Thursday, September 27, 2012

Step Two: A Power Greater Than Ourselves

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

 Do I have problems accepting that there is a Power or Powers greater than myself? There are many forces in the universe that are much stronger that I am right now.  Not a lot of them have clear cut answers either.  I don't have any qualms about admitting that my ego is not all powerful, that there are other things out there greater than my addiction, and greater than myself.

What are some things that are more powerful than I am? gravity, light, cycles, nature, All-That-Is, my addiction...

Can a Power greater than myself help me stay clean?  How? That seems to be the idea, but I can only ponder as to why or how.  Perhaps to personally petition a God/dess sounds ... whiny.

Can a Power greater than I am help me recover? How? My father once told me to toss out the brain in the equation and really listen to your heart as a higher power.  The brain is what gets us into trouble in the first place.  If my heart is filled with determination, I can follow that to the bitter ends: jails, institutions and death (oh my), or I can follow it to the serenity of being sober and clean.  I'm told it gets better, but I have yet to understand that with my own eyes yet.

What evidence do I have that a Higher Power is working in my life? I'm going to meetings, aren't I? My life cycle has landed me in some pretty interesting places, none of which has been very helpful until now.  I can trust that my Power can take me to places that give me hope, determination and will.

 What are the characteristics my Higher Power does NOT have? My selves are exactly where they need to be, including those that are in position of recovery from drugs.  Whatever they don't have, I won't need.

 What are the characteristics my Higher Power have? My HGA/Godself is closer to the center of a monad soul.  It can see the bigger picture than my incarnate/middle self.  If recovery is meant to happen at some point in my life, my Godself, closer to All-That-Is and the Divine, it will put me in positions to access the road of recovery.

I have considered taking on the student role to several virgin gods and goddesses, but nothing seems to fit.  I guess I'll have to remain a little vague in my understanding in order to glean meaningful routines in life.

Everything I touch, I break (I wanna break you down)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Step Two: Coming to Believe

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity


Do I have any fears about coming to believe?  What are they? I already have a strong connection with All-That-Is.  I refuse to call it God do to the negative stigma most Pagans have against the Judeo-Christian, scripture-fucked, intolerance of variance.  Every meeting is uncomfortable, every prayer or tradition I read and replace the word God for Goddess, just to make it clear that I don't subscribe to a naive pyramid of spiritual scam, directed by power hungry men. There is balance.  No good, no evil, simply shades of gray.

Do I have other barriers that make it difficult for me to believe?  What are they? Not really.  Currently I am using what Alister Crowley calls the HGA (holy guardian angel, or the higher, Godself).  Though I am having a hard time to think of it as more powerful than myself...

What does the phrase, "We came to believe..." mean to me? Gods, that sounds like a last resort to me.  But then again, I'm at the end of my rope and this is a sort of last resort.  Okay, you've got me there, NA...

Have I ever believed in something that has no tangible evidence?  What was that experience like? I say no.  What I believe is often proved again and again by metaphysics and a plethora of other scientific study.  I believe that I can manipulate energy in a more streamlined current on my own.  There is no VISUAL evidence, but even some joe off the street can admit that there is something to it all...

What experiences have other addicts shared about coming to believe? Have I tried any of them for myself? Some transcendent face in the sky that loves you to death but will throw you to Hell if you don't think what He thinks doesn't sound plausible in the slightest.  So this being who made Hell just for people He doesn't like is loving enough to guide us poor, dirty souls towards a clean way to live?  Pass.

In what DO I believe? I believe in cycles.  Everything, even human life, has a birth, life, death and rebirth on a regular basis.  The Divine is imminent, within each of us trying to experience reality in an incarnate state one life at a time.  Does this force care about me? Yes and no... we are a conglomerate of souls who can only guide each other in hopes that we are not just random happenstance.

How has my belief grown since coming to recovery? No growth, just observance without judgement. 

This one is gonna be a toughie...

Wake me up when September ends...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Step Two: Hope and Insanity

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

What do I have hope for today?  I hope I get to see my daughter more than a few hours at a time.  I hope that I can throw myself 100% into recovery.  I hope that I can be a mother, daughter, sister, aunt or just plain Carmen.  Is that so much to ask?

Did I believe that I could control my using?  What were some of my experiences with this, and how were my efforts unsuccessful? I used to think that getting high was just a bonus to relieving my back pain.  Then I started using it just to feel high and numb, or to get some comfortable sleep.  I tried to have a friend regulate how much I used, and because he was an addict too it didn't work for shit.

What things did I do that I can hardly believe I did when I look back at them? I left my daughter in the care of a neighbor -- a STRANGER -- to get high on some shrooms.  I'm very ashamed of doing that for the sake of getting high.  Thank the gods that nothing bad happened.

Did I put myself in dangerous situations to obtain drugs? If snorting two morphine at a time isn't dangerous then I don't know what is.

Did I behave in ways of which I'm not ashamed?  What were those situations like? Getting fucked up and assholing  the town was fun.  I liked it.  In social situations I rarely have shame.  Just guilt.  The difference between the two a mountain and a half.  I'm brash and tactless at times, and the drugs brought that to center stage.  I had a blast, and giving up on that feeling seems like a daunting task.

Did I make insane decisions as a result of my addiction? Yeah, with money.  I could barely pay a single bill when I was accepting help from DSS, and yet I repeatedly bought opiates from others.  I'd put off everything in order to get high.  I scared my daughter by not being able to wake up one time.  I am very ashamed of that.

Did I quit jobs, leave friendships and other relationships or give up on achieving other goals for no reason other than that those things interfered with my using? I gained them, unfortunately.  And now in order to see my son, I must interact with them.  That whole "people, places and things" bit is unbearable.  Now that I must cut ties with things that encouraged me to use, I'm finding it difficult to find someone to relate with that is clean.

Did I ever physically injure myself or someone else in my addiction? I gave myself a concussion once.  I probably damaged my liver.  Other than that, violence was never tolerated, which led me to believe that I indeed have control.  I couldn't have been wronger.

How have I overreacted or underreacted to things? I rarely overreact, but underreact to a frightening degree.  I just didn't care.

How has my life been out of balance? HAHAHA.  The juggle of life has put an enormous pressure on my conscience.  Money has always been an impossible thing to deal with, and I feel like whenever I was high that I was sacrificing time with my daughter.  And now I've paid the price for it.

In what ways does my insanity tell me that things outside myself can make me whole or some all my problems?  Using drugs?  Compulsive gambling, eating, or sex seeking? Something else? Drugs and eating, otherwise I wouldn't be so goddamned fat.  Those things comfort me, and nothing matters when those urges are obliged.  I must remember the Charge of the Goddess: "If that which you seek is not within you, you will never find it without."

Is part of my insanity the belief that the symptom of my addiction (using drugs or some other manifestation) is my only problem? Shit no, I've got more psych issues than Heath Ledger sometimes.  I'm try8ing to get my brain reigned in so it stops going off of wild tangents of guilt, hallucinations and fear.  Sometimes I feel powerless over these mental issues.  I wish I could drain my brain of these awful thoughts.  If that's not insanity than shoot me now.

When we've acted on an obsession, even though we knew that the results would be, what were we feeling and thinking about beforehand?  What made us go ahead? INSTANT GRATIFICATION.  I'm impatient and unwilling to  wait for the simplest of things.  The microwave.  The money.  The booze.  The pills.  Social interaction.  Gods, I am the definition of insane sometimes.  I feel like I haven't gotten mine and that all I've been doing for the past three years is waiting.  I'm not going to wait anymore, at least not for the healthy things in my life. 

These questions hurt me to answer and I can see why.  Insanity dominates my life, and I thought I'd found the answer in drugs.  I was wrong.

Such a lonely day, it's a day I'm glad I survived...
~C out

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Drugs and Slugs


So I'm a little apprehensive about the next step, but I'm told to worry about it when I get there.  The Higher Power bit is definitely going to be a snag.  I've struggled to stay clean through Step One with marginal success.  Currently handling only days of clean time at any given point is discouraging.  Lots of external forces are streamlining my life into two choices: go back to what I'm comfortable with, get back with Alisha and fuck sobriety, or stay with my current love interests and continue trying to stay clean.

It's hard to break the circle, and I'm sure many fellow addicts can relate to that.  I'm told over and over again that it gets better, serenity will come and thus happiness with my life.  When I still feel strung out and jonesing, it's hard to believe.  Elaine has been wonderful, but I still fall off that wagon repeatedly.

Frustrating. BUT: I think I can do this.  I'm not perfect, but neither is anyone else.  Guilt plagues me, but they don't judge me there. 

I can do this.

This alone you're in time for the show, I'm the one that you need, I'm the one that you loathe

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Step One: Moving On

We admitted that we were powerless over addiction; that our lives have become unmanageable

How do I know it's time to move on?  I don't.  I've taken a few things to heart and set a few things aside, but all in all if I can stay away from the people, places and things that I am used to using around, I might have a chance at a calmer, more manageable life.

What is my understanding of Step One? Just because you are powerless over something does not mean that you cannot work to change it by taking control of my actions.  Or at the very least the responsibility of it all.  I don't like using the first step as an excuse, and I fear that in the next situation I am exposed to I'll just shrug and say "I'm powerless, oh well.  Let's get smashed!"  It is a monster inside me that needs to be quenched, and its main source of nutrition would have been the drugs.  Now it wants something to fill the void.  And it's impatient.

How has my prior knowledge and experience affected my work on this step? I watched my father go to AA meetings after he got out of rehab.  I know a lot about the recovery crowd, and at first I was a little baffled. Now that I'm a part of NA, I see the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. 

I'm beginning to see a change in my behavior towards drugs and those that provide them.  Being friends with my ex is making it very hard to stay clean, and I have relapsed twice with her, but i love being around her when she's not a raging bitch.  son of a bitch, this is hard and I want to give up sometimes.  Then I call Elaine and everything seems a little more manageable, one day at a time.

To rid the disease...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Step One: Spiritual Principles

We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives had become unmanageable

If I've been thinking about using or acting out on my addiction in some other way, have I shared it with my sponsor or told anyone else? Sometimes, but not all the time.  I am overwhelmed so much with guilt that sometimes I let it get in the way of my honesty.

Have I stayed in touch with the reality of my disease, no matter how long I've had freedom from active addiction? Stayed in touch?  This shits all up in my face.  I don't need to touch it, it does plenty of touching on its own.

Have I noticed that now that I don't have to cover up my addiction I no longer need to lie like I did?  Do I appreciate the freedom that goes along with that? I pride myself on my word -- kind, true and necessary.  Integrity is a value of mine that I no longer have to fake.

In what ways have I begun to  be honest in my recovery? Just saying "I'm Carmen and I'm an addict" is a big step in honesty for me to myself. If I fuck up, my sponsor is usually the first to know.

What have I heard in recovery that I have trouble believing? Have I asked my sponsor to explain it to me? Ah, here's the tricky bit.  I'm having a snag on this Higher Power bit.  I don't subscribe to a Judeo-Christian worldview.  I'm Wiccan.  That which is "higher" than me is just as much a part of myself as my body is.  What about the "lower" parts of me?  They get a say too, don't they?  My sponsor is not Pagan; she doesn't understand.

In waht ways am I practicing open-mindedness? Just to give this a shot was a huge leap, thinking that people sitting at a table in a church basement drinking stale coffee and old candy could lead me to serenity.  Who'd have known?

Am I willing to follow my sponsor's direction?  Am I willing to go to meetings regularly? Yes. Yes. Yes.  I've been throwing myself at this.  I eat, shit and breathe recovery at this point.  I have to do this.

Am I willing to give recovery my best effort? In what ways? Well there is a lot of reading to be hand, but I like it better when gone over in a meeting.  I've started this blog, I've handed pills back to my counselors after palming them, I'm a goddamned nutcase.  And I'm still here.

Do I believe that I'm a monster who as poisoned the whole world with my addiction? I do to some degree, but the more therapy I'm in, the more I realize that I don't have to take all the blame all the time.  Dave would certainly disagree with this, as will Doug, but I'm leaning to tune them out with two middle fingers.

Do I believe that my addiction is utterly inconsequential to the larger society around me?  Or something in between? I'm a drop of water in the bucket, which is true.  But that bucket needs me and my actions to shape the fate of reality -- it needs everybody's actions. Call it a butterfly causing a hurricane or whatever.  I am both just as important as I am inconsequential. 

Do I have a sense of my relative importance within my circle of family and friends?  In society as a whole?   What is that sense? I have a curse.  Everyone I meet either falls madly in love or madly in lust with me.  If I let them in there is immediately tension on my part.  People want a piece of me I cannot afford to muster.  I have a relative disdain for humanity as large.  I may be important to them, but most of the time I could give a fuck.

How am I practicing the principle of humility in connection with this work on the First Step? Admitting that it was wrong of me to do the things I did in the name of my addiction is humbling in itself.  I got this one.

Have I made peace with the fact that I'm an addict? Working on it.

Have i made peace with the things I'll have to do in order to stay clean? Still working on it.

How is acceptance of my disease necessary for my continued recovery? Can't fix something if you don't know how it broke in the first place.

Okay, so there are still a few kinks to work out, but this is a process, or so I'm told.  Can't get it all on the first way through.  Thinking about doing this for the rest of my life is daunting at best, but as they say, you have to take it One Day At A Time.  Corny, but it works, and that's the way it goes.

What if all the world around you isn't quite as it seems?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Step One: Surrender

We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives have become unmanageable

What am I afraid of about the concept of surrender, if anything?  Surrender involves a lot of trust on my part, and lately I haven't been able to trust anyone as far as I can throw them (and with a bad back I'll be lucky to lift them off the ground).  If I am to rest my troubles on ... whatever I'm surrendering to ... I would find myself feeling rather stupid, as if it were to solve anything.

What convinces me that I can't use successfully anymore? Success is NOT a word I would use anywhere NEAR my addiction.

Do I accept that I'll never regain control, even after a long period of abstinence? Now that's a depressing thought.  Pour me a fucking shot, I don't think I can do both...

Can I begin my recovery without a complete surrender? It depends on the object of surrender.  I'm not exactly a Jesus-freak, so the Judeo-Christian options are out of the question.  Looks like I have a lot of thinking to do on this whole surrender business.  Surrender and Powerlessness seem to go hand in hand.  So who really has the power? Not me, you'd better believe it...

What would my life be like if I surrendered completely? I'd pay the price for freedom.  Can't have my cake and eat it too.  (holy shit there are BROWNIES downstairs and I just got slapped upside the head with munchies.  Pardon for a moment...)



WELL. Now that THAT'S done...

Can I continue my recovery without complete surrender? :-/ hmmmmm.  So if I'm not wearing the Big Girl pants ... who is?  I've taken it away from the drugs and made it separate of myself ... I need a Step Two book or something.  DAMN YOU WICCA. (I didn't mean that Inanna, I swear).

Looks like surrender and me don't get along so well.  A worthy obstacle to overcome.  This shit was getting too easy anyway.


Try to fill the spaces in between
~C (as in COKE)  get it? coke instead of cookie? with... the monster-- oh for fucks sake.  *shoves foot in mouth*

Step One: Unmanageability

We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives have become unmanageable

What does unmanageability mean to me? that things are out of my control, despite my best efforts.

Have I ever been arrested of had legal trouble as a result of my addiction? No, but I could have been.

Hae I ever done anything I could have been arrested for if only I were caught?  What were they? Ohhhh yeah.  not just the drugs, but vandalism, neglect, trespassing among other things.

What trouble have I had at work or school because of my addiction? I have been unable to work since 2009, when everything fell apart and my drug use became out of my control.

What trouble have I had with my family as aresult of my addiction? I avoid most of them like the plague.  But my mother and I have always been close, no matter what.

What trouble have I had with my friends as a result of my addiction? Lost trust, gossip and justification.  Viscous cycle and such.

Do I insist on having my own way?  What effect has my insistence had on my relationships? Once I get something in my head, nothing is going to stop me from doing what I'm gonna do without a better reason not to, of which I am hard pressed to listen to.  I aggravate any significant other until they end up leaving.

Do I accept responsibility for my life and my actions? now I do.  Ever since Doug accused me of justifying everything I've really had to real in the reality of each situation.  What he said really hurt me, and I would have done anything to earn his love back.  I realize that it is futile now.

Am I able to carry out my daily responsibilities without becoming overwhelmed?  How has this affected my life? I'm overwhelmed over the most simplest of tasks. my anxiety skyrockets so I tend to just ignore the things I'm supposed to do, hoping they won't be just as fucked up as yesterday.

Do I fall apart the minute things don't go accourding to plan?  How has this affected my life? When things don't go according to plan I like to think myself as adaptable.  I can work out a different route of action in a snap.  It takes some juggling sometimes, but if I really want it, nothing can stop me, for better or worse. (usually worse)

Do I treat every challenge as a personal insult? How has this affected my life? I'm way to laid back and self-defeating to assume that someone would bother to take the time to insult me directly.  I could honestly give a fuck what others think.  Let them waste their time with insults, they are only wasting their energy and hurting themselves.

Do I maintain a crisis mentality, responding to every situation with panic?  How has this affected my life? Small things can send me over the edge, I'll admit that.  Crisis mode is usually when I isolate, refusing any social gestures to lure me out.  I'm trying to work on working my safety/prevention plan, but it's hard when all I want to do is hide.

Do I ignore signs that something may be seriously wrong with my health or with my children, thinking that things will work out some how?  Describe. My health is a source of constant stress for me.  I have no problem bitching to a doctor about my state of being, and my children's.  Of course sometimes that motivation is a hope to score more pills...

When in real danger, have I ever been either indifferent to that danger or somehow unable to protect myself as a result of my addiction?  Describe.  My give-a-fuck meter is usually on "nuh-uh." Thus, when things take a real turn for the worse, I lock down, isolate and pretend it's not happening.

Have I ever harmed someone as a result of my addiction?  Describe. Just myself.  I can't justify hurting someone else directly.  The Wiccan Rede states that "an it harm none, do as ye will."  Of course I'm violating it just by hurting myself, but I think it''s better me than others.

Do I have temper tantrums or react to my feelings in other ways that lower my self-respect or sense of dignity?  Describe.  I don't lash out, I lash in.  If anyone is the victim here, it is myself, from myself.

Did I take drugs or act out on my addiction to change or suppress my feelings?  What was I trying to change or suppress? Pills make you float on the clouds, with all daily problems a raging soup of despair below me.  I'd do anything to get away from it, though it is often inescapable. 

Most of my problems stem from a deep self-hatred that is a massive hurtle just to think about.  When I am high, I just don't care.  But then I come down and there it is again, demanding my attention to act right this second.  Getting high is my escape route.

...and now you're one of us: THE WRETCHED.
~C outtie

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Step One: Powerlessness

We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives have  become unmanageable

Step One: Powerlessness

Over what exactly am I powerless over? My craving for seretonin or dopamine.  My brain simply cannot handle this level  of stress, so I helped it out with opiates.  It worked ... for a while.

I've done things while acting out on my addiction that I would never do when focusing on recovery.  What were they? I've stolen money, had my girlfriend bring home narcotics from her private nursing job, I've passed on my habit to her and seriously considered abortion of my second child (I ended up not doing it, long story maybe for some other post).

What things have I done to maintain my addiction that went completely against all my beliefs and values? Lie cheat and steal of course.  I have broken the Wiccan Rede by dealing harm to myself above all else.

How does my personality change when I'm acting out on my addiction? I get mellow on downers and productive on uppers.  I'm more social and less anxious.  The come down however never seemed to be worth it, though time and again I turned back to it, just to stop shaking or thinking about ending my life.

Do I manipulate other people to maintain my addiction? How? I've manipulated doctors endlessly for vicodins and morphines.  I'll play the pain card in order to get more from friends.  Sometimes this is a legitimate cause of using, but that is not always the case.

Have I tried to quiet using and found that I couldn't?  Have I quit using on my own and found that my life was so painful without drugs that my abstinence didn't last very long? What were those times like? I can say yes to all of it.  I've lost a piece of my soul three years ago, and I haven't retrieved it yet.  I think about death on the regular, then turn to drugs to stop being so stupid; ironically worsening my problem.

How has my addiction caused me to hurt myself or others? I'm not too sure.  No one has really come out and judged me for my addiction.  I didn't really start until the shit hit the fan three years ago, and that's when I really let loose and used until I couldn't feel anything at all.

Compromising my values and morals is my greatest regret in this roller coaster of emotion and using.  It's like a big middle finger to my Higher Self.  And that is the stupidest thing I could do.

I just end up getting burned again by myself (MYSELF) I ask why, but in my mind I find I can't rely on myself


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Step One: Reservations

We admitted that we were powerless against our addiction; that our lives have become unmanageable. 

Step One: Reservations

Have I accepted the full measure of my disorder? Probably not.  I know that whenever I'm in a doctor's office I feel the want to manipulate my way into pain pills.  I have not explored every angle of the desire to be clean yet.  Now would be a good time, right? Har-dee-har-har.

Do I think I can still associate with the people connected to my addiction? Can I go to the places I have used at?  I think I am very fortunate to have friends also in recovery around here.  I don't think I should go over to my ex's anymore -- she always has a bowl lit and ready.  I cannot say no when she offers.

Do I think it's wise to keep drugs or paraphernalia around, just to "remind" me or test my recovery? If I do that, I'll use! Of course not!  Tempting, but the answer is definitely no.  If it's there, I can't stop myself, consequences be damned.

Is there something that I don't think I can get through clean, some event that might happen that will be so painful that I'll have to use in order to survive the hurt? There are two emails that I have yet to open.  One is from Doug, the other from Blythe.  For the record, Blythe is dead and our last words were exchanged in anger.  Doug was my ONE, and once he sided with Blythe's husband Dave, it was over.  I never want to open those emails, for fear of knowing for sure that I am hated by at least three people.  And that's not my mental illness talking, I've been told to my face that I was hated.  I don't think I can get past this monumentous hurdle without a pick-me-up of some kind.

Do I think that with a certain amount of clean time that I could go back to using and be able to control it? I want to say yes, but my heart knows better: no fucking way.  I'll just pick up where I left off and set the cycle going all over again.  Pass on that, thanks.

What reservations am I still holding on to? To admit powerlessness seems like some kind of justification to use.  "Well I can't help it, I'm an addict!"  May I be slapped should I ever use that excuse.  As a Pagan, coming to terms with something about yourself that you are not in control of is a very serious problem. Any problems that come my way I usually have caused myself.  No one is in the driver's seat but me.  To admit that the drugs are in the driver's seat and not me is a very scary concept.  Not all otherworldly beings are nice, and some feed on the chaos that addiction causes.  Powerless over them?  That's like asking if vultures circling you was your own fault.  Pft.

Shame on us, doomed from the start, Gods have mercy on our dirty little hearts

Step One: Despair and Isolation at Rock Bottom

We admitted that we were powerless against our addiction; that our lives have become unmanageable.

What crisis brought me to recovery? I was caught palming my pills.  Lawrence house immediately wanted me to go to rehab.  Yeah, fat chance.  I did however agree to meet them halfway and go to NA meetings.  My sincerity was in question at first.

What situation led me to finally work Step One?  I found a sponsor, and quick.  Elaine is such a wonderful woman that she bought me the books.  I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.  I can't fuck this up just like I fucked everything else up.  Dick in the hornet's nest so to speak.

When did I first recognize my addiction as a problem? Did I try to correct it?  If so, how? If not, why not? I stole several morphine from my mother once, and I stopped myself after the fact and with horror reiterated to myself over and over again that I STOLE FROM MY MOTHER  Unacceptable.  This was about four years ago.  I admitted to being an addict long before I actually believed it.  Then I simply justified that yes, I was an addict, but a functioning one.  I wasn't thinking about drugs non stop until Rob tried to pay his rent with seventy vicodins and I accepted.  I was stoned for two months strait.  How the fuck do I raise a kid that way?!  It was very wrong of me, and I struggle with guilt on the regular.  In short, I didn't have the slightest motivation to actually take recovery seriously. 

I would be lying if I said I  was doing this for myself.  That's what you're supposed to do, but I do it  for Serenity.  She is my world, my child, and nothing can stop the tide of love I feel for her.  Mama loves you, Zen.  Don't ever forget it.

The day the whole world went away
~C out

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Step One: Denial

We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives have become unmanageable. 

Have I given plausible but untrue reasons for my behavior?  What have they been? Some times I reason with the fact that I am severely mentally ill.  I'll upplay it if I feel I've done something stupid.

Have I compulsively acted on an obsession, and then acted as if I had actually planned to act that way?  When were those times? I used to compulsively pick at my skin.  I mean really dig in and bleed copious amounts.  I ruined shirts with sleeves, been ashamed to wear something without sleeves and I just couldn't stop.  This was something called Dermatilamania, an obsessive compulsive behavior.  Right now i have a handle on it, but I won't deny that vicodin really curbed that urge.

How have I blamed other people for my behavior? The biggest mistake of my life was walking out on an intervention for my isolation.  I recoiled like a stretched out slinky.  All I wanted was space, and I was incredibly frustrated that nobody neither understood it nor respected that need.

How have I compared my addiction with others' addiction?  Is my addiction "bad enough" if i don't compare it to anyone else's? I would always compare myself to my father, destroyer of two marriages and two childhoods, mine and my sister Jessica.  I swore I'd never get so fucked up that I couldn't walk, or puke first thing in the morning or stink of pot and booze.  I never got "that bad," but I didn't get much better either.

Am I comparing a current manifestation of my addiction to the way my life was before I got clean?  Am I plagued by the idea that I should know better? Plagued is a really good word for that.  I feel I have failed at being a mother, a teacher and a student.  I should have seen this coming from miles out.

Have I been thinking that I have enough information about addiction and recovery to get my behavior under control before it gets out of hand? That may have been a concern at some point.  Not sure when, but it was there.

Am I avoiding action because I'm afraid I will be ashamed when I face the results of my addiction?  Am I avoiding action because I'm worried about what others think? Fuck what everyone else thinks, I just wanna get out of this hole I'm in, and it won't be unscathed, that's for sure.  And I don't even want to look at the wreckage of my life.  I'd rather just shovel it out, baby and bathwater alike, just so I can start all over again.

Rough shit. 
How could I ever think it's funny how everything you swore would never change, it's different now

Step One: The Disease

We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives have become unmanageable.

What does the "disease of addiction" mean to me? I find it less a "disease" and more a "disorder."  Disease implies that there is a cure, of which there is none when it comes to addiction.  Disorders are manageable, but not curable.  Whatever you call it though, something needs to be done about it.

Has my disease been active lately?  In what way? I'm four days clean, of course it's been active!  Sarah handed me muscle relaxers and I just took them without thinking.  What the fuck is wrong with that picture?

What is it like when I'm obsessed with something?  Does my thinking follow a pattern   Describe:  My thinking is occasionally hijacked by obsession with either fantasy (to escape the stress of 'life on life's terms') or suicidal ideology.  I examine every angle of possibilities, often verbally shooing the opinions of other  voices away.  Especially when I become obsessed with the past.

When a thought occurs to me, do I immediately act on it without considering the consequences?  In what other ways do I behave compulsively? I may consider the consequences, but ignore them in favor of immediate gratification.

How does the self-centered part of my disease affect my life and the lives of those around me? I've been told I'm selfish and that I have a justification for anything.  I don't feel this is true, so I guess I tend to yank in the other direction: taking blame even when it's not all my fault.  People probably find me hard to deal with at close proximity because underneath the surface of interest and charisma is a very sick and attention craving demon.

How has my disease affected me physically?  Mentally? Spiritually?  Emotionally? Physically, the only thing that comes to mind is my back.  My addiction has actually helped in managing the pain.  However at the cost of my mental state, which is smooth and mellow while high but violently viscous on the come down.  Spiritually I condemn narcotics because they are synthetic, not natural.  Emotionally I'm a roller coaster of loops and knots.  It sucks.

What is the specific way in which my addiction has been manifesting itself most recently? Palming pills and calling up people to get stoned with.  Perhaps my loneliness is a driving factor...

Have I been obsessed with a person, place or thing?  If so, how has that gotten in the way of my relationships with others?  How else have I been affected mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally by this obsession?  I have been obsessed with my novel as of late, isolating long hours to get it just right.  Last I checked, isolation isn't so good for relationships. 

Who'd think that there would be so much to step one?  There's more too, but I'll work on it ONE DAY AT A TIME.  Whoa there Carmen, don't do it all at once!  This is a process, one that takes time.  Relax, wouldja?

I feel like a newborn
~C out

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Prelude

So.  Here I am at the end of my rope.  My life is a disaster.  I have no custody of my children, I can't keep a clean room (let alone the whole house), I live in a halfway home, my back is a source of constant agony and I replace the pressure of responsibility with isolation into a world of fantasy, mostly of my own making. 

I've been palming pills, exchanging them for payments owed, selling them, snorting them, replacing meals with them and put my liver through the wringer. 

For all intensive purposes, I am an addict.  I always have been, but now it just has a label.  I hate labels, especially the most commonly accepted one: God.  More on that in Step Two I suppose. 

I gotta shake this shit or I will continue to spiral downward.  I'm terrified that my longing for death will someday outweigh my love for my daughter Serenity.  She is my world.  I would be dead without her, no doubt about it.  How can I be a productive and loving mother when all I'm worried about is my next bout of blissful absence of pain?

My mental illness is not well managed at the moment.  I take a mountain of medication day and night to keep myself stable and not self-destructive or homicidal.  So the buzz of my benzo's is a constant, but I'm told that so long as you do not abuse your meds and take them as directed only, it doesn't count.

Which is a good thing, because I'm a downright cunt without them.  To myself and others.  I didn't have a fresh notebook or anything, so Blogger is the next best thing.  I'm going to meetings six nights a week.  I've been clean for three days.  I earned a stupid white keychain.  AA members get chips.  Bastards.

My father is now twelve years clean.  I'm so proud of him, and though I can't stand him most days, I still love him and am in awe of his determination to lead a productive and functioning life.  A decade ago I don't think I could have said those things about him.  A lot of the damage he'd done to me in my life were the source of my desire to be high.  It took me seven years of distance for me to forgive him.

Now all I have to do is forgive myself, which is no short order.  I have delusions of worthlessness.  I don't deserve a lot of things, but being a manipulating fiend has earned me many highs and exchanges.  I don't believe in sin, I believe in being an asshole.  If that makes sense.

Call it a last ditch effort.  I'm going to work through this stupid NA book day by day (one at a time, as they say), and post the results I come up with here.  I'm not sure if it would help anyone else, but I'm doing this for me (and Serenity).  I have to do this, and be as honest as I possibly can be. 

I didn't wanna hurt you baby, but you're pretty when you cry
~C out