Now that recovery is my life and I am working the Twelve Steps, I think back to when I started trying to change the way I felt. And it goes as far back as my early childhood, going too high on the swing or spinning in circles until I got so dizzy I fell down. I wanted to change the way I felt even as a child – any way I knew how, or always willing to try something new, something exciting, something dangerous. It's no wonder that by the time I reached my teens that I was willing to experiment with drugs and alcohol. I discovered that I loved the way they made me feel and loved that feeling for a very ….long …time. The consequences were not so much at first, but after years and years of drug use and abuse, the consequences became insurmountable.
I have lived a good life. I have a large, loving and supportive family and have many life-long friends. I have always been blessed to have a good job, plenty to eat and a warm comfortable place to sleep. My consequences began by taking these things away from me, one by one, and by the time my Higher Power stepped in, I had lost almost everything and everyone.
I've tried recovery every which-a-way you can think of…..I began by geographically relocating, moving far away from my old playmates/playground. Then I decided to just not use the "bad" drugs….but I still kept drinking and smoking pot. Once I found a way to get the "bad" drugs again, I decided to just use "on the weekend" or only buy a "$20 piece." Didn't work out so well. So I went to a psychiatrist, and he told me I was a drug addict. Believe it or not, I found this surprising and appalling. But at his suggestion I did an out-patient recovery program and found the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. I started working the Steps like they were a homework assignment (not honestly)….I got a Sponsor (and paid her a lot of lip service)…..I attended meetings and did service work….my life got a little better, but I continued to get high whenever I could get away with it and was not honest about it for a very long time. Many people thought I was working a good program (I am a true "people pleaser" and an excellent liar) and I'm sure everyone wondered why my life wasn't changing as a result. I lived a recovery lie, just like the lie I lived during the worst of my active addiction…..never being honest, never being spiritual and creating a façade for the outside world. My life continued to be unmanageable and the consequences began to come back ten-fold. I entered the out-patient recovery program for the third time…..and relapsed in the midst….it was suggested by my counselor that I should go live at a halfway house (oh, the horrors of this thought). I looked at her like she had three heads. I was in my fifties, had a nice apartment, an important position at a well respected law firm…..halfway house?? You have got to be kidding me…..and the consequences and unmanageability continued to grow and grow until I thought my life was going to explode……again. I had been through all of this before. But thankfully, I knew deep down in my heart that this program, this fellowship and a Higher Power could save me from this misery I kept repeating. And so I finally SURRENDERED. I put all my belongings in storage, moved out of my apartment and became a willing resident of Focus-on-Recovery in September of 2009.
Focus saved my life. Although it was my ultimate decision to enter Focus, I still fought the rules and regulations and requirements long and hard at first, balking at honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. Then Focus turned my life and my attitude around. Focus taught me how to recover from a life of addiction, to be honest, to be trusting, to practice acceptance and to be spiritual. One Day at a Time.
Today I have four-hundred sixty-seven "one days." I thank my Higher Power each and every morning for the paths that were laid before me on my journey to live another day, this day, this moment, in peace and serenity.