Thursday, December 4, 2008

To Justify or Not to Justify: How to Keep Your Conscious From Bothering You (you hope!!)

After much aggravation, frustration and cussing, my Internet connection is up and running again. Thanks to those who read my last blog from the other day and sent messages. It was great to see people react to my story like they did. At least I know someone is reading this stuff. Sorry that I wasn’t able to respond to each one of those messages, but with my Internet connection being crappy, I had a hard time checking my email; much less add to my blog.

I know that my story is pretty much like everyone’s on some level. We all lost so much when our addiction started running our lives. When I was at the pinnacle of my addiction, I was completely obsessed with getting more and more pills. Every waking minute of every day was spent thinking up ways that I could trick some doctor or how I could make a quick buck so I could buy something from my dealer.

When I fist started taking pills I was married, had a beautiful daughter and a nice home. While the reason we divorced was not directly related to my addiction, it did play a small part. When I am using, I justify so many things to myself. Also when I am using, I do things that normally I wouldn’t, such as take money from our account and hide it so I could buy pills or steal pills from family and friends. When I would take money, to soothe my guilty conscious, I would justify it in my mind by thinking it was my money to begin with, not thinking about the money was supposed to be for the lights or groceries. When I stole pills I would justify it by saying so and so would have given me some if I had asked. I would convince myself that they had said it was OK. Many times I have looked in the bathroom mirror, after I had done something particular shady, and not recognized the face staring back at me. Sounds like a touch of schizophrenia, doesn’t it? I’ve asked myself “What am I doing?” so many times but I had never gotten an answer. These days I recognize that reflection and I know exactly what I am doing.

I find myself still trying to justify things that I shouldn’t do. These days its not drugs, it's should I buy that cool new electronic gadget now or wait until it goes on sale? You know, when working Step Eight, I had to have 3 sheets of paper to make sure I included everyone that I harmed. There weren’t too many folks in my little world that I didn’t hurt in some way. It may have been easier to make a list of those who I did not harm.

To change the subject a bit, I am going to an A.A. retreat this weekend. Not only will it be A.A, but N.A. and C.A. will be represented too. In a way I am looking forward to it, but in a way I’m not. I’m not too fond of the idea of sharing a cabin with 7 total strangers. They say it’s a good way to meet new people and increase your network. I may wind up getting a hotel room (if there is one close by). I attended our regular Thursday night meeting tonight. I hate it when the speaker is unprepared. Tonight he read out of the Big Book for 15 minutes, and then said that we were going to have an open discussion. What sense does that make when you just read something and you don’t even comment on it.

I have to keep reminding myself that some of the people here aren’t the sharpest knifes in the drawer. ‘Here’ is a residential recovery program in Metro Atlanta. I’ve been here for about 5 ½ months. I’m mandated by the courts to be in this program for 12 months. So I am not quite half way finished. It’s not too bad now. I have a full time job, live with 2 great friends and pretty much come and go as I please. And of course, I am staying clean and sober. This place has taken away all desire to use. Actually, I did it myself. This place isn’t a program in the sense of having counselors, doctors and other trained staff. Here is proved a safe, sober environment where you can get connected to the rooms of recovery. For me I needed to get away from the small town where I grew up. I had so many contacts that I almost never went without pills. Here in Atlanta, I don’t know a soul and I really don’t want to.

This ends another installment of “THOUGHTS ON NOTHING”. I hope that I didn’t bore you all to death. I will not be posting anything this weekend because I’ll be at the retreat. I should be full of new stories when I get back on Sunday night. Please keep sending those responses in. Tell me your story, share those burning desires you might have or what ever you feel like sharing. Thanks again, and I promise to try and respond to your comments.