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Words by Andi Chrisman
Image by Fabrice Poussin
*Editor's Note and Content Notice: The author is in recovery now and doesn't feel "The Urges" much anymore, thankfully.
my skin is itchy
i can’t sit still—i need to move to move and i need to move now.
room to room
wildly trying to make The Urges go away
i know how to make this feeling go away
24 pills should be enough
48 if I’m willing to risk my life again
to make this feeling leave my body
a seizure or five—it won’t matter, i forget them anyway.
am I willing to do that to those who love me?
to make this painful Urge go away?
I know the real answer:
healthy skills. coping skills.
there’s a middle ground though,
two unhealthy paths i can take,
yet not as bad as letting The Urges win
sometimes I take sleeping pills at 10am
to hide from The Urges.
these pills give no relief beyond oblivion,
but sometimes a few hours of sleep is enough to hide from The Urges
and hide under the safety of light snores and mild tossing and turning.
another destructive habit.
Candy. one piece is quickly swallowed.
as soon as one is in my mouth,
another is being unwrapped.
eat. eat. eat. don’t taste.
just try to replace the pills
with equal amounts of candy.
today is not perfect.
but it is a step in the right direction.
i take the first step towards willingness
by addressing my weakest skill:
admitting i have The Urges.
i tell a friend how this feels.
i try a few Distress Tolerance skills,
but they aren’t strong enough.
today I will sleep a few hours away to cope
Is it the healthiest choice?
Is it still a better choice?
Because, in the end,
when i wake up,
The Urges are less.
i’m still anxious.
still creepy-crawling sensations,
but losing two hours to sleep
is more acceptable than losing my life
to a “high” that i loathe more than i love.
one step at a time.
one day at a time.
one emotion at a time.
one Urge at a time.
maybe today is one second at a time.
that second passed, successfully.
now I will try to handle the next one.