I am an addict. It took me a long, long time to find out, and accept, that this was true for me. It was not in my game plan to end up being an addict, but it happened. My alcohol and drug use progressed to the point that I could no longer tell the difference between the true and the false.
From an early age, secrecy and lies provided me with some comfort. I have used a wide variety of drugs since I was 15 years old, but it was Cocaine that brought me to my knees.
In the beginning drugs and drink made me feel like a complete person and I thought that they would give me power. They filled something in me that was missing and life was good for a while. In the end I had no choice if I would use and drink or not, I had lost the power to choose.
The reason that I came into Cocaine Anonymous was that I had run out of ideas. I had wanted to stop for a couple of years and could not do that alone, even though I was desperate to.
I was isolated; everyone around me was disgusted with my behaviour. I was about to lose my wife, my children, my house, my job and my sanity. I really couldn’t figure out how this all happened, and I sure didn’t think it was anything to do with me. I blamed everything and everyone except myself.
Now I see that at some point I stopped using by choice. I had crossed a line and now had to use. I would do anything to get cocaine. Lie, cheat, steal. I did not care to listen or see the pain I was causing my family, friends and everyone else around me.
Concerned people would tell me “Something is wrong, you need help”. I would either stay silent, walk away or tell them to fuck off and mind their own business. They only wanted to help and they could see I was killing myself, and ruining my life and the life of those around me.
For me in the last two years of my using and often before that time, drugs and drink stopped giving me any relief and I was miserable, but I still had to have them.
For me something changed inside one day. For the first time in my life I was willing to accept that I had a problem and needed help. I was not happy to be in that place. I am very proud by nature, I don’t like to have to surrender or admit anything to anyone.
My nose was caving in, I was having mad thoughts all the time, I was paranoid, my body was thin and weak, I had pushed everyone away, and still I thought that magically, one day, there would be an answer, I kept on using.
When I started going to CA meetings I realised that some people there were really well and happy, and had stopped having to take drugs and drink. They were talking honestly about what their lives used to be like, what happened and how their lives are today.
They looked too well to have ever been through what was happening to me, but what they said was related to my thoughts, my actions, my behaviour, and my story. I believed them and I wanted what they had – peace of mind.
Then I was told that there was a solution for my problem if I was willing to be more open minded, honest and consider myself (and others) for the first time in many years. No one wanted anything from me. It was free. People were kind and loving and although I wanted it now, I was not ready to be honest with others, to follow the simple suggestions that were made to me, so I continued to use drink and drugs against my will. I wanted to run away and I kept relapsing for a year or so.
Then I realised that no one but me could do this simple programme of action. My choice was to do this or die. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually.
I have had a clear head and been off drink and drugs for two and a half years now. I will not pretend it was easy, I will not pretend that life today is perfect. But I can now look myself and other people in the eye. I do not lie so much, so I don’t have to worry so much. My faith in myself, other people and in a higher power that I call God has been restored and I am at peace (most of the time!). And I have hope today.
We are not alone and I hope to see you around. There is a solution. If I can do it, you can. We can recover. One day at a time.