Many times in my past I would ask myself if I could possibly live without my addiction? I always said “yes”, I could–but not just yet. How often I repeated that phrase to myself over the years. Or I’d tell myself “I’ll do it when I feel better.” That was another favorite mantra of mine. Have you ever said those same words to yourself? It’s like if I just keep pushing it off maybe the problem will go away. But, we know that is not how it works. If you are presently reading this and in recovery you know how this recovery really works.
For me, it was told to me that really what recovery is all about is to accept the pain of withdrawal for the short term or to choose to continually abuse yourself for the long term. When I have a toothache I can see a dentist and have the tooth and the associated pain neutralized or I can continue with the pain till it is unbearable and then I must do something radical and drastic–like pulling the tooth.
I began this whole painful process of recovery with an admission. I admitted that my life was unmanageable and that my life was out of control. That was the first step. And then having admitted that, I listened to other members of a 12 Step fellowship group and I learned how the program worked for them. In fact it worked so well that many of them have not fallen back into any of their old past addictive behaviors. But as you and I know, there is a price to be paid for this new way of living. We first had to admit that we had a problem. We needed help. And we needed it now. We had hit bottom. We then came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to a life of sanity. Making a decision to turn my life over to a Power greater than myself really got the ball rolling. I now knew that there is a God, of my understanding–and I wasn’t God. When drinking and drugging we had the feeling that we could do anything–that we were immortal and God’s gift to humankind.
This is where we had to face all this garbage that was ours and we had carried around for years–we needed to take an inventory of where we had screwed up. This is painful to have to look in the mirror and see that person who made our life so miserable. No blaming anyone else. As Pogo, the comic character tells us, “we looked for the enemy and it was us.” You don’t have to look very far do you? We might also look in the mirror and ask, “mirror , mirror who is the craziest of us all?” I think you get it. Without a doubt it is necessary if we want to stand tall and face life past and present with hope. and a sense of peace. There is pain, lots of it –but let me tell you, there is a great sense of relief that we no longer have to live in the shadow of life but now live in the light and the good humor of freedom. The shackles of bondage are thrown off. I am a person who is free now and able to tell my own story at a fellowship meeting just like when I walked through the 12 Step fellowship doors and found what I really was looking for: freedom from the pain of my depression and addictions. Look for a freedom group in your area.
SOURCE: (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
NOTE: These two books comprise The Home Study Kit. See VISIT THE STORE.