So here's what I've come to accept today: I'm an addict.
I'm an addict whose drug came in the form of a boy I fiercely loved, fought to believe loved me, and desperately wanted to fix so that things could be okay. Even though that drug nearly destroyed me and my life on multiple occasions, I kept going back to the one thing I knew was terrible for me but couldn't seem to quit.
Sure, sometimes I would think I'd beaten the addiction, but a few weeks or months later, that drug would come back, dancing in front of me with the memories of the good feelings it brought, and I would fall right back into its grasp.
Sound like anyone familiar?
Yeah. Landon came back. This time, it was to apologize for his girlfriend texting to harass and threaten me. And I don't know if it's because it was midnight and I haven't slept much the past couple of days or what, but I answered. I have no idea why I answered.
Two pieces of a conversation spread out over three hours later, and I crashed into sleep like an addict whose high has worn off. But I woke up just four hours later and my very first thought was "What have I done?" I immediately texted Ashley because I wanted a girlfriend, and because I knew there was no way Clayton would be awake yet. She tried to reassure me, but I just couldn't wrap my head around what she was saying because I was still so caught up in being mad at myself for opening myself up to being put back in the same position I spent six years trying to escape.
And honestly, as silly as it sounds, I was plagued with worry that Clayton was going to be so disappointed in me. He saw the panicked text I sent him when he woke up and wasted no time in FaceTiming me, even while he was eating breakfast. Over the next two hours (God bless him), we dissected everything that was said, everything that was in my head, and he bluntly and kindly spelled out the three options I had in front of me, options only I could make the choice between.
1: Let him back in, and try to reconcile things again.
But as Clayton said, "There is no path in this universe that option could take that ends in you being happy." And even though the conversation last night realized I still missed him and still loved him far more than I thought I did, I knew that wasn't the option I needed to make because, if it was, I wouldn't have woken up with so much regret.
2: Block him without saying a word. Disappear, essentially.
That was the option he recommended, but he also acknowledged that it probably wasn't what I would do, because he knows me and so he knows that I get stuck in a rut when there's something I needed or wanted to say and didn't. I straight up told him that I knew that if I just blocked him without saying a word, it would eat at me. Not saying what I wanted to say would eat at me. Wondering how he would react to the abrupt silence, if he even noticed it. I wouldn't be able to get it out of my head.
3: Send him one text message explaining that last night was a mistake, then block him.
He explained that the only way this option would work is if I went full on into it. I had to not just not unblock him, but should he somehow get messages through to me, not even read them and delete them immediately. A recovering alcoholic doesn't hang out at a bar. A recovering drug addict doesn't just go hang out at his former drug dealer's house. I have to put in total measures against him, or I might as well just pick the first option, because halfway measures won't stand a chance against an addiction that has been active for more than a quarter of my life.
I picked 3. The most "me" option. When my phone said it was delivered and I hit block, I guess I thought I'd be relieved, because I knew I was doing the right thing, but instead, I just felt tired. And scared. Angry. Hurt. Frustrated.
"This is detox," Clayton said. "Detox is hard. It's not going to be easy. Your emotions are going to be going haywire. You're going to be questioning and second-guessing everything. But then you'll hit recovery, and that won't be quite as hard as long as you stick with the program. You can't break. Because if you break again and let him back in even for one conversation, I don't think you'll ever stop."
Detox sucks. Immediately after it started, I got overwhelmed by this fear that I wouldn't have the willpower to stick with this if/when he comes back (and I included "when" because, frankly, I don't think he's ever going to stop trying). After many, many hours of YouTube, though, I feel more confident that I can do it....but it still hurts like hell.
But you know, studies say that recovering addicts have a much higher chance of success when they have a support system around them. And I definitely do. Clayton insisted on being my accountability, and said that if he somehow finds a way to contact me, that I text Clayton so I don't respond to him. That I can say everything to Clayton that I want to say in a response to Landon so I can get it out without cutting off the padlocks to the door between us again. I think that'll go a long way, because he knows how damaging it is for me to hold my thoughts in on something this, so at least I'll have a way to get it out without letting danger back in.
Detox is so hard and painful. But with a support system like the one I have, I feel like I can take on the world. Which is exactly what I need to feel. I know what love really is through my friends, not through the words of a boy who hasn't changed or moved forward.
So let's do this, eh? I'm ready to earn my first sobriety chip.