Monday, April 12, 2010

Thoughts on Recovery

Thinking about the process of recovery...
Let us not be fooled that recovery is not an easy process, and rehab is not simply a quick fix. Recovery is a long and bumpy road at times, and relapse is unfortunately all a part of it. It takes an addict years and years to become addicted, and it takes even longer to recover. It is a daily battle, and at times I still feel like I am in the midst of it. As a addict, we will have both good days and bad days in recovery.
Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is taking a good hard look at ourselves and our lives. Counsellors like to delve into all the reasons that one might use. Counsellors like to think that if we can just get to the bottom of our problems, then our addictions will simply disappear.
This is just not always the case. For many addicts, it is not our life that drives us to addiction. In treatment, someone was always trying to delve into the reasons that made me use. I just liked to get high...bottom line. And after years of graduating to substances like heroin, a lifelong addiction has its grips on me. It is not because I had a bad childhood or because I suffered some kind of trauma. To me, it is more simple than that...I just liked to get high.
I will acknowledge the fact that addiction runs in my family, on both sides. I do believe I am genetically predisposed to addiction. I think that genetic disposition and years of using have lead me to where I am much more than any trauma may have.
When I was still immersed in my addictions, I made all kinds of excuses for my addiction. An addict is always looking for some kind of justification to use. An addict will look at the world differently sometimes if it enables him to use. I used to tell myself(and believe) all kinds of bullshit excuses that made it okay for me to use, at least in my own mind.
It is only now that I can look back and see the fallacy of it all. I was not well when I was on methadone, or any other replacement substance...but I was better. An addict does not get well over night; an addict does not get well in 90 takes years and years for an addict to get well.
There finally came a day when I realized that I woke up in the morning, and my first thoughts were something other than drugs. This is when I felt like I was finally free. As an addict, I spent at least ten years where the last thing I would think about before I went to bed and the first thing I thought about when I woke up was drugs. When I was on methadone, I would wake up and think about getting to the clinic...the cycle was not broken, but the cycle of recovery had begun.
It is important to remember that recovery is not an easy process, and it involves a lot of ups and downs. I was a heroin addict for two years before I tried to get any help. Then, I spent another eight years bouncing back and forth on the rubber band of recovery. I tried methadone. I tried NA. I tried cold turkey. And I even had court ordered intensive outpatient treatment.
I think it took this trial and error to finally get it right. Each time I would get better, I would stay clean a little longer, and my using times would get shorter and shorter. I had to figure out that once I got clean, I could not use just one always ended up the same, in addiction. It took me a long time to get my life back on track.
Now I feel like my life is so good, that I would not risk it by using again. I also know that I cannot just use once or twice; my makeup does not allow this to happen. Now when I think about the old days, I just look at the new and I know I am happy. I am proud of where I am and what I am doing...finally.
I do feel like I have wasted a lot of years. But, I also feel that I have gained a lot of insight into myself. I feel that I have a lot of stories to tell, and as a writer this is a blessing. I feel that I am much stronger than I ever would have been without my trials and tribulations. I know that I am blessed to be where I am today, and in many ways...I am lucky to even be alive.
I am now a mother, and I have a renewed hope about the possibilities in life. I am back in school, and I am furiously writing it all down. I am steadily working on a book, and I have confidence that I can do it. I can have everything I want, but now I have to work harder than most. I am thankful for my loving family, and I think my addictions have helped me to appreciate them much more. Today, I AM VERY BLESSED.

1 comment:

  1. I know this Thing, all too well.
    Keep working at it.
    One Day at a Time.
    It never ends.
    But it gets better and easier with every passing day.
    Begin again.