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Just a Minute, I’m Changing

| February 10, 2012

As a drug addict for 15+ years, it became necessary for me to acquire less than desirable characteristics to maintain my habit. Over the years I grew proud of my loathsome ways and comfortable with my offensiveness. It was survival. Lately, I’ve been speaking more often at treatment centers, chairing meetings and just sharing with other addicts. A celebrated topic is what recovery gave, what you gained in recovery, and the abundance of good things in recovery. I like that.

But it is a give-and-take world.

You hear about the things recovery GIVES you, but I want to talk about what recovery TOOK from me. Recovery robbed me of the ability to lie. I just can’t do it now. I had repeatedly told such great lies that I was convinced they were true. My lies were like snowballs; they became bigger and bigger as they rolled off my tongue. Recovery also took away the Barnum & Bailey Three Ring Circus that performed in my head. It’s so quiet now. I’m not the ringmaster; I’m not in control. Recovery cheated me out of hours, months, maybe even years of wandering around aimlessly not knowing what direction to go. I have learned that if others think you’re lost, they don’t expect much from you. I could be non-committal. Recovery swindled me out of fear. Fear paralyzed me. It allowed me to stay where I was. Recovery stole my anger and pain. Anger and pain is what fueled me.

Recovery stripped me of all my buffers, all my emotional armor. Recovery took from me everything I had depended on to survive. Everything I knew. I feel like a lucky loser! You can love what you have or love what you don’t have.┬áDo you remember something recovery TOOK from you?

Lucky me, lucky you… Be well.

Sidney Austin, Heroes in Recovery Lead Advocate

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