Sunday, March 8, 2009

Boring post #27

I just finished 'America Anonymous' by Benoit Denizet - Lewis, another book about addiction. This one was a little different in that it wasn't just about drug addicts. It cycled through the stories of eight addicts - two sex addicts, a food addict, an alcoholic, a shoplifter, two drug addicts, and a gambler/drug addict who was also an addiction recovery counselor. It was interesting because I'd never really thought that much about anything other than drug addiction. Rather than labeling a million separate addictions, maybe we should simply categorize addiction as a disease itself and the compulsion could be for anything in the world from sugar to crack to clothes. Isn't that what addiction essentially is, a compulsion to do or behave in a certain way despite negative consequences? So in that sense a person could become addicted to anything which makes them feel better or numbs feelings for any length of time?
I mean these people seriously seemed to believe that they were powerless over food or sex, it caused havoc in their lives, it even led to physical ailments in the case of food especially. But where do we draw the line, when does something stop being a conscious decision and become an addiction which we are supposedly powerless over? Because the word powerless would imply that we have no control over our actions and many people find it difficult to accept that someone who shoplifts is not in control of their actions and is in fact addicted. Does that mean if a person gets caught shoplifting they should be offered rehab over traditional sentencing? Perhaps a combination of methods, such as a fine and mandated treatment, would work the best for almost all addictions?
Anyhow, I thought the book was worth reading, especially being an addict. I've always tended to be the type of addict who thought I was somehow different, even better than other addicts. Simply because I had been a pretty well functioning addict the whole time I used, not stealing money for drugs or prostituting myself, I have an unfortunate habit of scoffing at other addicts. That's is my big problem with meetings, I have a hard time relating. But when I can read about people's feelings and experiences and process them on my own I realize that we are all more similar than we would all probably like to admit. It's an easy read too, the language is casual even as the content can be challenging at times. Check it out.
It seemed like it may have been warming up for a few days there. Kids were wearing t-shirts even as the sun went down. And now we have a drizzle of freezing rain, not quite snow but not really rain either. I think that is the worst combination as far as driving goes. I may as well count on not getting out of work on time because the woman who comes in to work after me is always, without fail, always, always late when it snows. Often she calls out altogether, I suspect that happens on days her kids have school cancelled. I can't get upset at that because I would want the same understanding if I had kids. Only she waits until the last minute to call out and then I'm always stuck here for her until my boss sees fit to come to work. So I should just plan on being here until at least eight and then driving to the clinic in the icy rain/snow. It really wouldn't be such a big deal if it were just me and I didn't have to ask Mike to wait around until who knows when. Plus, our days are already so short, working 12 hour shifts sucks.
I've been feeling so lethargic lately. I'm so tired of feeling weighed down and gunky and I know it is related to being on methadone. Sure, it takes away a lot of the need for heroin but it creates other issues. If heroin didn't make us euphoric we might notice the damage it does a little faster, well, that's methadone - heroin with no euphoria. But it is so hard to get off. I'm on such a low dose compared to what I was on and still it feels like too much while also feeling like not enough.


Robb said...

.. hm, I guess I should get and read this book, because this is the 3rd time tonite that I have read about it online. God making a suggestion to me?? {:-)
.. NA mentions in Step One about mind or mood-altering chemicals, but I have learned in my time in recovery to that I can have an addiction to pretty well anything that will alter my mind or my mood.
.. That is the reason I use and work the Steps on anything that I find myself doing that is or can be destructive in my life. It's worked for me. So far...
.. Powerless over the addiction, but not an action. I used to shoplift once in a while, long ago. Even tho' I got a "kick" outa doing it, I never considered it an addiction. But, there is a woman in my fellowship who has a true addiction to shopping. She has a 2 BR apartment and one BR is full ( I mean wall to wall, floor to ceiling) full of unopened boxes and packages of everything from clothes to canned goods to toys. That is an addiction, imho. She's currently writing her Steps on it to change the behavior and break the habit.
.. Thanks for your honesty in your posts. Time will certainly come when you will be able to stop the methadone program and continue on with life, free of drugs. Y'all just gotta keep doin' what you are doin'. I think it is working.

Keep The Faith*

Nellie said...

Thanks Robb. I always appreciate your constructive comments. I think you have more experience with recovery than I do and it's good to hear some real feedback instead of just having people agree or disagree. Thanks again.

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