THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Carrie D"
Originally posted on Jan. 2010(The author retains all rights to this material)
THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS AS LONG AS I STAY CLEAN
I’m an addict, my name is Carrie. I can remember the first time I picked up a drug like it was yesterday. I think I was 13 or 14, the age part I can’t remember but I was at my dad’s for the summer. He had gone to work on a movie set for the night and I was at his house alone, lonely, and bored. There was always pot everywhere, roaches in ashtrays, etc, and that night I just decided to light one up to see how it made me feel. From that night on I was hooked, both on the drugs and the lifestyle that went with it. For the next thirteen years or so my drug use continued to progress as did my ways and means to get more.
The first time I’d picked up it was to change the way I was feeling and that was pretty much my goal from then on: to change, cover, or hide the way I was feeling. Drugs allowed me to run from myself, or so I thought. But all that was really happening, was that I was ending up in situations that I didn’t need to be in because of my skewed view of reality.
At the end of my addiction, I was living at my parent’s house. And after breaking a number of their rules, I was sent to detoxify at a psych ward. I was also told that I was no longer welcome in their home. Homeless and indigent, I felt like my only option was to do what the people there suggested, which was to go to rehab. So that's what I did.
It was there that I was introduced to Narcotics Anonymous. On a nightly basis I went to NA meetings where I heard all different people share all different situations and how they got through them clean. This was unheard of to me. Life without drugs? How would I survive? All I knew about rehabs or people getting clean prior to this, was that if someone I used with went to rehab, that left more drugs for me. But something changed in me during those first couple months.
Someone I was close with overdosed and died. I was able to attend his wake and it was my first experience with death as a result of the disease of addiction. When I saw his family standing up there, thanking people for coming to the wake, I remember thinking that was never something that I wanted my family to have to go through. I didn’t want my mom up there, thanking people for coming to my funeral. It was then that I realized that it was time for me to do something a way other than my own.
I need to share though, that at that point, I still wasn’t able to deal with feelings in a healthy way. And I began cutting myself to take away the pain. It was suggested for me to share all of the stuff that I was feeling and doing as a result of my feelings, in the NA meetings. I began doing that and got experience from other members who’d cut themselves and gotten to the other side and I began to see evidence of how this program works.
I started understanding what ‘one addict helping another’ meant. I started doing step work with a sponsor, I continued attending meetings daily, and I began forming a network of people in the rooms. People with more clean time than me, that I could talk to. I found again and again how true that saying is, through good and bad experiences in recovery, there is always someone who has been through something similar and/or who can identify with the feelings I’m having.
I have learned a lot about myself since coming to NA and can honestly say that my life is beyond anything I ever imagined while I was using. Mostly because while I was using I never bothered to have dreams, I was too worried about where the next drug was coming from. But today I know that the possibilities are endless as long as I stay clean and continue practicing what I learn in Narcotics Anonymous.