In active addiction, part of my avoidance tactics included taking something like a small nagging headache and turning it into a reason to miss work, lay in bed all day and pretty much take a vacation from life.
Since those minor aches and pains show up more and more in active addiction…I spent a lot of time “sick”.
The tendency to either fake or exaggerate illness as an avoidance tactic did not go away just because I stopped taking drugs.
It seemed that anytime I had an extremely full day or I wasn’t in that great of a mood, my brain would want me to pretend that I was sick as a way of getting out of life.
It took a lot of hard work but I can say that since entering into addiction recovery I have not given into these impulses and have not once been “sick” for the sake of laying low. I felt that I was able to modify my bad behaviors. But let me tell you what I am experiencing now…
It seems now that anytime I come down with a cold or some other type of illness I am super hard on myself and feel guilty when I let myself get the rest I need. It is always in the back of my head that I’m not truly as sick as I’m letting on and that somehow this is my addictive thinking creeping back in.
How do you even deal with this type of situation? I can understand that I am frightened of getting back to my old ways and using “sickness” as an avoidance tactic was definitely one of my more famous tactics but…WTF.
I guess, just like anything else in recovery, I will become more and more comfortable with this situation. It’s not like I’ve had to deal with it a whole lot…you only really get sick so many times.
See the thing is, I’ve never really heard of anyone else talking about this type of situation. I guess that is part of the reason why it seems so fucked up to me. I truly am at a loss.
Just like most things in life my confusion is coming out of fear. The fear that I will somehow allow my avoidance behavior to creep back in and destroy all of the hard work that I have done. It’s times like this when I realize just how afraid of slipping back into my old ways I really am.
It’s not only that I disliked who I was in active addiction…I’m afraid of her. Can you tell?