share 

the dialogue we exchange

the facts we demand 

the songs that we sing

the dances we choreograph 

the research we do

the prayers we recite 

the science we investigate 

the spirituality we cultivate 

the love that we give 

the way that we listen 

the actions we take 

the choices we make 

2016 was a year of obstacles. In 2016 and in the face of adversity and addiction I said yes to love and no to divisiveness. I said yes to strength and no to defeat. I said yes to self-worth and no to stigma.  I said yes to empathy and no to judgement.  I said yes to independence and no to codependence. I said yes to knowledge and no to denial. I said yes to connection and no to detachment. I discovered a deeper compassion and shaped my voice. I will do the same in 2017 and moving forward always. I will do this in spite of the times, I will do this because of the times. Because in these times I MUST. I will continue in love, compassion, action, and resistance by learning from history’s lessons. 

As for this country, well, I hope we can learn from history as well. I fear what will happen if we do not. 

I will leave you with some pictures from the Women’s March (NYC)

One last thing. I found this website with scripts, numbers, and actions you can take by making calls if you have any concerns. It’s so freaking easy. Your voice matters! 

https://5calls.org/

Peace and stay strong everyone. 

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20 thoughts on “History’s Lessons: Actions in Addiction and the Resistance Ahead

  1. Really beautiful post. Acceptance is so important today. In today’s America too. I relate to how futile it feels to “just do the best I can” when the object reality is so stark and bleak.

    I’m glad you’re passionate about mass incarceration. I am too. It is a modern day slavery. And it’s sickening. Starting in the 90s with the crack down on first-time offenders. Targeting black people. Just awful. Our school is seen Brian Stevenson speak on Friday. Have you read his book or heard about him? The book is just mercy, and I really recommendit. Totally eye-opening

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Mark, just doing the best I can…it’s been a rough week!!! Yes our prison system is a for-profit atrocity. It is the modern slavery/Jim Crow. Disproportionate number of minorities, black men and women, higher numbers of mentally ill incarcerated than in hospitals, and disproportionate number of people who suffer from addiction and poverty. The numbers of humans we have detained in the millions in this country are unmatched…and the prison industrial complex is for profit with “quotas” they must meet, or states (taxpayers) pay. Ugh it’s just despicable. I will check out that book, I have not heard of it. Thank you! Did you read Michelle Alexander’s book: The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the age of Colorblindness. It’s amazing but be prepared to be appalled and disturbed. It may be too much to take with everything else going on, certainly one for the list. Also if you google Angela Davis, Prisons there is a free PDF paper online called “are prisons obsolete”, older but good read! And if you have Netflix check out documentary 13th. Unfortunately with my husbands drug problem we have had our own issues with arrests and jail…I believe it would have been much worse if he was not white. Love your thoughtful comments and discussion as always. ✌🏽️🙏🏼

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve read Michelle Alexander but haven’t seen the 13th. Although, I am planning on showing it to my African-American literature class this semester! My masters thesis was on Afro-Am Lit. I think that viewpoint is the most honest and refreshing in our history.

        I’ll let you know what Bryan Stevenson is like in person! We see him tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am really happy your husband is doing well.
    I know my hubs is so much lighter and happier now that I have been sober for awhile!
    Your posts help me understand the pain I caused him.
    Self care is vital for both the addict as well as the person who loves him/her.
    But your post is also timely for me, as I am heavy with what Trump is doing to our country.
    I put the website up on my bookmarks, so I can at least make those calls.
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am so glad I can offer that perspective. Sobriety is such a gift, it is life! I agree, it is a scary and disturbing time in this country, I fear the direction we are headed, it feels like a spiraling of sorts. Call, write letters, show up, do anything you can!!! My husband, so early in recovery, is just focusing on his sobriety, and supporting me while I march! I guess we all have a job to do. Stay strong. ❤️🙏🏼✌🏽️

      Liked by 1 person

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