THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Sam"
Originally posted in July 2001(The author retains all rights to this material)
Hello My name is Sam and I'm an addict, I am extremely grateful to be writing this and even more grateful to be clean! I'm one of us who believe that I was born an addict, or at least with an addictive personality and predisposition. As a youngster I always felt just a little different then the rest of the kids. I don't know if most people feel that way, I do know a lot of addicts do. Somehow I always felt that people were tough on me, that the other children picked on me. I guess I was just very sensitive and that forced me into my own head a little bit more each day. Certainly, this is among the reasons I became a very self-centered person. However, early on I found ways to make myself feel cool, more important, more like I fit in and was one of the guys. I was always looking for things outside myself to feel good (or at least better) about the inside. I became a very manipulative person. I was a user of people. I became very good at telling you what I thought you wanted to hear, a real chameleon! This helped me do well in school but of course I really never learned anything, just enough to get decent grades, because I told the teachers what they wanted to hear! It was about at age 14 that I started to use on a regular basis. A few time a week at first, that was 8th grade. I loved it. I felt cool!
By high school I was using on a daily basis. Mostly what I considered to be soft stuff, pot and alcohol. But it wasn't long in to 9th grade that I started with harder stuff also. I had heard that pot would lead to harder stuff but I didn't believe. Not me, no way, I'm different! We all know that story, one of denial and self deceit! I used continuously from that point on. Most (at least in my mind) didn't know I was high. I was always high and they didn't have anything to compare me with! As the years went by my disease, the disease of addition, progressed. Like so many of us I found myself with people and in places I never thought I could or would go. I was always looking for people just a little worse then me, now I understand that was my way of feeling just a bit better about myself. I would compare and justify my using, if I ever get that bad then... I don't know how much worse I thought my friends were, I lived on the street and was a full blown junkie! A real garbage head, if it got me high I liked it, there were very few drugs I didn't fall in love with! I never did see the light but I sure felt the heat, at about the age of 29 I eventually found a way to live a real Jeykle and Hyde life. My fiancée laid down the law...GET IN OR GET OUT! I was scared, but I was even more scared to live without it!
I went to meetings and enjoyed them, I liked you guys. You were real and I felt like finally I was with people that I could understand and who could understand me. The problem was that I could not fully surrender. I had the job, the car, the house and I could not put the 1st step together. I could not see that the powerlessness over my addiction and the unmanageability of my life were related and existed independently at the same time! After about two years, in February of 1990 I went to rehab. I didn't want to, again the thought of living without my best friend (drugs) scared me. Who would my friends be, what would I do with my time, how would I sleep at night! But I went. I didn't want to lose my family (I had a 9 month old and my wife was pregnant again!) But I got to this rehab and I made a commitment to follow the directions. By the grace of God, this place very much promoted the 12 steps as a program of recovery. I was told to clean house right away, get the garbage out so that the good stuff could flow in and through me. I did it and stayed clean for that entire decade.
Somewhere around 1998, I started thinking I knew the program and started picking and choosing what was important for me to do. BAD IDEA! Stinkin' thinkin'! I stopped sponsoring new guys, stopped going out to jails and rehabs, I still went to meetings but..... Eventually, I picked up. In February of 2000. I relapsed, FROM THE VERY FIRST TIME I USED IT WAS AS IF I HAD NEVER STOPPED! IT WAS HORRIBLE AND I WOULDN'T WISH IT ON MY WORST ENEMY (Not that I have many enemy's today!). Thank God, it was 2 months of hell...I still went to meetings I knew I was dead without the program and the Fellowship. In April of 2000 I got clean again. I don't pick and choose any more! NA is not my life BUT it is my way of life as taught to me in the Twelve steps. I am so grateful to be clean and can't begin to express it. Just for today I am here and now with you and God. All my very best, thanks for letting me share with you.