May 3 – A Window Opened

by Ruth Hetrick

It started as an ordinary day. Can I possibly explain how magnificent that is? It has been almost two years since I have enjoyed an ordinary day, for every day I have awakened, not knowing who I would be. Would I be lost, fearful, powerless, exhausted, lonely, sick, confused and worried?

Those are just some of the words that described me, a woman trying desperately to recover from being an “accidental addict” to a prescription drug given to me many years ago for anxiety due to a serious health crisis. Now, after almost a year of being drug-free and suffering horrible withdrawal symptoms, existing
through a life that I no longer recognized, becoming a negative, sad, frightened version of myself, I awoke to an “ordinary day!”

No longer shaking all over, I lay there for a while. There was no heavy darkness weighing down my brain, no fear that some unknown horror was going to descend upon me, no body jerking, no anxiety, nausea or crying.

No, this day I was not lost to myself. I felt normal, just as the people in my internet support group had told me would happen.  They told me a window would open and give me a glimpse of normalcy and then I would know that the “real me” was still there. Two year is a long time to be “lost” from yourself and I
had doubted that my brain and central nervous system would ever heal and that I would get my life back. I had prayed every day to just be “me” and to have an ordinary day where I would not be afraid to take a shower, get off the sofa, go grocery shopping, cook a pot of soup, make a bed or a phone call or step
outside, just to do things that most people take for granted.

Today, what started out as an ordinary day has turned into an extraordinary day for me. I am no longer lost; I am found and I am—oh, so gratefully—finally going forward with my life!

Ruth is a married sixty-five year old woman with two grown children who lives in Pennsylvania. She finds herself, at this stage of life, fighting for her life since becoming an “accidental addict” to a drug she did not know was addictive. As she says, “I WILL WIN!”.


4 responses to “May 3 – A Window Opened

  1. Ruth,
    I am awed by your courage and strength, and moved by this honest, heartfelt post. We miss you in Bucks County. Best wishes for a continued recovery!


  2. Yes!!! You will win!!!!

  3. Marie E. LaConte

    Thank you for sharing this victory! Your courage and dedication to the recovery process should lend support to those of us who face similar challenges. “She’s done it. Maybe I can, too…”

    Keep going!

  4. I am so glad you hung in there. May there be many more days ahead of you like this day.

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