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Addiction & Recovery board


This is my first posting, ever. I felt that I never needed or wanted help from anyone. I can do anything on my own, I am strong. I am also wrong.

I am 37 years old and have not learned how to be a functional adult. I started smoking pot when I was 15 years old, and have not stopped for more than 6+ months when I was arrested for possession and was on probation in 1993 / 1994. I stopped a couple of other times for a month here or there, but I never had the strength to continue on. As a matter of fact, when I stopped smoking pot, my alcohol consumption increased tremendously. Pot is my drug of choice. I have an addictive personality; I am addicted to pot, cigarettes, coffee, chocolate, work, and maybe even sex if you wanted to really analyze things. I am also a perfectionist and like things to be relatively clean, I do not like excessive clutter. I have the responsibility of teaching 3 precious young boys how to be functional adults, and if I cannot learn that myself then I surely cannot teach them. If I do not teach them, then they are destined to grow up just like me (which is not all bad).

Why am I writing this? I guess because it is part of my recovery process. I'm not going to go through this much pain and suffering for just me, I hope that what I am about to endure can be a lesson for others, especially my children. If they can relate to this pain and realize that they also have a predisposition to the vulnerabilities of addictive behavior, then perhaps this is one area in which I can teach them to be functional adults.

I am living in my own self created prison, I built it so well that I cannot escape, I need some help from the outside. I am just divorced, officially Nov. 02, 2000, just 2 days after our 6 year anniversary. I could not seek help with the support of my wife, as I never could really trust her with my feelings and innermost vulnerable self. We were adversaries, not team mates. We had a whole set of problems which were not a result of the pot, but since I was trapped in this marriage I could not escape the pot trap, I didn't want to, it helped me to deal with her.

I admitted to myself some time back that I am an addict, it hurt but I had to face the facts. I didn't read any quiz that made me realize it, I just needed to look at my life, it was obvious.

I cannot be employed by anyone other than myself, as I could not pass a UA or answer "no" to the question "have you ever been arrested for …". So I work for myself, and I am very good at what I do. Since I also am addicted to work, I have been very successful in my career. I have been very lucky, and I thank the Lord for giving me these gifts so that I could continue on in this game of life.

On March 17, 2000, I was arrested again, this time for DUI - alcohol. I am one lucky guy. My wife and I had been going to marriage counseling for some time, but ultimately it didn't work. The counselor said "take your wife out - she says you never take her out". Against my better judgment and own gut feelings, we went out with a bunch of her sorority friends to a St. Patrick's Day Party at a large local pub. I did not want to be there so I escaped into the kegs of beer. We left the party and there was a DUI task force set up right down the street. Fortunately for me, they were only set up for the breath test and did not do a blood test. DUI drugs holds 2X the penalties of alcohol, I would have done a minimum of 10 days in the hole instead of my one. How many times must I wear those bracelets behind my back before I admit that I have a problem with being sober in this life.

In our divorce agreement, I shall have life insurance. I have not yet purchased any because I cannot pass the blood & urine test. I just signed up for some new health insurance last month. Some nurse called and said that she wanted to come out and draw my blood and get a urine sample. I have been avoiding the phone and must call my insurance rep and tell him that I want to withdraw my application. I cannot state that I have been declined for health insurance on any future applications. I guess I'll go without until I can get clean.

So that's it. I said it. I have a problem(s). I am an addict. Now what?

I am sooooo afraid. I suffer from clinical depression and I cannot go back there again. I am on Prozac right now and it seems to help. I am divorced and free from her wrath, I am medicated, and I have my pot. I have not had the overwhelming desire to die in some time. I have had my share of bad days, but I keep going and realize that tomorrow will be better and things will happen. I have never been suicidal, but I prayed a lot that God will give me a merciful ending - soon. I am barely maintaining my existence right now. It will not take much to make my world crumble, it is not built on a solid foundation.

No matter what I do, I run the risk of going back into depression. If I quit smoking pot, I am fairly certain that depression will follow, then I'll start smoking pot again and my world will brighten up once again. I've run this loop a couple of times so I know what to expect.

If I stop smoking pot, I will drink more beer, I don't have a problem with alcohol, yet. I have an addictive personality. I cannot substitute one addiction for another, especially when alcohol is much worse than pot.
If I stop smoking pot, I will become lethargic.
If I stop smoking pot, I will be boring.
If I stop smoking pot, life will be dull.
If I stop smoking pot, I won't want to be alone.
If I stop smoking pot, I'll need help from others - I've always been able to do it on my own.
If I stop smoking pot, I'll have to deal with my feeling.
If I stop smoking pot, I'll have to endure much pain.
If I stop smoking pot, people around me will have to put up with me.
If I stop smoking pot, it will be hard.
If I stop smoking pot, I will need mental strength like I have never needed before in my life.

I have to do this. Like the counselor in my alcohol education classes said "you don't have to wait for the elevator to reach the bottom floor, you can get off at any time". I'm ready to get off, I just can't seem to reach the stop button. I would sometimes pray that God would give me the desire to put my life back together without hitting bottom. I have not hit bottom, (although I feel like it's getting close), and I now have the desire to make a change in my life, so I guess my prayers are getting answered. I've never dealt with this type of thing before, but I am a smart person and I know that I can figure it out. The key is networking and communication. If you talk to enough people in the field, you will eventually end up right where you are supposed to be.

Last night I stayed up until 2:00 am surfing the net for resources on marijuana addiction and recovery. The biggest resource thus far is MA, which is patterned after AA. Most addiction recovery programs revolve around the 12 step program, although those programs have their dark sides that you must be aware of. Just like any fellowship or religion, some consider it a cult. In addition, when many people come to these programs, in their minds, it is there last resort. If they fail at their last attempt, then they may kill themselves. There are other alternatives to the 12 step programs, but 12 steps has been successful for millions.

I need to find a program that will work for me and work successfully. I cannot afford to go through this again. I am making a commitment and I cannot have failure. I realize that there is a huge potential for set backs, but the overall recovery process must yield success. I need success and accomplishment to begin the road forward and upward. I need to build my confidence that I can do this and other life challenges. Damn this is hard.

I sent an e-mail to MA inquiring as to there meetings in the Phoenix area, and sent them a check for $20.00 for there book on recovery as well as their monthly news letter. I don't know how this will all turn out, but I feel better knowing that I have taken, and am taking steps in the right direction. Right now I have a very limited knowledge of what my options are, but I will continue my research and I will find the program that is right for me.

Since some here have more experience than I in this area, I thought you might be able to provide some advice and feedback.

Thanks,

AZ_Btech