THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Michele M."
Originally posted in May 2002(The author retains all rights to this material)
Hi, my name is Michelle and I’m an addict. Today, I have many things to be grateful for. I have a great job that I actually get up in the morning for and show up to. I have an incredible relationship with my parents. I have a very healthy relationship with my boyfriend and with my new friends in Narcotics Anonymous. I am back in college; not getting high which in itself is a miracle. I have a new found happiness for life; I want to live, not die. I have a great and realistic relationship with my Higher Power, and most importantly I am clean. I never have to use again
I should have realized it from the beginning that I was at a major risk to become an addict. First, I always wanted more; whatever I had wasn’t enough. Also, whatever I wanted had to happen immediately. I was always looking for immediate gratification. Second, my Dad’s side of the family has an extensive background of people with substance abuse; be it alcohol alone or every drug.
My father is a recovering alcoholic and this has given me a lot of courage to know that it is absolutely o.k. for me to be in recovery. Recovery, to me, means that I have another shot at a new and beautiful life
I definitely did not come into this program expecting to find a Higher Power, take direction from people in the program, especially my sponsor, apply spiritual principles (from the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions) into my life, learn to like myself, and most amazingly learn to grow up and become responsible and accountable.
In my active addiction I was in a vicious cycle. All I cared about was getting high and running away from my fear and problems in the world. I couldn’t get up in the morning and get to work, go to school or face anything that I was remotely fearful of. The majority of the reason I used was to gain a false sense of confidence. I didn’t understand the reason why I was using until I had about 5 months clean.
I got clean in a hospital because I had a manic episode, which encompassed me getting extremely out of hand with my mother; knocking over things, pushing my mother around, and breaking things. My mother was very scared of what I might do next so she called the police. This was not my first visit from the police. I had made a suicide attempt using sleeping pills and I had called a hospital emergency line to let them know that I was extremely suicidal. I had not been arrested at anytime in my addiction but I did spend a lot of time in mental hospitals. I also have to deal with Bipolar Disorder (a.k.a. Manic-Depression) and this was an excuse, for a long time, as to why my life was unmanageable. I, including my parents, kept blaming my failures and letdowns on my mental illness.
This was only part of the reason why my life was so miserable. I realize today, and for a while now, that I was a suffering active addict. Today, I have choices and using isn’t something that I want to choose. I don’t want to go back to the guilt, self-hatred, fear, avoiding responsibility and hurting the ones I love that also love me. It’s a place that I don’t want to be anymore and I don’t have to as long as I keep going to meetings, talking to other addicts about my life, working the steps and traditions, and maintaining a relationship with my Higher Power.
I don’t have to do this alone, I can’t, and neither do you. If you’re new or think you might have a problem with drugs get to some meetings, read the literature, take the suggestions of Narcotics Anonymous, and stick around IT DOES GET BETTER!!
Thanks for letting me share.
A Grateful Recovering Addict!!