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1796826 tn?1578874779

and then, one year later

Everybody loves a success story, so here you go! I am writing this post with 365 days clean from my drug of choice, hydrocodone. Being able to come onto MedHelp, read all the stories, and see all the love and support has been a big source of strength for me. In the early days of my recovery I came here and read and posted a lot. Helping other people is a big part of my recovery. It helped me solidify my identity as a clean person, and gave me new positive clean memories. As time went on, I started to post less, mainly because I was too busy with my life to really get so involved with other people. I think when I first started out, my world revolved around recovery, but as I put more time behind me, other things (job, relationship, family) started to take center stage. I think this is all normal and good, and I’ve seen the same thing happen with any number of people who have came through here in the last year. I still lurk on a fairly regular basis, mainly to read and to learn. If I see a post where I really think I can add value, or say something that might really help, then I will post. But it’s mostly lurking these days!

In the year I’ve spent here, I have seen so many success stories that you can’t believe it! There are the regular posters, who have gotten clean and stayed clean - and there are the folks like me, who have gotten clean and for whatever reason become less active. What all of us have in common is that we came out of what seemed like an insurmountable addiction, and have stayed clean! For the person reading this who feels hopeless, who feels like there is no way out, please stick around. You would not believe the depths that people have pulled themselves out of. Their stories and support can be an inspiration to you like they were to me.

If I could go back and have a conversation with myself about 380 days ago, I’d probably be amazed at what the old me believed. I used to somehow think my addiction was unique, a terrible problem that only I could understand and solve. Reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe ‘twas partially the nature of my addiction to keep it very close. I was a high-functioning addict, and I kept my problem secret from everyone. But this close-minded approach probably extended my active addiction for a few years because there was a way out that I just couldn't see. It was there for me as soon as I was willing to honestly commit to the cessation of use, which I would probably have been willing to do sooner if I realized recovery was not the solitary, sad state that addiction had been.

[Note that I didn’t say “quit”. At the end of the day, “addiction” is just a word. Actions speak louder than words, and I personally don’t care what people call me - or what I call myself - so long as the end result is that I never use again. Too many people get hung up on words, I think.]

If I had a chance to say anything, I’d say: “Old Ben, you have it stuck in your mind that ‘I got myself into this, and I’ll get myself out of it.’ I know that self-reliant streak has served you well in the past, but what you don’t realize is it has become the mindset that’s holding you back! You have to change, boy, you have to show real courage by admitting you’re weak, and not the false courage of carrying the world on your shoulders because you’re afraid of what people may think if you ask for help. And guess what, when you finally get your act together enough to reach out, then your weakness will become strength - and you will become a stronger person that you could possibly imagine.”

That’s all I’ve got, folks. I want to thank everyone again for their amazing support!
18 Responses
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1827057 tn?1397520277
Awesome job and awesome post Ben !!!  So glad you are doing so great.
I know what you mean about getting busy. Keep up the great work my friend !   ;))
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi there,
Your post is very timely for me, and  thank you for checking in and sharing yourself with us all. By the way, congratulations on your success.My best wishes for your continued success.

I went to rehab in early June (first time), came home, relapsed, caught it quickly and threw it all away and stopped. Havent used in 6 weeks. I'm a pain patient, though, and today I was hurting like hell. Got home from church and was putting my clothes up and knocked an old shoe down, and with it came 5 little yellow demons (Norco 10/325). I didn't take them, but I haven't discarded them either. I am sick with grief. I want, more than anything, to be able to hold one in my hand, and never even dream of putting it in my mouth! I hate that I am so weak that I still want the stupid things. Anyway, again, thank you for your post.
Helpful - 0
4522800 tn?1470325834
WHAT A GREAT POST!!!!! I can relate to every single thing you said to the tee. I too feel stronger as the months went on. I too seem to be backing off a bit but I also like going into other community's. On & On..But this is about YOU. I would like to give you my Congratulations on your year and tell you that I have always zoomed right in and read whatever you had to say where ever it may be. I have learned a lot from your knowledge about this disease you put out here. I love it when you have showed the Semi Synthetic to Synthetic meds to non Synthetic. How each med is broke down..You like to learn the same things I do as far as what Drug hits what Receptors. Thanks for being You and Speaking from the Heart. Please keep it up because I like what I learn from you. We all do not agree all the time but the knowledge is real and we can change the way we were.
Bless
Helpful - 0
4810126 tn?1503942735
Bravo Ben!

There was never a doubt in my mind that you'd make it to this marker without a hitch. I'm gonna' out you here, my lurking friend!

I just want anyone who posts on this thread or who looks at it to know that when I stumbled out of my month-long haze coming off Methadone in late January, one of the first things I can remember is posting on my first MH thread. Ben came into it & reached out to me. He was my first friend here & has been a rock for me throughout my detox & clean time. My ultimate gratitude has &  will always be to him for corresponding with me daily & for being there for me through thick & thin in just about every sense.

So, my dear 'Unbowed' friend, from the bottom of my heart I just want to say what a tremendous job you've done for yourself, your family (& for me.) I hope you'll do something really enjoyable to celebrate your hard-won Year.  

In addition to the cake I picked up from the 'Mexican Bakery'-- (no, I didn't really make it myself.) -- I'll leave you with these lyrics. It was one of the first songs I sent you. It was true then & it's true now.

You don't get played on the radio
That's not the game you play
Well I don't care anyway
I glued your tape in the stereo
So I know every word, every note
And every chord is right - right on
When I feel weak you make me feel strong
Make me feel strong feel like nothing's wrong

I won't say your name
You know who you are

'Thank You' (By Descendents)
Rock On, Benjamin!

With Affection, Gratitude & 'Affinity',
Annie
Helpful - 0
4341997 tn?1514588688
Congrats on 1 year Ben!!  thanks for the awesome post....way to go and be an inspiration to us all!  your posts are always informative....hope you are doing something nice to celebrate this year!  awesome my friend!  
Helpful - 0
5347058 tn?1381188426
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Very inspirational. You are a man of few words, but the words you do share are always filled with wisdom and kindness. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration. Congratulations on your big 1 year clean!!! YAY BEN!!!! Keep them coming my friend! :)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your story is such an inspiration to me...I too am addicted to the same drug and I have relapsed and today is only day two, but my mind is much different now...I know I cannot do this alone and that this is a very serious addition, but I know I am going to do this...I do not and will not cave...I am using this sight and got rid of all sources...I am very excited to there next year too....Thanks again...Hugs
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
It has been a pleasure watching you go thru this process and grow ben.  There are many more rewards out there for you and i know you will experience them.  You have worked hard to get where you are at.  May you continue on your road to recovery~Congrats on 1 yr!!!

Do you remember that one time when the RAIDERS played the steelers??!!!!!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Ben, you just told my story. Other than I still treat my addiction as of I just got clean. Your humility is truly a miracle. It was so hard for me to ask for help, but that is what made all the difference. I congratulate you in a most sincere level. You laid it all out on the table. Don't get so wrapped up in life that recovery comes second. Your post made my day. You are an inspiration. We came here about the same time. How can I top your testimony? I can't. Thank you so much for sharing your joy. Congrats my friend. They say it keeps getting better. Keep the faith, the old timers have been right so far.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Good honest and informative post Ben. Congratulations on your one year and may you have many more! Don't forget us on here...
Helpful - 0
3197167 tn?1348968606
Happy ONE YEAR birthday, Ben!!!  We have a lot more in common than I was aware of....hydros being our DOC......and the timing of our surrender being not much more than a month apart. (that's fun:)  

Words.....I do agree some times we can get "hung up" on words...but on the otherhand I am SO grateful for the English language and the fact that we DO have so many words to express ourselves.  Some of the words that you used in your post jumped off the page at me....because they are so critical to being able to post a success story such as yours.

Honestly.......Success.......Love.....Support.....Source of Strength....Willing

"Admitting we are weak makes us strong"

Most of all, Ben, this sentence jumped off the page...

"What all of us have in common is that we came out of what seemed like an insurmountable addiction, and have stayed clean!"

Amen!!...Thank you, Ben...many congrats on this 365 DAY MILESTONE~~

Helpful - 0
5754613 tn?1373820889
Congratulations Ben! My husband just passed his one year mark recently!  Truly  a miracle!  I know how amazingly light my heart felt at 1 year and I am not even the addict.  You are a super hero!  Thanks for sharing.  I need to remember how you feel everyday so that I will NEVER take my husbands clean time for granted.
Helpful - 0
4113881 tn?1415850276
☆★☆☆★☆☆★☆☆★☆CONGRATULATIONS☆★☆☆★☆☆★☆☆★☆

Dude...great post! All of it! I really enjoyed you conversation with Old Ben. Great words of wisdom!

"If I had a chance to say anything, I’d say: “Old Ben, you have it stuck in your mind that ‘I got myself into this, and I’ll get myself out of it.’ I know that self-reliant streak has served you well in the past, but what you don’t realize is it has become the mindset that’s holding you back! You have to change, boy, you have to show real courage by admitting you’re weak, and not the false courage of carrying the world on your shoulders because you’re afraid of what people may think if you ask for help. And guess what, when you finally get your act together enough to reach out, then your weakness will become strength - and you will become a stronger person that you could possibly imagine.” "

Always,

ABN

P.S. COWBOYS BABY!    凸 (^_^)  凸
Helpful - 0
4810126 tn?1503942735
Wow! (is all.)
Helpful - 0
1742220 tn?1331356727
Congratulations, man!  A year is tha bomb ...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Ben, congratulations to you on one year, and on this great and motivating post!  Hopefully anyone currently out there 'lurking' will read this and realize that this is a road that does NOT need to be walked alone.  Thanks for the inspiration and congrats again on this huge accomplishment!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
SOOOOOOO FLIPPING PROUD OF YOU!!! Excellent post from an amazing guy. Could not be happier for you on your huge milestone. I know your celebrating all you've accomplished and all that lies ahead in your clean world.  Your words are such a boost for any and all beginning this journey. 365 days ago you were in despair, now your amongst the living. Many congrats Ben.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Congratulations and thanks for sharing! I'm on day one and I really want to post similar results in a year from now. I need mental toughness right now as I'm not feeling any physical differences. I just want that kick that gets me going. Since I took one a day I guess I believed it was my 24 hour energy drink.
I need to find my endorphins another way!
Way to go!
Helpful - 0
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