The day my addiction began, never did I think that I would eventually surrender to a feeling of nothingness. Hadn’t I
known the difference between love and lust? Truth is, I never loved my addiction. However, there was always a part of me that lusted over the feeling that it gave me in the beginning. It was such a strong feeling of having it all together, while blocking out the parts of my life that I was unhappy and frustrated with. Suddenly I had the ability to smile when I was sad. I had energy when I was tired. I had found what seemed like the missing ingredient to my being….my coping mechanism. It allowed me to block out whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. It simply, simplified my life…at first.
Now, my addiction didn’t begin because I was out seeking pills or booze. They came to me in a very sneaky way. It all started when I was dealing with some pretty bad migraines, that came more and more often. I had gone through so many different medications. The samples I had were endless. Nothing helped and sometimes it seemed to make it worse. I also found out I had a brain tumor (pituitary) in 2003. I lost hope until my sons birthday years back, when I was given a hydrocodone because of a bad headache. I had only taken them once prior to that, which was when I had my wisdom teeth taken out, in high school. They made me so sick, I was throwing up outside the door to our home. Didn’t even make it in the house. So, bad experience. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Alls I knew is my head hurt and I was desperate. I knew nothing about addiction to prescription medication. Once the medication was in my system and working, I couldn’t stop thinking how great I felt. Had I finally found my miracle pill? I thought I did.
I couldn’t wait for the Monday thereafter, so I could contact my doctor and ask him to put me on the hydrocodone. That was all it took. A simple request and before you know it, I had the prescription in my hand. That was it. I surrendered, without even realizing it, to a pill and a feeling. The surrender I made to my addiction became worse. I lost a lot with that surrender. Here are some of the things in life that I lost to that surrender:
- my dignity
- coping skills
And worst of all…my children
Things I gained with recovery (all the above plus):
- ability to stand up for myself and express my feelings calmly
- weight (I became pretty skinny)
- ability to help others dealing with addiction
- a different perspective on boredom
- being alone but not feeling alone
And most of all…1) my children 2)God, along with his Grace and Mercy and a relationship with Jesus Christ! A relationship where He showed me what selflessness is really like. And he showed me how happy it made me to do so. I’ve gained so many feelings with Him. One important one is being at peace. By showing me what truth looks like and what it doesn’t look like. Showing me how great I will feel if I am honest.
What will your recovery help you gain? Here is a hint: everything you lost (write your list). That list is most likely to turn around and you will gain those things/feelings back through recovery. Now, finish the list with the things you have gained throughout recovery (or would like to) and pick out some gains that are better than what you were before your addiction began.
Keep the list out where you can see it daily (and update anything new) and you will eventually have a great list of all your good gains. Focus on those and weed the bad ones out! You can do it because you are never alone!