At seven I had a fantasy, whereby I became an angel and rose out of my body and looked down on everyone around me and forgave them for the horrid and unnecessary pain they had caused me through their actions. With the knowledge I have now accessed in CA, I see that from an early age I had all the hall marks of the addict: a yearning to transcend my bodily state and ‘be out of body’ as I was so uncomfortable, a tendency to be either ‘more than’ and judge others or ‘less than’ and blame others, a conceited and disproportionate sense of how important I was….and that was before a mind-altering substance even brushed past my lips!

In hindsight, it is not surprising I cleaved to drugs and a whole barrage of external coping mechanisms as a solution to ‘life’, which always seemed so difficult to navigate without the anchors of substances that, for a while, made me feel like I could float through life’s complexities.

It took me years of slow sinking to reach my rock bottom. To halt the inevitable demise of my spiritual, physical and mental state, I tried a whole host of external solutions from jobs to relationships; drug swapping to country swapping. Along the way I became a teacher, a mother and a traveler in the hope that these things would ‘sort me out’. Surely being responsible for children would stop the obsession and thought to use? Surely I’d be happy on a desert island surrounded by nature’s beauty?

But I know now that the problem was on the inside. I have a profound disconnection from life and I find managing my emotions – and the relationships where they run amok – impossible on my own power.

I give thanks everyday to the Twelve Steps and our amazing CA fellowship.

CA and the Twelve Steps have allowed me to access the inner resources that I need to live my life with success and happiness. Through surrendering to the hopelessness of my situation in Step 1 and opening my mind and life to the force that drives the universe and having faith in Steps 2 and 3, I have begun a journey that has seen a complete transformation in how I approach life.

My Higher Power has done for me what I could not do for myself. It has lifted that demonic and degrading obsession to have ‘just one’. You see, my brain lies to me, and without the intervention of a Power greater than myself, I will believe the insanity that I can have ‘just one’. This is never the case. I have a profound allergy to all drugs that means I experience the physical phenomena of craving and as the Big Book illuminates: ‘Over any period of time, this gets worse, never better’.

I am now in a place of neutrality. I no longer need to use and I have no compulsion to use what so ever. Life is not perfect, but then neither am I and I can accept that. Today I have something to give; I’m not trying to grab all I can to fill the vacuum. Today the terrifying void has been filled with Fellowship, Faith and Life.