Just Another Recovering Person

Archive for August, 2009

Living with Lorna


The same verbal barbs fly through the air…..

I wish you would leave.
Go smoke some crack….you crackhead.
I hate you.
No one likes you.

My mind drifts across the clouds that move along Broad Street and I want to bite my lower lip off out of desperation. I have been here before in recovery, sitting, asking God….I don’t know what normal is, but I know it surely isn’t supposed to be like this is it?
15 years old and in a power struggle of authority with mom and dad…..again.
Saying things to intentionally hurt people, me losing my temper, grabbing her by the arm……

Get the fuck off me….usually comes next.
My anger increases.
Her brother darts off in to another room….under the table, in a corner….crying.
I see my wife out of the corner of my eye wondering if this is the time I completely loose it and hit her or do like I’ve done in the past….Use this as an excuse.
My daughter stands in defiance, a willful obstinacy to see how far she can push me.
Things get taken away….cell phones, computer time, tv, …..mouth continues to run……

Fuck you…..I hate this place…..I wish you were dead….fucking bitch.

Grounded.
1 Day….2 Days…..1 Week…..
Who cares…just go away….louder and louder and louder……

To the point I can’t hear any principles, any peace, any love, anything.
I can’t hear God, I can’t hear anything at all………

Living with Lorna is not easy. I hate mornings like this. The joy is gone already today. I cried in the car wondering what comes next. I cried driving down Broad Street as people whom seem happy with their lives go into work. I sat in the parking lot at UDF and told God…I just don’t know if I have anything left to give…….I am empty.

I call my wife….She is in tears.
Our daughter…is someone else. A stranger in our own home at times, all at 15, without a drug or alcohol problem. Just an attitude, a mouth, and determination to be an adult at 15 without adult resources.  My wife and I have an appointment with a psychologist with her on Monday.

I hope we can find some answers…..

Because I am out of them.

Bob D.

In a Just for Today Program……


I post on a couple of different sites. If you are in recovery there is a social networking site for recovering people (All Fellowships welcome) called In The Rooms. Here is the link:

www.intherooms.com

I try and stay informed about things. I try and remain open minded but there are times, especially in dealing with some members, it is more difficult than I want to admit. I read a post yesterday about “conspiracy theories” at the World Level. For those of you who are not addicted or in 12 Step Programs, my fellowship, Narcotics Anonymous, is in 127 different countries. We have meetings in countries that you and I cannot get a passport to.

I read, talk to other members, stay connected and I am not aware of some grand conspiracy to mass manipulate the fellowship by a few who are believed to be in power. I do believe aliens landed in Roswell, but not that NA is trying to mind control folks thru literature sales…:)

At any rate there were some posts that just rubbed me the wrong way. People with long periods of clean time 15 and 20 plus years who are feeding information to newcomers about events that happened in 1979. How in the hell am I supposed to be in a Just for Today Program if I am holding onto resentments that happened 20 years ago? I understand our fellowship has went through turmoil. So has AA, so has any 12 Step Program. Why?

Ego, Manipulation, and Dishonesty.

The brighter fact in all of this is I met a guy on line who works at the World Service Office and thanked me for my post. He then gave me the link to add input on a project for a new book called, “Living Clean: The Journey Continues”. One of the great things about the new revised 6th Edition of the text is that the stories in the back are updated to reflect ongoing recovery versus I used and stopped as found in the 5th Edition. So a positive came out of a seemingly negative ordeal.

I passed on my position to another member at my home group last night and bid farewell to them. It is time for me to move on to another group and help there. I had mixed feelings about it. I still remember walking into the smelly basement of that church some 3 and a half years ago. It was only my second NA meeting. I have been involved there since then, every Wednesday at 8pm. I watched the group grow, struggle, grow a little more and now finally be a stable force on our schedule and our community. It’s time to go to a new group and help do the same.

“All we did was some some seeds”.  Jimmy K. Co-Founder of Narcotics Anonymous.

The guy that called me on Tuesday that felt recovery was not paying off called me yesterday. He says he needs to go to a meeting and reconnect because he doesn’t want to use.

Imagine That.

Take Care……Bob D.

Self-Sabotage Part II-Spiritual Mudpuddles


puddle

If God is God, why shouldn’t I expect God to be working in my life?

I’m not a preacher, or a guy that goes to church every Sunday. The last time I was at a church was for a building dedication of one. The time before that it was for a Christmas Service and before that a wedding I think. That’s not counting the countless basements of churches I’ve been in where meetings are held. Funny, we hold recovery meetings in the basements of buildings we don’t want anything to do with but are grateful for the space provided for a meeting.

 I’m not here to debate whether you believe in God or not. If you want to do that post your own blog. All I know is what is true in my life, and I believe there is something greater at work in my life than what I can see, call it what you’d like, I’ll call it God. It’s not that bad to believe in God, unless when you think of God you think of Charlton Heston, as I did for the better part 2 years of recovery. It’s true, every time someone would say God in a meeting I had a picture of Heston in my minds-eye as Moses or whatever. Ideas gathered from the past. I have come to believe…….

It’s not possible for me to describe God to you, you need to find it for yourself.

Finding something usually means getting turned around, getting lost, asking for directions, falling into mud-puddles, and eventually…..eventually stumbling upon it by sheer luck or gliding up to it as if you knew where it was all along. I’ll go with the stumbling part, it suits me better.

Lapses in emotional and spiritual condition result in relapse. Ours is a disease of the spirit as well as that of the mind and body. The solutions are spiritual in nature…let’s not be confused about it. So what is a Spiritual Mud-puddle?

I would define it as a feeling more than an actual event. It is that feeling that things aren’t going the way I feel like they should, that old saying that petty frustrations, minor setbacks, and loneliness often make us feel like we aren’t getting any better. We ignore the practical decisions we need to make and fall into complacency and apathy about our situations, about our very lives. We become full of doubt and denial and the 1st Step begin to conflict in our minds. Remember in the 1st Step we are “Powerless over our addiction“. Addiction is much more than just the physical use of drugs, much more. Outward unmanageability may be in check but the internal struggle of self-will, self-sabotage, and self-centeredness are like the 3 musketeers on a rampage. We get stuck in the mud-puddle and struggle till it’s quicksand up to our necks only to find that the only way out of the mud-puddles is acceptance. Acceptance that I can either walk around the puddles or jump in them (Sometimes puddle jumping for real is fun) and soak. I am reminded that all feelings eventually pass…..If I give them the chance to pass……Sometimes I don’t. I soak in them like soaking in a mud-puddle because it is familiar pain and I haven’t got a clue as to what to do.

Sometimes I need a rope tossed to me. God, I have found, speaks to me through other people, places, and events. In looking at those things with an open mind I can usually see where God has tried to tell me something, or show me something, or better yet…”Hey Dummy!!!!  Here’s The Rope..Grab Hold”!!!!!! I have friends who have my best concerns at heart that point out things to me in a loving way that allows me to see my wrongs or crazy thinking. I have a family who supports me. I have a program that works in my life. If you are reading this and feel like you are in a spiritual mud-puddle…..

Here’s the rope…….Grab Hold.
Take Care……Bob D.

 

Self-Sabotage Part I


Stivers-1-29-06-Self-sabota

I found this on Google and boy did it ring true and provide a laugh.
I had posted on an earlier blog one of the greatest forms of self-sabotage I go through is by simply not telling people how I feel about things. I am afraid it will end in an argument, or you won’t agree with my point of view, that you will look at me in judgement, and perhaps worst of all you will be angry or disappointed in me. I believe this to go back to childhood. I would want to strongly interject that this is not an appraisal on how I became an addict or if I was born one. It doesn’t really matter at this point, I ended up in Narcotics Anonymous anyway. I place no blame on my circumstances as a child for the choices I made while using. Did I use them in self-centeredness to continue to use? Sure I did, but no one made me do anything I didn’t really want to do or try in the first place. I just went with it.

I had people tell me my whole life how I was supposed to think and feel. I would tell someone something and their reply would be…”You shouldn’t feel that way about it”. How in the hell can someone tell me how I am supposed to feel about something? My perspective may not be in alignment and it takes discussion and debate to change perspective. My thoughts and feelings are my own and they may not be valid to anyone else but me, so I become afraid when challenged or made fun of.

Another form of sabotage is food. I read a few blogs here that are posted by folks dealing with food issues. I applaud them and find their courage and struggle not that indifferent to someone who is recovering from drug addiction. That is a lofty statement and the reason I say it is that I can use food or a lack of proper food today to change the way I feel about myself. In the end it is the same, using something or depriving myself of something to change the way I feel about myself. For example, I can have a million things to do and “To Show” others how “busy” I am I will not eat in a show of drama, then complain about how hungry I am later. The simpler form of this is eating to beyond full. Eating out of boredom. Eating something to trigger comfort. I am reminded by the NA Basic Text in the definition of obsession that it is my particular drug or some substitute that I use to try and recapture the ease and comfort I once knew. Not that far fetched that sex, money, and food are 3 of a recovering persons biggest adversaries on any given day.

Self-Sabotage is an oxymoron because like in the cartoon it not only affects us, it does affect the ones in our lives. I believe I am only harming me and like a tornado in the night the damage isn’t apparent until mornings light for all to see and feel. I wrote a letter to my wife about our relationship. I won’t go into details because after all it is the Internet, right? I wrote her some things that had me frustrated and resentful. As I sit here and type this I wonder what impact, if any, it will bring to our relationship. I am hoping for the best, but in my own form of self-sabotage again, I am expecting the worst. My wife told me the other day I was terrible at communicating, and now I am afraid I communicated too much. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and perhaps what Self-Sabotage means to you. In the next post I will look at Spiritual Self- Sabotage.

Take Care…..Bob D.

 

 

 

A New Receipe for Madness


New Meth Formula Avoids Anti-Drug Laws
Meth's New Method
By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, Associated Press Writer Justin Juozapavicius, Associated Press Writer Mon Aug 24, 7:10 pm ET

TULSA, Okla. – This is the new formula for methamphetamine: a two-liter soda bottle, a few handfuls of cold pills and some noxious chemicals. Shake the bottle and the volatile reaction produces one of the world’s most addictive drugs.

Only a few years ago, making meth required an elaborate lab — with filthy containers simmering over open flames, cans of flammable liquids and hundreds of pills. The process gave off foul odors, sometimes sparked explosions and was so hard to conceal that dealers often “cooked” their drugs in rural areas.

But now drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run. The “shake-and-bake” approach has become popular because it requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine — an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws that have been adopted across the nation to restrict large purchases of some cold medication.

“Somebody somewhere said ‘Wait this requires a lot less pseudoephedrine, and I can fly under the radar,'” said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.

An Associated Press review of lab seizures and interviews with state and federal law enforcement agents found that the new method is rapidly spreading across the nation’s midsection and is contributing to a spike in the number of meth cases after years of declining arrests.

The new formula does away with the clutter of typical meth labs, and it can turn the back seat of a car or a bathroom stall into a makeshift drug factory. Some addicts have even made the drug while driving.

The pills are crushed, combined with some common household chemicals and then shaken in the soda bottle. No flame is required.

Using the new formula, batches of meth are much smaller but just as dangerous as the old system, which sometimes produces powerful explosions, touches off intense fires and releases drug ingredients that must be handled as toxic waste.

“If there is any oxygen at all in the bottle, it has a propensity to make a giant fireball,” said Sgt. Jason Clark of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control. “You’re not dealing with rocket scientists here anyway. If they get unlucky at all, it can have a very devastating reaction.”

One little mistake, such as unscrewing the bottle cap too fast, can result in a huge blast, and police in Alabama, Oklahoma and other states have linked dozens of flash fires this year — some of them fatal — to meth manufacturing.

“Every meth recipe is dangerous, but in this one, if you don’t shake it just right, you can build up too much pressure, and the container can pop,” Woodward said.

When fire broke out in older labs, “it was usually on a stove in a back room or garage and people would just run, but when these things pop, you see more extreme burns because they are holding it. There are more fires and more burns because of the close proximity, whether it’s on a couch or driving down the road.”

After the chemical reaction, what’s left is a crystalline powder that users smoke, snort or inject. They often discard the bottle, which now contains a poisonous brown and white sludge. Dozens of reports describe toxic bottles strewn along highways and rural roads in states with the worst meth problems.

The do-it-yourself method creates just enough meth for a few hits, allowing users to make their own doses instead of buying mass-produced drugs from a dealer.

“It simplified the process so much that everybody’s making their own dope,” said Kevin Williams, sheriff of Marion County, Ala., about 80 miles west of Birmingham. “It can be your next-door neighbor doing it. It can be one of your family members living downstairs in the basement.”

A typical meth lab would normally take days to generate a full-size batch of meth, which would require a heat source and dozens, maybe hundreds, of boxes of cold pills.

But because the new method uses far less pseudoephedrine, small-time users are able to make the drug in spite of a federal law that bars customers from buying more than 9 grams — roughly 300 pills — a month.

The federal government and dozens of states adopted restrictions on pseudoephedrine in 2005, and the number of lab busts fell dramatically.

The total number of clandestine meth lab incidents reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration fell from almost 17,400 in 2003 to just 7,347 in 2006.

But the number of busts has begun to climb again, and some authorities blame the shake-and-bake method for renewing meth activity.

The AP review of 14 states found:

• At least 10 states reported increases in meth lab seizures or meth-related arrests from 2007 to 2008.

• The Mississippi State Crime Lab participated in 457 meth incidents through May 31, up from 122 for the same period a year ago — a nearly 275 percent increase.

• Several states, such as Oklahoma and Tennessee, are on pace this year to double the number of labs busted in 2008. The director of Tennessee’s meth task force said the pace of lab busts in his state is projected to be about 1,300 for 2009, compared with 815 for all of 2008.

Some states lack a central database to monitor cold medicine sales, so meth cooks circumvent state laws by pill shopping in multiple cities and states — a practice known as “smurfing” that allows them to stay under restrictions placed on sales.

Traci Fruit, a special agent with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, said law enforcement officials are becoming increasingly frustrated because there’s no way to tell who is buying what “unless we go from store to store ourselves and pull up the records.”

Historically, rural states like Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas have been hotbeds for meth use because an important ingredient in the traditional method, anhydrous ammonia, was easily available from tanks on farms where it’s used as a fertilizer. But the new formula does not need anhydrous ammonia and instead uses ammonium nitrate, a compound easily found in instant cold packs that can be purchased at any drug store.

Data from the Justice Department and the DEA data suggest the method could only be in its early stages, and “shake-and-bake” labs have recently been discovered as far north as Indiana and as far east as West Virginia.

States surveyed by the AP also included: Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

While many law enforcement agencies are just learning how to spot the new labs, other states are rushing to close loopholes in laws limiting the sale of meth ingredients.

Mississippi Sen. Sid Albritton, said that state’s law — modeled after Oklahoma’s — forces buyers to show identification and makes stores keep a log of cold medicine sales. But the problem in Mississippi is lack of technology to instantly log purchases in a central database.

“You have to understand going in that drugs are an evolutionary process,” said Albritton, a former police detective and narcotics officer. “The day after we pass a law, they are going to look for ways to circumvent that.”

___

Associated Press writers Roxana Hegeman in Wichita, Kan.; Holbrook Mohr in Jackson, Miss.; Tom Parsons in Little Rock, Ark.; Bill Poovey in Chattanooga, Tenn.; Jim Salter in St. Louis; and John Zenor in Montgomery, Ala., contributed to this report.

Relationship Suicide


So I am in an Old Navy store last night and my phone rings, wait let me back that up I had made calls to 3 guys I sponsor in an effort to get them off their asses and on the phone again. A simple tool that we take for granted each day is the power of a phone call. I remember calling my sponsor around 3 months clean in a panic because I saw a guy I used with in the line at a Speedway and completely freaked out, running out of the store like I just robbed it.

I have one guy in relationship problems and has a newborn.
I have another guy with physical problems facing eviction from an overbearing landlord.
I have a third guy who, well, he just wants to use and is looking for the right excuse.

I called the first guy and left him a message. The last time we spoke his relationship was in crisis mode and we talked for 40 minutes about things.
No call back to let me know what was happening. I find this aggravating to say the least. When we call others in pain, only looking for the absence of pain or validation for what we have done, this is usually the result. Things get smoothed over and we want to move forward not addressing the root of the problem. It’s not that I am the Miracle Worker or anything like that, but I’d at least appreciate a phone call to let me know what is going on.

The second guy is very literal in his approach and has been dealing with a landlord that just wants him out. He is not late on his rent and seems to be in good standing with everyone with exception to one set of neighbors which he has problems with. They rent from the same guy so he feels it’s time for my guy to go. He has been looking at other places and has a decent lead on something. He is concerned about this to the point that he has skipped meetings which I don’t advise. He has also become concerned with fellow number 3.

Number 3 is lost. He hasn’t been to a meeting in 2 weeks and called me last night. He said, “I haven’t used and I just think this recovery thing isn’t for me. Like I’ve reached a point where this is as good as it is going to be”. I told him that after being clean almost 4 years now that I don’t feel like I have reached some lofty plateau, that I know that recovery is a continuous, uphill journey. I told him if he needed me he knew where he could find me. I’m not going anywhere.

Bottom line was last night was frustrating on many levels. In my relationships with guys I sponsor as well as my personal relationships with my wife and my kids. I rolled the dice and told people how I really felt. I wrote a letter to my wife about some things that have been bothering me for a while now. It will either be relationship suicide or rebirth. I am hoping for the latter because I am committed to this. I am committed to them.

Self-Sabotage will be the focus of the next few blogs, and I have given a little insight into one of the biggest forms of Self-Sabotage I have. Now telling people how I really feel about things and then stewing in the resentments that brings. I am sure more will be revealed as I write on the subject and if you stop by I would be thrilled if you left a comment or your perspective on this issue.

Have a Good Day…..Bob D.

Spiritual Violence


Kind of an oxymoron huh……..

This weekend it seemed was full of Spiritual Violence, or maybe a better term is Spiritual Warfare. I finished reading a book that I actually won on here from a blog written by “End of the Story” (You can link from my page). The book is entitled “Holy Roller” by Julie Lyons. She is a former editor for the Dallas Observer newspaper and to say the least it left me with a lot of questions about what I believe in and don’t believe in.

Is it possible that demons are here on earth? I don’t know.
Is there some kind of Spiritual Warfare being waged by the unseen eye on the souls of folks who have problems of all kinds, not just addictions. Julie goes into detail about her own battles with depression and same sex attraction.
I don’t know if depression is caused by a demon or just a chemical imbalance in the brain, but I found the book to be thought provoking and from the perspective of writer to reader she is honest in her own personal battles and never separates herself from others in regards to the life issues we all face, none makes us better than or less than as a human being which I found refreshing.

After I finished the book I soon began questioning things I thought were true in my perceptions of religion and spirituality. For the longest time I observed people whom were affiliated with churches with the “Once saved, always saved” mentality who were unwilling to look at or acknowledge ongoing issues or feelings as if their faith required no maintenance other than sitting in a pew with good intentions on Sunday. At least that was my outlook. I am slowly coming to the understanding that faith requires much more than that, and I haven’t even stepped into a church yet.

In the battle against diseased thinking (Addiction in it’s truest form) I have to be Spiritualy Violent. I have to be aggressive with an ongoing and continuous maintenance of a recovery program. The same were to make sense if I wanted to pursue a religious faith. Words without action are meaningless.

As I sat in a meeting last night I found myself disconnected with anger. Anger over frustrations from earlier in the day and with 2 other addicts at the meeting.
A guy whose wife and 4 kids decided he wasn’t worth it to stick around anymore and a girl whom if I had to guess couldn’t be more than 18 years old.
Clinging onto each other like shipwreck survivors to one life jacket. I made a comment directed to them in my sharing. It was hidden but not hidden. I don’t normally do that, but I did anyway.
What I wanted to tell this girl was this guy does not have our best interests at heart. Instead I talked about attaching ourselves on to various things while in recovery food, sex, money, bad relationships, all in an attempt to change the way we feel about ourselves and our self-worth. Hell I’ve done it.

I was also frustrated with my wife from events earlier in the day. I tried to arrive early to talk to my sponsor about the events and people were already there not giving me the privacy I felt like I deserved with him and in turn made light of the situation even though it was really bothering me. I spoke about it some during the meeting but there was something else that was working on my mind. Something we read about empathy……

What was it that truly attracted me to NA while others only see a room full of misfits not using? I guess because I didn’t see a room full of misfits…I felt empathy…..that wordless language of recognition, belief, and faith….
Spiritual Violence or Spiritual Warfare for one another in this daily battle against the disease of self.

What does the term Self-Sabotage mean to you?
I heard this term yesterday and it peaked my curiosity.
I may have just found the topic for a multi-post blog.

Take Care…..Bob D.