It’s all about me.
In my active addiction, streams of phrases flowed through my subconscious, making room for my drug use:
“I just need it.
I am in control.
I am not addicted, I just like doing it every day.
I can stop any time.
I don’t care what you think, as long as I get my next fix.
I will stop tomorrow, but I just need one more, tonight.”
Why do you interfere? You MAKE me want to use!
As my use increased, my ability to hide my addiction failed, and my concern that people knew grew less – my inner dialogue that justified more drugs evolved into a defensive diatribe, and I attacked anyone who confronted me about the drugs I inhaled at a frightening rate:
“What’s it to YOU?
YOU don’t know what it’s LIKE!
You have YOUR fun, why can’t you let me have MINE?
I am not hurting ANYBODY!
Why can’t YOU leave me alone?
I didn’t ask YOU to care!”
I can’t stop.
As my life started to crumble all around me, I lost my job, my car, my home and all my possessions. I lost my grip on sanity, but still, my thoughts were centred around the use of drugs. I still didn’t want help, or to stop taking drugs. I wanted people to stop shouting at me, and to pay for my drugs. My excuses rang out loudly, in my head:
“I must have my fix!
I don’t care what else you take from me, just give me drugs!
I won’t make it through the day if I don’t get another fix!
I will lie to you and get you to give me money. I’ll use that for more drugs
I don’t care if I hurt you, do you even care what I feel like, when I don’t have a fix?
I can’t stop – there – I said it! HAPPY NOW?”
Eventually, everything was gone. Money. Food. Bed. TV. Fridge. People willing to help put food on the table or cover my rent. Patience broke, and I was thrown out of the house I shared. I snapped. It wasn’t something inside me that snapped. No. It was me. I. I snapped. I broke down and though I couldn’t say the words to myself, not even in my subconscious, I picked up the phone, and said them to my brother and my sister.
I have to get out of here.
I have a problem and I need your help.
I am at rock bottom and I can’t go on.
I don’t want this life anymore.
It’s all up to me.
I couldn’t afford to go to rehab, and the family had shelled out everything they were prepared to, and I had used that money to get more drugs. My only available support was the Narcotics Anonymous meetings. I wondered how these people would use one ninety minute session a week, to stop the rolling addiction of nine and a half million minutes of addiction. Eighteen years of drug use, and you want to fix me with ninety minutes a week? Good luck! But at that very first meeting, something happened – some words the chairperson said penetrated. My inner dialogue kicked in, and loudly:
“I can’t rely on these people to save me.
It’s not my family’s responsibility to fix me.
I did this to myself.
I am ready and willing but who will help me?
I can only rely on myself.
It’s all up to me!”
I am in charge.
Thirteen months clean, and on a bright, balmy autumn Sunday afternoon, I had an epiphany at the weekly Narcotics Anonymous meeting. While I have taken accountability for my healing; while I have accepted that my addiction was nobody’s fault but my own, I have been sitting around, waiting for recovery to happen TO me, when I should be taking charge and making that recovery happen. My dialogue has evolved, once again:
“The healing is all about me – nobody else can make it happen for me.
It’s all up to me – no one is going to take my hand and make it happen.
I am accountable – I keep myself sober.
I am in charge – this is MY journey, this is MY victory.
I AM IN CHARGE! ”
Because my higher power has guided me, and lives in me, and I am a reflection of that higher power, there is NOTHING I cannot do – with humility, and respect, and honesty.
I am fearless in the face of my addiction.
I am resolute in my determination to be free from my past, and to learn from it.
I am humble, and grateful – because although I am in charge – YOU who support me, and cheer me on, are the voice of my higher power. Giving me guidance where I need, boosting my confidence when it flags, reminding me that while I am in charge of my healing, we ALL celebrate when I claim another successive day clean.
The evolution of my healing thought has been simple:
Selfishly, it was all about me, and my use.
Selflessly, it was all up to me, and my public journey.
Self-assuredly, it is me in charge of this recovery; for me to share this story, so that others can take inspiration, learn from my mistakes, and feel some hope that yes, YES – we DO recover!
© Dave Luis 2013. All Rights Reserved.