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All About Addy

June 3, 2010

If you have not met her yet, Addy is the addict in me. She is with me at all times. She is an innate part of who I am. So, I thought it would be a good idea to learn a little more about her traits and behavior.

Addy is impulsive. She makes impulsive choices. I would rather she not come along with me to my Wal-Mart shopping trips. She is the reason I never leave Wal-Mart without blowing at least $100. She buys things that are completely unnecessary. Somehow she always convinces me that I need this useless crap. For example, she spotted some facial cream that promised to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles practically overnight. It cost $20, which is completely out of my budget for cosmetic items. However, her logic was that since this facial cream was in fact cheaper than other facial creams, it made good sense to buy this one. Before I could even rationalize the point of not needing the facial cream to begin with, Addy had moved on to the next useless item.

Addy needs excitement in her life. She is not content with the normal, peaceful, everyday life. She needs to feel alive and energized with new adventures. She needs exciting stories to tell. Sitting at home, reading a book is just not her cup of tea. She doesn’t even like tea. There’s no fun in non-alcoholic beverages. She wants to have fun and let loose. Get drunk and party the night away. Do drugs and live intensely. Live life on the edge. She’s a risk-taker.

Addy doesn’t fit in with the “normal” crowd. In her eyes, those others (the normal ones) don’t understand her and never will. No, she chooses to hang out with the “outcast” group. They understand her better than normal people do. They relate to her. She feels a sense of “belonging” with them, especially when they all do drugs like her. She believes this is the best way to cope with life and it’s challenges. These outcast people have all had “stuff” that required self-medication to deal with just like her. Those normal folks have not had a rough life and therefore doesn’t understand what’s it’s like for her.

Addy has no patience. I’m talking about zero patience. That means none whatsoever. If she wants to feel good, then she needs to feel good at that very moment. It cannot wait. She does not understand what delayed gratification is nor does she even have the patience to find out. She never thinks about future consequences. She lives only for the moment. And she better damn well have what she wants that moment.

If I had taken the time years ago to get to know Addy, I might have realized how her personality traits were all predisposing factors to addiction. Perhaps, if I had been more educated about drugs and addiction, I could have made better choices on behalf of Addy. Awareness is the key. It’s like preparing for a test. You’ve got to know what to study for. That is actually a really good life plan. Be aware. Know what to study. Prepare for life’s test. It’s not a matter of if life gives you a test. It’s a matter of when life gives you a test. It took me years to pass this one. But I’m finally a Recovery Addict Graduate.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2010 6:08 pm

    Okay, this blog has me thinking because there are a few issues you’ve written about that I feel overly compelled to comment on. One of them being is, I am one of 8 children of parents that NEVER EVER did drugs. My father was a teacher and one of the courses he taught was “drug addiction” back in the ’70’s.

    On Sunday’s after Mass, Mom and Dad would take us to a rehab facility (it no longer exists today) called “The Seed”. Dad was a mentor of a young girl who was a recovering heroin addict. We’d spend out afternoons with her and I can remember as a young girl, how this place scared the living crap out of me. As children, my sisters and I would play “school” a lot and we’d use some of the books Dad always brought home. I remember looking through pages and pages of the books on drugs. During that time, if I remember correctly, the drugs of choice were heroin, methadone, glue and different types of pills, i.e. black beauties, etc. I feel that I was educated about drugs and drug addiction probably more so then the average child at that time. I knew in my heart of hearts I would never do drugs, EVER!

    But as you said, life does offer up some pretty good tests every once in awhile and for me, it was probably… no, not probably, it WAS the death of my mother at the age of 12 that ultimately changed my life. Before then, I was a straight “A” student. I was on the Honor Society and Junior Achievement in junior high. None of my brothers and sisters ever really gave our parents a lick of trouble aside from the usual kid stuff but once my Mom died, it was as though I died too.

    The other thing I want to comment on is being “predisposed”. For me, and this is just MY opinion, is not totally accurate. What would be my excuse for using when my parents brought us up right? They weren’t users and we were taught at an early age even before “Say No To Drugs” was our country’s anthem, to say no to drugs!!

    Now… once my youngest started using and I was able to get him into Rehab; that was the first time I ever heard about predisposition. My son’s drug use was in effect, “directly related to MY previous use of drugs” was what his counselor told me. In fact, after driving 2 hours to his rehab so we could have a “session”, I was the one who was put into the “hot seat” and was bombarded by so many accusations from both my son and this counselor that afterwards, all I wanted to do was smoke a bowl!!

    I never used drugs in front of my children nor did I speak or glorify drugs at any time. My son made the conscious decision to use just as I had. I would never blame my parents for any of those choices I made or say that somehow, I was predisposed. For me, that’s simply just not the case.

    I was a teenager trying to handle the death of my mother. I had a father who was left with so many young children, he didn’t even know what to do. Peer pressure in high school also played a big role in getting me started with that first joint as well as my first cigarette but no one… and I mean NO ONE is the direct cause of me using.

    Self respect, self esteem, stress, pressure… these all play their own part as well. Some handle the curve balls in life better then others… and drug abuse effects all kinds. There are no rules with dope because there is no discrimination. Rich, poor, black, white, fat, skinny, smart, dumb… take your pick. There’s a user in every neighborhood and probably in a lot of professions we wouldn’t even think of.

    Addy is not unusual. She’s also in me and in her and in him and in them. Struggling through drug use/addiction and recovery may also be hard for some while it may seem “easy” for others. I think the key is, TALK to someone who understands. Someone who will tell it like it is. Someone who won’t coddle and entice but rather, be the best friend you need during this time and someone who’s been through it as well.

    One of the things my son said to me in one of the many rehabs he was in was about his counselor. My son said, “How can he sit here and talk to us about using when he’s never used himself? How the f**k does he know how I’m feeling?”

    He was right. No one knows what a user goes through but another user.

    I’m glad you’re writing about your experiences and sharing your own personal thoughts and feelings. I’m glad you introduced us all to Addy as well even though I’ve known Addy for a long long time; it’s just nice to know you’re not alone.

    • June 3, 2010 6:49 pm

      Bless your heart. I cannot begin to imagine what it’s like to lose your mother at such a young age. I’m so sorry. I’m sure that would have sent me over the edge and headed toward drug addiction if it were to have happened in my life. I know we all have struggles as children, but mine were not at this level. I had the typical divorced parents with a curve ball of finding out my dad wasn’t really my biological dad when I was 12. That was, I believe, the beginning of Addy for me. I lost my identity. I felt isolated and began to alienate myself. I was always a little on the shy side. Finding out I wasn’t who I thought I was set me back a lot in terms of self-confidence.

      Even though I had a semi-rough childhood, I would never blame my addiction on my parents either. They didn’t “predispose” me to drugs. What I mean in terms of being predisposed is that I was born and/or developed certain personality traits along the way which are typical of addicts. My own personality, whether inherited or learned, is what predisposed me to addiction. I possessed the typical traits of an addict. Therefore, given the right opportunity and the right environment, it is not surprising I became an addict.

      I’m so grateful to have found someone to share this with. It’s a pleasure getting to know you!

      • June 3, 2010 7:26 pm

        Ditto, Sweet Sister… and as I researched your blog, I found that we started our ventures in our current blogs about 3 days apart.

        God works wonders and places people in our lives for reasons.

        And on another note; I’m so happy you responded to me as well even if just to say “hi”… I so look forward to hearing from you!!

        Have a great rest of your afternoon!

      • June 3, 2010 7:28 pm

        Hope you have a wonderful afternoon too! Yes, God does work wonders! Looking forward to your next blog!

  2. June 3, 2010 6:30 pm

    BTW, where are you today? 🙂

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