Hi, my name’s Katie and I’m an addict

*Trigger Warning*

Most of us recognize this line from maybe movies, t.v., or having attended AA or NA yourself.  One of the reasons we say this is it’s part of the first step in the “12 steps”-accepting the things we cannot change.  Try as we might, we are addicts and we have to work with that, not against it.  It also helps us overcome what for me has always been the biggest barrier, the shame.  It helps us to stand in our honesty and know that it’s ok to admit we have a problem.  I’m choosing to write this blog today because I’ve made it to the 30 day mark.  Normally I would be heading to a meeting to get my 30 day key chain but with COVID-19 in person meetings aren’t really a thing.  I’m proud of this but also very humbled that though I can count those 30 days, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made it to the 30 day mark and eventually relapsed.  This past year and a half has been a doozy for me.  I ended a long and very toxic relationship, my mom attempted suicide and was hospitalized, I’ve had 3 family members battling cancer (one who lost her fight in November) and I was raped.  I also suffer from Bi-Polar Disorder. It’s been very well managed with meds most of my life, but it’s not uncommon for our meds to go out of balance when there are extreme life stressors.  All of those elements lead to my relapse last fall. What started as allowing myself to “have a little fun with my friends” and “relax” quickly spiraled into me isolating myself at home, using nearly every day and trying to hide it from my daughter and coworkers.  I’m thankful I had a reality check..AGAIN..before I suffered extreme consequences like losing a job, my home, my child, and/or my life.  I had to remind myself, again, even though some people can dabble here and there, I am an addict and I cannot.  Some of us are wired differently, and that’s all ok.

I started my pole journey in December 2018.  It was a fairly healthy point in my life (both mentally and physically) though I often felt numb and just not great about myself.  Being a part of Aerial sparked something in me that helped me tremendously with that (and I know for others too, I saw how many mentioned on the Self Love Aerial appreciation poster how it helped them get through or out of their depression).  Many of the things I had turned to drugs for, pain relief, energy, confidence, entertainment, I found myself getting from the classes and vibe at Aerial.  No joke, it was BETTER than drugs because there were no negative outcomes.  Only more and more positive.  Of course I’m not saying pole fitness is the cure for drug addiction, but for me, personally, it has helped.  It’s what is keeping me sane and focused on healing my mind and body in recovery right now.  These are difficult times for everyone, and uniquely so for those in active addiction or recovery.  Isolation and boredom are triggers and many have home lives that are very complicated and being confined in them may lead to relapse.  I read an article posted by Darjune (a local recovery resource) from a local news station about the increase they have seen in people seeking out their recovery services.  There are endless slogans in AA/NA, “one day at a time, easy does it, progress not perfection.”  One of my favorites is a twist on NA itself, Never Alone.  If this reaches anyone who is struggling I want you to know you are never alone either.  Even if you aren’t ready to be open about it know there are so many people in your corner, praying for you (to god as they understand him/it) and wishing you the best and they will be there when you need them.  I feel that same kind of support from my Aerial sisters and I want to thank each of you, even those I don’t engage with directly.  I see you and your strength and beauty inspires me.  Thank you all and hope you have a beautiful, healthy day.