Looking back on the last couple of years I am grateful for my recovery process. I have made some major changes in the way that I live and I have grown as a result. In order for you to understand where I am today, I have to give you some background on where I have come from.
I started on my road to addiction back in 1978 I was 12 years old and I was already an alcoholic. I had my first drink somewhere around the age of 9 or 10 but it was in full swing by the time I reached 12. No matter how hard my mother tried I could not and would not stop drinking, I had to drink and all I wanted to do was drink. Needless to say drinking led to many problems and my drug use excalated to a variety of other illegal drugs. I used everything and anything and when it was gone I still wanted more. My life revolved around using and getting and using more. I had lost all hope and believed that I would die an addict. You can check out my blog From Struggle To Strength to follow my journey at www.fromstruggletostrength.com.
I was suffering from obsession and compulsion long before my addiction to drinking but I didn’t know anything about obsession and compulsion back then. I only learned about it recently in recovery and it helped to explain a lot of things.
Obsession – the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea,image, desire, etc. Compulsion – a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act,especially one that is irrational or contrary to one’s will.
I was at a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore. I tried unsuccessfully many times to quit using and was ready to try anything. I came into recovery back in 2011 after using and abusing drugs for over 37 years. Although I knew that I needed help with my addiction I still chose to hang around people, places and things and as a result of that I continued to use. It took a few more whippings for me to finally understand that I could not use and win. That using was not the answer to anything and that If I continued to use, I would die.
I went in and out of recovery for a couple of years and then finally surrendered. I remembered thinking that surrender was for suckers. That I would never give up or be a quitter. That attitude almost killed me. Today I know different. I know that in order for me to win, I had to quit. I had to change in order to survive.
Change was new, different and scary. But it was oh so necessary. I did the same things over and over for the majority of my life. I suffered the consequences of that vicious cycle for years. The fear of trying something new kept me stuck in that cycle but something deep down inside me knew that I was at the end of my rope and if I didn’t do something different I would definetly die as a result of my drug use. I made myself a deal, I would try one last time and if it didn’t work then I would go away to a treatment facility so I could get a jump start on gathering some clean time. This time around it was different, I was different. I had a urgency to stay clean. I had the desire and the willingness to do whatever it took to stay away from drugs. I wanted what others in recovery had and so I had to do what others in recovery were doing.
I began by paying attention and participating in the meetings that I was attending. I took the suggestions of members who had substantial clean time and were working the program sucessfully. I began to notice before long that I was accumulating some clean time. I was finally able to string together more than 3 days. My attitude and behavior began to change and I was open to new things. I began to feel, act, talk and behave differently and as a result I began to think different. I began to feel comfortable around other people and no longer felt like a lonely outsider. I was a part of something and it felt great.
All my life I felt like I didn’t belong and now I finally found somewhere that I did belong. People welcomed me and actually wanted me to be around, They wanted to know how I was doing and really listened when I spoke. I kept coming back and I am still a part of it. I changed the people, places and things and my life began to change. I am growing every day from the inside out. I am beginning to learn who the real me is, what I like, what I do not like. I am learning that no matter what happens in my daily life, there is no reason for me to use drugs. My life has done a complete 360 as a direct result of making some changes. I am still growing and learning and I will for the rest of my days. I am forever grateful for this amazing life saving process called recovery.
Peace and Blessings