My name is Bob and I am an addict……..
My story is really no different from anyone else’s story. Most of the names are the same, only the faces may be different. I truly believe today there is no major difference between anyone of us who suffers from addiction. A random XY chromosome that determined if we were male or female. I am a firm believer in the literature so you will hear it referenced, all of it is from the 5th Edition. Sorry purists, no 3rd edition here.
The major problem I had with drugs simply turned out to be that I did not like in the end the person drugs had turned me into. I often hear that some weren’t getting high anymore. That was the opposite for me, I still was getting high, it just took a little longer than what it used to, by several hours.
I came to NA in desperation, a longing for the absence of pain. This in essence is a moment of clarity. I just didn’t know that is what it was called.
I don’t have a bunch of using stories to tell you. I probably could but at whose expense? I don’t feel compelled any longer to dwell on such things. I don’t believe I need to qualify myself for the program. Wasn’t walking through the door asking for help enough? I’m sure I could tell you a lot of endless nonsense about the circumstances of my youth. In the end all they did was provide me with the fuel I needed to continue my self-centered madness. I am sure there are those that would like to hear of the “scarred child redeemed” and I’m sure it would make for a sensational story but my recovery story is far more important than any using or set of life circumstance story I could tell you.
The last night I used was December 18, 2005. I would like to tell you there were a lot of feelings released that last night. Feelings I had no idea what to call them or what they truly meant. Words like hopeless, worthless, ashamed, guilty, and so on. I would imagine any word that I could have attached “Less” onto would suffice.
Kicked out of a dope house at 5 in the morning having not been home all night, I stared at myself in the rearview mirror of my car. How did I end up in this place again? I told myself just one, or two, and I had to get home. I was supposed to be at my daughter’s school recital for Christmas. I’ve blown it again. Then a thought came across my mind…..”What lie am I going to tell to get out of this”? Only one problem. I was out of lies. I was tired of lying. I was tired of me. I could no longer sit there and convince myself that this was working on any level.
We all get faced with the tough questions at some point or another:
Don’t you see what you’re doing to yourself?
Don’t you see what you’re doing to your family?
Don’t you know you are going to lose your job?
Then the ass kicker question always comes:
Don’t you love me enough to stop?
The answer is no.
It really had nothing to do with love. I had no true idea of what love was or wasn’t until after I got clean. Love to me while using was simply more a matter of, “What can you do for me that I don’t have to payback”.
All of this in mind treatment didn’t sound like that bad of an option. The afternoon I arrived I went right to a detox bed and had this conversation with God. I had a picture of my 2 kids and a letter from my daughter which I still have to this day…….
I dropped to my knees and said….
God if you will help me, I will try.
I hadn’t sincerely tried to do anything in the last 25 years except get high, have a good time, and shirk responsibility. Looking back on it now I know it was heartfelt. I was emotionally, spiritually, and physically bankrupt. I laid down and slept for 2 days.
When I awoke I found out who my counselor was. We talked for the 1st time and I found out he was recovering addict. I told him of the antics I had been up to and the only words he told me were……I Know.
There was a guy who worked 2nd shift that had an NA book that would read lines of it to me. For as large as a facility it was there was only one book that could be borrowed, an AA Big Book. I found one line in it that I would read over and over about someone (Bill W?) after one of his many stints in a sanitarium coming home. It read something like, “Confidence in Dad was riding high again”. After I would get out of this facility I purchased over 30 NA Text Books and donated them only to find out they had money to buy them, they just weren’t doing it.
In treatment I was judgemental and full of self-pity. I looked for differences and complained. I cried a lot out of shame and guilt. I cried until the day they told me I would be going home. Then the panic and fear set in. I felt ill equipped to face the world. I was certain though my wife and kids would be receptive. A small parade, fireworks, a cake in the very least awaited me right?
Nothing could be further from the truth………
Part II to come.