Hi all. It feels like it has been ages since I've been on this board. I see we have a few newcomers, and some of the veteran members hanging around
Well, I've thought about posting on some of the threads for those trying to get out of the hell of active addiction, but the truth is, I really think the best help I can give is to tell you all how I am doing it. I know my way isn't for everyone, but if it can help just one of you, then all that I've been through and done has been worth it.
I'm not going to sit and tell you all my dirty little secrets of the horrible things I've done in addiction. I'm trying not to live in the past, and there are too many of them anyway and I don't want to be here typing all night..lol. But I'll skim over some of the important points. I first used when I was 13-14 years old, and continued to use over a lot of the next 20 years. I used pretty much whatever I could get my hands on, but the one that brought me to the end of my road was opiates. Oxy's, morphine, vikes, whatever...if it was an opiate I liked it. I tried to quit on my own so many times I lost count. I tried to taper, go cold turkey, make deals with myself, etc etc but none of them worked. 74 days ago, I got caught stealing morphine pills from someone by the cops. I was facing 6 possible felony charges. Then the w/d's started, and my family found out. I can't possibly convey the hell that I went through, during using and those first couple of weeks after. Loneliness, fear and rage were my constant companions. 3 days clean, I jumped out of a moving vehicle with the hopes I wouldn't live through it. But I did, and although I wanted to die then, I want to live more than anything now.
I walked into my first NA meeting in a complete mess. Crying, hurting and spiritually dead. I don't remember much, but I came back again the next day. Crying, hurting, bleeding from the car episode, and still spiritually dead and one of the members looked right at me and said," We're going to love you until you love yourself." I thought "Well then, you sure as hell have your work cut out for you". But as horrible a state as I was in, I felt at home in that room. Knowing that you're not the only one who has been in that kind of pain, and that there are people who made it through it is a feeling I still can't describe til this day. They told me to keep coming back, and I did, and I still am. They told me there was a way to live without drugs and to still be happy, and I wanted that more than anything in this world. Going to those meetings has taught me how, and I'm still learning it. I guess I always will.
I also started treatment. I go 4 days a week. My counselor is a recovering addict herself with 6 years clean, and I've learned so much from her. I've learned about addiction, relapse prevention, dealing with emotions, and a lot of other things. I graduate on 11/30/07 provided I stay clean and keep making progress. For the first time I have a relapse prevention plan. I've learned that relapse ends when you take the drug. It begins when your thoughts and behaviors revert back to that of a using addict.
There are a few things I've learned that keep me clean more than anything:
1) I'm allowed to have a god of MY understanding, and there is a huge difference between being spiritual and being religious. Spirituality is my path.
2) Live just for today. The past is gone, and the future is uncertain. No one is promised tomorrow, so live in today. As long as I don't use today, I'll make it. And I'll repeat it again tomorrow.
3) I can make anything worse by using.
4) Staying clean requires work, but so did using drugs. And I'm a lot more happy staying clean.
5) Self pity and resentments will get you high every time. Change your thinking.
6) Meetings, getting a sponsor and working the steps are the only way this will work for me. The fear I had of going to meetings is gone. I'm no longer worried about being stigmatized by outsiders. If they have a problem with it, that's their load of bricks to carry, not mine.
7) Stay away from the drugs and people who do them. You may think you can go around them and stay clean, but if you hang around in the barber shop long enough, you're going to get a hair cut.
8) Learn to love yourself - I'm still working on this one, but its a journey and I'll get there someday. I starting to believe that I'm worth all of this, because my life is special.
OK, I'll shut up now. I just wanted you all to know that there is hope and help out there. The scariest part is reaching for it.
Oh, for the legal issue - the charges finally came through. 1 charge (not 6, whew) Class C felony - possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. They released me on my own recognizance, and I didn't have to spend a night in jail waiting for an arraignment, so I'm taking that as a positive sign. Once I finish treatment, we'll see what can be worked out with the prosecuting attorney. I don't know how it is going to work out, and there are times I get scared, but whatever happens, I'll be ok.