Editing Note 2019: I wrote this piece when I was active in my addiction. In reviewing step one, I need to “keep it green” by remembering where I was in my relapse just over a year ago. I apologize for the language in advance, it is ugly, but it is honest. I am grateful I am no longer in this dark place. Today I have found freedom in working the steps. Just for today!
Being in my addiction is hell.
I get frustrated and my mind tells me I need it.
I am happy and want to use it to celebrate.
I don’t want to feel anything so I use it to numb myself.
I don’t want to freak out, so I pick up instead. It calms me down.
I am afraid to stop because I will miss it.
It is my friend or so it fools me into thinking it is. It is what I have always used to cope with life.
I focus on the differences between my addiction and others. I tell myself I won’t kill anyone in my addiction. I can drive without my judgement being impaired. So I tell myself I am ok. I tell myself my addiction is not as serious as others…that I can handle it. Just one more and I will stop tomorrow.
It is all a lie. I am no better than anyone. Tomorrow keeps getting pushed back and it never comes.
I know I will kill myself one day if I stay in my addiction. This addiction is already slowly killing me one day at a time.
It starts by killing my spirit, leaving me in depression, leaving me sneaking around and lying to those I love. It leads me to spending money and ending up in financial ruin. It leads me to anger and resentment when well-meaning friends ask me about it. It leads me to thoughts of suicide.
It kills my motivation. It leaves me too tired to care for myself or to care for my house. It takes too much energy to take a shower and to get dressed. It leaves me denying the reality that soon I may not be able to get dressed independently. It leaves me living in a mess…dirty clothes on the floor and dishes in the sink. It leaves me feeling apathetic.
It increases my health problems and adds on more. Sleep apnea. Weight gain. Back pain. Inability to exercise or even to walk some days. Feeling tired every day from doing nothing. I lose my ability to dance. I will soon lose my ability to walk. Yet the denial creeps back in telling me that I am just fine. Other addicts know what F.I.N.E. stands for. Fucked up, insecure, neurotic and emotional.
Addiction sucks no matter the substance. If I am not working on my recovery, then I am sliding back into my addiction. Your substance may be heroin, alcohol, sex, gambling. My substance is food. It may sound funny but it is no joke. I need to fight it before it kills me.
I have been battling this disease for years with the help of my support groups and my therapist. I can never forget where I started. I need to remember the hell rather than slip back into denial. The best way to do that is to share it. I am a fighter and I am in the fight of my life.
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