I was supposed to meet my landlord today. Ostensibly to pay my rent, but also to talk about moving to a ground floor apartment. I really want to move back upstairs.
He never showed up.
So I cleaned and rearranged. And watched shows on TV. I’ve been playing a good bit with Google Chromecast. It’s a handy gadget that adds a lot of function to a TV. And I digress…
I need a ground floor flat. Condo. House. Van down by the river. Something. I really need to move back upstairs.
I lived upstairs once, I think back on my house in Atlanta. The house upstairs. Also the house that was foreclosed upon due to losing my job, after some illness. The house with a woman I loved, might have had kids with. It’s a hard thing to face – even harder to admit – losing everything, sober, clean, in recovery.
But it is part of my history. I had grown so ill. I couldn’t move 10 feet without vertigo flooring me. Even sitting, breaking into a sweat, hyperventilating. And the roaring, there was always a roaring whine, like a jet engine next to a waterfall. Sometimes like bubbling mud. It was wicked. Doctors could see it – the surface symptoms, I had episodes in their office. But all their tests and instruments couldn’t say what it was.
So for years – it wasn’t. A mystery medical condition. A big unknown.
I lost everything to the unknown. Eventually they named it, after a doctor acted on a hunch and did some diagnosis by exclusion. Meniere’s disease.
Not that it helped. There wasn’t a good treatment. So they treated the symptoms. Some of them. I had developed quite a few. But there came a point where I asked myself ‘what’s the point?’ It was like my life had exploded into dozens of fires that needed attention. I couldn’t keep up. I lost everything. I lost my upstairs.
So I eventually found myself tossing back handfuls of oxycodone, clonazepam, and Everclear. I didn’t care. I had managed to arrange regular prescriptions of these things for valid conditions, except the Everclear. Not that it matters. 190 proof liquor is beyond the average buzz. Everclear alone is oblivion.
I’ve spent the days since Labor Day 2017 preoccupied with wondering why… wondering how one goes to such heights: The house, the fiance, the kicking job – all outcomes of recovery – to nothing. To tossing back handfuls of pills, knowing I just killed myself, and not caring. To repeatedly waking up in the hospital, finally with a CNA bedside under a presumption of suicidal intent. I’ve been in recovery since, but I haven’t recovered me. My groove. My ‘upstairs’.
How does one recover from all that anyhow. I still don’t know. I just know multiple trips to the hospital. Awakening in ambulances. Being found by a passerby. By my neighbor. By a home health nurse. I tried to check out. I had seriously tried. That wasn’t to be my path.
It wasn’t found again through the programs, AA, NA, and others. I had a good program. I continue to realize how liberating the steps are from the mental obsession of addiction. They weren’t healing my life condition though.
I had a realization that I need a solution other than 12 steps, other than SMART Recovery, Nichiren Buddhism, The Red Road and Wellbriety movement, even my strong faith in Christianity through Unity Church, and theosophical tenets of Unitarianism.I need to believe in me again.
I still have an untreatable chronic medical condition. Losing my toes recently to diabetic complications was a diversion. I’ll even say pleasant diversion, in that I was able to focus on a single issue for a time. Then I came home, and climbed down the stairs to my apartment.
And I remembered. The life I had back at the top of those stairs.
I hope to climb back up sometime.
You know. Back upstairs.