narcotic anonymous

388 days clean and sober

I spent a good chunk of the day snoozing with Planet Earth on Netflix in the background. I have painful cramps ripping through my lower abdomen and I would love to just numb out. I put a colorful bracelet on my wrist earlier because I felt upset. I’m sober but I’m not overly stoked about it, pain always puts me in a darker frame of mind. I am still learning to be sober.

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. 

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 mindset of a drug addict

The relapse starts before you even pick up the drug. All you can think about is getting your fix. It’s all mind consuming. You can’t think about anything else beside getting high. It takes over all your senses. You’ll do anything and everything to get what you want. You’ll lie, steal, and disregard your well being to get it. There is nothing else going through your mind but the high you’re about to get. You feel a rush of adrenaline when you finally go and pick up. Nothing else matters. You don’t care how it will affect your family, friends, and loved ones. You only care about you and getting what you want. The disease of addiction is a completely selfish and horrible way of life. You feel like you can’t go on unless you get your high. You don’t care about how much clean time you have. You don’t care that it can kill you. You just want that high, and nothing else.

Mindset of a recovering drug addict

Sometimes I just wanna quit. I think about all the good times I had while using. I got such a rush from the chaos that was my life. Getting high was the only thing I cared about. I miss it, but then again I don’t. I miss the people I used with. I miss the feeling of being high. I miss the adrenalin rushes. I miss the crazy parties. I miss snorting. I miss shooting up. I miss smoking. I miss pill popping. I miss drugs. Sobriety is wonderful and all, but late at night when my mind is racing I can’t help but think about my old lifestyle. Everything was so exciting back then. But with how much fun I was having, I don’t miss having shit on me. I don’t miss feeling like shit the next day. I don’t miss being paranoid of cops. I don’t miss the relationships I fucked up while using. I don’t miss the puking. I don’t miss the hangovers. I don’t miss worrying if I’m going to pass a piss test. I don’t miss the insanity of putting shit in my body to numb myself. I don’t miss the fucked up shell of a person I used to be. I’m sober, I’m free, I’m me.