I think one of the harder things to deal with after quitting meth is still experiencing loss due to my addiction. I mean, good grief, I did the hardest part and quit and that should come with some relief and some reward, right? Yeah, of course there are going to be some financial issues after addiction, and relationships that were destroyed are going to take some time to mend…. but it doesn’t end there. And that parts sucks.
This took place a couple years ago when I was about six years clean. I was sitting in my college Addiction class (of all places) enjoying the discussion and munching on some chips. I was enjoying this class; first, because I had plenty of first-hand experience to write about which made all the papers easy, I enjoyed the teacher and the experiences she shared in class, and honestly, I was excited because I thought it was going to be the last time I was ever going to write about meth (HAHA, as I sit here writing about meth). Whenever I wrote my papers for that class, I was going through some of the same trigger experiences that I go through while sharing my experiences with you – and it’s kinda hard on me, but healing. Nevertheless, at the time during this class, I thought I was closing a chapter. It was the last night of that class and all was feeling pretty good.
And then crunch.
My tooth fell out of my head right in the middle of class.
Shock. Horror. That sickening crunch as I mistook the tooth as a chip. Trying to remove the tooth mixed with chip from my mouth in the middle of addiction class. And emotionally imploding at the same time.
I got up quickly and went to the bathroom. I was close to sobbing by the time I got there and quickly locked the door. Lucky it was a one-person bathroom. I checked out my tooth-mixed-with-chip in my hand and the emotions welled up in me. Tears streamed down my face. Good grief, so many years later and I’m STILL PAYING for my addiction. When is this going to end? When can life move on? How long am I going to keep paying for it?
I slowly got myself mopped up and calmed down. The last thing I wanted to do is go back to addiction class but that’s where all my stuff waited, so I returned. I walked in pretending that I hadn’t just lost my tooth in class and returned to my seat. The teacher immediately caught my eye and she knew that something was wrong. I looked away and kept on pretending that everything was just daisy.
Soon as class ended I was quickly trying to get everything put away and get out when she called me up. She was so loving and caring when she asked what had happened. I choked and told her; told her how I felt about still paying for it and how bitter I was about it. She was so kind. She hugged me tight and then began assuring me that it’s a small price to pay for wonderfully normal life I had been given. I was living in my reward – loved my husband and my son, I loved my job, and I loved going to college. I was living my second chance and yes, it was the pits that I lost a tooth but it doesn’t change my worth or the fact that I am a meth survivor. Better that it took my tooth and not my life. Then she reinforced that she was so proud of me for quitting meth. I did feel better and now all that was left was to accept that I have a new hole in my mouth.
So, my addict friend, you might end up paying for your addiction long after you quit but know that any loss experienced is so small next to the beautiful normal life that you can be living. Healthy life is worth way more than a tooth.
My final thought to leave with you is about what I needed after my tooth fell out – I needed peace. Peace to accept the consequences of my actions, peace to deal with the emotions that flooded me, and peace to carry on with my beautifully normal life. Philippians 4: 6,7 is a beautiful promise for times such as this. It says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Amen.
Peace, until next time.
The book I recommend is by someone who I really admire and seriously recommended to partner with in your journal to beautiful normal life. Her name is Cheri Peters and her ministry is called True Steps Ministries. I listen to her on 3ABN radio and her message of love and hope inspires me. I recommend that you PLEASE read her book “God is Crazy About You.” One of the review that caught my eye stated, ‘WONDERFUL!!!! and ENCOURAGING!!!!! Beautiful testimony of what God and accomplish in ANYONE’S life providing He be given the opportunity and free reign to do so!!!’ Let me know if you found this helpful by leaving a comment.