The Literature Committee always welcomes submissions from fellows relating their experience, strength and hope. These personal stories will be published as collections for the benefit of the entire fellowship. Please contribute your own experience with the Steps and life in sobriety by clicking below:
Two Scenes from the Daily Life of an Addict - In Recovery
Mike K., a long-time CMA member, shares moments from this Recovery "One Day at a Time"
It's Me, It's Me
We had a couple house-sit for us while we went on vacation. Vacation! That's something new and different! Other than a quick camping trip now and then, or a dart tournament on a weekend when I was out there tweaking, I hadn't had a real vacation in almost, well, ever!!! Two whole weeks on the road and a 10 day cruise to Alaska - what an experience! Absolutely fantastic! But that's another story.
Anyways, our house-sitting couple had locked themselves out of the house 5 days before we returned. We walked into a house with dirty dishes stacked up in the sink, and ants had taken over the kitchen. And I do mean they had taken over, there were thousands of them. Funny thing about ants. Once they find food it takes a long time to stop them from returning. (must have been a lot of food in that sink :o)
Being the tweaker that I am, of course I had to make my own ant poison. A strong solution of ammonia and water with just a bit of dish soap in a spray bottle and they were history. But they would come back - and I mean 2 and 3 times a day! There was a crack in the wall and a line of ants would form just as soon as that solution dried. After a few days of this, I guess Stockholm syndrome must have set in because I started to sympathize with the poor buggers. They were so determined. Relentless. Constantly, quietly marching to their death. All in the search of food. I even started to admire them, these living creatures, God's creatures, with a single minded and unwavering quest, searching for life. Wait. Stop. What am I thinking? I have the right to have a clean kitchen. No bugs, no insects, no crawly things in my house! It's my house, not theirs! Mike! Get a grip!!!
The Gift Of Time
Anyway, this particular Saturday I was pacing back and forth; lots of pent-up energy gnawing at my brain. I didn't know what to do with myself. I was staring into what used to be my "tweaker" room (now a guest bedroom) when I noticed a radio controlled airplane my younger brother had given me. A wave of resentment swept over me as I remembered it. He gave it to me saying how proud he was of me, that I had finally gotten clean. He was such a hypocrite. He was high at the time himself. I had put it together. I didn’t even try to fly it. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction. How weird is that?!
“Why not?” I thought, “Let's give it a try.” So I headed to a nearby park. The park had a large paved area with 4 basketball hoops, enough room for take off and landing. When I got there no one was playing basketball. There was a bunch of kids playing soccer to the right of the courts. Some kids were throwing a frisbee next to that, and on the other end were a number of families picnicking and throwing water balloons.
Practicing Principles in All Our Affairs
Diana and David share their experiences about sex and addiction, and sex in recovery.
The Hole In My Soul
Hello, my name is Diana, and I am an addict. I do what I can to remember everyday that I do not suffer from terminal uniqueness, and it is for this reason I decided to share my experience. Experience has shown me that although I may feel no one can relate, I know someone will.
My parents are still married after 40+ years. This is something that I, to this day, cannot possibly fathom. When asked why I never married, I always reply it’s simply because I want what my parents have and I have not found it. I grew up in a family where my parents worked full time and stayed very involved in all of our activities, were loving, nurturing and attentive to all of mine and my younger brother’s needs.
As I got older, very quickly I realized that something was missing, which I later heard others call the hole in my soul. The most obvious symptom of my disease, using drugs and alcohol, was not obvious to me until my mid to late 20’s. However, my desire to fixate and obsess about members of the opposite sex were well established by the age of 13. The first real experience I had with a mind-altering substance was not a substance at all; it was a state of mind. Fantasizing about relationships had become my favorite coping mechanism by my early teens. It was easily accessible and something I used on a daily basis to alter how I felt.
My First Addiction Was Sex
Late spring semester of my college freshman year, the phone in my dorm rang.
“Can I speak to David?” the gruff voice at the other end implored.
“This is he.”
The voice at the other end then offered to perform oral sex on me. A sexual act that I had been fantasizing about for years, but not knowing how to approach guys, it only lived in my mind… and in the pictures I downloaded to my computer from digital bulletin boards.
I had known for years that I was gay, but the internalized homophobia and self-loathing I felt through my high school years was compounded by the need to be “normal.” And by “normal” I mean straight, or at least being perceived as such. The summer after graduating high school, I had insinuated to my mom one night that I thought she was disappointed in the person I had become. The following morning, I found a two-page handwritten letter on the kitchen counter about how proud she was of me, about what a good person I was, about how I was smart, kind, compassionate, and loving… and how she hadn’t screwed up raising me since I was straight. After all, this was the early 1990s, a scary time before antiretroviral meds when AIDS was still running rampant and completely unchecked. There was no way I was coming out to my parents like I had been planning before college started.
These Two Addicts Were Saved from Destruction
RJ recalls his path from desperation to gratitude by working the Steps. Another member finds integrity. Both demonstrate our serenity.
My Name is RJ
My name is R. J. and I am a grateful recovering crystal meth addict. People always ask me what RJ stands for. I used to tell them “Rolla Joint”. Soon it became “Rampant Junkie”. Today it is “Recovery Journey”. But it certainly was not always that way. Cue flashback nightmare sequence music… January 27, 2015. After verbally detonating on my 79‐year old mother when she opened a piece of my mail, she simply says, “That’s it. I’m calling the police.” I thought she was kidding. She was not.
In hindsight it was the bravest thing I had ever witnessed my mom doing. A few minutes later two officers arrive and try to detain me after I flip out. That’s what happens when you’re strung out on marijuana, Percocet, Xanax, valium, Molly, GHB, and Crystal Meth Amphetamine. One grabs my arm, I swat his arm away, scratching him across the face. I get knocked down. As the cuffs go on, I shriek, turn my head, and bite one of them on the arm…hard.
All The King's Horses
“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” So says the old English nursery rhyme. My story has a different ending than Humpty Dumpty’s. Crystal meth shattered my life, and thanks to the program and fellowship of Crystal Meth Anonymous, my life has been put back together again.
I already led a double life before crystal meth. As a shameful closeted gay man, I dared not reveal my secrets to my family, friends and coworkers. As the son of Holocaust survivors, great expectations were placed on me, and I did my very best to meet these expectations. I was a successful doctor, married a nice Jewish girl, and gave my parents the grandchild they wanted. At the same time, I couldn’t deny myself the clandestine, anonymous sex with men that I craved. I thought I had the solution to my predicament: leading two separate lives and making everyone happy, including myself. Eventually the lies and deception became too much to handle, and my solution stopped working.
Some Practical Spiritual Experience about Recovering a Career
These addicts, who lost their careers to meth, show that we can sometimes overcome challenges, recovering our professions as well as our lives.
Employment and Professional Licensure in Recovery
When I stopped using, I found myself nearly unemployable. I was a hard worker and often worked two jobs. I was a chef and never had difficulty locating a kitchen that was eager for my skills, but after 9/11, employment requirements changed and felons were not wanted.
I contacted a temporary culinary employment agency and worked a variety of jobs for relatively low pay. Not great, but it was steady work. I was fortunate that, in time, I was able to be assigned to a long-term contract which lasted nine months. This created a small amount of consistency in my life and I was able to feel comfortable for a while. I was excited to learn that the company wanted to hire me full time and I started to make plans in my head for my life going forward. The formal interview went quite well but the subsequent background check resulted in the job offer being rescinded.
Returning to a Professional Career
The first time I used crystal, I went to work high. The night before, I had been out celebrating my birthday, and two guys at the bar offered me some “crank.” One bump turned into several lines, and the night stretched into the next morning. I can’t tell you how much we did, but I knew that night something had changed. “This could be a problem,” I told my friend. “I like this too much.”
My plan had been to party that night then nap the next day before my 5:00 pm shift in the emergency room. Of course, I couldn’t sleep at all, so I was awake the entire day before bouncing into the hospital – miraculously right on time. I was worried at first that the shift would be a struggle, but I still had enough crystal in my body to last through the night. Far from the disorganized disaster that I would later become, that night I was incredibly focused. I saw far more patients than any of the other residents, but the part that was really surprising was how much more fun it was to practice medicine while tweaking. I left the next morning believing the lie that would nearly destroy my career – the lie that I work better on crystal.