THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Kathy"
My name is Kathy and I'm an addict. These are the most freeing words I've ever said.
I didn't know that I felt different than anyone until I took my first tranquilizer and drank at age 13. For the first time, I felt normal. I was smarter, faster, a better student., etc. if I was high. Until I joined NA in 2013, I spent my life searching for the "perfect" drug. No such drug exists.
My journey took me through psychiatry. Nothing I was prescribed made me feel right, so I continued to take narcotics and psychotropic drugs. Even when I wound up in institutions because of combinations of drugs, I was never willing to say that my drug use was a problem.
Somehow, I managed to justify stealing drugs from people's houses including my family’s and lying to doctors without thinking I had a problem.
One was too many, and a thousand never enough. I only stopped taking drugs when I ran out of them. My faulty logic was this - since I could quit whenever I ran out, I wasn't a drug addict. Of course, I would be planning who I could go and steal drugs from, but I wasn't an addict!
Sometime in my 40's, no matter how much I took of "prescribed" medication, I could not get high. I spent the years up until my almost 59th birthday using alone in my bedroom, getting sick but never getting high. I was "lucky" (?) because I had a doctor who gave me all the narcotics I asked for. I was institutionalized in 2012 when the combination of recreational drugs I took sent me into a psychotic break. I was still convinced that I hadn't yet found the right combination of drugs. I never told my psychiatrist that I was still an active drug addict, I just let him assume that I wasn't using.
I tried to stop by myself many times, but I could never stay stopped.
In 2013, my "drug" doctor lost his license to practice, and I realized that I had a serious drug problem. On October 1st, 2013 I checked into a rehab facility and started going to NA meetings. I have almost 4 years clean and the benefits that recovery has brought me are boundless. I got my first raise in a decade, I've repaired my relationship with my daughter and my family. I have a place to go where I know I am accepted and friends that are supportive and clean.