Friday, 20 April 2012

Telling it how it is?

Okee Dokee . . .

I tried hard to write a lighthearted post last night about the tale of the hamster "White boy" . . .
I will finish it another day when I'm not so distracted. I've done much thinking since my second N/A meeting on Wednesday. You know, the one I was looking forward to? Should this not be a happy time?
There were four other addicts at this second meeting, three at the first. They all have between Three and Eight years clean. Two of them are clean from heroin, both male. One "leads" the meeting.

They'd each shared their "stories" over the two weeks, and it was obvious they were waiting for me to say something . . . "Anyone else in the room like to tell us how their week has been?"

OK . . . I'm not very good at talking in front of strangers, but I wanted some advice about how to cope if I found myself in another "Tuesday night" scenario, so I shared. I couldn't tell them my whole story as there were only five minutes left of the meeting. I said that I'd drank or drugged for 34 years, that I'd managed to do a significant amount of time clean since February 9th with the occasional one bag relapse . . . usually to try and kill some emotional pain. I told them that this week I had done six days clean and messed up on the 7th. I explained what had happened on the Tuesday night as written in WaW post. I'll talk to you after the meeting says "leader".
As we waited for the others to leave, the other ex heroin user said to me, in front of  "leader"
"Don't take it all on board . . . He's fucking hard-core. Take what you want and leave the rest" Ok, warning heeded.

Well that's all very well if you can leave the bits you don't want . . . but what if they stick in your head, playing over and over again. Because that's what happened. Among the words that stuck were these . . .

"So why do you expect your family to be interested or happy about this . . . They've watched you doing this for thirty-four years . . . why should they believe this is happening now?"
"You need to get off your fucking pity pot"
"Selfish little cow"
"You've hurt your parents badly . . . and now you want their approval. After all you've put them through" !?!

What??  The??  I was literally gob-smacked. I said nothing.
I went home, I cried, I got angry, NO, I didn't use. I've been miserable and distracted ever since. I've done a lot of thinking.

I'm prepared to admit every single awful, hurtful thing I have done in my past. I have messed up. The worst thing I have to live with is giving birth to a heroin addict. A beautiful perfect innocent baby girl, craving that crap within hours of leaving my wretched contaminated womb. I know, I hate me too. That's about as painful as my guilt gets. For fucks sake if I can admit that, I can admit anything.
I'm not, however prepared to admit to things I haven't done. I can face the truth head on and I have no fear of anyone telling me it how it is. How it is. Not how they imagine it might have been. I am not self-pitying. That is not in my nature. No-one has to believe me. God knows my heart. I have nothing to pity myself about. And much to be grateful for.

My family have not lived through repeated failed attempts to get me clean. I had one serious go at it eight years ago when my brother got clean. This is my second attempt and they all know this is as real as it gets.
I have never stolen from them or lied to them. I had no reason to. I'm not in denial about this . . . it simply never happened.
For the first nine years of my heroin addiction my Mum was in Cyprus and my Dad lives in North Wales. Mum came back to England about four years ago,shortly after my brother got married. In the last two years I have very occasionally borrowed ten pounds from Mum for gear, I've told her it was for gear and paid her back. No-one other than me or my partners has paid for my gear. I'm not in denial.

I will go back to N/A, I know it works if you work it, I will work it. I'm NOT criticising N/A here.
I just wish he'd found out a bit more about me before dishing out this "advice".
His advice for the next time I get a"Tuesday night" scenario . . .  Pick up the phone and call him. (?)

He doesn't know the pain that drove me to drink and drugs thirty-four years ago . . . No, I don't want pity. I'm simply saying that when dealing with someone who has managed six, ten or even sixty days with a clear head, for the first time in their (so called) "adult" life, maybe they could tread a little more carefully. I am sensitive and very emotional at the minute, they would know that. Should know that.

OK. That's all. My first two meetings. Things can only get better?


  1. I wish you were closer so I could give you a hug. Don't ever feel bad about being honest with us - I've been reading for a while, it might be the first time I've commented. You slipped. But you got up. And maybe take what the other guy said to heart.... take what you like/need, leave the rest. Maybe take the tough guy's idea of calling someone if you face another Tuesday night scenario, but maybe don't call HIM. Get numbers from the others? I dunno. I just know that the more you go to the meetings, the more little truths, gems and tools you will obtain. I don't think too many folks get this right the first or even the fifth time. But what has impressed me is your honesty, your effort, and your willingness! Those are vital. My daughter slipped/crawled back up so many times. She has two years now, and it's been a decade getting to that point... Don't take the teenage venom too personally - it's particularly potent, but it's what you are doing NOW that matters most. What is that saying? Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending! Please keep writing and please keep on doing what you need to do. I have you in my God box and I'm praying for you every day. (((Hug!)))

    1. HBS,
      Thanks for all your good advice and I will keep going... He called yesterday to invite me to a bigger city meet on Monday, now I have to bribe Stropster to have Hamper G (twice a week?!)... wish me luck on that one.
      I will keep writing and reading ... I just read your "two year" post. That is some story, you must be so pleased for them both.
      Yes, I'm learning about dodging those poison arrows from teenagers (and potential sponsers?).
      Thanks for your prayers and for commenting. Hugs and love.

  2. Hey, you don't have to justify yourself to me, I see you for the person you have become since this blogging, and I have read every one. That fuckwit at the meeting is probably judging you on every other addict he has ever met, including himself!
    Again, his words are poison arrows! He doesn't know you at all. I would be so mad and upset, I probably wouldn't want to go again, but you will do what is right for you because you know what's best for your needs. And 'you are the boss of you', as the kids used to say.
    Look, I am just writing this as it comes out of my head, I hope it's helpful! You can't do anything about what happened in the past, but you are dealing with your feelings and actions in the present (and I applaud you), so that you and your kids can have a better future.
    I know from working with families and children for a looong time, that those families with a happy Mum are the happiest. So continue to do what's best for you right now, you love your kids and they love you, (even if they struggle to show it), most teens are the most hurtful and nasty to those they love the most. Because they love and trust you not to react too violently (is that the right word?, so have that comfort level to spew out their guts all over you.
    I have a real optimistic view on life, it's the only way to survive sometimes! But things will definately get better for you (and as a consequence your family) if you keep putting your needs first. And hey, maybe put the parents on the back-burner for a while, deal with your immediate friends and family first. I am sure your Mum will keep for another day when you feel stronger.
    Kia Kaha, from Kiwigirl xo

    1. Hi Kg,
      You're always helpful. Very true about happy kids, happpy Mum . . . And about kids trusting us not to react violently. I've often said to Stropster "You wouldn't dare talk to your Dad like this" . . . now it makes sense. He would "Tan his hide" if he dared . . . And Stropster knows that.
      Yes, you're right, I need to concentrate on just staying clean for today and put the rest on the back burner . . . That back burner has a lot of pans on it ;-)
      Definitely feeling better for a good sleep, another clean day and waking up to so much support here. Thanks Kiwigirl. Love and hugs

  3. I just wanted to tell you that in their little 12 Step World that gentleman is called a "Dry Drunk". That's where you're clean but you engage in anger, hatred, and addict behavior and attempt to punish others for the faults in yourself. That's a dry drunk.

    You need to realize that you're going to be dealing with some fucked up people, just as you once were fucked up, some still are and will be for the rest of their lives. They just hope to be fucked without the booze/dope- they're not interested in "getting better". I think you are and you have a head start on some of these other folks. So take it one day at a time, realize you need to let it go, just let it go and don't let some knee-jerk reaction by someone with a lot of self hate fuck with you. Let it go. I know it's easier said than done.


    1. bigvee
      This helped a lot. I don't know why I just didn't let it go . . . I had to keep on questioning if maybe he was right and if it was me (or the addict in me) in denial. I suppose I presumed that because he had five years clean and "serenity" training (?) that this must be their way? How would I know, I'm new to this.
      You're right, of course there will be fucked up folk there. I'm glad I've found this out early.
      I took your advice and I've let it go, completely. Thanks so much for writing here. Really.

  4. Well, I've read the above comments and I think they pretty much said it all. That guy is bitter and probably has a very generalized view of addicts and is accusing you of what he and others have done and just assuming you've commited the same bad behaviors. Sorry you had to deal with that but it sounds like you've already faced the biggest of the arseholes (hopefully) and you're still willing to go back so I'd say that's progress. You're definetely not a coward and obviously determined. Next time you see him, imagine him in a little french maid outfit cleaning out your hamster cages...that should give you a laugh. Don't take him seriously. He obviously takes himself waaay too seriously already. What do you call someone with that personality over there...Wanker? Seems I've heard that one a bit. What a WANKER!!! He probably really is one, too. Doubt anyone else would want to do any of that business for him. Erghh....

    Just keep your head up and stay on track. There will always be wankers around, unfortunately.


    1. Hi JJ,
      I've not got back to your previous comment yet . . . I will.
      I was tempted to call this post "One size fits all" but that sounded like I was saying it was N/A's attitude, I wasn't. I'm sure there are people there that realise we're all individuals even as addicts. I suppose I was warned that he was hard-core, I presumed that meant "by the rules" . . . Not by his rules.
      I have thought through it and let it go . . . Thankfully, with the help I found here this morning.
      Thanks JJ for writing here. Love and hugs.

  5. Kicked again! Nasty. Keep going to the meetings but steer clear from that guy. He's not much help. Anonymous is probably right. But if he can be so wrong then so can others so you can' t judge who you are from what others say esp in anger.
    There are people who take out their bad moods on anyone they can. Don't let their bad day become yours. I am sure you are very sensitive so be doubly careful not to read more into a situation than is real. Don't carry your past into the future either. If you are not using then you are not a user. Identify with that and go forward.

    1. Yep . . . But back up again! I think anonymous is probably right too.
      It's gonna be hard to steer clear of him as he leads the meeting of four/five people, but I will certainly see him in a different light. And I won't presume anyone else there is right, just because they are clean or serene (?) In some ways it's good that it's a small meet but that also limits who you can ask for advice. hmmmm.
      Thanks for all your good advice Jeannie, I'm hoping to cheer up a bit today ;-) x x

  6. It sounds to me like this guy takes a "one size fits all" approach to coaching. The problem is that addicts nd alcoholics come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Do what the other guy said...take the best and leave the rest. It does work if you work it and calling someone (even him) next time you have a "Tuesday Night" is probably a good idea, but part of recovery for me is finding what works for me and then hanging on with everything I have.

    Fuck him...but please, please, please keep going. Find a new meeting, avoid the asshole, tell him off...JUST DON'T STOP GOING. You're worth it!

    Hugs and love,

    1. Sherry,
      Yes I nearly called the post "One size fits all" but I didn't want to sound like I was "dissing" N/A. I'm not, and I will keep going.
      He's offered to take me to city meets too, so I'll go with him and take advantage of him driving to tell him how I was affected by what he said . . . Just so he knows. He did say in his "share" that he was learning every day so maybe he can learn to tread gently ;-)
      I will, of course, call him if I get a "Tuesday night" . . . That'll be interesting.
      Thanks for being here Sherry. Love and hugs to you too.

  7. Keep going. Listen to the what the first guy said. The "leader" sounds like he is a big proponent of "tough love." I always hated that when people would dish that out to my daughter...almost teasing and making fun. I felt like it was cruel then and I still feel that its cruel now.

    You sound you will not be bullied out of not going back. GOOD!

    And your Higher Power does not have the same attitude that this ______ does. (You can fill in the blank....I have several key terms running through my mind.) He is walking with you into those meetings each week, surrounding you with His love and care and providing you the strength to be strong despite the idiots who get in the way.


    1. Yeah . . . I'll keep going and I'll stay strong.
      I have to remember God's with me. I tend to get very wrapped up (tightly) in the details and forget the bigger picture. Hmmmm.
      I can see how this tough love might be what some people need . . . My ex springs to mind . . . But we're not all receptive to it. Indeed, some could be put off by it . . . Not me though!
      Thanks for being here Annette. I'm gonna cheer up today ;-) Love and hugs x

  8. Hi. You know your truth and that's all that counts!!!! Not what anyone else says or thinks, because at the end of the day, you are still left with your own truth! So listen to others but sift out what you will keep or 'toss'. You are on your way and are growing each day and that's what counts. Take care!
    Shelley in SasKatchewan

    1. Yes Shelley, I certainly need to learn how to "leave the rest" . . . I took what I liked and dwelled on the rest :-) But that's me . . . That has to change.
      There is growth and progress and I must just focus on today, or even this morning. You too, take care, and thanks.

    2. Hello Shelley in Saskatatchewan. I just had to mention I was there in Sept. last year. In a town called Moose Jaw for goondness sake. I found the people to be the friendliest and most polite I have ever met. And the great big blue sky was pretty awesome too.
      Cheers from Kiwigirl!

  9. Can I stick forks in his eyes? Or wish painful hemmorhoids on him? Just because he was obviously a thief and an arsewipe doesn't mean every user is. My partner has been clean for well over twenty years now and like you he never stole or lied. I don't think his parents even knew.
    Small steps. Sometimes taking a whole day at a time is too much and it will need to be an hour at a time, or ten minutes. And each minutee is a victory. And they add up.
    I work on the 'give us this day our daily whinge' philosophy. Sometimes self pity is fine on a temporary basis. Paddle in the pool, dry yourself off and move on.
    Sending mega hugs.

    1. E's C . . . Thanks for helping to cheer me up . . . I was determined to let it go today and after coming here, I've definitely let it go AND cheered up (a bit :-)
      I'm so glad you know there are half decent users (SP, bless his heart). . . some people find that impossible to believe.
      And yes, I keep forgetting that I can split the long day into hours, minutes. For someone who does a lot of thinking, I can be a bit simple ;-)
      I like the daily whinge thing . . . I don't think I've had one yet today so I'll save it up. If I don't have one today (highly unlikely) can I have two tomorrow . . . etc?
      Thanks for the mega hugs and encouragement. Hugs and love to you two too.

    2. Of course you can save your whinges up. I never manage.

  10. When Alex was going to AA (newly sober) he said he was told to sit down and shut up. He always said "take what you need and leave the rest." Good advice for almost every situation.

    1. Hi Sherry,
      I started to wish I hadn't said anything a couple of days later . . . But they definitely coaxed me into talking.
      I will try harder to "leave the rest" rather than dwell on the rest, next time. And I must stop assuming they are right, because they are clean.
      Thanks Sherry

  11. Hey Bugerlugs, it's very rare I comment on what I read but you've been so good doing so over at mine that I've had to come out of retirement today. I couldn't help laughing earlier on as I misread something you had written and almost wished you had written it:

    " that I'd managed to do a significant amount of time clean since February 9th with the occasional one bag relapse"

    I misread it as "the occasional one BIG relapse"

    As for N/A, I don't think it does work it... only you not using works, and don't give N/A the credit for that if you manage it. From the statistics N/A has almost a 100% relapse rate (which is a failure rate in accordance to their goal) and of people who stay clean for any significant amount of time it is no more than people going into methadone maintenance with no other support. The figures are dismal and then they blame the addicts for the failing of their program: it works if you work it.... meaning: if it didn't work it's because you didn't try hard enough: IT'S YOUR FAULT NOT OURS. I also detest that they bring religion into the equation when Britain is really a secular place and has been for a long time. I've seriously only met hypocrites and fascists amongst long-term N/a'ers, and many of them condemning people for relapsing off heroin are there for overcoming a 'marijuana' addiction! I don't know.... support groups can work, but they also need to be open and loving no matter what. N/A is outmoded and outdated and it's a real shame that they have a foothold in addiction support. I hope that doesn't sound too harsh, hahaha... it's quite a balanced rant. Of course, they would say I wrote that in the midst of a terrible illness... that's really what they'd say.

    Take care no matter... that's all that's important... and don't let them arseholes judge you by their own crimes, because that's what they do. Shane. X

    1. Shane,
      I can't help but comment at yours. It don't take any effort. I wanted to copy your whole "sick" post today and Email it to my Ex in prison. A lot of it was "sickeningly" familiar and he would love it, as did I. I really have to go back and re-read (as always) I envy the poetry in you and the way you put those words together.
      I not sure if it's ok to copy it? of course I would say where it's from, but as he has to be on enhanced to access a computer, and has spent the last two years on basic . . . he got no chance. (unless I send it to him - I can Email letters to him).
      I get what you saying about N/A, that if it don't work, then it's cus I haven't worked it. And if it does work, it's down to my hard work, no-one elses.
      Pretty much like my parents used to say about God's love . . that I wasn't feeling it cus I wasn't open to it . . all this blame eh?? No wonder. I'll blame it on the blame.
      It's all a fucking muddle at the best of times . . . We all use for different reasons and stop (or try to) for different reasons. Main one being my lungs and wanting to move with my life . . . maybe even back to France, who knows? I just want some more options and feelings . . . all feelings. You know, you've heard it all before.
      Thanks for coming out of retirement, I don't think it was harsh at all. I've heard harsh this week. Pleased I made you laugh, even though I didn't (?) . . . Thanks for taking time to write "In the midst of your terrible illness" ;-) And you too Shane, take care. With love Buggalugz x x

  12. the world is full of morons, thats part of why the human race is so wonderful -sarcasm-

    please keep going though! it sounds perfect for you!

    1. Hey CxoMwah!
      I nearly missed you here. I'd thankfully moved on from this "justifying myself" post . . . Sometimes I have to do that. Thank God I can move swiftly(ish)on.
      Enjoyed your "Who gives a fuck what x equals" post, although I did love maths and did well at it.
      Yeah well, that might explain something then x

  13. I am sorry that you got a hard ass who spewed on you. I have no experience with NA but know that some feel that being hard nosed is what works. Keep going to meetings and find someone who will be your sponsor that you respect and is willing to take you through the steps. Recovery is in the steps, I believe.

    1. Yeah, I can see how that does work, being hard nosed, and possibly is that way in N/A. I will keep going. I told the guy what I thought later in the week, and I think he was pleased I'd told him. We're ok now.