I just wanted to get clean. I just wanted to not smoke crack or shoot dope anymore. I thought that’s what “getting better” was all about. It turns out, that that is just the tip of the iceberg. That is just the very beginning. Detox, in my opinion, is the only part of the entire recovery process that focuses on the drugs. Everything else in the marathon of recovery deals with this shit show in my head. My thoughts. My emotions. My traumas. My past.
I thought I knew what my life was going to look like when I got clean. Boy was I wrong. And that’s the thing about getting to know God, and allowing his Will to work in your life; You better be prepared for it. I just wanted a job somewhere, and an apartment, and a beater with a heater. I didn’t know what was in store for me. I didn’t know about all this “Feelings shit”. I certainly didn’t want to get vulnerable or honest from my gut with someone. That shits weird. I didn’t know or suspect that I would be married soon, with four kids. Or that I would be doing what I’m doing today. But just like finding a bottom is done one compromise at a time in a negative way- finding myself is the same, equal, but opposite process. I started making positive compromises. I started taking positive risks. I started following my nudges. And they have all led me to right where I am today.
Again, I will never write, video, or speak about how I’m perfect or “fixed” in any way. I am a result of hard work, lots of prayer, and the people that I have in my life to help keep me somewhere sane. But as I’m thinking about these things today, I think Vulnerability is a key component in recovering. And in life itself. It was always something that I ran from in the past because it was uncomfortable and we all know that addiction is about avoiding the uncomfortable. So instead of sharing my self, my inner most thoughts and risking getting hurt, I would just run away and use and hide. That is Addiction’s M.O.
Coping with being an Addict
it’s funny the way I see and recall things sometimes. I’m thinking back to a time when I was at Porter County Jail speaking with the Therapeutic Community for men there. I remember saying something about “Get in your feelin’s Dog” Or some type of jail house spin I was attempting to put on it. But the idea here is- That there is some slang people use, “Get outta your feelins”. Which essentially is saying- “Be an addict”, “Run”, “escape”, “Hide”, from your truth. But getting better and staying clean is all about the opposite school of thought. Inventory, Ammends, Honesty, and yes, Vulnerability. “Getting into our feelings” and sharing our inner most truths and thoughts and beliefs with at least one other person. And God. And the work is never done. It is an ongoing process. It takes, like any other skill or craft, years to learn and hone. And we need people around us who can call us out on the carpet when they see us behaving badly, coping in unhealthy ways, bottling things up, or shutting down. We need to have safe environments, and safe arenas where we can openly and honestly verbalize the shit that we all go through.