As a Person who has survived horrible addictions to many prescription drugs, I understand what it is like to be a slave to substances. Too often people, like myself, are caught up in the life-altering disease of addiction are demonized and given the title of bad people.
Let me be absolutely clear.
We are not bad people, we are people who suffer from the bad disease, addiction.
Addiction is Not a Weakness
Addiction steals your life and makes you do anything to answer it’s beckoning call. You will become so selfish that even your own children, who are utterly dependent on you, are moved into the background of your priorities.
You will steal, cheat, and do other things that you would normally not do, because of the need to satisfy your brain’s craving for more of the substance it thinks it must have.
Addiction is not a weakness nor is it something the addict wanted to have.
It is an insidious chemical mechanism in our brains that normally is harmless, but something has gone wrong. The brain’s craving for a substance makes us fear not giving it what it wants.
So, we become victims of our own bodies.
We Are Victims
Victims. Yes, that’s what addicts are. We did not choose this life, we did not cause it happen to us on purpose, and we have little control over our craving what is destroying us.
We deserve love, compassion, acceptance, peace and respect, just like all humans do.
If we are to get and remain sober, we must have something to replace what our brain is craving. If we are rejected and told we are worthless, why should we stop using? What is the incentive? Honestly, why should we become someone else when you don’t respect us now? Will we be more lovable because we stop using?
That should not and never should be the truth.
I Am a Recovering Addict
If I could, I would still be using prescription drugs and popping pills like they were candy. I find it very hard to deal with my emotions sober, and my brain tells me it would “feel good”, that I would “be more relaxed and comfortable.” I can hear and feel the urge to escape by popping a hand full of medications, to bask in the warmth that fills my body. I love to know the release as I allow emotions and feelings to disappear into the fog.
That’s honesty. That’s how I help myself. By acknowledging that I still crave the pills that I used for several decades to escape dealing with the reality that is my life.
I have found something more fulfilling to make up the gap. I am helping others through writing and public speaking.
But, mostly importantly, I have learned to love myself for it is by loving me with all my flaws and shortcomings, that I can have a reason to stay sober.
Don’t Throw the Addict Out with the Bath Water
If you love an addict, then you have a hard life. You are dealing with situations in your relationship that no one should ever have to face. Yet, the more you get angry or resentful, the deeper into the morass and fog of addiction your loved one will fall.
Addiction is an abyss into which we have fallen, we are looking for someone to care enough to reach out their hand to help us out.
God knows we are separated enough from life.
We see our dreams of being a good dad or having a career, yet we are caught answering to our brain’s incessant need for more of our drug of choice.
If you want to help your addict to get sober then listen to what I have to say:
Show them respect
Give them room to fall
Give them room to find that they are losing out
Call us names
Stay with us if you feel you or your children are in danger
After all, we are adults and should behave as such.
Do Hold us Accountable:
Addicts should be treated like everybody else.
We should also be held accountable for our actions and our words.
That is part of our recovery, taking accountability for everything we do or do not do, say or do not say.
To Help Us Understand
Listen to the quotes I have listed for you below. Then share them and this post with anyone who is either an addict, or those who love someone who is, it could save a life. It earnestly believe they can open eyes and hearts.
If we are going to beat addictions, we must stop blaming ourselves and our addicts. The blame belongs squarely on the substances that have been made available through drug companies, and others who only think of their profits.
The babies that should not be thrown out with the bath water are human beings caught up in a trap not of their own design.
Together, we can change this situation our world now faces where people, like myself, are tricked into believing that if we get high everything will be okay. The reality that our problems will still be there when we sober up feeds the flames of addiction.
Only if we are offered something better, something we crave more than our drugs of choice can we ever make the leap forward and contribute to and rejoin our fellow human beings.
Quotes of Hope
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” ~ Anne Lamott
“Relax. Breathe. It takes time, but there is great joy to be had in moments of every day. Just remember, you’re learning new steps, a new dance.” ~ Lisa Frederiksen
“Even in the midst of devastation, something within us always points the way to freedom.” ~Sharon Salzberg
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising up every time we fail.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose – a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve.”~John Maxwell
“Even if you may be down to the worst, the best is potentially within you. You only have to find it, release it, and rise up with it. This requires courage and character, to be sure, but the main requirement is faith. Cultivate faith and you will have the necessary courage and character.”~Norman Vincent Peale
“Change. It has the power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experience and create excitement in life. Certainly it is worth the risk.”~Leo Buscaglia
“Life is very interesting… in the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.”~Drew Barrymore
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world… as in being able to remake ourselves.”~ Mahatma Ghandi
“What life means to us is determined not so much by what life brings to us as by the attitude we bring to life, not so much by what happens to us as by our reaction to what happens.” ~Lewis L. Dunnington
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day, begin the task anew.”~ Saint Francis de Sales
I am sober today because my brother loved me and held the reigns for me while I grew to understand that there is life out here. I have learned, and continue to learn, how beautiful life can be and that I don’t have to get lost in the fog of addiction.
I am beautiful
Life is Beautiful
I love being sober
“I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.” Tracee Ellis Ross