I was petrified of drugs while in high school, the belief that drugs could ruin your life was well established in my upbringing in a small suburbia town in Northern New Jersey. I did however always have a feeling of being different than my peers growing up and obsessing about why they did what they did and why I was different. That may be why I smoked weed my first week of college. I was now living on my own with no parents lurking near me, I also just wanted to fit in, everyone I had met was smoking, I couldn’t say no. If only I had known where that hit of marijuana was going to take me.
It wasn’t long before I started to smoke every single day, day and night. I had found something that shut down the voice in my head, made me more social and most importantly, made me feel part of. Getting together with peers and smoking and laughing was a fantastic experience. Not that I wasn’t social as a child but I just always felt like I was different than everyone, not anymore. Weed took a priority over college very soon and by the second year I was leaving and moving back home. It felt like a major step backwards and I felt terrible about it. Weed was also just not doing the job anymore, one night in a convenience store parking lot somebody has some percocet, I happily accepted.
Within 2 years after that night I was being admitted into an inpatient dual-diagnosis treatment center and it was the first of many for me. Between the ages of 21-26 I went to several treatment centers and simply was not ready to change my life. The thing with recovering from addiction is that self knowledge is not the solution. Knowing I can never use drugs again does not keep me from getting high. I have a sick mind, where my addiction lies, that constantly throws excuses at me to get high and that it would fix everything. So if I can’t rely on my mind what can I do? I must rely on something greater than me, a source that others in recovery tapped into and proved to be the only thing that got them free from addiction.
The idea of needing to rely on a higher power took years for me to comprehend. Not that I had an issue believing in god I just thought it was a little too much and that my situation wasn’t as bad as most others. Five years of trying and failing though and my life was as bad as anyone else I was comparing to. My father had just died in 2015 and I felt so lost and hopeless that the idea of a Power greater than myself being the only solution to my problems was welcomed into my life very quickly after my dad had died. Once I welcomed that idea into my head and followed guidance, my life got dramatically better. It is that simple, but that hard part is getting our stubborn, argumentative, ego-filled mind to accept that we are powerless and need help. Please if you are struggling, find a meeting, find someone who can introduce you to this higher power, in my years of ups and downs it has proven to be the only thing that works.