Todays post is written by Cade, a friend of Choice Recovery. We are grateful for Cade's passion, honesty, and commitment to the recovery community!
“I will never be like THAT person," we tell ourselves. We can endlessly justify our selfish ways until we become THAT person. What happens then? The bottom seems to get deeper; we find another person or situation to compare ourselves to, so we can justify that nothing is wrong. This can go on ad infimum until we find ourselves in a cavern so gigantic, we make a home there, or we finally accept and admit we need help.
Everyone deals with selfishness; it is part of our survival instinct as a human race. It's hard-wired into our head, dopamine floods into the mesolimbic reward pathways of our brain when we do something that we think helps our survival—for example, using the bathroom, receiving a text from a friend, sexual experiences, or using drugs. You have seen THOSE people, the “crack heads” outside of Circle K. You wonder to yourself, “How could anyone let themselves go like that, they must be really stupid." The truth is, it was not for lack of willpower or a desire to stop; their brain got hijacked, which makes them desire the high before food, water, or shelter. A hijacked brain turns you into a shell of a person, a neanderthal scouring the desert for his next meal. I never thought I would find myself a slave to the Sith of drug addiction until I was. A Sith so powerful it turns yourself against you, tapping into the primal parts of your brain to become a selfish beast destroying everything in its path. Sith lords are evil. They live to see other people suffer for their own benefit. How could someone consciously commit such evil atrocities and stand to live with themselves? Surely, they must have been born into it or suffered major childhood trauma. My life shows me that someone does not have to experience catastrophic events to find addiction. Addiction does not discriminate. It touches all walks of life; young and old, rich and poor, religious or atheist. I was not raised in an alcoholic family, nor suffered any major trauma as a child that made my existence unbearable. I was a “normal child” with friends in school, got good grades, and teachers liked me. I had a bright future as a child, and everything was in place for me to find success in life. We all go through growing pains though. Every child must find their personality. We use what is learned from our peers, our culture, and our parents to mold ourselves into a person we think people will like. When I was in high school, I struggled to find a place for myself like most children. I did not like sports enough to be a jock or find any passion in video games to become a geek. I felt quite lost. That was until I discovered how drugs made me feel. I immediately knew I had found my place. I finally fit in with the “cool kids." I found comfort within a group, had something to talk about, and something to pursue. I could be “the kid who always had drugs," the one everyone likes regardless of what group they are in. The allure of the drug culture had me in its grip. The awe of finally belonging masqueraded the ugliness and harsh realities that came with drug use. This life was fun until it was not. The shiny bright finish quickly turned dull and bleak. My number of “friends” was directly correlated with the number of drugs I possessed or was looking to possess. My aspirations quickly went down the toilet, flushed away with an equal amount of vomit. I was no longer Cade. I became self-obsessed. I measured my success by the number of drugs and the amount of money I had. I let nothing stand in my way; if someone or something interfered with my aspirations to use, they or it was gone. This attitude quickly destroyed everything; I lost friends, jobs, the love of my family. I lost myself. The scary thing is that I never thought I had a problem; I always told myself, “well, I’m not like those people on the side of the highway," panhandling for money. However, I somehow always found another bottom which led to another rehab. Each time I would tell myself, “this is the LAST time; I’m done." I really thought I was tired of destroying my life in those moments, and it seemed I was finally ready to do what I needed to do to get sober. However, without fail, I would find myself in possession of more drugs, wondering how this happened again. I wanted to be sober, I needed to be sober, but I could not stay sober. I would wonder, "what is the matter with me?" I could not stop using, even to save my life. I had moments of sobriety, a week here and there. Just long enough to tell myself, “I don’t have a problem, look, I was sober for a week!”. I now realize denial was the issues. I never thought I could become that person who had to have drugs to survive. Change could not happen until I was willing to accept that I was powerless over drugs and alcohol. This acceptance taught me that I did not have a drug problem; I had a "me" problem. This reality hit me once the malady of drug addiction was removed, yet my unmanageable life remained. I had to ask for spiritual help, for I had a sickness of spirit. The truth became clear, I was selfish, with or without drugs. I only cared about you if you benefitted me, and if you did not, you were useless. This led to a very melancholy way of life. I formed a belief that everyone and everything in this world was doomed; the selfish nature of society could create nothing but destruction. Thankfully, in time, my drug use knocked me into a state of reasonableness, which caused me to recognize the importance of spiritual principles. I discovered that with an attitude shift, I could love myself as well as find satisfaction in the world. This awareness taught me that I am in control and that happiness comes to me when I think of others rather than solely myself. This evolution enabled me to repair the massive hole my drug use created. It allowed me to find a life worth living and a focus on contributing to the great good. I haven’t used drugs since.
ABOUT CHOICE RECOVERY
Choice Recovery is an addiction treatment center providing outpatient services to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Located on the Tempe/Mesa border, Choice Recovery offers an integrated evidence-based addiction treatment to men and women wanting to transform their lives. Choice Recovery offers IOP services as well as outpatient and individual counseling. We have specialty programming focused on MAT titration and end organ disease. Services are offered in the morning, evening, and on the weekends.
Choice Recovery accepts most major insurance plans in addition to AHCCCCS insurance. Individuals with Mercy Care, Banner University, Care 1st, AZ Complete Health, and others are welcome to enroll in our program. Plus, if it is determined we are not the appropriate level of care, we can provide refers and recommendations to facilities that will be. Please contact us today at 480-527-0337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.