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.