THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Phyllis"
Originally posted in Oct. 2004(The author retains all rights to this material)
MY FIRST & ONLY TRUE LOVE
My name is Phyllis and I'm an addict. I grew up in a family where you didn't share feelings. The only feeling you could show was anger. I never felt a part of. I always felt different. I would be dishonest to fit in. I was a chameleon. Anything I needed to be I could be for a while. I went to a religious school. This enhanced my emotional crippling. You were not allowed any feelings other than guilt and shame. I realized at an early age I was a lesbian. This definitely did not fit into the scheme of things. Something told me to keep my mouth shut about this. I was then molested by several men over a four year period. Having no outlet for my feelings, I turned them inward and produced depression. The only thing I felt was rage. My mother kept me under her thumb my entire youth. This just stunted my growth even more. Now, I was fourteen and naive without a voice. I was also a victim without a voice. Both a dangerous combination. Then, the unthinkable happened. My mother died and I was set free on the world without a clue what to do or how to do it. The day of my mother's wake, my cousin gave me drugs. I didn't know I had just met my first and only true love. Not knowing how to vent my feelings or even what I was feeling, I turned to drugs. More and more often. That was my motto for many years. "Don't want to feel? I got just the thing for you!" This is what my addiction said to me. "Don't want to deal with that? Step right up and take this!" This went on for many years, until one day I used and ended up in the hospital. The doctor said you can't use anymore. I told him "watch me!" and proceeded to end up at the hospital again. This went on for 3 months until I finally realized I couldn't use anymore. I detoxed in my bedroom and for 7 months I wouldn't leave the house unless it was to go to work.
One day in July, two addicts showed up at my house and asked me to go to a meeting. They had heard I wasn't using anymore. They told me of Narcotics Anonymous and that everyone was just like me. People who couldn't use successfully anymore and wanted a new way of life. I went to that meeting at midnight on the beach and didn't look back. I have had some setbacks, but my clean date is still December 19, 1988. My name is Phyllis and I'm an addict.