Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Starting Over

Day 1 (again)
I'm starting over. Again. Don't feel like writing much but I should at least document it.

I used last night after we got home from the airport. That's the addict, always trying to squeeze one more in before I really get sober. And just for clarity, "using" for me usually means a combination of porn and drugs. The drugs are over-the-counter and prescriptions, both used in "recreational" quantities (as opposed to prescribed quantities.) I've never really been involved with "street" drugs, thank God. From what I've seen, getting off of meth is wicked hard. On the other hand, when I got hauled to the ER in an ambulance several years ago, my blood tested positive for heroin, and all I'd done was abuse a medicine that anyone can buy at Wal-Greens.

This seems like a good time to reprint my "Goodbye Letter" to my addictions. It was required writing in a two-week rehab at my HMO. I've been through it twice.

Dear Drugs & Alcohol,

I read in my 12 & 12 last night that even when things are good, we as alcoholics still drink to reach for even greater dreams. [p71] The word “dream” caught my eye. Everything you gave me was a dream. I felt sorry for myself because my marriage was awful and I turned to you for help. At first you just numbed me, covering up the anger, the arousal, and the adrenaline, allowing me to go to sleep. That’s all I ever intended, but you seduced me further. I look back now and see that you were part of a lie that told me I could fill in the void. Alcohol, you took away my inhibitions, and stopped me from feeling guilty. You made me feel OK when I covered over my loneliness by turning to other women for affection and porn for sex. Drugs, then you made it all seem real by filling my head with hallucinations and giving me the feeling of being connected, of being cared for. And of course it was all a dream. This dream was so convincing that I chased you for years. When I looked at what I was doing because of you I was disgusted, and I hated that loser. Now I’m learning to hate you, because you chained me there, stoned in front of the computer screen, slowly destroying my marriage and my life.

Here’s what I have to say to you: I don’t need you anymore. I don’t want you anymore. You’re not welcome in my life. Stay the fuck away from me. Your dream is my nightmare and I’ve decided to wake up to real life. The first thing you should know is that I’m learning to love myself, and I don’t need a woman to make me complete. I don’t care if the world takes my wife away, I’ll never turn to you again. You can forget the other tricks you used too: telling me I’m not good enough for my job, my kids, whatever. I don’t believe it anymore. Having said that, I hope it pisses you off that when I chose to leave you behind, I was able to begin learning how to be a husband, and my marriage is coming back. I’ve felt the worst things you’ve had to throw at me in the last months, and I’m still here. There is so much left that I have to do, and so much more that I am capable of. I have a great life ahead of me, full of new experiences and people who love me just the way I am. And you won’t be a part of it.

God let it be true this time.

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