I Was An Addict!
How I overcame my addiction.
I struggled with addiction for many years, slowly over time my alcohol and drug problem became so bad and so all consuming, that I eventually found myself unable to maintain any sort of normal life whatsoever. This led me to becoming a full-time homeless person, and I used to sleep on the streets in one of Australia’s biggest cities.
I don’t think anybody wakes up one morning and decides that are going to become an alcoholic or drug addict, it just happens slowly over time.
I was in my late 30s when I decided that I had a choice and the choice was to continue slowly dying and kill myself or to give sobriety a try. At this stage I tried everything else (drugs) so I thought I should at least give sobriety 12 months and if I didn’t like it I could always go back to using drugs or committing suicide.
I tried many times to get myself into a detox and after multiple attempts at staying clean and sober for about seven days, I finally decided I needed to do long-term rehab.
Doing rehab itself wasn’t that difficult it was dealing with myself I found very difficult because for the first time in my life I was aptly dealing with myself.
It was really weird for the first few months; because I had an unfounded fear that I couldn’t quite put my finger upon and then as I became more and more compus mentis I finally realised that the thing that I was actually afraid of the most was myself.
In the early days of rehab, the first 12 months seemed like there was a giant light at the end of the tunnel and that once I got 12 months clean and sober I would be able to do anything. To be honest with you, the first 12 months was easy and once I passed through the light at the end of the tunnel into the seemingly normal light of day it was then I realised that I actually had a hell of a lot of work to do myself.
I got my own place and got all OCD about my environment and cleanliness. At one stage I couldn’t even leave the house unless I could see my own reflection in the kitchen taps. I attended church groups regularly in a search for some form of spirituality or some kind of connection with God but after a while I gave that up to because I couldn’t handle the moral exhaustion that being a born again Christian entails I thought to myself God can’t be that hard.
I attended many else self-help groups such as NA AA and regular group therapy sessions where I found that sitting around complaining about my problems actually made them worse!
I was almost 2 years clean the first time when I actually relapsed. The relapse happens slowly and at first, I thought I was cured and I could smoke marijuana, snort a bit of speed shoot up little bit of heroin and have a drink every now and then, as it wouldn’t turn into a problem. I was wrong! it took about six weeks before I was fully back in the throes of addiction and it was when I got kicked out of the house where I was living. Sitting on the beach in the rain with all of my personal belongings, I realised in that moment I was back where I started!
I had to do something serious! I was not happy! This time I wasn’t going to do rehab I felt I didn’t need to thought I will just heavily involve myself in narcotics anonymous and do all of the suggested things. This lasted for about 12 months when I finally realised that there are other people in the world with real problems that aren’t self-imposed directly fighting over a grain of rice so they can have some to eat and here I am wealthy enough and fortunate enough to be sitting around in a room full of other people with a similar problem complaining about how used to be a drug addict and how bad my life was!
It was at that point in time that I had a real-life epiphany! I needed to make a radical change in the way I think the way I feel and the things I believe in. I needed to start believing in myself! I had to start to change the way I think I had to start saying to myself the reason I don’t use drugs is because I don’t want to not because I can’t stop once I start.
From that moment in time I decided I would make a commitment to myself and start to pursue the things that I enjoyed. I started to get back into my passions and started to take care of myself. I stopped going to meetings which made me feel bad about myself and contributed to my low self-esteem I stopped associating with other recovering drug addicts!
That was about 10 years ago! And to this day I have not used a drug or a drink and have not wanted to!
That’s right I don’t want to!
I don’t want to use drugs any more therefore I don’t think about them I don’t talk about them and I don’t hang around people who do use drugs! It’s that simple I do not believe that being a drug addicts is a genetic disposition and I also do not believe that there are hopeless cases, just people who feel hopeless. I can safely tell you right now I was one of the worst drug addicts I ever met I was on the $2000 a day heroin habit, I was a cocaine addict, I was a methylated spirits drinking alcoholic! I was homeless I was a common criminal.
I am no longer today I’m a happy healthy person capable of maintaining responsible relationships, I have good friends I have a partner I love and that loves me. I do the things I enjoy and live a full life. I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do but I tell you this right now it’s very simple just don’t take drugs!