- Friends & Family
Submitted by: Jamie Thompson
It is easy to be in denial when you are in full-blown addiction, and I am certainly no exception. There were many days that I overslept and was late for work because I couldn’t wake up. My boss would call me multiple times until I answered five hours later.
I made up so many excuses that it was hard to keep them straight. When I asked for help, she fired me.
I started to consider that I might have a problem but I wasn’t ready to admit it. I turned to stealing and dealing to keep up my habit. In my mind, everything was going to be just fine.
Later that year, I got up early Christmas morning to make breakfast for my family while they were visiting from out of town. Breakfast was ready and I sat there for a couple of hours waiting on them to wake up. I went to their rooms and they weren’t there. I called my brother to see when they had left. He told me that none of them had been there. I hung up the phone and sobbed. I realized that I had been hallucinating because I had been so sleep deprived and dehydrated after a dope binge. That was the time my family confronted me and it was impossible to con my way out of it that time.
I moved in with my brother with the agreement that I would seek help. I struggled to stay clean but I knew I had to keep trying. It was the night of June 5, 2005 and I was home alone. I sat up in my bed and screamed, “Someone please help me! I can’t do this anymore! Granny! Pawpaw! Someone up there please help me!” I was praying to heaven for an intervention. Up to that point I had been denied treatment because I didn’t have insurance.
I remember trying to talk to some people there and all I could do was cry. They took me out to eat that night and shared their stories with me. I knew that I was in the right place. The members of that group explained that the program offered simple and easy to follow steps that would help me to stay sober and begin to recover. I continued to go to meetings and talk to other recovering addicts every day. The 90 meetings in 90 days really worked for me.
I also sought help from a pro-bono therapist who helped me to identify my triggers and early warning signs of a relapse. She helped me form better relationships and more importantly, how to quickly identify and end toxic ones. I learned how to start believing in myself. I had to get rid of the fallacies that I would tell myself over and over. Those fallacies included unhealthy beliefs like: “I’m an awful person. I don’t deserve to be clean. I am not strong enough to stay clean.” These were the little things that could slowly creep into and destroy my recovery.
Through my recovery, I have discovered that I am much stronger that I ever realized. I was a darn good addict and now I can say that I am an even better person in recovery. I’ve surprised myself with new problem solving skills that I’ve developed. I no longer think using will help me forget my problems. I think that is huge for me because I have run from my problems since I was a kid. Now I am a responsible adult that can look ahead and know that the road before me will have many trials and there is not even one that will require me to get high.
Today, I am still an active member in the 12-step fellowship as a sponsor. I also participate in service work. I still go to therapy and now I have insurance and can afford the copays. I make sure that I follow my recovery action plan of getting enough sleep, asking for help, staying connected with my accountability network, and staying vigilant to not let things built into any kind of resentment. I’m happy to say that I have been sober every Christmas since that one in 2004.
If there is one thing that I would tell someone who is struggling to get clean, it is to know that they are worth the struggle and that there are many people that will love them until they can love themselves. There is hope and anyone can recover. It’s not easy, but it is possible.