What Did I Expect?

It's been over 130 days now. I have been free from using for over four months.

And I still think about using every day.

This is a bit frustrating, because I kind of hoped 90 days would be the cut off point. The point at which I stopped needing it so badly. But it still gnaws at me. On some level I feel like I'm still just staving off the inevitable moment when I fall back into using. Part of me feels like my freedom is a sham.

But yesterday the title of this post popped into my head, and brought with it all the context I'll lay out below. What did I Expect?

Did I expect thirty-some-odd years of off and on again addiction to disappear in three months? Did I think that the deep, deep ruts I've made in my brain would smooth out and disappear in a matter of weeks?

Did I expect this to be that easy?

And in a surprising way, that thought was comforting. This fight isn't over. It won't be for a long time. I'm not failing because total freedom wasn't achieved in three months, I'm still winning because I'm still resolved to win, and I work towards “winning” day after day. Every. Single. Day.

So the urges can come and I will fight. The desperation can set in and I will weather it. The guilt and shame and depression and attack and I will call on every resource at my disposal to assuage them. And I mean all of them. I have been more open with my spouse and religious leaders this time, letting them help me and letting them know that I need their help. I have been more serious about my therapy, letting those who are skilled in addiction recovery help me overcome my weakness.

What did I expect? Did I expect I would be free? Yep.

And I still expect that, someday, I will be. I got the timing wrong, but that doesn't mean I was entirely wrong. I'm in this for the long fight. And this time I brought backup.