I just got over a fairly typical stomach bug that had me feeling bloated and miserable. It wouldn’t be worth mentioning, except that it brought back a couple bad memories and served as a wake-up call.
For one thing, I felt just like I used to feel after a brutal junk-eating binge. Not the usual ate-too-much kind of bloat normal eaters feel after Thanksgiving, but the kind I felt after a really messy, days-long bender.
It’s that hung over, junk sick feeling I used to get.
Before I found recovery, my demon would start harassing me long before getting to the scene of the junk. Forget the people who would be there or the weather and surroundings. All I’d think about was getting my fill. Then I’d get to the event and get my fill from the time I’d get there to the time I left. I’d sneak handfuls of junk so what I was doing wouldn’t be too obvious to those around me.
Halfway through, I would have the same kind of buzz you get after downing a case of beer or inhaling a joint deep into your lungs. I know this, because I’ve done those things, too. By nightfall, I’d feel like a pile of shattered bricks waiting to be carted off to the dump. Quality time with my wife and kids? Forget it. All I wanted was the bed or the couch so I could pass out.
The next morning would greet me with a bad headache, violent stomach cramps and blurred vision. Just like having a hangover or being dope sick.
I didn’t have the blurred vision, but last night I felt a lot like those mornings-after.
It also reminded me of how I used to feel during flare ups of the Crohn’s Disease.
I remembered the searing, knifing cramps, the bloated immobility and the blood.
Call me over dramatic, but that’s what I remembered. It is what it is.
It’s kind of funny that last night’s discomfort made me think of the binging first and the Crohn’s Disease second, since the latter kind of led to the former.
In the long run, the disease has been more damaging to my mental health than my physical health. It screwed up my brain and pushed me toward an adulthood of addictions and other hangups.
So here I am on Thursday morning, looking out the window at the sunrise and feeling grateful as hell that the feeling passed.
It’s like when you wake up from a nightmare and realize none of it was real.
But something in my distorted mind leaves me wondering if this was some sort of divine wake-up call; a warning from above that I’ve been too overconfident of my recovery lately.
In OA meetings you always hear people talk about this overconfidence as a precursor to their own relapse.
I don’t want to relapse, so I need to start keeping my confidence in check.
Funny, the things you think about when you’re lying down feeling like crap.
I guess I still have a fair amount of insanity in me.