I haven’t written a blog entry in a while. I’ve been busy moving through life and going through some changes, things ending and others beginning. I’ve been reminding myself that this is part of the journey. Where I am now, won’t be where I am even a week from now.

I think back to where I was after my last relapse on meth in September 2015, when I was in a toxic relationship with a guy named Collin, unsure if I’d ever feel whole. I worried if the wounds would ever heal. I wanted my life to change instantly and I was tired of hurting. I was sick of feeling empty and worthless. I was sick and tired of trying to fix someone else instead of helping myself.

There’s not much to say for what came over the next couple of months and can be described with one word: “mess.” We did the let’s-get-a-dog-to-fix-our-problems and let’s-have-millions-of-conversations, but there was nothing to mend the damage that had been done between us.

Things got worse by the time Christmas 2015 came around. Collin would disappear more and my anger grew and pursued his addiction. I felt the anger building until I couldn’t handle it anymore, and just before New Years Eve 2015, I left. It was sad, but I couldn’t have him as my boyfriend.

I had been so focused on a relationship that I had forgotten about me. I had forgotten that I once had dreams and goals. Instead of discovering new things about myself, I’d find plates in the cabinets with precut lines of meth. I’d see disaster in front of me, debris blocking my path. I was told that if I didn’t drop the rock then I’d sink. I felt like all that I was doing was sinking. I was clutching onto this relationship so tightly and at this point I wasn’t sure why. One day it hit me— I was addicted to chaos.

Chaos is just how I was used to living and dealing with life. I wanted to learn peace and serenity. I wanted to learn how to be happy, joyous and free. Collin only provided disaster, and I took comfort in it. One night at the end of December I had had enough and after a fight, I left. I was done. I wanted change. I hoped there’d be a better way for me than this back-and-forth insanity. I didn’t want to feel alone or suicidal. I wanted to be a victor in life, not a victim. There was more out in the world than abuse and neglect.

The saddest part was that I was doing this to myself by staying as long as I did. I didn’t want to leave our puppy or the home on 42nd Street, but it was just time to walk away. It was a good decision for my life and my growth. There would be a lot of greatness to come into my life just by letting go of my crutch. Around this time in my life I started to realize something:  HIV didn’t mean I had to subject myself to misery. I had a choice, and I could leave chaos and misery behind. “Pain is inevitable, misery is optional.”