I have nothing profound to say about getting clean. I have had the opportunity to gather information slowly over a period of time. I was blessed with two loving parents who spent years helping me with my issues. If I had to list the number of times I have been in treatment the list would exceed the number of characters I am allowed on this post. I have been in at least 20 tx facilities; I have actively been seeking help for my problems since I was a young child. Of course I was not diagnosed with chemical dependency when I was a small child, but my defects were recognized early on and manifested in learning disabilities. I began taking narcotic psyc meds when I was 9 yrs old, when I was 13 I added anti-depressants to the mix. I was a major outcast in grammar school and part of middle school. As I got older, I learned that I could buy my friends, treat them to rides on my family’s boat and take them to our vacation home. Still I never bonded with people. By this time I had found out that life could be one big party as long as you had the money. It all started off innocent enough, spring break, concerts, parties, but as I was introduced to harder drugs I became less interested in the party and more interested in the drugs. I was 17 the first time I went to tx for addiction. Beautiful place, indoor pool, all clients were what I call high end junkies, I stayed for 30 days, and managed to stay clean for a year, which some would say “anybody can do” but to me one day clean Is a miracle, a year = 356 miracles in my book. After struggling with my addiction for another decade, going in and out of tx, trying all the matience drugs, methadone, suboxone and revia, I just one day woke up and said no more. My last year in active addiction was much different than my expensive party days, at the end I was unable to leave my bed without a walker, I had been on methadone for so long my body had become atrophied, I was just 29 yrs old. When my addictionoligist told me that I needed to get and stay on methadone for the rest of my life I believed her. I believed that I could not get clean, so did my parents. I ended up taking the advice I had been given by every rehab I had been too, I started going to 12step meetings. It was in these meetings I was told “you never have to use again”. What a concept. At first I just had to find one person who believed in me and wanted to help me in my recovery. I also had to see my life as unmanageable, not only with my addiction but other areas I had struggled with for years. I have learned that money, fame, obsessions, gambling, depression, attitude, anything I can do to excess has a potential to create problems for me by distracting us from reality. I had to get desperate enough to change. When I went to meetings as a teen, I honestly thought the people were losers, and I was better than them. I did not need this type of radical help. I was wrong! The God business turned me off too. Money had been my higher power for so long, it took a minute to work out my God issues. I got a sponsor within my first week, went to 90 meetings on 90 days, started on the steps and found noticeable relief when I got to step 10. I still do step 10 each night I use the guide “in living the program” . The first thing my sponsor asked me to do was call her every day, this allowed me to build that relationship I most desperately needed, plus I was not going to open up to someone I did not know. Next she told me to drawl my right and left hands on a piece of paper, on my right had I labeled each finger with a women I could reach out to when I needed help. On my left hand I labeled each finger with a person I could help. 4 yrs later I am still doing this. The people on my network hands have changed, over time. From the start I was asked to write a daily gratitude and asset list, because a grateful addict never uses. It was hard to come up with stuff I liked about myself, and early in recovery I had lost everything so becoming grateful was a challenge. I would call my network for help. When I was 2 yrs clean I became really sick from hep c. I went through pure helll. I took someone from my recovery hand with me to my doctor’s visits because I knew they would suggest suboxone, and they did. I have to fight myself sometimes with this stuff. After all its legal and acceptable to take suboxone and I do have many legitament reasons to be on matience. I have to remember my detox, play the taper through, bounce my ideas off of likeminded people, then reminded that even on a legal drug; I still felt the same desperation and go through the same erratic behavior when I ran out, my body has no clue what opiate is legal and what opiate is bought on the street. I used the guide “illness in recovery” during chemo and it prevented a relapse. When I feel like I am going to relapse, or find myself depressed or confused I read “recovery and relapse” in the basic text and bring it up at a meeting or call my sponsor. I have done several behavioral therapy programs, and this was one issue I did not find help for. I also reached out to the people in my church and learned that they were very uncomfortable talking about addiction and had no idea what to tell me when I had cravings. I am told that the steps help us get along with ourselves and the traditions help us get along with others. I play a team sport these days and I wish my teammates followed the first tradition. It’s all about unity. Tradition one asks us to overlook the differences that may divide us and focus on our common identity as unified and equal members of a greater whole. I practice this in my marriage. My husband and I have a common purpose, to love honor and raise our children clean. Tradition 2 also attracted me to an, no one person governs a group, so our ideas are respected, and no one will sit on a high horse ordering you around. I have found use for just about everything in the steps; I wish I could talk about it all. One last bit before I stop,,, parenting in recovery presented me with some overwhelming challenges, it takes energy and patience to raise children, for so long I had depended on drugs for that extra endurance. It took a while and a program to make that area of my life manageable. I used a Hazelton program called parenting in recovery; it was very expensive so I am working on putting a free workbook together for those that cannot afford the Hazelton program. The steps did not provide me with a false personality, they changed my perception, I am no longer the same person, and if you are clean today, know that you too have become something better. My clean date is 8-23-04. My message is that anyone can get clean, no matter how deep you are in that hole we call bottom, there is always a member willing to jump down in there and show you the way out. Step by step
Hi, I've been in 7 one month substance abuse facilites. I started out smoking weed, added shooms, acid, coke, speed. I couldn't do them any more. I was getting too high. I then discovered alcohol! I started drinking when I was 17, stopped to do drugs. Then when I was 23 I drank. I have wreck a car, blackouts, put myself into hospitals for detox so many times. I met my husband - codependent of 25 years, we both drank and he dabbled in weed. After he died I went off the deep end, trying to kill myself so many times. I drank so much and didn't eat that I almost died. Was in the hospital for 1 week. 10 years ago I went into a long term facility. I had a good counseler. He made me see alot of things that I hid by drinking. I stayed for 4 months. I had been sober for 10 years, and then last year I drank for 3 days straight. I have been sober for 1year 3 months. I do not want to drink again
It seems that most of us that have gone through addiction have seen that tendency in our lives at an early age. If you are truly honest with yourself and those around you, your chance of recovery are greatly increased. For me, this forum and the members in it had a great deal to do with my recovery. Whole heartedly dive into your recovery as you did when you were addicted. Keep your eyes on the prize of being and staying clean. Be honest and post, post post. That is what helped me get through the days and months that followed. I read up on addiction and learned as much as I could. You now have the Health Pages here to use as a place to get valuable information about your addiction and your recovery. The 3 part series on PAWS helped me so much. It put things into perspective. Knowing what could happen helped me when it did happen. Another good piece of advice is to not expect to be well and free of your addiction quickly. You didn't get addicted overnight, nor will you get free overnight.Also know this, once addicted, you may never be able to take those things again. Most certainly, they can rule your life if you use them again.
from my earliest memory, i always felt different and alone. i had wonderful, loving parents and never went without, but in the world i was a stranger. the day i tried to live was the day i found alcohol. instantly i had power. i could be brave, ambitious and socially adept for the first time in my life. soon afterward came the pot, powder and pills, and each gave me a different key for the solutions to my reality. i found music, and i found heaven. i found that as a musician i had ready access to my choice of poison, and i rode that train to the end of the tracks. in time, my chemical friends began to become abusive acquaintances, and ultimately the demons that would drive me to the gates of death and insanity over and over for years. there were the rehabs, emergency rooms, and psych wards. there were the relationships, dreams, promises of hope, possessions, respect, opportunities, reputations and responsibilities that i gave away or burned to the ground. and finally all i had left was my broken will, and no desire except to be free of this body, this pain, this life. i had been offered the solution for the first time in 1991, and it would be over 10 years later before i began to do the things that had been suggested to me the first time around. i went to meetings, got a sponsor, listened and learned, put my trust in god and began to change myself with his help through applying simple spiritual principles in my everyday life. the message never changed, i had to. i had to learn more painful lessons about relationships, success, failure, and complacency. they were painful because i picked up a few more times, as i tried to operate on my own self-centered will to do things my way, which was untested, instead of following the path that had i had been explicitly directed to. a path that had brought many before me through the storms and into the life that is intended for us all. my last drink/drug was september 23, 2007. and god willing, if i can stay on this road and continue giving to others the directions to a faith and life, with meaning and purpose, i will be able to continue my journey to happy destiny---just for today.
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