Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's a Disease People...

I am trying hard to keep with my promise of one blog posting a week. I have been thinking about trying to find a part time job blogging. I don’t know how I can expect to make any money blogging if I have a hard time coming up with one a week much less 3 or 4 a week like most places want.

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 fiancĂ© 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…