Check it out!
Event: Rally for Recovery! 2007
On September 15, 2007 recovery community organizations and our allies will be hosting walks, rallies and other events to put a face and a voice on recovery and mobilize support for policies like the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 (H.R. 1424) that support recovery. Check out whether there's an event in your area on September 15th.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Check it out!
I recently read JW's beautiful post that was used for the article in the San Diego Reader, and it is very moving. If you haven't read this yet, please go read it first, it really is a deeply moving piece of writing. It brought back strong memories of my early stages of recovery (I have been recovering or attempting to for about 10 years). I could very much relate to exactly what she was going through, and as an addict, what she was being put through. I wrote her an email to share my thought's on the post, and with the recent topic of lying (one of the ugliest parts of addiction), well, I felt that this went well with the entire topic of addiction and wanted to share it with everyone.
This is a quote from her post in reference to her asking her husband why he would use again after having been clean for a period of time:
"All he would say is that his friend asked him if he wanted to use, and he said yes, and then they got the drugs."Here is my comment, with some added content to expand on ideas and thoughts:
I remember those times, when I first tried to recover, I would spend months clean, maybe going to meetings, maybe not. I would avoid my "friends" who were still using, even though I may have stupidly hung out with them before and not got loaded; then BHAM! "Let's get high." That's all it takes, a stupid little idea, three little words, that's it, that's all it took. Whether I had the idea alone, or I came up with it while with a friend, there is no thought process involved, the idea is formed, and immediate action is taken; this is where the addiction takes over. Any ability to think, to separate right from wrong, any bit of conscious that attempts to remind you of the past consequences of the very same decision is thrown by the way side, as the addiction takes over. If thoughts do arise questioning the decision you have just made, they are so easily dismissed, they slide so quickly to the side and are replaced with confirmation that everything will be okay, 'I'm only going to do it once, only today,' and the addiction takes over. From then on it's all muscle memory, the ability to think is lost, there are no thoughts of wifes, or girlfriends, promises and vows, no thoughts of consequences or where this decision will lead; as an addict active in addiction, it's a part of you, of who you are, it is all powerful and there is no denying it once the addiction takes over. This is why a recovery program is necessary for those early in recovery; as the AA Big Book states, we have no mental defense from taking that first drink, shot, snort, etc. (and yes, I can say this even though I am not active in a 12 step program, because I have the experience).There is another section of the post where she talks about why her husband would have her bring him something that contained his drug paraphernalia in it:
Reading that one sentence brought all that smashing home to me. I loved reading it, seeing where it all began for JW, reminding me that it is exactly the same place it started for me. It reminded me how human G is, and how alike we are. It also reminded me that I need to have more compassion for him, for all of my fellow addicts. He is my brother, all of you are my brothers and sisters in recovery. We share a common experience, a common bond, we all suffer from a devastating disease, one with grave consequences on our mind, body, and soul. I can't believe how outrageous I have been in being judgmental of him, and of other addicts. How dare I, honestly, how can I pass judgment on another addict, and not be looking at myself.
Oh, and why he asked you to bring the shorts, I believe was his way of telling you, of giving himself up, without having to just come out and admit it. Admitting it would mean admitting to the lies and deceit that went into hiding the relapse or the addiction, it's not something an active addict is capable of; I don't believe that an active addict has the capacity for honesty when dealing with loved ones. I remember doing this so often with D, near the end of my last run; not caring that I left dope splattered all over bathroom sinks or leaving wrappers in the trash. This was never exactly a conscious decision, but a way for the man to scream for help when he is being held under by the addiction. I believe that every addict reaches a point where they no longer wish to use, but having no control over their ability to stop, to not lie about it, or to even admit they are using, or have relapsed, that the subconscious mind takes over and does things that would be against the addicts addictive nature.
Your husband is a sick man. But every day he gets by without using, he gets a little better. I am a sick man. But everyday I learn just a little, I grow just a little. Some days I make great discoveries and have mind blowing experiences, other days I feel like I am stuck, and still others I feel like I am slipping. While the symptoms of active addiction are so similar between addicts, I imagine that recovery, while taken at different paces, by different people, your husband has to be in a similar place, and it is not an easy place to be. Early recovery is filled with self loathing, guilt, and seeing the person you love the most crushed day after day, the woman who stood by you, and is still by your side, sometimes that in itself is heartbreaking and almost impossible to stand and you just want to distance yourself rather than to face that beauty, the very beauty you came so close to destroying. I think this is the reason that during early recovery it is so hard for the addict to be close, to share, to communicate with his/her partner. Until you are able to learn to let go of the guilt, and to begin rebuilding your self esteem, that you will continue to subconsciously, or even often times consciously push away the person you love. And who ever said that it's not about the significant other, it's solely about the addict, is completely right. Everything we do, every action we take, every lie we tell, has nothing personal involved. It is part of the disease. The comfort one can take in this is knowing that if the addict works at becoming well, and pushes forward out of active addiction, that their lives will begin to change, and their behavior will begin to change, and there is even the hope that one day the addict will recover. That to me is the greatest hope of all.Thank you to JW for letting me share this here, for writing daily and sharing your experience, your strength and your hope. Reading that post from months ago, and reading everything you have written in the past several months has been exciting for me. Watching you deal with with the trials and tribulation that addiction causes and seeing you triumph and grow in the process, has been a huge inspiration to me.
Thank you to all that participate here, who write posts, and those who comment, and for all of your wonderful personal blogs. It is comforting when I am having a down day, or scared, or worried, to be able with a few mouse clicks, to find someone who is either going through the same issues, or someone who has recently gone through them, and to be able to read their experience...it's just something that is so empowering, so endearing, and I am very grateful for you all.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Help me understand. Is lying something I'm just supposed to accept? I get that I'm supposed to stay on my side of the street. I get that my serenity is not supposed to be affected by the addict in my life's behavior. I get that I'm supposed to just stay out of the way and let the addict suffer the consequences of her own behavior. I even get that lying and stealing are part of the disease. But it feels like when she's lying to me, the only consequence is MY sense of betrayal, MY hurt, MY feeling unsafe. I still don't know how to post links (somebody, please help me with that, too) so you'll have to find your way to my blog to see what I'm talking about.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
This is also posted at my personal blog, but I wanted to post something here with you guys. Why isn't there much going on here lately? Where are all of you?
One thing I learned more than anything else while I was at the World Convention is that I am an addict.
And I learned it in both beautiful, meaningful, and ugly, gut wrenching ways....
In ways that made me cry with gratitude and sob from the depths of my being;
In ways that made me want to break shit and pull my eyeballs out.
If I ever had any doubts (and I didn't really) that I belong in Narcotics Anonymous, they are no longer after the last four days at that convention.
Oh, yes, I belong here -- thank G-d and G-d dammit -- I definitely belong here.
It was a interesting and fabulous trip. I lack words for my experience there. It is one of the coolest things I have ever done in my entire lifetime, to be totally honest. But it wasn't without it's own brand of weirdness. Don't make the mistake of thinking everyone at this convention is actually clean -- and, for some reason unbeknown to me, I have always attracted sick, straight junkys of the male persuasion to my side. Like the proverbial moth to the flame these men, my heroin brothers, are drawn to me and can find me anyfuckingwhere -- even at a world convention of Narcotics Anonymous where there are over 10,000 other women to pick from.....
And they have a way of making it look so good -- so, so lovely; that old fucking lifestyle I left behind some 22 months ago. Ya, they make it look attractive in a poor tortured soul kind of way.
I hate obsessing.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Ej actually added me as an author quite some time ago. I've been reading all of your posts, but I just haven't had a chance to post here myself yet. Some of you know me quite well already, but some of you may not know me at all. So, I figured that before I dove right in with a real post, I'd introduce myself.
Hi, I'm pseudonymously known MPJ (Mary P Jones). My real life name is just about as boring my pseudonym, so it fits. My husband (pseudonymously known as "Mark") and I are both adult children of alcoholics, and Mark is a sex addict. He came clean to me about his addiction a little over four years ago and started in therapy the next day and 12 step that week. Amazingly (Ok, ok, predictably! I'll save my smart-assedness for another time), after four years, neither of us is fixed yet. Mark goes to four meetings a week and therapy as much as our insurance and finances allow (which right now is none).
I'm a stay-at-home mom to two children: a boy (6 years old) and a girl (almost 4 years old). My son is autistic. I'm a 12 step drop out and a therapy failure. I got a lot out of 12 step initially, but never found a group that was a great fit for me, and never have in my life found a therapist that can handle me (or whom I can handle). Now I find that the limited time I have available is better spent in yoga, meditation and writing. I drop by 12 step meetings occasionally to check in, but I've found blogging is turning out to be like one big online meeting anyway.
Go figure. I'm out of time, and off to yoga. Hope to post more now that I've actually gotten around to introducing myself!
I posted before about where my head is, and I thought I found it, until today. I got home from work, and my oldest told me that parole called. PAROLE!! THEY FUCKING CALLED!!!
I have to call the woman back tomorrow, like as in day after now! He could be home in a month, home, here with me! DO YOU HEAR ME???? Home!! Here!!!!
I'm sitting here stuttering while typing. I'm not sure how I am doing that, but I am. I am full of butterflies inside, but some of them are scared. This is just so unreal. All this time, all the tears, all the fights, all the everything, now it is time to "put up or shut up" Why do I feel like running away?? Why am I so scared??? Has it really been over 3 years already?? Really??
Part of me is so ready, I am ready to put this bullshit behind me. Behind all of us. I am sure you all can imagine all the good things I am thinking and feeling. I can handle those, but these bad one's, I'm not so sure about.
How can I be afraid of my husband coming home? How do I deal with this? My God, here come the tears. All of the sudden, all the bad things he has done are right front and center. All of them. I'm past these things, or at least I thought I was. I mean, yes, I hate that what he did put us in a shelter for over a year, but hey, we have a home now. One that I must say, is pretty damn nice for me getting on my own. I hate all the things he stole from me, from our kids, but that was his addiction. I get that. How horrible of a wife am I??
I am so scared of losing everything. I can't do this again. I can't start over again. I have waited so long for him to come home. I truly love him. I miss him terribly. I miss his strong arms, yet now, I am scared. I am scared that once his arms are around me, I give up the life I have now. I have friends now, I'm talking real with-me-till-the-end friends. Not like his friends, who by the way are all gone and have been gone since day one of lock up. We are involved in our community, with the sports, the schools, we volunteer for things now. We are all so happy with the town we live in. We are settled here. We have a real life here. What if we lose it? What if he messes up, and takes everything from us?
Now I feel guilty for thinking this way. I feel like a bad wife. Like I am not understanding of him. Oh God, this just sucks. I am in a bad place right now, and that scares me.
Written by My Name Here at 5:23 PM
Monday, September 3, 2007
I posted about this a long time ago on my site, and it got Stumbled...it's strangely one of my most popular posts ever. I figured I'd post it over here and see if it got you kids all lively again. I don't know where we've all been hiding, but it's time to play here too!