Saturday, March 8, 2014

I'm not in love, just forget it, it's just a silly phase I'm going through....

I've had a long history of vivid dreams that stir up so much emotion that I am completely out of whack for a solid day afterwards. I'm pretty sure I have mentioned before that I have only been in love once in my life and that was when I was 18. For a quarter of a century my psyche brings that old love up in dreams and makes it feel as fresh as yesterday. It's been like losing that relationship over and over dozens of times again and again. As I started getting better, the dream has changed a bit. My old love shows up but I am not devastated and lonely and desperate for his love again. Night before last I dreamed about John. I was in mad love for him still in the dream and he was sick. He was dying and as madly in love with him as I was , he was madly in love with someone else. He had no place to go so I took him in and cared for him while he died. Me holding him wishing it were different but being ok with the fact he won't ever be able to love me like I love him. It was impossible to have the outcome I had secretly wanted all these years. When I woke up it made me think, my love for him was not lessened, it wasn't returned but my love was real. It just didn't look like the way I thought it was suppose to look like. Love not returned doesn't devalue the miracle of caring for someone. My love for many people who have gone is just as real, big and worthy of awe as when I had those people to love. Love never moves out of the heart, you don't have to be with me to marvel at this fantastic thing humans can experience. I didn't spend the day bummed out like the dream used to do to me. The Disney kid in me wants to believe that it will come again and we will have a happy ending but the self actualized spiritual me is grateful to just know the sensation once in my life. Whever I ever see him or hold his hand again , I am connected. It doesn't hurt like it used to. I know it's special because I had never felt that power before or sense, not even close. It was something special that I know my heart can be that full and alive.  I have compassion for those two messed up kids that tried to play house with no coping skills and budding drug addiction and alcohol. Maybe he was my first good drug. Like most drugs, the first high is always the one you chase, over and over.  I just thought it was a neat dream. I hope to love people regardless of if they can love me back in the way I wish they would, consistently.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Treatment is a LUXURY not a Necessity

I am in recovery for substance abuse and I work in or around the recovery field.  Every time a celebrity is whisked off to rehab it sends the message to substance abusers and the people who love them, that in order to recover from alcoholism and drug abuse you must go to treatment. In Texas, if you don’t have private pay insurance or you aren’t on probation or parole, or have a big private bankroll,  it is nearly impossible to go to a treatment center because we don’t have many with other funding options.

When Oak Haven closed in Marshall, it was the last house on the block of treatment centers in East Texas for people who did not fall into specialty niches that still have funding available. There is little to no funding to put “Joe or Susie Average “in treatment in Texas.

The good news is, and it is good news, for nearly 80 years AA has been saving lives and restoring drunks to wholeness. NA has been doing the same for over 61 years.

TREATMENT IS A LUXURY, not a necessity.

If a man or a woman can admit they can’t use successfully and their life is unmanageable, they can recover with meetings that take place several times a day. every day of the week for no cost. No insurance necessary.

I have had my phone number attached to several information lines for NA and AA for years. I get calls from people who are at the end of their ropes and they have no idea what can be done.

Here is the straight dope about Alcoholism and Addiction recovery. If you are an addict or alcoholic, it only gets worse. It will end with “Jails, institutions or death”. End of story. You drag everyone that dares to keep loving you right through the gates of torment and hell.

Treatment facilities are a great place to get a lot of information quickly, but ultimately you go to AA or NA meetings on your own volition, if you stay sober.

Some calls I get or got, were from Grandparents raising their grandkids, parents at wits end over their kids drug abuse, spouses, lovers and friends who’s own lives are in shambles because they love a drunk or dope head.

More good news here, those people can regain their lives and sanity in two programs called Alanon and Naranon. These are family groups that work in conjunction with the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Addiction is a family disease, and if you love an addict and your life has been wrecked by their drug abuse, YOU can regain sanity in your life whether or not your alcoholic or addict ever recovers.

To recover or to be restored, made whole again, is available in your town or near your town. There are meetings online these days. You don’t have to spend another day in despair. The requirement for membership for both NA and AA is simply, you need to have the desire to quit. You don’t have to quit before you come. You can’t do it alone and most of us can’t. It is best to come with a clear head ,but the important thing is you keep coming back.
In this dark situation of chemicals, despair, and obliterated family relationships, there is a quiet promise of recovery from NA and AA.

YOU CANNOT USE THE EXCUSE I CAN’T AFFORD TREATMENT. For 80 years poor people, rich people, ugly people, pretty people, white people, black people, Chinese people, street walkers, preachers, football players, mothers, grandfathers, kids, Republicans, and Democrats have gotten sober and regained their spirits and the ability to love and be loved through the miracle of recovery in  AA/NA.  

I am a member of a 12 Step Organization but I am not speaking on behalf of them. I’m speaking solely from my experience as being a broken human who used chemicals for a peace of mind that never was sustainable or attainable. I regained life through a 12 step program.

East Texas Council on Drug Addiction and Alcoholism is a clearing house for all things dealing with addiction in Longview, for the addict or the person that loves an addict.   

Things don’t magically get better for people who don’t seek help, in fact they get so bad, the horror writer Stephen King couldn’t dream up the nightmares addiction rains down on people and their families..

The websites for AA and NA are

If you love an addict/alcoholic, these are important websites with life and sanity saving information just for YOU.

There is freedom for active addiction, there is freedom for those whose lives have been destroyed by the disease of alcoholism and addiction. It doesn’t get better on its own, it won’t just go away. Recovery is possible and you don’t have to pay 10 thousand dollars a month to learn what is shared freely in AA and NA.

There is a way out of the darkness. Restoration to wholeness and sanity is completely possible and doable. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Misinformation regarding inpatient or outpatient treatment is killing people and letting families suffer needlessly. Recovery is hard, but active alcoholism and addiction is harder by far..

Clint G.

Anonymous Recovering
Alcoholic Addict
There are times when I hear someone speak at NA or AA that says something that alters my paradigm forever. Saturday morning a man was talking about how in recovery he revisited a lot of painful things in order to forgive the players that caused him pain. He had a bad relationship with his father and he said he would get so hurt every year when July 4th came and he begged his dad to take him to the Fireworks Display in town.

Every year he would beg and beg but his father would never take him. He was hurt and angry and it followed him into adulthood. When his dad died , he was in recovery and able to speak about the pains he carried with him he was talking to his aunt - (his dad's sister) about how it hurt him every year his dad wouldn't take him to the fire works.
His aunt listened and began to speak. "When your dad came home for World War II we went to a huge victory celebration. We ate, danced, laughed. Dark came and they had a huge firework show. I turned to your father to comment on them and he wasn't there. We started to look for him and we could find him no where. Finally of a friend told us we needed to go to help your father in the restroom. There we found him curled up in a ball in the corner next to the toilet. He was shaking and crying and out of his mind. He was Shell-Shocked and no one knew it." It's the term they used before PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It's what I say alot, "you just don't know what monsters are 2 inches away from the people you come in contact with, we don't know what horror is chasing
the folks we meet"

All those years of resentment, were instantly re-framed and forgiven for the guy at AA and it was replaced with understanding, forgiveness and compassion. If you have never had the experience where resentment is removed and forgiveness happens, when the river of life and love flows into the compartment that had been filled with pain and hurt, I urge you to think about letting a resentment go and experiencing it. We don't set the people that hurt us free, we set ourselves free.