Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I spent a few hours this morning reading a couple of addiction blogs on different blogging websites. There was one in particular that I had to read twice. It was very short and I still don’t know the point. I’m the last one to criticize someone else’s writing but it was obvious this person didn’t have a clue about addiction. The general gist of the blog was how addiction, alcohol, drug and other substances, costs the U.S. millions in healthcare costs. It also attempted to describe how addiction affected people of various backgrounds. The description was one sentence, about a dozen words, long.
I couldn’t hold my tongue, so I had to post a comment. I explained that it was true that addiction did cost taxpayers millions in healthcare costs annually (probably billions, actually) and that addiction knows no social or economic boundaries. I also explained that it was a disease and not the work of drug or drink crazed individuals who didn’t give a damn about themselves or who they hurt in their quest to get smashed.
While I was making my comments, I realized that I never used to think of addiction as a disease. Until I became a full fledged addict I never thought about what made us use. I can remember, during one of my withdrawal episodes, telling my girlfriend at the time that I was sick. I was sick. Throwing up, chills, diarrhea – of course she thought I was sick. Maybe I had the flu or some type of stomach bug. Little did she know that I had a sickness that antibiotics or Pepto-Bismol wouldn’t cure.
The idea of addiction being a disease is something that I have to explain to my family and friends. I was talking with a friend who I had spoken to since I began my recovery. She had no idea I was an addict or that I was in recovery. I gave the URL to this blog so she could read for herself what was going on with me. When she finished, she apologized for not seeing the signs or doing something to help me. I explained that at that time, there wasn’t anything she or anyone else could have done to help me. I also explained that I couldn’t do anything to control what I was doing. That is the power of our disease. That is the insanity of it all. We would do things that, looking back now, were some of the most stupid, ass-hole, f**ked up things that somebody could do. At the time it made sense. The addiction disease demon would justify it and it made sense to us.
I can remember cashing a check for an amount that was far more than I had in my checking account. Today I would never think of bouncing a check, for no amount of money. Back then it was fine for me to bounce a check for $50 or $60 dollars. Never mind that it would eventually cost me $150. It was a means to an end. I had a very nice digital camera. The dope man got it for pennies on the dollar. The same thing for my video camera. And my GPS. All of it went for just a few pills. Not even enough to get me through the day. It makes me sick thinking about it now.
If those actions are not of someone who has some type of sickness, then I don’t know what is. So far the only cure that I have found is meetings, meetings, service work, belief in my High Power, meetings, my sponsor, the incredible support network that I have including my beloved fiancé and meetings. Did I mention meetings?
This morning I updated my status on FaceBook as having writer’s block. I think I have worked around it for the time being. At this rate, I may get two postings in this week.
Until next time…
Saturday, February 28, 2009
The comments that Abbie made about my last blog kind of stirred me up a bit, but in a good way. The last few weeks, I’ve let my ego get in the way. I have been the big and bad recovering addict. Things are great and I am just fine on my own. Yeah, right. Just because things are going good and I am clicking off the days and weeks in my sobriety, I can not get complacent. Just as soon as I do, my addiction will jump up and bite me on the ass.
Thanks Abbie for pointing that out to me!
I’ve been doing the FaceBook thing for the last few weeks. I had set up a profile back last year sometime and only played around with it a time or two. For some reason a couple of weeks ago, I logged on and was shocked at the number of friend requests that I had. As it stands now, I have reconnected with about two dozen of my high school classmates along with people I haven’t talked to in years. I went to a small school and knew nearly everyone in my graduating class. It just amazes me how much time some people put into updating their status and sending messages back and forth.
For the first few days of being active on FaceBook, I updated my status like 5 or 6 times a day. It was pretty cool in the beginning but as the newness wore off, it seemed pointless to let people know that I had just finished eating supper and had indigestion or I was just waking up and drinking my first cup of coffee.
Tonight I sat down at the computer and went through my usual routine of checking email, looking at NASCAR.com to see Sunday’s race lineup and updating my FaceBook status. When I read Abbie’s comments, it dawned on me that I made the time to do something pointless like letting people know that I just got home from work but I couldn’t take 10 minutes to blog.
So I guess I can sum up this rambling in just one word – Priorities.
It goes right back to that ego. I don’t feel the need to blog; to work on my recovery, but I can do something as pointless as let people know my choice of bathroom reading material.
I’m fine. I got this thing beat. Yeah right.
Hang on a second, someone’s tapping me on the shoulder – oh shit, it’s my addiction. I had better get back on track. It doesn’t need to be behind me, it needs to be in front of me so I can keep my eye on it.
Thanks Abbie for hitting me over the head with that ugly 3 letter word. Oh, by the way, I did call my sponsor. He’s getting pretty smart these days. He’s telling me what I need to do and not letting me do what I want.
One a week. That’s my goal. Talk to you all next week.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
My not blogging has bothered me. It's part of my recovery, just like meetings and service work. I haven't neglected any of those things but I've not really made time for the blog. Life has been moving so fast lately, I haven't had the time to sit and collect my thoughts. I can remember a time when I was using and it seemed like all I had to do all day long was call my dealer.
These days I don't have time to catch my breath - and I love it!
I've been working a lot (and not just at my job!). Here are a couple of things that I have worked the hardest on:
Working on month 9 of my sobriety!
Working on month 8 of my 12 month rehab program!
My fiance, Les, and I have been working hard on moving forward with our personal lives. We have found our dream apartment and we are trying to come up with plans for our wedding (we are thinking of eloping and having a beach wedding). Our getting married is going to be my graduation present! We are going to start a new life in a new apartment and as husband and wife. That has given me more drive to stay the course in my recovery than anything. Her interest and support in my recovery has been the biggest help. Without a doubt, everyone needs somebody like her in their corner.
There is no way that I could have accomplished all that I have in my personal life - work, money or relationships - if I were still using. Even though I was a 'functional addict', I could not have had anywhere near the clarity or the plain common sense using that crap I was on that I do now.
I may have said this in an earlier blog, but I can remember a time when I would see people going about their business and wonder how they could make it without using any chemicals to help. Now I wonder how in the hell I ever functioned with the stuff.
My personal life hasn't ever been better than it is right now,
Over the last couple of weeks, I've had a two or three disturbing dreams. In a nutshell, all of them involve some kind of catastrophe - from car wrecks to earthquakes. I usually don't believe in all of that "predicting the future in your dreams" stuff, but I do believe that dreams are usually caused by something in the subconscious. I haven't told anyone about the dreams, but it really has had me thinking lately about how we all live life on a razor's edge - a little to either side and we're done for. I hope that it is nothing, but I can't help having the feeling of waiting on the other shoe to fall.
Maybe it's my subconscious telling me to be careful and that all I have worked so hard to put together can fall apart in an instant if I were to go back to my old habits. I hope that I have finally replaced that little voice that used to tell me "go ahead, one more pill isn't going to hurt anything" with a little voice that says "go ahead, one more pill and you will lose everything!"
I've been there and done that and I sure as hell don't want to go back.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I went to a local Back to Basics meeting a few days ago. I had never been to this particular meeting and I thought it would be good to meet some of the newer clients in the recovery program I am involved with.
The chairperson for this meeting was a substitute and has evidently been assisting the regular chairperson. The topic was sponsorship. Everything was going along good until the chairperson started talking about the length of sobriety of the people whom he sponsored. Earlier in the meeting he had mentioned that he had just a little over a year of sobriety, which I thought was just a little too early to start sponsoring people. He said that two of his sponsees (is that spelled right?) had less than 90 days and the other two had 3 and 4 years each.
You know in movies where someone says something odd and you hear the sound of screeching tires? Well that is just what I heard when he made that last comment.
I had brought a friend to the meeting with me, who has been in the program for the same length of time as I. He and I both looked at each other like did we just hear what we thought we heard?
My point for telling this story is this: Am I wrong for being critical of this person for 1) being a sponsor with only 12 or so months of sobriety and 2) should he be sponsoring people who have 2 and 3 times the length of sobriety of him?
I would like to hear everyone's opinion on this. I have had a couple of people in our recovery program approach me about being their sponsor and I declined because in no way do not feel that I am ready to be a sponsor.
Let me know what you think.