I stayed home from work today because my son is sick. I told my boss I was sick. It’s complicated. I didn’t like lying but it seems that during the entire month of February I didn’t put in one full week at work. We had snow days, teacher in-service days, doctors appointments, and so on. I don’t feel guilty because I have the time, I guess I just found it easier to not be truthful. My wife has an audit this week at work and can’t stay with him. Her boss was in the hospital yesterday because he hadn’t been taking his Diabetes medication and was in like Diabetic Shock. He was released yesterday evening and is at home resting.
Speaking of medications I read a post today from some guy talking about how people can play doctor in 12 Step Programs. My experience has been just the opposite. I believe our fellowship (NA) learned painfully from past mistakes on trying to do this. Our literature talks specifically on this subject. Our health, both physical and mental, is our responsibility. After consulting with an informed physician about our condition it is up to our best judgements as well as those whom we confide this information to, to make the best possible decisions as when it comes to medications, surgeries, and procedures.
When talking about substitution of one drug for another what we are really talking about is the art of self-deception.
I wouldn’t take an over the counter Zyrtec for allergies that has no narcotic effect what so ever in the hopes of getting high. But I could convince myself that after spraining my ankle the pain would be so unbearable I should go to the ER in the hopes of getting some pain medication.
Another example maybe going to a doctor for nerve medication because my inability to deal with personal responsibility and the overwhelming feelings life can sometimes have becomes a substitution for dealing with reality.
I know of people who went to AA to stop drinking and still used drugs. I knew of people who went to NA to stop using drugs but continued to drink. The idea of total abstinence just didn’t sit well. I always had some thought in my mind that if I could stop using just a particular substance I would be ok, but I would always use a little something. I would always have that little something on the side to help take the edge off.
It’s not up to me to play doctor, but what I can do is rely on common sense. I’m not going to tell someone they should stop taking a medication or prescription based on what I think. I guess the proper question is what is the medication for? Is it for the process of healing or the ways and means to continue to get high?
Some folks want to bring in the debate of caffeine, nicotine, chocolate, of any other stimulants seemingly found in 97% of what we eat and drink. I didn’t come to NA in desperation because I drank too much coffee or had a Snickers habit, I came into NA because my life was in the toilet over drugs. Later I found out much more about why I used drugs to start with. I know that it is possible to use almost anything to change the way feel. Having this knowledge today I am better equipped to not only be mindful of what I do or what I eat, but I can also pass on this information to someone who ultimately will struggle in this area of recovery, because we all do. Whether you are a supporter of 12 Step Programs or not this is my key point.
What I want most is to feel good about myself and my set of life circumstances. When this isn’t happening I will reach out to anything outside of myself in an attempt to change this. This instant gratification of feeling is at the heart of my addiction. I thought I had found it in drugs, today it can come in many forms. Food, Sex, Money. In an effort to recapture a feeling I will go to any length once the obsession and compulsion have become too much. You can call it anything you like, a disease, an illness, a disorder, I have found comfort in the fact that I know what and who I am today. I have not been brainwashed into believing I am broken, rather I have been given the greatest gift of all…..
12 Step Programs aren’t for everyone. I have friends who have found alternative ways to recovery. That’s cool. There is a difference in being a part of the solution rather than continuing to be a part of the problem. I mean I sat in problems and theories for over 20 years and guess what happened?
What’s the solution today?
Take Care…Bob D.