Hi, my name is Lynne and I’m an alcoholic and addict.
I have said those words so many times in meetings and in rehab that sometimes now when I meet someone I often almost automatically blurt this out!
For a very long time I was resentful and angry because I am an addict I was ashamed of it, ashamed of myself. I wanted an answer to why I was like this. Was it because I went through some very traumatic experiences in my early teens? Certainly I started cutting myself straight after that and then started drinking alcohol, but no, that isn’t to blame. Is it genetic? Is it just luck of the draw? Is it my fault and if it is, what did I do to deserve this?I now know I won’t ever have a clear answer and I am ok with that. I also know now that I have nothing to be ashamed about. Why should I be ashamed?
No, I am proud of myself. I battled my demons and I came out tops. I spent time in rehab and I spent a lot of time in therapy and I work my program every day to keep myself clean and to keep my mind healthy. It is hard work. Having been in active addiction for 15 years I can only say that I did some terrible things; things I am very ashamed of and to live with this I ‘used’ more and blocked out the horrible things I did. In order to get clean I had to look at myself very closely and honestly. I had to look at all those ugly things I did – the lies, the deception and the manipulation – work through them and forgive myself. I also had to make amends with all the people I had wronged. As you can imagine, this was not an easy process.
Addiction is a disease and it is so hard to understand as it is baffling and confusing. So many people think that addicts are weak willed and should be able to “just stop”. It really isn’t that simple. A lot of people also believe that once you are clean you are “recovered” and that is not true. I am not recovered, I am in recovery – for today. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or the rest of my life. I do know that if I touch a drink or touch a drug I will be right back where I left off. This scares me no end. I have to check the medication given to me when I am sick because I can’t have anything with codeine, ephedrine, morphine or alcohol. When I eat out I need to check whether they put alcohol in the food.
When I gave birth to my daughter I had to inform the hospital because it is standard procedure for them to put morphine in your drip after a c-section and then they give you myprodol afterwards. Instead I got paracetamol in my drip and I got sent home with a packet of panado. The panados were useless for the pain so I didn’t bother taking them!
What scares me most? My daughter. What will happen to her if I relapse? How do I explain to her that I am an addict and alcoholic? How do I warn her against the danger of drugs and alcohol? Most of all I am scared of her being an addict too. If it is hereditary what can I do to help her?
I have memories of when I was about 5 years old lying to my mom and telling her I have a headache so she will give me Stopayne, and often sneaking into the medicine cupboard and drinking Stopayne out the bottle! And to answer your question – my mom was very careful with the medication, it was in a top cupboard and inside a “child proof” box! I knew what I was doing was wrong, which is why I was sneaking around. Stopayne has codeine in it which is addictive. I have always been an addict, even as a child something was wrong with me.
Here is a poem I found online, the author is unknown:
I destroy homes, I tear families apart,
take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more precious than gold,
The sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
If you need me, remember I’m easily found,
I live all around you – in schools and in towns
I live with the rich; I live with the poor,
I live down the street, and maybe next door.
I’m made in a lab, but not like you think,
I can be made under the kitchen sink.
In your child’s closet, and even in the woods,
If this scares you to death, well it certainly should.
I have many names, but there’s one you know best,
I’m sure you’ve heard of me, my name is crystal meth.
My power is awesome; try me you’ll see,
But if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go,
But try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie,
You do what you have to – just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit for my narcotic charms,
Will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms,
your lungs your nose.
You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad,
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised,
I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids,
I turn people from God, and separate friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride,
I’ll be with you always – right by your side.
You’ll give up everything – your family, your home,
Your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and take, till you have nothing more to give,
When I’m finished with you, you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned – this is no game,
If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body, I’ll control your mind,
I’ll own you completely, your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed,
The voices you’ll hear, from inside your head.
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see,
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart,
That you are mine, and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do,
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen, many times you were told,
But you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away,
If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I’ll be your master, you will be my slave,
I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not? It’s all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell,
Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.
– Author Unknown –
Have you had any experience with an alcoholic or addict in your family? How has this affected your life?
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