THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Michele R."
Originally posted in May 2004(The author retains all rights to this material)
MORE BECAME MY DRUG OF CHOICEAs far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a beauty queen; coming from a family where outside appearance meant how much you were worth, I looked to others for the acceptance I never had for myself. At the age of four my grandfather, who tried to pay me off with money to keep the “secret”, sexually abused me. This plagued me throughout my coming years. Starting at age five with an obsession to control and manipulate food… more became my drug of choice. From such a young vulnerable age, I can remember feeling like I did not belong. I felt so full of shame and guilt, like my insides were so dirty, yet I hid behind this face that everyone called beautiful. No one knew what was rotting away, my obsession to not exist, I wanted to fade away and not be noticed. The outside became a curse to me because it was so far from what my insides were feeling like. I was torn up, so alone and scared.
I grew up rather quickly, the sexual abuse setting the stage for what was to come later. As I matured with a body of not your average 13 year old, I ended up in situations that caused me a lot of harm. For three years I was raped three different times from the ages of thirteen to fifteen. I was so out of touch with myself, I felt as if everyone was trying to get me. I was extremely sick with an eating disorder that I almost died from before I even began using any drugs heavily. I hated what I saw in the mirror, a straight A student, most popular, had all the boyfriends, captain of cheerleading, a little modeling… and I was dying on the inside. My depression caused me to have several visits to the psych ward only to be let out until another episode of attempted suicide occurred.
At this point I had experimented with drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes, not thinking I was causing harm to myself, yet wanted to do anything to numb the pain a little. I hung out with girls and got into a lot of trouble as a teen, causing my family heartaches and pains. I would steal, lie, cheat on anyone, hurt whomever I had to, in order to get what I wanted. I was trapped in the cycle of addiction without even knowing what it was. As I grew up, I got into a lot of other things that finally led to my surrender. I was away at school, caught between a hippie flower child and club chick. My identity was torn. I had progressed so deep into this thing called addiction that I was in my hotel room at school sitting on a toilet getting high by myself, but so paranoid someone would find out. I had lost all my motivation. Things I once cared about even a little, no longer played a role of importance in my life. I was on a path of self-destruction that inevitably brought me to my knees, and for that I am forever grateful.
I came to Narcotics Anonymous with a hole in my spirit that was so deep. I could not stop crying, the shame I had felt was overwhelming. In the rooms of NA, I finally felt like someone could understand me. I found my home and people there told me that they would love me until I could love myself. I never heard that before and for some reason believed they meant what they said. I did not know how to trust, and yet I knew that I had to. I did what they said to do, got a commitment, went to so many meetings a day for a long time, got a sponsor, a home group, and started to look at myself for the first time. It was so different “than” being forced to go to the psychiatrist at a young age, not wanting to be honest or to tell them anything. For the first time I wanted help because I was ready, willing, and able to change my life and everything else about me.
Today I no longer am the young child who walked into recovery over four years ago. I have been saved by God’s grace and his undying love for me. It is through his love that I am able to not only love others, yet more importantly love myself. If I did not change everything in this slow process, the girl who walked into these rooms, would use again. I am so grateful for my new life. I am growing up in Narcotics Anonymous and it is so amazing the way my life continues to unfold and the gifts God has given me along the way. I truly am a blessed recovering addict and a grateful addict will never use. When I got here I was promised freedom from active addiction and it was given to me along with healing in my sexual abuse, healing from Bulimia, a sense of self worth and self esteem, and most important an ultra loving relationship with God. Today I live on my own with my cat, Princess, I am in graduate school and am on my way to becoming a doctor. This is only a part of my dreams coming true, I have found love, and a sense of peace that I had never known before. All because I come to NA and share what is really going on with me and recognize when a certain person or behavior does not fit right with my spirit. Thanks to all of you for helping me stay clean, I love you all.
I am an addict name Michele.