I’m sure we’ve all seen the commercial. I am not here to criticize it or to even dispute whether or not the above statement is true. I have never been to the treatment facility and cannot speak for or against it.
One thing I can say is that I am a addict. I am a recovering addict. I have to work continuously on a daily basis to maintain my freedom from active addiction. I am very aware that the problems I suffer from are much larger than just drug use. In fact I can say with all honesty that I showed signs of addiction way before I ever picked up my first drink or drug. I have been clean for 2 years, 3 months and about 5 days and I am clear on one thing. My addiction to drugs is only arrested, I am in no way, shape or form cured. For me to say that I used to be a addict and now I am not would be a lie. I am also certain that drugs were only a small part of a bigger problem. A problem that stems from the way I think about myself, talk about myself and feel about myself. I do not wish to mislead anyone who ever reads my blog into thinking that just because most of what I post is good that I do not still suffer from the ill effects of my addiction. On any given day I can revert back to old methods of handling my feelings. Insanity is only a couple of bad thoughts away.
Now before I go any further, let’s take a look at the word addiction. Dictionary.com says that addiction means..the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming. Then they go on to mention narcotics but if we take the narcotics out of the equation we are left with the true form of addiction. Which is being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.
I have learned that too much of anything can make you an addict. If it makes me feel good and I continue to do it I can form a habit and become addicted to it. That can mean anything. I am not even speaking of narcotics or alcohol. I have noticed that I have become addicted to shopping, chocolate, doritos, pepsi and working overtime among other things. But when it comes to the word addiction most people associate it with drugs. There is a stigma attached to the word that makes people automatically think of the junkie or crackhead. Not on how they themselves also suffer from some kind of addiction or another. It is easier to focus on the negativity of the word or on someone else than it is to take a look at ourselves and admit that we too have an addiction.
I just want people to understand how my mind works and how my addiction affects me and the world around me. I share my experiences with you in hopes that one day I can reach out to the millions of people who suffer from addiction. Whatever that addiction may be. I hope to be able to share that there is a common ground here and that no matter what, we are all more alike than we are different. I just want people to realize that someone suffering from a addiction is human too. I have feelings, I am hurting and I am only trying to get a better grip on who I am and gain a better understanding of what I suffer from and how to better cope with it and every day life.
There is no magic elixir. No cure. There is only vigorous and continuous work. No one can do it for me. I have to want it and do it for myself.
I used to be a addict for 37 years..Now I am a recovering addict.
Peace and Blessings
Just the jolt that I needed. A dose of reality.
Source: To Click or Not to Click: Why Don’t People Click Links?
I have been nominated for The Dedicated Blogger Award by my friend Xena author of the blog We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident. I truly appreciate the nomination and am very honored. I especially feel thankful because it’s always a great feeling when someone acknowledges your work. I feel a sense of gratitude because I know that by me telling my story I am helping others. I look forward to continuing writing my story and sharing it with the world in hopes that it helps.
I am thankful for my support group. I am not only speaking of the people with whom I associate with in the fellowship. I am also talking about each and every one of you as well. You are as much a part of my group as the people that I see and talk to every day. I want to take this time to thank everyone who responded to my post BACK TO THE BASICS. It really helped me to realize that I am not alone. That there are others who can identify with me and know exactly what I am talking about. Some times I can forget that I am not unique or special in that I am not the only one who has struggled and overcome. It truly touches my heart when I share something that is troubling me and people offer genuine support and encouragement. I remember a time when I couldn’t share pain and heartache or anything else for that matter because then the vultures would be circling looking at you like you were a easy mark. Like their next victim or a meal ticket. I have been hurt by people I thought were my friends in the past and as a direct result made a decision some years ago to never allow anyone to get close enough to me to ever hurt me again.
I used to hate people because I would always be disappointed by them in one way or another. I ran with a motto I can do bad all by myself and proceeded to live my life in that manner.
ALL BY MYSELF!
I isolated myself from others, I turned my feelings off and became cold and callous. I had no empathy for your pain, struggles or heartache. I learned to mask my feelings so well that I began to believe that I had none. I lied to myself so much that I believed that I didn’t care about people. That I didn’t need people. That I didn’t need anyone. I lived in a self made prison. A fantasy world were no one could ever touch me.
It took a long time for it to sink into my thick skull that I actually need people in my life. I am beginning to understand the power behind having friends and reaching out to others whether in times of need or to just say hello. I struggle in this area although I realize the importance of it, I have a difficult time just having a simple conversation with people face to face and sometimes even over the phone. So instead of working through the area I just avoid it all together. I do not initiate conversations with strangers and with the people I already know it takes a long time for me to really warm up to them enough for me to actually get to know them on a deeper level. I get along by doing just enough. Never straying outside my comfort zone. I still do not allow people to get to know me on a really personal level. I still have trust issues and let very few people get to know me on such a deep level.
I have made a commitment to myself that I will work towards becoming more people friendly this year. I am ready to step into a new realm of my recovery. I feel that the time has come to take the risks and stop worrying about the what if’s. It’s time to stop living in fear of rejection and hurt and live life to the fullest. I will work on the uncomfortable feelings and stop living in isolation. I cannot do this alone.
There is no I in TEAM.
Like I mentioned in my post IT’S NOT JUST A DREAM. IT’S AN AWAKENING. I am starting on a new journey and that a goal without action is just a dream. I have been awakened to the possibilities and I need to take the action to make them a reality. Thank you to all those who have helped me along my journey so far and those who will help me for many years to come.
Peace and Blessings
I have been going through a roller coaster of emotions lately. I’ve been feeling angry, depression, happy, sad, frustrated and even cried a couple of times. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and found myself suffering in silence. I was fearful of sharing this with others. Which is crazy because I usually am so open with sharing what I am going through.
I did a self inventory this morning and realized a couple of things. First off let me tell you that my addiction has been very active the last couple of days. I have been displaying old attitudes and behaviors. I have not been sleeping well and like I said earlier not sharing it. My addiction had me keeping it a secret and we all know secrets kill. So upon taking my inventory I realized that I haven’t been working my program. I have not been taking a active roll in my recovery. I’ve been skipping meetings, not reading my literature or reaching out to other people in my network. I’ve been isolating and putting other people, places and things ahead of my recovery.
All of the things mentioned are red flags and I didn’t realize how easily I slipped backwards. I didn’t even see my addiction coming. It manifested itself in the form of me actively pursuing a better future and rocked me right to sleep in the here and now. I thought it was because I am cleaning house and trashing a lot of my belongings, but it was deeper than that. A lot deeper. I am grateful that I noticed a change in my behavior before it became too late. I am thankful to the people closest to me that point out things and make me take a look at myself. I am thankful for the program and the process of recovery. Without it I would not have been able to spot the problem nor do anything about it. I would have continued on the slippery slope until tragedy struck and I would’ve been off to the races again and all bets were off.
Recovery and the beautiful men and women in it have taught me a few things in the past 2 years and 3 months. I feel a sense of gratitude every time I think of how far I’ve come. I am only scratching the surface right now and have lots to learn in this life long process. But thank God I am learning and not continuing to make the same mistakes. I know what to do today. I have the tools and a support system today. I will make a new commitment to myself and my recovery.
Just for today. I will get back to the basics.
Peace and blessings
As many of you who read my blog know. I just turned 50 years old on January 20th. Looking back I would never have guessed that I would live to see this grand age. Growing up 50 was old. I was reminded of that the other day when I heard a child call his father old when he said he was 51. Lol.
Shortly after that I started thinking about my own life. I started to beat myself up in my head for all the wasted years and the things I didn’t accomplish. I began to slip into a slight depressed state and wondered if I might be kidding myself thinking that I can start to live a life worth living at 50.
I spoke to a few of the men in my life and they helped me to realize that first off 50 is not old. That I am not washed-up and ready to be put out to pasture. Yes I can start to live a life worth living at 50. It’s never too late to start over. I am grateful for the people in my life. When I begin to doubt myself I am grateful that I have people just like me who can relate, offer suggestions and bring me back to reality.
The reality is I am not old. I have a lot of good years left and I am in a position to make something great happen. It’s never to late unless I decided to give up and stay stuck in the why me pity party. I do not. I will not.
I am healthy, happy, free from active addiction, have faith in a power greater than myself today. I have a girlfriend, family and friends that love me. I am truly blessed.
I have no reason to feel regret over the past. It’s over and done with. I have learned some valuable lessons and survived a hell that most people would have folded like a wet cardboard box. I am blessed to be able to share my experiences with others without fear in the hopes that my story can touch someone and they too realize that they can change their life too.
I am embarking on a new journey. A life that for a long time I was only able to dream about. I am experiencing life for the first time without any mind altering substances, without depending on someone else to take care of me, without having to live in a cold and dark apartment because I didn’t pay my bills. I am becoming a responsible and productive member of society.
Do I have fear about this journey.
Do I have doubts about my abilities.
AT TIMES YES.
The difference is that today I feel deep down inside that I am ready. I am ready and willing to start this new chapter. To take a risk and not allow my fears to dictate the direction of my life anymore.
I heard it said that a goal without action is just a dream.
I have been awakened.
Peace and blessings
Whenever I write I like to share both my experiences in active addiction and more importantly my experiences in recovery. I do that not only to help myself to always remember where I came from but to also allow others to see that recovery is possible. That it is real and it can and will happen if I choose to do the work necessary. I do not divulge the intricate plots and the devious schemes. Nor do I go into detail about the isolation, degradation and despair. I share just enough for you to get the picture and let your imagination do the rest.
Now I have to admit that most people’s imagination would probably be accurate because I have been through hell and high water, the valley of death and survived. I have lived a low life and have been blessed to live a better life today. I remember when I couldn’t see myself ever being able to escape the reality that was my life. It was my destiny I always thought and told myself. I will die an addict. I never thought I would live past 35, 40 tops. I sure as hell didn’t think I would ever see 50. Well I was wrong. Yesterday I have been blessed to see my 50th birthday and I have to say that it was an awesome experience.
I am thoroughly thankful and truly grateful for the experiences that have brought me to this point. I am no longer that bitter person with a death wish. I have grown into a responsible person and growing more responsible every day. 50 years is a milestone birthday and I was fortunate enough to be able to spend it with the woman I love. We spent my birthday in sunny Dominican Republic. It was a mind blowing, incredible experience that I won’t soon forget.
Not too long ago, I wouldn’t leave the block. I surely never thought I would ever leave the country. I couldn’t have done any of this with out God’s grace and mercy. I have been spared and allowed a do over.
Damn it, I’m going to do it right.
I have the opportunity to share my world and It’s a honor and a privilege to do so. I know that I cannot keep it, unless I give it away. Thank you for being on this journey with me.
You know it’s not too long ago that I was a slave to my active addiction. 2 years and 4 short months ago I was on the verge of yet another stay in a state run facility or worse, facing a death sentence. I was at yet another bottom and was ready once again to force myself to end a life that was not worth living. I was feeling worthless and less than and was having a daily pity party. Isolation became the only way of life for me. I made a conscious decision years ago to abandon my family and any friends that I may have had because I was too embarrassed to let them see what I had become. I was, in my mind not fit to be around them and just stop showing up or calling anyone.
Life as I knew it was gone for a long time. It had been substituted with a new life as I knew it. I life that I had no control over. I life that I thought I could never escape from. A life that I knew one day would take my life and the crazy part is. I was ok with it. I had settled for it, accepted it as my only alternative. I lied to myself every day. I told myself that I would die using, that I could never stop using so get used to it. I believed those lies to be the truth and stop trying to change my situation. I gave up on myself. I ran from my responsibility to myself. I allowed my addiction to take such deep root in me that I lost the ability to see that I have been given ample opportunities to escape. I have been given life saving information time and time again but never utilized it.
I believed that I was alone and that no one would or could ever understand what I was going through nor would anyone really care.
I was wrong…
I have always had a way out. I have always had people who cared and wanted to help me and tried to help me. I just never accepted the help, I was in denial at first and later was too caught up to care anymore. I allowed my addiction to take control and lived my life according to the lies that I have been fed by a negative source that’s only objective is to help me kill myself.
Fear is a motivator. It can either motivate me to take action or it can keep me stuck in a never ending cycle. I allowed my fear to keep me frozen in time and doing the same things over and over at first expecting different results and in the end knowing the results and doing the same thing anyway. For some they say that’s insanity. For me it was just the way things were. It was how I survived day to day. So I guess what I am saying is I am insane. I was definitely insane in my active addiction but what about now. I have been clean for a very short time and my thinking is far from clear. I still do things over and over expecting different results and even do things knowing the results and still do them anyway. So I ask you. Am I insane?
To answer my own question I say no. I am not insane I am learning to break old habits and cycles that have been ingrained in me. It’s a process that takes time. My behavioral patterns have changed tremendously but I still suffer from a disease that wants me dead and will always be with me. It shows up in different areas of my life at different times and if I am not conscious of it and if I forget that fact. I am sure to repeat. It doesn’t have to always be about using drugs. Drugs was a minor symptom of a bigger diagnosis. I know today that I’ve had this disease long before I ever picked up my first drink or drug. I have always wanted to be someone else because I never like who I was. Low self esteem didn’t just happen to me over night or when I started to sink to new bottoms or even when I sank to the old and familiar ones. No this problem with self has been a long and persistent thorn in my side.
I am grateful that today I have a program. I am in a process that is teaching me about me. I have people who are just like me in my life and that let’s me know that I am not alone. That in itself is a major relief because for years I thought I was unique. I never thought I would find anyone that would understand. But I did. I am being guided on this journey by some truly amazing people who have walked this path before me. They do not try to do it for me but they help me to be able to do it for myself. I am learning how to face my fears and not to allow them to back me down. I am learning how to be responsible and accountable for my actions. I am becoming human. Lol. That sounds crazy but If you have ever suffered from addiction then you know exactly what I am talking about. I am grateful that I came to believe in a power greater than myself. I am grateful that I came to believe that I too could get clean. I am grateful that I believe in myself enough to continue on this road. I see the results, I feel the results, I am living the results
I am grateful that I am learning to face everything and recover.
As I have the opportunity to take a look at how my life is beginning to take shape. I am thankful, grateful and truly blessed. I have been fortunate enough to have higher power at work in my life and I am no longer foolish enough to believe that I am the power that has controlled my destiny to this point. I do know that I was that foolish power that tried tragically to control my destiny in the past and paid a he’ll of a high price to continually live so low.
Today armed with the truth. My Truth. I am aware of my surroundings, I am beginning to make healthy and sound decisions. I am able to question things that don’t sit right with me, I am able to love the skin I am in. I appreciate things that, not too long ago I took for granted. I am experiencing things that not to long ago caused me fear and uncomfortability. I am walking through and not running from. I am practicing being a responsible person and not allowing my fears to keep me spinning my wheels in the same chapter. I did that for years.
I am a willing participant in my life today. I am no longer allowing life to pass me by. It’s a great feeling. It’s a wonderful journey so far and I can’t even imagine what the next chapters will have in store. I do know that as long as I continue to participate in my recovery and life in general. Things can only continue to get better. I know in life there are always obstacles and set backs but today the fear of that doesn’t stop me. In fact I know that no matter what happens, first off there is no excuse to give up and pick up and secondly nothing that happens to me today could ever be as bad as all the he’ll I put myself through in the past. What ever it is, it shall pass and I will survive it. 😨
As my journey continues I am so grateful for all the people that I have met along the way. Some are a major part of my story and together WE will also start our own journey. Others are on this journey in other capacities and yet and still others journey has ended and we have moved in separate directions. Every part played has taught me something valuable and no time is ever a total waste. I have learned to look for the lesson in the blessing. For this I am truly grateful.
I look forward to many years of experiencing what life has to offer. My next chapter will be starting in another state soon. I am both fearful and excited at the same time and the excitement outweighs the fear by a landslide margin. I know deep down inside that the time to start a new life and family is now. I’m so looking forward to it. Baby boy is growing up and moving out. Good bye NYC. It’s been great.