Recovery from Addiction

Jails, Institutions, and Near Death

Spring of 2006 I spent 2 months in jail getting sober for the last time. I spent my time locked up reading the Bible, The Big Book, writing ‘Paradise for the Hellbound’, and praying that the judge would sentence me to Bridgehouse. Bridgehouse (B.H.) is a rehab center owned by Meridian Behavioral Healthcare. I had been on the Methadone program there and I sent letters to my doctor to get me into rehab from jail. He was all for it. He himself later landed in rehab. Come to find out the doc was dipping into his own meds .How convenient.
On June 15th 2006 I got transported to B.H. by a Levy County Sheriff to begin my 28-day stay. Twenty-eight days…… twenty-eight days …. (reminiscent sigh). In the spring of 2006 28 days seemed like a very long time. The days were long and the nights were even longer. I had been in my addiction for nearly 35 years.

Continue reading “Recovery from Addiction”

How To Become Who You Really Are

Get To Work!

Building Self-Worth takes time and work.  But it is a priceless result when we become who we were really meant to be.  We Become who our heart screams and claws inside us to be.

Join a home group and open-up to the group.  You have to be a friend to make a friend.  Show vulnerability. (true feelings) Express your fears.  The truth WILL set you free. (don’t incriminate yourself legally) Share “what happened and how it made you feel.)  Get phone numbers of same sex members.  Call them and check in.  Get a sponsor.

Chair meetings, bring meetings into jails and institutions, go to detox to share your story with others.  Get in the middle of the boat, per-say.”  Set goals to accomplish that are fulfilling to you.  Work the 12 steps with all your heart, leave nothing uncovered where shame can get a strong-hold. 

Shame is at the core; it drives us to isolate and puts us humans on the defensive.  Put one foot in front of the other.  Do Step Eleven and don’t stop doing it.  Years pass quickly.  I challenge you and myself to meditate 4 times a week and see where that gets us.  So what I am suggesting here should supply both inner fulfillment and enlightenment. 

If we lie still, chant a mantra of our choice.  The demons (metaphor) will leave, they hate when we lie still and focus on finding our Higher Power. Or IT/HE/SHE finding us. 

Meetings every day or two a day.

WHY DO MEN RECOVER MORE OFTEN THAN WOMEN?

Statistically Why Are More Men Staying Sober Than Women?

Why is it that there are more men getting and staying sober in the program of AA than women?  Why is it that we women seem to have more emotional issues that need addressing than men?  Partly we just talk about our issues more, men repress on a much larger scale.  Nevertheless we woman that do stay sober are usually more of the “tomboy” type.  The very feminine and highly fragile woman rarely can get through what it takes to stay sober.  Experience teaches that us rough types even often bi-sexual type women have a much higher chance statistically of staying sober than do the frail and feminine. 

Clearly experience teaches it’s the “alpha” females who stay sober in much greater numbers than the more submissive woman.  But we must learn to make ourselves vulnerable emotionally rather than protecting ourselves emotionally. “Sobriety ain’t for sissies!”  So bone up ladies!  You can do it but it’s gonna hurt!  The bad news is…we can feel again, the good news is…we can feel again.  Yes and we have a boat load of emotional issues and character flaws to give to our Higher Power and to ebb-away at. 

Firstly, in my nine years of recovery which ya, hey it is allot of clean-time and I won’t pretend that it isn’t even if it is by the Grace of God.   I have done a hell-of-allot of work on myself, with the help of other women.  And what I have seen in AA is there is only one woman in AA that I have met whom was not sexually abused as a child.  I have silent theories this is the “why” behind most addictions.  The guilt and shame a young child will place on her-self for something she really was not equipped to resist is astounding even life-changing.  We addict woman have learned by the age of ten or younger that we can use our sexuality against men (or women) to control them, manipulate them, and force feed them guilt to get whatever we want from them.

 

We are in recovery now it is time to do our sexual inventory not absent of crimes done to us.  We write how that made us feel but rite now we are addressing our side of the street and cleaning it.  On page…ok ya page 69 in the Big Book Itgives us a long list of questions to ask ourselves.  These question help us with this inventory of our sex based wrongs.     It is imperative for our emotional sobriety that we go over this list honestly and thoroughly and own up to all those that we have manipulated with our sexuality.  Usually the men on our Fourth Step resentment list will also be a big part of our sexual inventory.  In spite of how these men have wronged and abused us it is vital that we see “our part” so we can learn to Love and keep Love close to us and in us.  Yes I am saying Love is of greater importance than anything however we are usually incapable of showing Love and acting out of Love when we are deep in our addiction so that sets sobriety up as a priority before anything else in our lives even Love.

 

Most of us when abused,  didn’t run to an adult and snitch the assailant out, we wanted someone to Love us.  We confused affection with Love and we thought to get Love we had to drop our moral boundaries.  We thought we had to be hurt to get what we needed.  Perhaps that’s what our parents ingrained in us.  And so we turned things around because we are survivors and we used our sexual power accompanied with lies and deception to get what we thought we needed at the time…usually money, drugs, & the basic things like food and shelter.

 

Some of us even sold our bodies outright for money to get drugs.  We were exposed to many disgusting and painful situations.  Some that we barely made it out of alive.  It’s no wonder we learned to hate men.  It’s no wonder we learned to hate women!  They were our competition they betrayed our confidence!  Screw woman! We could not manipulate them as easily.

 

But now we must put our “woman’s issues” on our fourth step.  We will need other women if we are to heal and stay sober.  So we pray for God to put the right woman in our lives so we can experience the “sisterhood of The Spirit”.  Men absolutely are incapable of relating to many aspects of our personalities therefore they are of limited use to us in recovery when working through these core woman’s issues.  If we have a chance to get into a woman’s meeting we DO IT!  These meetings are much more intimate and women will share things that  absolutely will not hear in a regular meeting, shares that are vital for our healing

 

We begin to let our abuses out of our bag of secrets.  We expose some shameful actions of our past in our fifth step with a sponsor and we expose other secrets in the rooms with the woman.  We will find that doing so will put in place the connection that we need to other woman.  When we listen in our women’s meeting we train ourselves to LOOK FOR THE SIMILARITIES RATHER THAN THE DIFFERENCES!

 

Finding someone to criticize is an old survival skill that deflects self-guilt.  Criticism feeds the ego that which it needs to go-on however, criticism is not what we need now…we need empathy, we need healing and that will never come whilst seeking differences so we can criticize others.  We write ourselves a note “seek the similarities don’t criticize!” and we put that in front of us in every meeting we go to until we have trained our brains and have built a bridge over the sick neuron-pathways called addiction.  Our brain-bridge is called “survival for the sober”.  Building a sober brain-bridge takes work and a supernatural kick so we start by ninety meetings in ninety days and we pray for willingness, clarity, guidance, healing, and for HP to make a way where there seems no way.

 

We have deep and imbedded trust issues that simply must be ignored to an extent so we can get what we need.  We may not be able to trust but we will nevertheless choose a sponsor and work the Fifth Step leaving no debauchery uncovered.  That which we want to keep secret the most should be at the top of our fourth step.  The Truth will set us free.

 

We put the “blame-game” in the garbage.  We are responsible for processing every feeling that comes into our hearts.  If we have sex with a person they owe us nothing!  It is our choice weather we have sex and unless we tell the person up-front a price for that sex…they owe us nothing.  Not a phone call, not to fix things for us, not to make our choices for us, nor a place to stay they owe us nothing.  If we expect something from a person we are in bed with then we should be up-front about it.  We can propose that if they are screwing other people we will have to leave the relationship.  They are adult they can do as they please.  They can make promises that they won’t keep.  If they don’t respect us then we leave the relationship it is our choice if we stay therefore blame is off the table.  Granted we can command respect but it is us who must draw the line in the sand and walk away when it is crossed.  We cannot make other adults do anything we can only request and suggest.

 

If we feel we have been wronged we should call a woman and talk it out.  If a law has been broken we may call the cops.  We may find if we talk things out with another woman that it is our unresolved issues that are haunting us rather than the person we are in bed with in the present.  We addicts tend to carry an ink-blotter stamping “guilty” on anyone we are intimate with once the fairy-tale phase of the relationship is over.  Not anymore!  Now we journal, we write “fuck you” letters (do not send) to vent our angers.  We scream in our cars if we have to.  We beat the pillow, we talk it out with woman but we do not blame anyone anymore for our feelings ever.

 

Even if we are wronged…can the person process our emotions?  No!  If others had the responsibility of processing and dealing with our feelings then we would be slaves to other people which we are not.  We are learning how to take responsibility for our lives and our emotions.  It is not easy, not for sissies but you can do it my dear because you are stronger and capable of a deeper Love than most women can even imagine.  Why?  Because of the deep pain you have suffered.

 

Your emotional pain has carved out a deep dark hole in your heart.  You will process that hurt and replace it with Love.  That is why we women in recovery are more capable of a deeper Love than anyone who has not been through the trauma that we have.  Seek God and The Sunlight of The Spirit and you shall be a vessel of joy, Love, and happiness amidst the tears that have gone un-cried for too long.

WHY ADDICTION DIFFERS BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

 

 

 

Step One of A.A.

Step One

A sponsor is a person who has completed working the 12 steps and now teaches others to work them. One common first step assignment is to read “How it Works” and “The Doctors Opinion” in the Big Book of AA. Another assignment is to write five examples of powerlessness over alcohol or drugs in our own lives. And so we have begun the journey of recovery with a sponsor who has managed to stay sober themselves. What this first assignment does is brings our addiction into the light by listing our powerlessness it keeps us from forgetting we are addicts and prevents us from lying to ourselves by saying…”Yes I can drink responsibly…this time.”

The Doctors opinion shows us that we are definitely not alone and we are not the only ones who have experience the powerlessness of addiction. Powerlessness and the “insanity” of addiction are hard to differentiate between. All powerlessness associated with addiction is insanity but not all inanity exhibits powerlessness.I promised myself I would only have one drink however I woke up after a three day bender asking myself “What in the hell happened?” I promised myself I would never drink or drug again but I did it anyway. I promised myself I would never hurt my loved ones by my addiction yet, again I stole money from my daughter’s piggy bank to buy crack. Ouch! That is serious powerlessness.

Premeditated and guiltless thievery to support my addiction is insane but it is not a show of powerlessness. Accusing my ex-husband of being the reason that I drink and drug because of the way he treats me is insanity but it is not powerlessness. Good luck with your step work!

When we write our examples of powerlessness we should write also how it made us feel. The thing is we addicts usually want to be in complete control. Most of us have intense control issues even. And so we internally beat ourselves to a pulp when we cannot stick to our own using guidelines. Simply put we are expecting ourselves to control something that we are completely incapable of controlling.

We find ourselves in a subconscious state of self-loathing by which we hate us and the world. We did not create our powerlessness nor did we sign up to become addicts. We have no right to condemn ourselves for our powerlessness. We merely accept it and move on to step two.

OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION!