THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Eric E."
Originally posted on Aug. 2005(The author retains all rights to this material)
I GOT REAL SCARED & MADE A MEETING
Hi my name is Eric E and I am an addict. I started using in the sixth grade when my friend and I cut school and went to a delicatessen. We convinced them that we were buying a six-pack for our fathers. I got drunk and I thought it was so cool that I went back to class and spent the rest of the day in the counselor’s room. I continued to experiment occasionally with alcohol through my teen years leading me to other drugs. I thought this was normal. I remember seeking out drinks at my brother’s engagement party.
I dropped out of school as a result of not fitting in. You see I always thought that because I was fat, and shy, and couldn’t afford to have expensive clothes, and wasn’t cool enough to hang with the crowd, that I wasn’t worthy enough to be in school. I couldn’t bare the feelings so I decided why stay there. So I proceeded on the road that I chose. I was able to land several jobs and I even got in to a Union. I had calmed down for a few years going to clubs to find a companionship. The feelings of insecurity, not fitting in, and being over weight returned so I started using to depress these feelings. When I had reached that point where the feelings were depressed, I was too stoned to be able to talk, so no one wanted to have anything to do with me. So I started hanging out in the only place where people would have anything to do with me (my using area). I picked up women and paid for companionship.
It was here where I first met my drug of choice and the woman that I would spend the next 8 years with and have 2 children by. I felt wanted and on top of the world, even when she told me that she was no good and she would ruin my life (hint hint but I wasn’t listening) I was needed. About this time a business loan had come through, needless to say, I was off to the races. I went through the loan in 4 weeks. Within the next 8 years I abused my family, the mother of my children, my children, and myself. I burned all bridges to my Union. Became homeless and started living in the hallway of a city owned house. I also attended 2 programs and a psychiatric ward. I sold drugs, alienated my self, degraded myself, isolated myself, and became a derelict.
One day while going to beg for food, I said a prayer to get out of this life. Well my HP got me out all right, I was arrested for a direct sale to an undercover cop and my road changed at that point. I went to an 18-month drug program, which I chose to leave after two weeks. While leaving, one of the counselors told me that I was going to go back to using and die. I got real scared and made a meeting. I sat in the back of the room. I took the burning desire and asked for help. I was told to make 90 meetings in 90 days and to get a sponsor. I was also told to get phone numbers and to use them. I had become willing to do what ever it took to do so I didn’t have to go back to where I came from. So I got a sponsor and he put me on the first step. He also suggested I get a service commitment so I got a coffee commitment and I have been doing service ever since.
Today I am limiting my service commitments trying to keep a balance. I learned through a lot of pain that I went through by being over committed. I am committing to being good to others and myself through working the steps. I am learning patience and tolerance of others. I am more understanding than I was when I came in to recovery. It has been a long hard battle, but it was not as much of a battle as trying to get high on a daily basis was. I got my self-respect back and learned how to respect others.
I use the program in all aspects of my life today. At work I show up early and if I have to, I stay late. I still have good days and bad days, but no matter what kind of day I am having, I don’t pick up no matter what! I still use the phone and I call my sponsor on a regular basis. I love this fellowship and I’m not going anyplace just for today. NA has given me a better life then I could have ever done for myself.
Thanks for letting me share, I am an addict named Eric.