alcoholics anonymous

there is one thing i do not see enough of on this website- support for people trying to get clean and/or stay clean. addiction has ruined my life. addiction has ruined so many lives and recovering alcoholics/addicts NEED support to continue with their recovery. so, for those of you who are working on your first 24 hours or your first week, month, year, your 2nd year or 20th- i am so proud of you. you have given yourself something incredible today. addiction is one of the most insidious diseases in the world, but today, you did not let it win. remind yourself of all of the strength you have. you are a miracle.

The Six Stages of Substance Use

Note: “Negative consequences” is defined as anything that would be considered non-pleasurable. Hangovers, for instance, are a negative consequence of drinking too much. 

Abstinence: Not using at all. All people start off abstinent. People can also return to abstinence after a period of experimentation or using. People who unknowingly ingest substances are also considered “abstinent” if they did not willingly take said substance. 

Experimentation: Becoming curious to use to see what a substance does/feels like. At this stage, substance is usually not sought after but provided either by friends or family. Negative consequences usually do not occur at this stage. 

Recreational or social use: At this stage, one is seeking out a substance to experience a desired effect, however, use is irregular and has no established pattern. Negative consequences usually do not occur at this stage. (Most people would consider themselves “recreational users,” but if there is any type of pattern to your use, you usually do not fall under this category!)

Habitual use: At this stage, a definite pattern of use has evolved (daily, every other day, every weekend, etc.) and a stronger craving for the drug is developed. Negative consequences at this stage may not occur, but is more likely. 

Abuse: Habitual use becomes abuse when negative consequences occur and yet use still continues. For example, if you are drinking alcohol every weekend and experience hangovers each time, you may fall under this category. 

Addiction: Abuse becomes addiction when there is an apparent compulsion to use. At this point, tolerance has developed (needing to take more of the drug in order to experience the same desire effect), withdrawal symptoms are present, attempts to moderate use or stop completely are ineffective, negative consequences are occurring, the drug has become a priority, anxiety is present when the substance is not available, and the substance is often needed to function (whether emotionally, physically, or other). 

“But I’m a functioning addict?” 

Congratulations, you’re in denial. 

I don’t want to be sober today.

Honestly it’s exhausting to face physical and mental pain without narcotics. I feel so defeated. I’m so fed up with my screwed up sleep patterns. I desperately wish I could sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. I need a holiday from my chronic illness. Screw that I want a break from sobriety; on days like today it’s really hard to be sober. Every fiber of my being is crying for an escape.

As desperately as my mind wants to escape I don’t want to lose control of my life. I am powerless over drugs and alcohol. So instead I will rest and eat and take care of myself; effectively giving my body the energy it needs to keep fighting.

438 days clean and sober

December 12, 2016

Finding the right words has been challenging.

Since the moment I opened my eyes this morning I was fighting back the tears. I was trying not to wake my husband with my sniffles. I got up, and cried. I mean just tears falling, and it was at that moment I realized why am I fighting back these tears today? These are happy tears. They remind me of what I’ve done to get here. The challenges and obstacles. The victories and accomplishments.

Today is all about me. And I’m gonna keep smiling and crying as much as my heart wants. Because I earned this. Today is my day.

My girlfriend kindly suggested this to me, I’ve been pondering it, tonight I’m going to find that photograph, and start nourishing my little girl.