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Avatar universal

looking in the mirror

Ever look at yourself in the mirror and think who is this person staring back at me??

What do you see??

First I see a brown haired brown eyed 42 year old that still can hold her own.....I'm sexy and I know it.......but I didn't always feel sexy. I used to feel dirty. I felt like a monster at times. I felt like killing myself at times. I felt like crawling in a hole at times........BUT today I feel sexy....and I know it.

I know how hard it is to put down pills. I tried and tried and tried before. How I managed to get these many days without MY MEDICINE amazes me......it humbled me.......it scares me to think of the amounts I took and didn't die.

Our bodies are a wonderful thing. Grisly awesome.

So back to the mirror......so I see this beautiful women starring back at me. And I ask myself WHO IS SHE.

MIRRORS DON'T SHOW INNER BEAUTY OR EVIL. Cause when I was looking.....I saw my monster I keep locked up. My addiction. My weakness.......

Addiction is an awful word. Junky is worst. Junky conjors up pictures of a skinny dirty greasy hair homeless person begging for money for their next fix. And dragging a greasy dirt stained backpack around.

But hey this is the NEW MILLENIUM..and junkies are made in the doctors office. All nice neat and sterail. We are mothers or fathers..sisters daughters brothers friends co workers church memebers WE CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY

We are what is referred to as FUNCTIONING ADDICTS.

With the wonders of modern medicine. Along with an instant gratification society we justify our addiction by saying......its only medicine....its prescribed by our doctor. And he or she knows best.....do they???

We take our medicine to WORK feed our families get things done....And TO STOP THE PAIN.... Welcome to a new addict. It isn't a dirty back street dingy alley full of crime and criminals anymore...m.doctors are the new dealers in town. Insurance is the currency. Medicine is the new high.

Because its PACKAGED SO NEATY its hard to stop. It's easy to get caught up in the game. I am an expert at this game. I play it well. Don't you??

This is middle America..MEDICINE IS A SILIENT SCURGE DESTROYING US. AND......

So anyways there I am standing in the mirror with. Huge question.....WHO  AM I NOW!!

The detox is done. Withdrawals over cravings are well....they come and go. I don't see the pinned dry mouth trying to hide ashamed women. I see pride and confidince a look of determination.....a woman who literally returned from the pits of hell to come back and help others.

Yet when I look in the mirror some more I can see self infected damage....wrinkles starting to form. Awkward social skills depression. Estrangement. And I think who is she?? What happened to BAMA?? IS BAMA THERE?? IS THIS WHO I AM??

Bama is a sucsessful business woman. She is fun. Sometimes really funny. She dresses well. Drives a cool car. Wears cool clothes. Has a hot husband. Good looking kids she limps around constantly in pain. But she usually gets the job done.....Bama has seen a lot. Maybe too much. Bama can get really sad. She's also bitter. She's angry. She has seen too much tradgity.

Bama also is warm and understanding. She wants every one to sucseed. Shes a cool cat.....too cool.

Bama has a dark secret......she's a addict. Bama destroys Bama. She's a price of work alright. A piece of work......Bama is Bama. Good or bad.

Bama has FINALLY ACCEPTED HERSELF FULLY. ALL OF HERSELF.

What I am trying to say is when one finally accepts themselves one can and will start to heal. Addiction is a disease. But you can use addiction as a tool. To better yourself. To better your neighbor. To help yourself and other addicts.

Maybe as your reading this your thinking....yeah right....she's a nut. True true I am a nut....almonds in your almond joy. Peanut in your m&ms....

Maybe your the nut sitting next to me on the almond joy.....I don't know??!!  But I do know with sheer determination willpower a willingness to change your course of action and thinking you WILL BEAT THIS MONSTER. OR AT LEAST LOCK HIM IN HIS CAGE.

NEVER EVER EVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELVES...EVER. YOU ARE WORTH IT IN THE END. YOUR HERE FOR A REASON. YOU HAVE PURPOSE.

Don't let the medicine rule your life for another second. Minute. Hour or day. Please. I beg you. I wasted eight years on that stuff. And finally.....

You can and will get off the medicine. I know its hard. It's a challange. But anything worth while is......

Sorry to ramble tonight. I want you to beat this. All that your experiencing is ok. It will make you who you are. It will be ok. It will work out.
30 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm asking everyone to think outside the box...and find YOUR INNER BEAUTY.
Avatar universal
This is fantastic..thx for sharing. Two weeks  clean..functioning addict..mom,wife,daughter,sister  and friend. Praying for peace of mind...thx again bama
822153 tn?1333066595
Hey girl...great post. I think we all need to take that look in the mirror;a good hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves some tough questions. We are addicts. But we are people,too. I believe we have good hearts. I believe that (most of us anyways) see the best in people first and tend to overlook the bad. We ALL have flaws;nobody is perfect. If you think you are than you need to be standing in front of the mirror a little longer than the rest of us,lol. This journey we are on is one filled with pain,heartbreak,anger,anxiety,etc. But,it is also full of lessons,if we only stop to listen long enough.

We are all here for a reason. Those reasons may vary slightly from person to person,but the bottom line is that we're addicts and we need support. We are all at different stages in this journey as well. We all need different things,too. If you're just starting out on the path to cleanliness,good luck. It will be hard. You will be faced with challenges-you must make the right choice for you. Do you want to use today or do you want to be clean? No matter what stage of the game you're at,that question must be asked daily. We control whether or not we use. Are we going to come up with some excuse to try to justify using,only to beat ourselves up afterwards? Guess what? There is NO good reason to use. None. And trust me-you will feel guilty afterwards and blame yourself for awhile. If quitting were that easy,none of us would be here now would we?

Sorry for the long reply!! Just wanted to add my 2 cents to the post started by Bama. If you're just starting out,take small steps so as not to overwhelm yourself. Take it hour by hour vs day by day at first. Set achievable goals for you to reach to help build up your self confidence. Post (or read post),reach out and make new friends. Use this site as it is full of useful information. Start the Addiction Tracker if you haven't already done so. Visually seeing your progress as well as your symptoms helps a ton.

"In order for the light to shine so brightly,the darkness must be present."~Sir Francis Bacon

Stay strong everyone!!
Avatar universal
That was amazing. I too am a functioning addict....sister, daughter, girlfriend, aunt. Thank you so much. I really needed to read tgis tonight. Today is day 18 for me.
Avatar universal
There's my girl. I like your two cents. I think its worth a nickel hee hee.
2083449 tn?1381358308
Hi Bama! Ya know what I see? I see a 53 year old woman, who is about 10 days off her pain pills! She is 53, but looks about 65! She is about 15 pounds underweight, and her bones stick out around her collar! Her skin is dry and wrinkly on her face as well as her legs and arms! There are deep worry lines across her forehead. Her lips are chapped and peeling. Her hair is thinning and has been falling out in handfuls. There are deep, dark circles all around her eyes, not just underneath! Her actual eyes are dull and flat looking, where they used to be bright blue and sparkly! She is scared to let anyone see her who knows her because they will be shocked. She wonders how did this happen? Will she ever look "normal" again? Will the anxiety ever go away? Will she ever get into a deep sleep? Will she ever have good, happy dreams instead of nightmares? Will she ever enjoy food again? Will she ever smile? Well, will she?
1970885 tn?1435864028
You gotta stop writing that stuff...I got tear stains all over my computer keyboard - surprised it didn't short out. My wife asked me what I was reading because I had to keep wiping my eyes. She's never had our problem, so I told her it was something on the forum. She smiled and said "good". She could see how it was helping me. Thanks.
Avatar universal
As sonrissa what you see today is a woman who has been thru h e l l. But she is here. She battled and has the scars. She worried is she gonna make it out. She is slaying a dragon. She is tired. I bet even though her eyes are dull they show wisdom. She has knowledge. She is skinny cause there wasn't any food in her battle. But she is standing. And everyday she recovers she gets stronger...her hair will grow back cause she's not pulling it out. Her face will soften. She will get those clear crisp blue eyes back... They will twinkle again. Maybe not tomorrow....but they will. Her body will fill out and firm up cause she is taking care of herself.......she will radiate her inner beauty out. Her heart will show thru all the scars ...wounds...like a beacon for other addicts to see....she will shine so brightly I will need my sunglasses. It will come my darling. I will bring you hack to the mirror in 60 -90 days. And you will see a new woman. And she will he sexy.....and she will know it. And she will cry tears of joy. She will accept herself. She will have her hair fixed. Face on. Confidence and pride gleaming like diamonds. She will turn to Bama and dance...

Kyle will see a sensitive strong man. Full of hope. He will he handsome and dance for his wife....he is sexy and she knows it. I bet kyles eyes are deep with soul. I het I can see inside Kyle. His battles peek thru his pupils. Kyle has a warm comfortable smile. Kyle is appoachable. Kyle likes to hold his wife. I can see his love for his wife while he is standing in the mirror. I can see Kyle shyly looking at himself. Asking his relextion..is that me??? And really looking. Soaking up The New Kyle. Kyle is a ole soul. Warm and fuzzy. He likes to comfort people. He used to make people laugh....but the war took his humor.
Avatar universal
And my dear sweet sonrissa you'll be plump from all the foods you forgot about. Not fat. But juicy. Men won't stop looking at you cause they want a bite. Sonrissa will sing Dianna Ross songs...I will survive. With a sexy Cheri outfit. And her smile.....ill need Ray bans. I love you sonrissa. I know you. I've been you. I am you. But don't let what you see define you baby. 18 days out of the pits of hell will make your hair stand up. You saw the truth of addiction. You killed the dragon. War isn't pretty is it. Yet time heals all wounds. And I will invite you to the mirror in 60 days. I know your smile will shine like diamonds. And your eyes will show me the ocean. And you'll be sexy plump.
Avatar universal
Kyle. Do you want me to stop writing these types of posts or do they help



Next person please. Tell us what you see.
2083449 tn?1381358308
Thank you! Don't mean to be a downer, but I'm kind of at that stage and I wanted to write how it is for me now! Not giving up hope! The goal is in sight, but still some hills to climb! My legs are just tired of climbing right now! Anxiety is at full blast! But, I'm working through it! You inspire me! I've lurked and read your story for a long time! I really appreciate the boost up!
495284 tn?1333897642
COMMUNITY LEADER
I see a 51 yr old in the mirror.  I see battle scars(wrinkles) and some gray hair popping thru.  I see my healthy looking skin, my healthy looking hair.  My eyes are deep blue and they can penetrate your soul.  They are no longer bloodshot with black bags hanging half way down my face.  I am no longer scared to look in the mirror,death isnt staring back at me.  What i see now is a kind, caring, loving and sometimes a hard a$$ looking back at me.  I have to smile at times as i am thinking to myself, you've come a long way baby.  Yep it's all good~~~
Avatar universal
All good. And I knew you were a hard axx but that's you. And we love you. Your the glue that holds us together Sarah. I owe you my life in ways. I see a inteligent woman who has a heart of gold under that don't mess with me attitude. I see a warm caring woman who wants to inform people who are walking down the wrong path. I can see here with her mega phone....danger is down there. Road closed turn around. She is a well meaning good soul. And is respected by me. I love you Sara. You've helped me see the truth.
495284 tn?1333897642
COMMUNITY LEADER
Breaking down my walls has been a real tough thing for me.  I was actually surprised to find out i was rather a softy(shhhhh!)  I am very passionate about this addiction.  I see people struggling and it breaks my heart.  I am really proud of where you are at now.  You have been a challenge!!!!  Dont let that guard down for a second and dont let anyone or anything stand in your way.  hugs bama~~~sara
Avatar universal
I will take that as a huge compliment. Thank you. I will always be a challenge Sara part of us are a lot alike. Strong females. I just was caught up in the race. And with everything else flying around...very stressful. And I can be a stubborn ole jackass. Bit that's not so bad....jackasses can carry a lot of weight. And manuver down steep trails. I knew you cared a lot. I could feel it. What you say is to get someone's attention male them think.
495284 tn?1333897642
COMMUNITY LEADER
My dad used to always tell me i was the most stubborn person he had ever met!  Said i was like that as a young pup.  Little did he know i was exactly like him.  I remember reading some of your posts and all i heard was excuses, it was like reliving my life.  I would sometimes think does she not hear herself?  I could always answer that question at the same time..NOPE as i remember me doing the same thing.  Finally, the jacka$$ thing....I am the queen of this one only now i can admit when i am being one!!!  lol
2161407 tn?1337542302
This is an amazing post and echoes many thoughts that have been flooding my mind this weekend.  I spent a weekend with my niece and she kept saying to me..WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  You look 10 years younger.  And you're laughing.  Drugs do not discriminate.  There is not stereotypical face of a junkie anymore.  I never used the word addict applied to me until I found this forum on Day Two.  Now I use it freely.  I am a drug addict.  And I will always be a drug addict who is now free of those controlling pills that destroyed 9 years of my life.  24 days today.

When I look in the mirror I see a 58 year old successful business woman who is creative of mind and spirit.  My mind and spirit have been drugged so long I forgot what I was capable of.  I forgot how to spend a good 30 minutes in my garden watching a mama bird feed her baby mouth to mouth.  I forgot to see a chipmunk sneak under the bird feeder, stuffing his mouth with as much as possible and with cheeks bursting run right towards me, stop, and look up as if saying... I didn't do anything.  I see a woman who is heading into one of the biggest business meetings of her life today, PREPARED.  Not winging it. Not simply functioning.  But with a plan and a strategy and..get this..confidence.  I am competent. That feels right.
Avatar universal
I see a 36 year old mother and wife..tired beyond belief..but so anxious I feel like a caged animal..i get outside and run..never ran a day in my life..guess im tryimg to run away from something that will be woth me forever. Did I forever alter my brain chemistry? Will I ever feel like the person I was before? Wish I never accepted that first script..was up to 6 vikes a day..stopping before I end up taking double that amount..I see someone who felt intitled to numb myself for having a special needs.child.and holding my Dads hand while he died last year..who the f am I? People deal with these obstacles in life everyday without.chemicals...im so tired.
2198453 tn?1343248340
This post is amazing and I am not just saying that. I was inspired by your poetic words and the truth they posses! I just want to say that you certainly don't need anyone to tell you your self worth and I admire that! Do share your secrets to recovery and surviving after the fact! Perhaps you wouldn't mind a friend request? I feel I can learn a lot from an established, successful lady as yourself! ;)
1801781 tn?1461633069
Bama you always amaze me, you always have.  You have taken some cold old lemons from the refrigerator and made a delicious lemonade that will nourish us.  I agree with pretty much all that you said and you said it far better than I ever could.  I see a woman of 60 who let her life pass her by..it was safer and more comfortable and who needs to enjoy the sun a anyway?  Better to stay safe and at home and not risk being hurt as I walk thru the front door.  The pills kept me safe and unconcerned and happy or so I thought.  I did not have to worry about my husband's mental health and drinking issues, I did not have to think about finding out at the age of 57 that I was adopted.  I did not have to think about my daughter's ex-boyfriend dieing from a gunshot over $40 while he was delivering their pizza.  I did not have to think.  So now, I am thinking and dealing and struggling to find out who I am.  I am a mother of two wonderful children, who someone managed to dig themselves out of a family who had many many problems and found lives that I almost envy!  I am so proud of them and hope they learned from our mistakes.  

I have been so lucky to have this board and my life.  I just did not know it until now.  Not really, not in my soul.

Bama, you have my deepest respect..as do all of you here who helped me find a little of myself again.  I am still a work in progress as we all are.

Avatar universal
Hello my dear friend,

  Yes, i have looked in the mirror many times, actually, for me the last time i looked in the mirror i saw myself as a skelton, and i freaked out, I was high as a kite and freaked out and then passed out on the floor!!!!  That was my wake up call, i remember we had such a LONG conversations and then something clicked and thats when i decided i need to go away i need REHAB!!!! Holy $h1T!  I hate the fact that i allowed my life to come to that/this the sober me.  I do not see my self as sexy and i never will and i am perfectly OK with that, but i can tell you I am actually much happier person now than on pills.  I am not going to lie i loved the high but the pills turn on you fast and loose control and its a miracle that i am alive.  So for that i owe it to myself my second chance at life to hold on to my sobriety with everything i got!!!!!

I can't thank you enough for our friendship you have helped me through the biggest decision i have ever had to have made and we made a packed that we were " IN IT TO WIN IT" !!!!!

LOVE your definition of "addict", i couldn't agree more.  I am so proud of you,  so freaking proud of you, you are one tuff cookie!!!!   Your determination and will power is what i admire!

XO



PS: OHH yes i can play the game very well!!!
495284 tn?1333897642
COMMUNITY LEADER
Game on sister girlfriend!!  lol
1416133 tn?1351126817
well said dane!
Avatar universal
Jhh
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