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The Power of our Addiction

May 31, 2013 - 19 comments


We all write our hearts out on here, trying to stop someone from going back out only to find that their addiction has mentally caused them to already have gone out. It's just the formality of calling the dope dealer to complete the act of using. Sometimes their addiction will have them write something on here while in that mental state of "I'm about to go to the dope house". Lack of power is our dilemma. They're powerless, we're powerless to stop them...

That's how powerful our addiction is. It's sinister. It's amazing. I watch it working against our efforts on here every day. Our unconditional love on here for the suffering addict is an enemy of our addiction. It will try and analyze everything that we write to desperately help someone to not use. It will find the one sentence it can use to have it's negative way with that particular addict, and it then it will up the type size 60 points larger, and put that one sentence in extra bold type to get the addict's attention for sure. Our addiction even lurks at NA and AA meetings, especially with brand new people.  We try and help the newcomer, only to see the newcomer's addiction quickly find some possible negative at the meeting and blow it into their ear. We never see that newcomer again.  

Self respect is must to stay clean. If we don't love ourselves, It doesn't take much for our addiction to turn us against ourselves. Especially someone brand new who has been using for eons. Being clean is so different and hard for them to comprehend. We stop using and all our character defects that we regret, all of the past that we regret, and facing the future without our drug of choice to use for what we feel is comfort, (even though it will only last 5 minutes and deliver us days of misery) can easily overwhelm us. Our addiction is the ultimate master at taking advantage of that. It will nurture all that information into a disaster that can easily kill an addict before they ever have a chance to deal with trying to change themselves into someone they feel is worth respecting. If we don't respect ourselves, then we're eventually going to hurt ourselves over and over again. That's the insanity our addiction tries to bestow upon us every day. Working to completely change our thinking is the best answer to that.

Our addiction is ugly, and it wants to kills us by turning that fine line of willingness required to get clean into something negative until our heads are completely out to get our ***. A 20 year old H addict at my home group kept going back out and then getting the white key-tag of surrender at our meeting almost every Tuesday night. This went on for a few weeks until one day he got the urge to slam his car into a bridge abutment to take his life, and he did it. "Suspected suicide" the article said. I didn't realize it was him until I saw his obit in the Sunday paper that week. Many of us shed tears at our sharing circle that Tuesday and we only knew him for 7 weeks.

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4341997 tn?1514588688
by toothfairie, May 31, 2013
that's awful about the 20 yr old....no matter what age...it's so sad....and yes i can relate to this...respecting ourselves, loving ourselves is hard to do after we get clean and see the "real" us sometimes...but we are works in progress and i continue to battle isolating myself everyday....and being motivated to do anything other than work...

thank you for sharing this...it really hit home...changing our ways of thinking is one of the major keys to success at staying clean...thinking, habits, places and things.  It really is hard to bridge that gap from using to being clean....it's a whole diff world...a better world for sure...but it changes our everyday lives for the better....but sometimes any change is a scary thing....be it good or bad...

thanks again for this...

Lisa

Avatar universal
by OpenMind24hours, May 31, 2013
Thanks Lisa... I too fight isolation every day. Lately it's been winning the fight. When I used, I also used in isolation, so not much difference there. I go to my meetings almost every day, that's helpful for isolation, but I'm good at being alone in a crowd. Goes with my addiction. Still working on step 4. Lets see how different I am when I finally do step 5.
Thank you for commenting,
Robert

3197167 tn?1348968606
by clean_in_ks, May 31, 2013
Thanks for writing this, Robert.  We truly ARE powerless over not only our addiction, but the addiction of others and how they choose (or NOT choose) to work their program.  

The self-respect you referenced is a "catch 22" cause for me.......I beat myself up worse than anyONE else EVER could.  And if we start out in recovery NOT loving ourselves.....the self-respect that you referred to just simply isn't in us yet....it takes some clean time, some reflection time, others loving us when we feel unable to love ourselves.  Other recovering addicts can help us with that for sure.

Thanks for sharing with us......I SO appreciate walking this recovery road along side you~
Connie



4341997 tn?1514588688
by toothfairie, May 31, 2013
that's true too Connie...i beat myself up wayyyy worse than anyone else....i'm my own critic basically...i haven't had anyone be "down" on me for being an addict....just myself...

so hoping time will heal this as well...along with aftercare.  

Avatar universal
by OpenMind24hours, May 31, 2013
Thanks for commenting Connie.
I hear you on beating ourselves up. Nobody does it better than us! My automatic butt-kick machine is well oiled and ready to go at a moments notice.
I had 27 1/2 years clean and I still didn't have any self-respect. I thought I did. I though I was everything AA! I was a legend in my own mind when I was around 10 years clean, and the ego got worse as my time piled up. I became addicted to my time. Now look at me! So, now I'm working on real, true self respect on the inside, where I should have been working in the first place. It's a dangerous thing with me that needs correction ASAP. I should wear a T-shirt to my meetings that says "Under Construction"
It's such a blessing that our paths crossed on this forum...
Robert

Avatar universal
by OpenMind24hours, May 31, 2013
Lisa, I sometimes wonder if the butt-kick machine is part of addiction. It's like it was passed out at birth: here's your addiction, and your particular addiction comes fully equipped with this nifty Ajax Butt-Kick Machine!

4522800 tn?1470325834
by VICourageous, May 31, 2013
Hey Girl! Respect for our Mind, Body and Soul..That is where I am at right now..yesterday I was re-born again into another step of not wanting any man made pills..Like even my Mobic..I was thinking of a depressant pill but just went NO..Anything I put in my body now hurts my body and makes my Brain say No Yek!! I was feeling really good emotionally too! Until I started to use the aspirins or anything non-additive for pain..Well I sure could feel it bad..I mean it really messed me up!! I just said STOP!! Give it TIME this will all balance back..The Moods, Low Motivation, Some weight Gain, Sleeping alot..I was Obsessing over it ALL! Little by little that Obsession was bringing my Addiction Behavior back up into gear where I started thinking about this or that for this or that..STOP I said as my body stated to shiver knowing it would hate every bit of it..So I am proud to know on May 30 almost 9 months later that time is the healer and I will live longer by Respecting my Body & Mind!!!  Thanks Girl!   lol  

4341997 tn?1514588688
by toothfairie, May 31, 2013
haha Robert...i think it's a package deal!!  we are a work in progress tho my friend!!  progress not perfection!!  

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by 10356, May 31, 2013
Thank you for sharing this. It is so well written and speaks so much truth to me... I have reread it twice. lesa

Avatar universal
by OpenMind24hours, May 31, 2013
Thank you lesa. I got frustrated this morning when someone seemed to have gone out, as we were all trying to get them to reconsider. I started to write it, didn't really know what to do with it, and then remembered the journal part to our wonderful forum.

Avatar universal
by OpenMind24hours, May 31, 2013
Thanks for your comment Vickie, respect for our mind, body and soul is right. Especially our soul, the inner most part of our entire being.

1827057 tn?1397520277
by ricart70, May 31, 2013
Robert
What a great post !!!       You know,   I really think that you should give yourself a pat on the back.  Those 27 years were definitely not wasted just because you relapsed and got clean again.  I can hear those 27 years in the form of real wisdom,compassion and flexible thinking. I have four out of the last five years clean (2 relapses in that time) . I really draw on what worked during those clean times and throw out what did not. The one thing that drove me to relapse both times was Getting  DOWN on myself.   I really try to avoid that now. I also really avoid making someone else feel bad about themselves.  
    I know that when I was one year sober and 2 years sober before ,I thought "MY" method was the one that worked and boy was I able to "forecast" relapse on every one else who was not doing what I thought they should . My thinking was very rigid and the real truth was I was just doing this one day at a time just like everyone else who was clean and sober that day. I was not guaranteed tomorrow.  
   Anyway I think your words bare a very evolved and integrated .You are a great and truly compassionate and inspiring member here !!       I also hear you on the need to socialize.  I am so glad that I can socialize and have fun talking to all of you here on the forum as well as sober and clean people in my non computer life.  ;)

4522800 tn?1470325834
by VICourageous, May 31, 2013
Robert! You do know what to say right at the right time..I have High Respect for you and your experience..I was talking about you to Julie on the Phone the other day!! You do know how bad this addiction is and most of us do and are right behind you all the way..let it rip. Give them the Truth!!
Yes and thinks for making that comment on the "Respect" because walking in my 9 months I have learned that this is so so the Truth..The Soul YES!! Give our life back to our Lord..AMEN!! Thanks I needed to read this today too!!!

Avatar universal
by OpenMind24hours, May 31, 2013
Thank you Ric. I have a great respect for you on here. Helping others helps keep us clean and I believe that our higher powers got us all together on here to do this work. I'm truly glad that you're part of it. One of my favorite meditations in my Hazelton 24 hour a day book talks about God making a mosaic of our life.  Each tile God puts in there makes up this picture of my life. Some tiles that God has put in my mosaic I haven't really liked, but it's all Gods will. When I look back at the picture, every tile had an exact purpose making up the entire picture. Acceptance of the mosaic as it is would really make life much smoother for me.
It's so great to have this gathering on here, I truly believe this forum has become one of the most important parts of my daily recovery!

5685035 tn?1423932969
by Heather8448, Jul 20, 2013
Sounds like you are talking about me....

Avatar universal
by 10356, Jul 20, 2013
This line continues to speak volumes to me. Self respect is a must to stay clean. If we don't love ourselves, It doesn't take much for our addiction to turn us against ourselves.
This is the most difficult to keep up and a must to my recovery. I work everyday at this.  Thank you again, this journal always brings me to the heart of my journey.. lesa

Avatar universal
by OpenMind24hours, Jul 20, 2013
It does my heart good to see you're getting something out of it Lesa. I just read it again myself. I was driven to write this when our NA friend Will committed suicide. I still think about him and we sometimes talk about him at my home group. How he slipped away. A couple weeks ago we had two brand new members and we only had one white key tag of surrender. Will had almost run us completely out of them. 9 years ago my daughter was doing the same thing. She'd get a key tag at a meeting, throw it in the back seat of her car and then head to the dope house. It has taken her years to believe in herself and feel that she's really worth staying clean for. It was a close one with my daughter also. she wanted to stop but just couldn't find a way to turn it off long enough to find herself worthy.  After having gone out and now having just 9 months clean, I'm still in the process of finding that person in me that I left behind over 4 years ago. Our 4th step inventory isn't just finding issues about ourselves that we want to get rid of, most importantly it's about finding things to love about ourselves also. That step is the ticket to the beginning of quality clean time. The remaining housecleaning steps just add to the quality.

4522800 tn?1470325834
by VICourageous, Jul 20, 2013
Robert, You know this is so great when these things we do months and months ago come floating around again..This just gave me another Pick-Me-Up!!! I am so so so so Blessed this came around at this Time..Wow I am just Floored..lol

Avatar universal
by 10356, Jul 21, 2013
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.. I pray your Daughter is doing wonderfully. I'm very sorry for the loss of this group member, it seems he left behind a memory that brings a smile for his tenacity I only wish he would have been able to see it thru.. Our lives depend on our emotional health as addicts, It is not always the easiest to convince a brain that is diseased what is best for it.. I have grown from my first tentative steps but sometimes I can fall back to unhealthy thinking This journal is a excellent reminder of the why's I take the steps I do to insure I'm healthy emotionally.. I hope today finds you well and Happy. Know you have helped a fellow addict along her journey. again Thank you, lesa

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