Wow. i swear i can go for years without it. Then all of a sudden here i am. Home, broke, wife mad, living a lie in front of friends and family. I can accomplish so much in-between relapses. So, like every other addict here is my current dilemma. consistently for the last 14 years i have used drugs off and on. Heavily in the beginning until i really wanted to try to be sober. now here at age 32 married, kids, student, what is my next move. I cant put my family through this. But how do i guarantee recovery? There is no guarantee! Do i send my wife back to her mother and tell her to raise the kids on her own. I feel like that is giving up. But they do not deserve to go through this. I am selfish. i do not know what to do. where to go from here? been to rehabs. been to jails. almost died what is it going to take?
Each of us is ultimately responsible for the decisions [as adults] we choose. You've asked a few questions that only you can answer, like what's it going to take? I've just gotten clean from narcotics myself so I'm no puritan here, but your direct future to me seems obvious. Your either going to get clean and do the best you can by your family, or "jails, institutions or death". I could be wrong, but it seems to me part of the angst your going thru is "dope think" and may seem much different when looking back after sobriety takes hold. You've been to rehab, so apparently stopped? You need to get some form of aftercare going, or you'll be getting clean on the other side where they are not near as helpful with your freedom removed. Good luck
As it says in AA's Big Book, we MUST "fully concede to our innermost selves that we [are drug addicts]. This is the first step in recovery."
As a drug addict, I can't use any mood or mind-altering substance today. I can't use at all, no matter what. This is the simple fact of my life, because I have lost the power of control over such substances . . . when they enter my body, by whatever method, they take control and I'm just along for the ride.
Just not-using is not enough. Just not-using is like walking a tight rope - - I'm always fighting a strong power that wants to pull me down and I could slip and fall at any time. I can't make it on a tight rope. I need a WIDE, SMOOTH road and I need to do my best to stay in the middle of that road.
For me that road was started in my second rehab and finished with LOTS of 12 Step meetings. For the first eight months I averaged 10 a week . . . a lot of time, but a lot less than I used to spend at the end of a stem or in the instant-insanity that immediatly follows. And, it was time spent building the road that I needed to get to a new life, instead of destroying myself and everyone who depended on me.
A little over six years ago I was less than 30 days clean, in my second rehab, and scared to death about my next relapse. A counselor asked "why are you so scared of relapsing?" That was easy "because that's what I do," I told her, "sooner or later I always relapse."
She asked "are you going to use today?" "No," I said, (thinking here comes that 'one-day-at-a-time crap'), "but you don't understand, it's not today . . ."
"NO!!!," she interrupted, "YOU don't understand. As long as you don't use today, you're doing everything that you can. The only thing that matters is what you do TODAY."
I was stunned. I had first heard of "one-day-at-a-time" over 20 years before, and it always seemed like a painfully stupid "trick," not unlike someone telling you to set your watch 15 minutes fast to fix the problem of always being 10 minutes late. That wouldn't work because I would KNOW that the watch was fast . . . just like I KNEW that when "these people" said one-day-at-a-time they really meant FOREVER and I had already proven, beyond a doubt, that I couldn't stay clean forever -- sooner or later I ALWAYS USED and then it was on . . .
But this was different. This counselor, in recovery herself, was telling me that the way she did it was by focusing ONLY ON TODAY. It really hit me like a ton of bricks and after 20 years I got what I had for so long been too smart to get. "DO YOU MEAN THAT WHEN YOU PEOPLE SAY 'ONE DAY AT A TIME,' YOU REALLY MEAN ONE DAY AT A TIME."
"Yeah," she smiled, "we REALLY mean it."
That moment made a HUGE difference in my recovery. Before, I was a certain relapse just waiting to happen and, therefore, a failure. Just like that, I became a success . . . because I wasn't going to use TODAY and that's all I could do.
In order to find recovery, I had to stay in the moment. A lot of times it was five-minutes-at-a-time, the point always being "I'm not going to use NOW."
Pray. Whether you believe in anything or not (I didn't), PRAY. Every morning ask -something- to help you stay clean today and every night say "thank you."
Read. Read everything you can about addiction and recovery.
Oh, and go to meetings . . . there are people there who have made it to the place you want to get to.
It's easy to spot the ones who have what you want. They won't tell you what to do, but they will tell you what worked for them.
I no longer go to 10 meeting a week, but I still hit 4 or 5 each week. It's time well spent for me. I no longer spend any time not-using. I just don't use anymore, it's not a part of my life. Now, I work on my recovery one-day-at-a-time, and as long as I do that, I'll stay in the middle of that wide, smooth road.
It's a good place to be. I'm mostly happy, most of the time now. I'm almost always comfortable in my own skin. I no longer live in guilt, shame and fear.
There's a passage in the Big Book called "The Promises." which tells what life is like once we are well into recovery (Step 9, specifically). I used to hear that read at meetings and think "there's no way. there's no way that will EVER happen to ME." I could see it had happened for some people (the ones who had what I wanted) but I "KNEW" it could never happen to me.
I was wrong. By not-using, no matter what, and giving myself to a simple program, working on my recovery one-day-at-a-time, I got every one of The Promises, just as promised. So, I give you:
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
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