The only man who makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.
By: Theodore Roosevelt
The only man who makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.
By: Theodore Roosevelt
Being in recovery I have learned that there are different types of people and different things work for everyone when it comes to having a successful recovery. Before I had thought that I didn’t want to go to any sort of “groups” where it was a class type setting, I thought that I didn’t need that, and had it not been required of me to attend I would have honestly never tried it and I would still be struggling with using. I had tried NA, a couple of years ago, cause that’s what most people said worked for them, and really that’s what most people hear about and that’s what is said to keep most people clean. To me I think that is a lie. When I tried going I came to realize that most people going there, make it okay to justify their addiction, and it makes me personally want to use more when I left than not going at all. Then there, just like treatment, you have those that are being made to go, not that they actually really want to be there anyways, and you know that they are still using and just being around those people makes you want to use again. Going to treatment has helped me more than anything. I have come to learn that I am a fact orientated person and that I am the type of person that wants answers. I want to know why it happened to me, what goes on in my body chemistry, and what it is that goes on within myself on a factual level. I like being somewhere that there is a actual structure to each group, and not just a sharing time all the time. Yes some of the groups are still groups that people can share their thoughts and feelings, but there is someone there that monitors those groups and helps people see and understand when they are using that time to glorify their addiction. Then there are the groups that I have come to really like and those are the ones where a actual recovery subject is picked and we get to learn a actual lesson about recovery. (If you want a example of this, read my first recovery post, or about being a kid post). When I first started doing treatment, I was there for 6 hours one day a week and in those 6 hours that I was there, it all went by the hour, so you get a 15 min break every hour, and each hour would be different from the last. In NA when you attend those sometimes you are there for 2 hours sometimes you are there for 4 hours and each hour runs together. If it is a large NA group the “sharing” time can last 4 to 5 hours depending on the people that are there. Sometimes a person will talk about themselves for a hour or more. I don’t mind hearing someone else story, but I really like it to be on my time, and there to be a limit to it if its not, but that’s just me and how I feel.
I shall pass through this life but once,
Any good therefore that I can do,
Or any kindness I can show,
Let me do it now,
Let me not defer or neglect it,
For I shall never pass this way again.
By: Etienne de Grellet
One day at treatment we did this great exercise.. We got a piece of paper and we wrote everyone’s name on it, then next to everyone’s name we wrote a good comment about that person. When everyone was finished, we turned our papers in and the group leader went person by person and read what everyone had wrote about that person, without telling anyone who had said what. At the end of reading everyone’s comments about that person, they were asked if the comments that were read, were what they expected or if they had expected something different. Then they had the opportunity to either think to themselves about what they thought their biggest downfall was, and if any of the good comments that were read about them had changed that view of themselves. Most of the people had said that their negative thought about themselves was something that was personal to themselves, and “No” no one had commented on that particular thought about themselves. I noticed that day how when it was the persons turn to hear all the positive, good comments about themselves, that even if they didn’t realize it, they got a big smile on their face listening to the comments, and you could tell the way that they went from feeling just okay, to feeling really good about themselves even if it was just for that moment. Everyone enjoys hearing positive things about themselves, and everyone needs to hear those things once in a while. We as people all make mistakes, with those mistakes we end up getting really down on ourselves for those mistakes, and when someone says something positive to you about you, those mistakes get forgotten even if only for a couple of moments, and they feel good about themselves. Even though most people said that none of the good and positive comments that people had said about them had nothing to do with something that they felt was one of their downfalls, that didn’t even really matter. While those comments were being read, they weren’t thinking about that things, they were listening to hear what everyone else had to say about them. How would you feel if when you opened your email, you got to see just one positive comment about yourself? I know that it would make me feel good.. I have come to realize that blogging everyday not only helps me take those few minutes to myself that I so desperately need, gives me the opportunity to talk about things that are on my mind, helps me answer my own thoughts, and helps me create solutions to problems that I didn’t even know were really there until the end. There have been some blog post that I have started with just one crazy though which lead me to something else, which lead me to the understanding of a problem that I really didn’t know existed, into not only the understanding of the problem, but also the answer to the problem. Its amazing the things that I have been able to see just by writing about different things, and then the answer just comes… Then there is the other, I check my email and see the likes on the different post that I have made and it makes me feel good about myself, just as it did that day in group. In life we get to hard on the people that we love, and we end up being hard on them about different things, but then we forget to give them just as much praise as we did criticism, for the things that we did good. We are so quick in life to over look the good things, and only see the bad things in life.
I have lost a lot in the past due to my addiction and my struggle with drugs. Over the past year I have worked really hard to get back the most important things that I lost… my children. I could sit here and write a mile long list of the other things that I have lost, but instead let me tell you a little bit about what I have gained. I have gained the knowledge that I am not alone, and that there are others out there suffering from addiction too. I have gained the knowledge that there is help out there and with help, recovery can be successful. There are counselors that understand, and that have risen above and beyond their own addictions to help those still struggling. I have learned that not everyone is a addict, but recovery is much like life itself. For me I feel that going through addiction and recovery I have gained more now, then what it took from me. I heard a song on the radio the other day that was about the hardships and the bad things in our lives, end up being blessings in our lives. I know that when I had my baby in February of 2012, even though I didn’t deserve for Division of Social Services to take her and they didn’t have really any reason other than my past and what had happened in 2010 to take her. Then because they took her it gave me the push that I guess God felt that I needed to stay in treatment, to attend the extra parenting classes, and the push to get back in my older two children’s life. Without everything that has happened to me I wouldn’t be the person that I am today, I wouldn’t know the people that I know, and most of all I wouldn’t know what I know today. It has made me who I am, and it has taken my life in a direction that I never thought it would take. It has made me think more of my future than ever before. The events have made me actually stick with things, where as before I started a lot of things but never stuck with them. The hard things in life are the things that you actually learn from. If you really sit and think about it, the hard things are the things that you learn from, the easy things in life the things that you enjoy, those are good things, easy moments and everyone needs them too, but you don’t learn from them like you do the hard things. The things that make you cry are the things that you learn the most from. I am a better person today than I was before everything that happened. I actually think about the future now, I know that there is going to be a future for me and my children. I still live a lot in the moment, cause that’s all anyone really has. There is no such thing as tomorrow. Someone at treatment said one day, that they stayed clean for 5 years by telling themselves everyday that they would use tomorrow, and then when tomorrow would come they would tell themselves that they would use tomorrow. As you see tomorrow never actually came. It really is amazing the things that I am able to see now, the things that I took for granted before, that now I know can be taken from me just as easy as they were given to me. I cried myself to sleep every night when I didn’t get to see my children.. I couldn’t hardly sleep when I didn’t get to see them. I would stay up all night and just lay awake thinking about the moment that I would get to see them again, praying that nothing happened to them before I actually got to see them again. Thinking about what I would say to them, the things that they wanted me to do with them, that I hadn’t done, because I thought other things were more important than them. I remember that first weekend that they got to come to my house and I got to see them for that first time, I slept like a baby. Before everything happened, I always took sleeping like that for granted, I remember bragging about how easy it was for me to sleep, and then I knew what it was like to never sleep. I took that time to play games with them, read to them, sit and hug them for hours, run around the house and play with them like I was a kid, and just hold them and fall asleep with them in my arms. All my children are special, but I have one that just stands above the rest. I have the one that everyone that has kids should have. I have that extraordinary child that helps me and in a way that I guess only I can understand guides me in a way that I never thought possible for children. In a lot of ways I have been down a hard road, but then in even more ways, those hard roads that I have traveled have lead me to the best place that I could ever imagine being… Here where I am at today!
Our Greatest is not in never falling, but Rising every time we fall..
Watch your thoughts; they become words,
Watch your words; they become actions,
Watch your actions; they become habits,
Watch your habits; they become character,
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny…
By: Frank Outlaw
There are many people in the world that do not understand what it is like to be a opiate addict. Then there are people like me, who have experienced it first hand and know exactly what it is like. It is really weird to watch first hand how someone like me can become so easily addicted to opiates and other drugs, and then to watch the man that I have been with for several years, who can take the exact amount that I take, for the exact amount of time, and be just fine when the pills are gone, while I lay in bed and feel like I am going to die. He moves on with his life and his life continues to function, while mine seems to get put on hold and the only thing that I can think about, is where I can get more from, and how I am going to get them. The other difference between the two of us is: When we were using and I had managed to talk whatever doctor into giving me a script of pills (opiates), I would take them and take them.. He can take a few and leave the rest alone, I will continue to take them in massive amounts until they are gone, always striving to get that feeling that I want from them. I will even sneak around to take them, hiding them in my mouth until I can get a drink to swallow them. I know that he doesn’t approve of me taking them in the amounts that I take them, and I have been known to go to Wal-Mart to get a vitamin that looks the same as the pill and replace the pills with the vitamins so that I could have all the pills. It is crazy the lengths that I will go to in order to satisfy my addiction. My counselor says that the best way for someone to understand what addiction to opiates is to have them hold their breath until they feel like they can’t hold it anymore, and then hold it for 30 more seconds. My counselor says that this is the best analogy, because opiates affect the part of your brain that controls your breathing and other involuntary body functions. The only thing that I know is that most people do not understand what it is like to be me! In some ways I wish there was a exact way to explain it, and to show others that way they wouldn’t think of me as “just being weak”, but then again I don’t wish that because the only way for that to happen is for them to actually experience it themselves, and I don’t wish that on anyone. I really hate it when people think that I have more control over it than I actually do. I don’t have control over the way that my body will make its self sick if the wrong thoughts hit me at the wrong moments. I currently take Suboxone to help with my opiate dependence, and it is truly a miracle drug, it helps in more ways then I can even explain, but then is it really helping or is it just taking the place of the opiates.. The jury is still out on that (at least in my book).. I have gone without anything for several weeks here and there over the last 6 years, and even if it has been two months since I had taken anything, when that thought hits me at the wrong time, or I find the bottle that someone else has, or I see someone else taking a pain pill, my head will start hurting, I get sick to my stomach, I feel like I got the flu almost instantly and I know the only way that I am going to feel any better is to find a way to get a pill. I know that most of it is in my head because it takes a pill about 30 minutes or so to kick in after you take it, but all the symptoms go away as soon as I swallow that pill. Then I just have to wait for it to kick in so I can get the feeling that I know is coming. That is the best way that I know to describe it. The Suboxone that I take, makes all that go away… Some will read this and think that I am just plain crazy, and some will know exactly what I mean.. I guess when it comes time to finally do it without my Suboxone, when I start to get those feelings I could always follow my other post “Be a Kid” to get through those moments..
The other day I went to treatment and I got in at least one group, and part of the discussion that day, was about being hard on ourselves for the mistakes that we have made. Learning different ways to lighten up, and being able to bring out that child within ourselves that we once were.. We did a exercise and it don’t matter who you are a addict or not everyone can do it.. We got a plain piece of paper and with the opposite hand that we would normally use to write with we drew a picture of our earliest happiest memory that we had. (Believe it or not, when I was done doing this, I felt some sort of peace, like when you finally solve a problem and it feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders) Then when we were done with that one, we flipped the paper over and did another one, only this time we still used the opposite hand, but we held the pencil like a little kid would hold the pencil. The counselor said that your childhood memories are stored in the opposite side of your brain, the one that normally don’t work and one of the way to activate that side is to use the opposite hand.. Okay maybe I am having a hard time explaining this, but most of the people reading this should understand what it is that I am trying to say. It was a great exercise, and when I got to the second drawing I was remembering more of my childhood. It was weird, like a flood of old good memories that came back to me. As addicts we spend so much time beating ourselves up for what we have done wrong, and maybe its not just a addict thing maybe its a adult thing. As adults we sometimes forget that we can put the computer, tablet, or cell phone aside and turn up the music, grab the hair brush and sing and dance with our favorite song as if we were 7 again. Its okay to put everything aside and run around the house with your kids, playing tag, having that pillow fight, or play that game of truth or dare with them.. Last night my kids and I had a balloon fight.. During the afternoon, we ran around the house and just acted plum crazy, tickling, chasing each other around pinching each others butts, and trying our best to hide from one another. Its okay no matter how old you are to sign as loud as you can, (or in my case as bad as you can), do that stupid dance, or whatever it is that makes you laugh, and I mean laugh like you did when you were a kid playing with your friends acting silly. This is one of the greatest pieces of advice I can give those reading this. I have these moments all the time.. I love being silly with my kids, I love running around the house with them chasing them or running from them, (and I do mean running in the house), jumping on the beds, singing as loud as we can, screaming, and just laughing until we are rolling on the floor. This is done so often here in this house, that my baby that is a month old was sitting in her swing yesterday and she started crying so I gave her, her binky, and then my 7 year old went to wipe chocolate all over me so it was on, and we spent the next hour running through the house screaming and yelling, and the baby fell sound asleep and slept until we quit, then she woke up. When your busy being a kid, there are no over due bills, there is no mistakes that you have made, there is no stress, all there is, is laughter and fun… And its better than you can even imagine.. Try it sometime..