From the earliest memory I can recall to now, many life experiences have carried an impacting message for me. I notice some major things I’ve learned when I particularly look back to when I was active in my addiction to drugs.
10 Things Addiction Taught Me
I Didn't Know What A Friendship Was
Even when I was spending a majority of my time with someone that I believed I was inseparable from, I realized not too long after that my trust was foolishly misplaced. When I was with some “friends,” my own money went mysteriously missing while they conveniently had the same exact amount in their hands due to “washing the front window of a man’s car.” Right. After seeing what they were doing to me, I began to do the same to others. I trick other people into thinking they “accidentally dropped” their drugs and then would help them look for it. In recovery, I now believe it's just the consequences of living in active addiction. It was never happening to me, it was happening because I was engaging. Once I stopped hanging out with shady people and started living honestly, I no longer suffered these consequences.
I Was Not A Doctor
When I was actively abusing drugs, I thought I had all the right solutions to fix any feeling I simply just didn’t want to feel. If I was depressed, anxious, or sick, I thought I knew the “proper” drug or concoction to medicate myself with. I thought I knew better than doctors who went to medical school for years did. I did not know that self-medicating was not only not working, but could kill me. Playing doctor helped turn me into an addict with no cure that could be found on the streets.
The World Did Not Owe Me
The mindset I had when I was using drugs regularly was completely off. It was as if I figured that since I was already on drugs and breaking the law, participating in other illegal activity didn’t matter. My thoughts were wrong but sound similar to ideas that suggested if I was hungry, it was okay to take food from the grocery store because, hey, it’s like a public pantry. If I needed money, did it really matter who I got it from? Or how? I heard of others who felt desperate enough to go through peoples’ mailboxes and take any cash or checks in birthday or celebration cards. The good news is that people who did these kinds of things can apply the idea behind it to their recovery. I used the concept of “the world being my oyster” to motivate myself toward positive change. I realized that the world did not owe me and I could achieve anything I wanted – that supported my life in recovery – as long as I was dedicated to working hard and honestly for it. (Work, work, work!)
Substitutions Were Not Solutions
I think there were a few times when I kicked a specific drug habit – only because I was abusing another or picked up a different process addiction in its place. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that this didn’t exactly correct the issue of addiction or solve my thinking problem. Addiction is best treated with complete abstinence.
Fear Did Not Stop Me
It’s a crazy phenomenon that an addiction could keep me doing something that proved to be fatal for someone I knew, even cared for. The strange thing about it is that it just didn’t make me want to stop. There was a time when I didn’t want to live anymore, and when I heard that a drug overdose caused one of my best friends’ boyfriend’s death, I had to get my hands on it because that is the insanity of this disease. After entering recovery, I could finally see how sick my thinking was.
I Was Missing Life
In the beginning of my addiction, I hadn’t come to terms with this right off the bat. But after a while of continuous use and spending a majority – if not all – of my time abusing my drug of choice, I began to see how I missed out on relationships, events, experiences, and my youth. My entire life was being one giant blur and I was missing all of it.
Drugs Took Control
I remember describing this to someone who knew what I was doing. When everything I thought and did involved drugs, I knew I wasn’t me. I lost myself and did things that my loved ones would never fathom me doing. I definitely saw it as having my soul stripped right from me. I was completely powerless over drugs and my life was unmanageable.
Being A Victim Hurt Me Most
It might have taken me a while, but I finally caught onto the truth that self-pity only made me more depressed. Thoughts like, “Why is this happening to me?” ultimately just multiplied my misery. Who wants sadness upon sadness? On top of this, I realized that when I was too focused on my own problems, I was not being of service to others or living out my life’s intended purpose. Self-pity could not keep me clean and sober.
I Was Selfish
There was a time when I did want to be a better person. Although I couldn’t stop using, I did behave better. Because of this, I thought I wasn’t selfish or self-seeking. Let’s just say that after making a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. I see today that being selfish is simply not thinking of my self so much and thinking of others more.
I Felt Invisible
One of the worst things that could happen to you is when you begin to live your life as though you are already dead. It wasn’t fair to the people around me, especially when I was physically there but not emotionally, mentally, or spiritually present in each moment. In recovery I feel apart of this world and those in it.
Recovery Is Real
Many people who are in active addiction feel that recovery cannot work for them. They could not be further from the truth. Anyone who is willing to be open-minded, honest, and willing to work towards their recovery can heal from drug addiction and alcoholism. If you have want to see what real recovery is, call The Watershed today at 1-877-975-4837, we can help you get there.
Written By: Watershed Laura