Just Another Recovering Person

5 years ago on this day, was the last day/night that I used. My clean date is the 19th because the 18th is and forever will be a blur, except the feelings of desperation and the realization of who and what I had become….  A Drug Addict.

I have spoken to literally thousands of addicts and none of whom I have spoken to ever set out with the intention of becoming addicted. I know that, for me, it went simply one was great so two should be better. 2 no longer does the trick, 4 has to and so on.
It’s not important what or how much I used. I don’t ever remember turning down anything that was ever offered to me. Knowingly taking things that I had no clue as to what they really were. I could tell you a hilarious story of taking a nitroglycerine tablet once, but alas, that isn’t the point. What is the point is I was willing to try anything that would ultimately change me.

I started writing at about 9 months clean on MySpace. Met some wonderful folks there, one in particular. Elizabeth is from McKinney, Texas and has been an amazing voice of reason and support. She has challenged my thinking and my reasoning. We have never met, yet I know her like we have been friends our whole lives. We have talked on the phone a couple of times and currently she is experiencing a challenging point in her life. My thoughts, hopes, and prayers are with her and David.

I wrote on MySpace for over 2 years and decided at some point to blog here. I don’t necessarily think of this blog nor any other than anything than what it was really intended for. A blank page to let my words, thoughts, opinions, and feelings on. If other folks stumbled across it and read something they could relate to, find strength in, or completely disagree but challenged their thinking then it was ok with me. I really have no clue how many people read, I know I did a page once about Amanda Bynes as a joke that continues to get ‘hits’ a year later, so I take it all in with a grain of salt.

I know there are great people here. Peg, Nora, Chaz, Corey, and others who have supported me and I wanted to thank them as well. I know it sounds corny, but there is an old Barbara Streisand lyric that went something like, ‘People needing People, are the luckiest people in the world’. Yes, surprisingly I know who Barbara Streisand is, she is my mothers favorite artist. I guess I am one of those lucky people, because I need you.

As I look out my back window a thought occurred to me. I have earned this. Our program of recovery as found in NA (My 12 Step Program of Choice) is free and freely given, but it has taken and continues to take effort. I read a line out of the Text a couple of days ago about how the disease of addiction is progressive even in abstinence. How is this possible if I haven’t used anything in 5 years? The reason is…..

I am the disease of Addiction.

The problem has always been me, I just tried to use drugs to solve my ultimate dilemna…..Myself.
Addiction is a thinking and feelings disease. I’m not going to get into any debate about genetics and environments. The reason why the disease is progressive during abstinence is that I am progressing as I Live Each Day. I am recovering each day, that is why I do not believe in the terms ‘recovered or cured’.

The title of this blog is deceiving. Today my life is full, busy, chaotic at times, and rewarding. The pain however of recalling that last night of use is still fresh, still hurts, and for that I am still grateful. Without that pain, my memory would grow short and my gratitude would waiver.
I have had the chance to see many beautiful things. Wonderous adventures and have done things I have only dreamed of.
I also have seen the worst there is to offer. I have watched people who I love die and watched addicts live with the delusion that they can use just ‘one more time’ never to be seen again.

I feel fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. My wife, who has never wavered in her support of me and her love make life worth living. My children, whom at times are completely as crazy as me and as equal pains in the ass, are still my kids, who have their father.
My sponsor, whom kept early recovery simple and straight forward, is not only my sponsor, but my friend.

I haven’t done a lot right in recovery. It’s been trial and error. I’ve made mistakes and probably will continue to. It’s about progress, not perfection.

But I have kept my promise……

The promise I made December 19, 2005

God, if you will help me, I will try.

 

 

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Comments on: "The Pain Remains the Same……" (8)

  1. Five years clean! Bob I am so very proud of you. I remember when you celebrated your first year. You were still in disbelief that you had actually strung that much time together. Now here you are 1,000 miles from Columbus and your homegroup and sponsor, struggling in many ways, but resolute in your recovery. I know this has been a hard year, maybe the hardest since you got clean, but that makes me even more proud. The bottom line is that nothing has caused you to break your commitment to yourself and to your Higher Power, and you’ve been through a lot.

    Thanks for sending out some love to David and me. We have the kids this weekend and they have cast a magic spell on our home. Suddenly things are normal as if nothing has happened. They took the news in stride… better than we did. Just another reason kids are amazing.

    Sending love. One day we will meet, and its gonna be an emotional day.

    • beyondtheendoftheroad said:

      Thank you for your friendship, your love, and your support. You are truly an amazing person whom I am proud to call my friend.

  2. Hi Bob… this is quite a moving post. I sense sincerity in it.

    Glad to be a positive voice in your recovery, even though anonymously over the www.

    I too am a recovering addict. Even though my fellowship of choice is AA rather than NA. AA speaks to me more than NA for whatever reason that I may never know. But I definitely qualify for both fellowships.

    One thing I have learned is that we never know where or when an amazingly impacting word of wisdom will find us. So all we can do is just keep moving forward the best we can and give those moments the opportunity to reach us. We put ourselves in places where blessings are flying around the room (real, cyber, or printed), and we stand a good chance of getting hit by one.

    Two very profound and impactful pieces of sharing hit in meetings that were otherwise chaotic or dull. One piece of amazing wisdom hit me when my sponsor and I were yelling at each other over the phone after my last relapse. I ended up slamming the phone down on his ear, but the gem of wisdom stuck in my head and I apply it and share it around to this day.

    So congrats on your clean anniversary! Letting it be known does help others.

    See you on the blogs.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

    • beyondtheendoftheroad said:

      Thanks Chaz. I love your wit, perspective, and insight into things. I am glad we have found common ground in recovery and life.
      Much Respect….Bob

  3. Hey congrats Bob!! 5 years is a big accomplishment. I remember stumbling upon your myspace page with only a few weeks clean and finding serenity in reading your words. Your message was so clear. Thanks for being apart of my recovery. Upward and onward my friend!!!

  4. Bob – I have only just had the chance to catch up on your post from last week. HUGE congratulations on your five years clean. It is wonderful and I have to disagree with the opening line of your last paragraph ‘I havn’t done a lot right in recovery’ because you have done recovery and that, as we all know, is one hell of an accomplishment. It is about progress as you say but you should also give yourself a big pat on the back. You’ve come this far….five years clean seems nigh on impossible for Hannah.

    I have appreciate your presence online more than you could ever know. You were the first person to ever read WorksAside and I can’t tell you what a support YOU have been to me over the last 10 months or so. These cyber relationships are real relationships. We have never met but I don’t think it matters.

    Have a wonderful Christmas! Nx

    • beyondtheendoftheroad said:

      Thanks Nora for your continuing support and inspiration. I applaud you in your efforts. I wish nothing but the best for you. May you have a Merry Christmas.

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