2009-01-21T04:01:20ZOn January 15th, 2009, I celebrated two whole years clean from a variety of substances that would have ultimately led to my great demise. When I first started thinking about possibly trying to break the cycle of addiction two years ago, I did a great deal of research to try and find out just what […]On January 15th, 2009, I celebrated two whole years clean from a variety of substances that would have ultimately led to my great demise. When I first started thinking about possibly trying to break the cycle of addiction two years ago, I did a great deal of research to try and find out just what would do the trick. I never quite found what I was looking for; instead, I found loads and loads of self-made detox guides, citing different over-the-counter supplements and prescriptions to help ease the pangs of opioid withdrawal. While this can be helpful in the beginning, when the physical side of things can overwhelm any mental anguish, it only covers about a billionth of the time you are going to spend fighting off addiction (though, I feel I had the “best” of both worlds—an ever-deepening depression and the projectile vomiting, and… you know the rest). Too many of us spend too much time concentrating on the detox side of addiction, and not enough on the mental exercises and therapy that is required. I must admit, when I first got clean I was a lost soul. I no longer had any artificial feelings of euphoria, and I had the distinct pleasure (sarcasm) of dating a person who was also in her own little mess of things. Might I borrow a book/movie title for a moment? War of Worlds pretty much sums it up. While in addiction, I acquired so many bad habits and behaviors, it’s unbelievable that today I’m a full-fledged functioning human being, who is also contributing to society . I learned how to manipulate people when I wanted to get my way, and worst of all, I learned how to remain comfortable doing this. In a sense, this was a small form of complete moral disregard. I lied to my mother to obtain money for drugs on several occasions. I racked up cash advances on credit cards, and partook in other immoral stunts I felt were required to get the money to cop. I sold all my games, CDs, two expensive bass amplifiers, a laptop computer, and anything else of value that I owned. I never stole from anyone but myself. There was something I couldn’t stomach about stealing from someone else… go figure! In December 2006, my life spiraled completely out of control. My addiction was getting worse than it had ever been, and I was destroying a relationship of one year with a person who didn’t deserve the drama and emotional abuse I was serving. I knew I wasn’t in a good place, and I knew that this person was the last thing in my life that was any good, even though the relationship was pretty much shot at that point. When I lost that relationship, I was able to complete a half-attempt at suicide which got me to the psych ward at a local hospital. Being in the psych ward was a huge wake-up call to me. I was over 18, so I was with adults. I was bunked with another addict, and an older gentleman who snored louder than anyone I have ever heard. I met some decent people while in there. I had periods of awakening where I really saw the path my life was taking. In this psych ward, I attended my first Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I was impressed with some of what I heard, but I didn’t like the mention of “God” in the literature and it kind of felt like a cult at some points. It was good to go to meetings and listen though. Finally, something different than just a detox formula. I was off to a good start. The house psychiatrist had me on methadone for four day taper, after which I started to experience a horrible withdrawal syndrome. Despite the meetings and encouragement from the staff after a little less than a week, I started to feel the gravity of addiction pulling me back. The self-fulfilling prophes[...]
2009-01-07T01:07:11ZAfter reading, please comment and tell us what you are going to do to help out yourself, your community, country, or the world in 2009… or just respond to the blog entry! I am happy to say that New Year’s Eve was quite enjoyable, as I got to spend time with my favorite person in […]After reading, please comment and tell us what you are going to do to help out yourself, your community, country, or the world in 2009… or just respond to the blog entry! I am happy to say that New Year’s Eve was quite enjoyable, as I got to spend time with my favorite person in the world. My girlfriend and I attempted to take a trip down to Philly to watch fireworks. We jumped in the car mid-evening, cranked up the heat, held hands and listened to music on the way down. It was a very frigid day, and those who watched the ball drop will know this (we are about an hour and a half south of New York City). The wind chill factor was easily below zero. On our way downtown, we noticed a lot of homeless people. A typical thought crossed my mind at first glance… it must be tough being homeless on a night like this. After about a half hour, we found a decent spot to park, paid $20, and put on our hats, gloves, sweatshirts, etc. In addition to the freezing cold air coming off the river, there were 40 mph gusts of wind at times. Though we were properly layered and bundled, it didn’t seem to stop the stinging. We were walking around to find a restaurant in our price range, but after about an hour, we walked off to the side and took some cover. As we stood there, it was apparent we were thinking the same thing. This was completely unpleasant and unbearable. It was then that we decided to go back to the car, and head back to the comforts of home. On the way back to the car, my lover and I spoke of how lucky we are. She said something along the lines of, “Aren’t we lucky to have a car with heat to go to, which we can drive to pick up hot food, and a home where we have a place to sleep, a place with warm soft beds?” The homeless folks around us don’t have the luxury of choice. There are shelters, but they can fill up fast in the winter season. Seeing those people sleeping outside again on the way home was quite different than the way up. It was much more intense, and you could feel it. If we had continued on this path of disillusion, using drugs and getting into trouble, might we be in that same position? Would we be on the street, where someone else was driving the warm vehicle down to the fireworks while we hold on for dear life, hoping that we make it through the night? Who knows… and we don’t want to find out either. We’ve come to far for that. Remember what you have and be thankful. Do something special in 2009. Happy New Year! [...]
2008-11-27T04:41:26ZIt’s just about Thanksgiving, and today I found myself, like so many others I’m sure, thinking of all that I have to be grateful for. I’ve been showered with many different opportunities, and it is this I have to remember during those times when I think life is working against me. Sometimes we get so […]
It’s just about Thanksgiving, and today I found myself, like so many others I’m sure, thinking of all that I have to be grateful for. I’ve been showered with many different opportunities, and it is this I have to remember during those times when I think life is working against me. Sometimes we get so stuck in the daily grind of life that we forget there 1 in 5 children are living in poverty or that so many folks are worrying about much more pressing issues. I have a job that I like, a wonderful girlfriend who I am very much in love with, and a family that cares about me. I have my health and a blog to write down my thoughts.
None of this would be possible if I was not in recovery from opioid addiction. I am thankful to have a life worth living, one without mood/mind-altering substances and the chains of chemical dependency. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Let’s try to carry the ideas of this holiday into each and every day, hour, and second of our lives. One thing that I find helpful is to remind myself of all that I have first thing in the morning after waking up.
2008-11-25T02:37:14ZToday I was told that I could no longer bring “The Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama into work to read on my breaks. I will get to that story, but I would first like to give a short background introduction into my history as a faithful, though at times quiet, supporter. On this historic […]