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Old 06-12-2011, 12:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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lying, stealing, & other things

I don't know about you, but now that I'm getting clean, and I mean I'm at the very beginning here, June 6th is my clean date, I'm terribly concerned with all the terrible things I did while I was using. And it wasn't that long ago!

To make a long story short, I was a pill popper, diet pills and pain pills, and when I was running out, I didn't care what I had to do, or who I had to do it to, to get my pills. What particularly concerns me was the stealing. I look at some of the things I did, and just cringe. And I have this feeling, every day, that I'm peering over my shoulder (guilty conscience!) to see if I'm about to get caught. My self-esteem is in the toilet now that I'm realizing what I've become, I can't sleep...... and the worst part is, staying clean is hard work! I mean I don't mind the hard work, but I see all the terrible things I've done and it nauseates me that I could do it again, I see this and feel just terrible!

My goal for this week is to get a sponsor. I have been attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings and am almost done reading The Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous. I am grateful today for my sobriety just so that I didn't hurt anyone today!!!
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey Jenny,

Welcome!

You are not alone.

The disease of addiction is willing to bulldoze itself over everything that we love in our heart of hearts. Nothing is sacred to it. The Big Book of AA and the Basic Text of NA both refer to this Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde phenomenon. In my estimation, Mr Hyde is a bit of a sociopath -- he's willing to take down the world, from our ethics and own moral codes, over our marriages, our families, our friendships, our children, sacrificing hard-earned careers, risking our finances, our freedom, our health, our reputations and our own self-respect, all to feed his own needs. I don't doubt for a moment that the goal of the disease of addiction is death, and all avenues of pain, misery and fear will us lead there.

I am grateful to hear that you're seeking help through NA. It's through the 12-steps and 12-step fellowships (AA, NA, CA, etc.) that I have found peace and forgiveness where I never thought it possible. I believed that the resentment -- in anger, guilt, shame -- that I was carrying around for all those years was also destroying me, but nothing I tried to get rid of it seemed to work. The drugs were silencing the feelings for a time, but when I realized that I could no longer live on drugs, I found myself in a precarious place. What was there left to do?

I'll tell you this: miracles happen. The steps have helped me in more ways than I ever could have predicted. Steps 4 and 5 helped to change my life with regard to resentments (resentment in the sense to re-feel, as in a negative emotion). I learned how to truly forgive others for the first time. And, by the grace of my HP, I also learned how to finally forgive myself. There have been -- and continue to be -- so many revelations. One question I had to ask myself was if I was willing to forgive myself for something I had no control over. I was powerless over my addiction -- that is not by any means limited to drugs. I am talking about true sickness, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Taking the steps has meant the end of the victim here. This means that, while I may need to forgive myself, it doesn't make me unaccountable for my actions. You know what I've done about those? Amends. Step 9. The real deal. I've done many, and I still have more to do. My step 8 list has been substantial. These actions have been changing my life. I am so grateful to be able to set things right where I have caused harm. It just so happens that I also believe that amends are part of my ability to survive this disease and live happy, joyous and free.

If you're looking for suggestions, when looking for a sponsor find someone who has had a spiritual experience / spiritual awakening as a result of the 12 steps, who really knows their onions and can show you the way to freedom. I'm promising it exists, because I've been standing on the Broad Highway myself.

For today, stay clean. Congratulations on your clean time. Keep going in the right direction. Let the good of the universe direct you to where you need to go. Listen to your heart. Be grateful you have a conscience.

With love,

SIU
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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In my new found awareness in sobriety, I find myself immediately assuming that people don't trust me.

This goes for people I have known forever (I don't blame them for not trusting me), but more notably, people I have just met. I catch myself dreaming up elaborate conspiracies as to why this person doesn't trust me, but at least I do catch myself. In the past I would just allow those conspiracies to run my relationships and ultimately my life.

It is getting better though. I'm almost 5 months sober and I am slowly becoming able to view the absurdities of my using life from the perspective of a normal person.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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(((Jenny))) - I had a lot of shame about the things I did when I was using. Some I can't undo - lost my nursing career and am working at McDonald's. I had over $4,000 in tickets I got while out on crack, and it took me almost 3 years to be ready to face the judge with the $1000 I'd managed to save, was going to ask for a payment plan. After talking to me, asking me about my recovery, he dismissed the other $3000.

Some people I'd like to make amends to are gone, some are not healthy for me to be around. What I do is make "living amends"...I do my very best, every day, and I don't DO the things I used to. I drop what little money I have on me when the Shriner's are out (fantastic organization, BTW), the Salvation Army buckets at Christmas time, and I come here...offering my ES&H....giving back what was given to me. There's an organization, here, that takes donations for a treatment facility...I give them a couple dollars.

I can never undo what I did, yet each day I make healthier and better decisions, I've regained the trust of everyone I know, and I go to sleep, each night, knowing that I didn't do anything THAT day that I have to worry about consequences later coming and biting me in the a$$.

I'm glad you're getting a sponsor..that will help a lot. Reading/posting here has helped me, tremendously.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I recently watched some old videos I took on my phone while I was high out of my mind. Awfulll hahah
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The good news is that all those things you are ashamed of and sorry for, you are not going to do anymore, because you are clean and you are going to stay that way!

Not repeating that stuff is a huge step forward. Later on in recovery, you may find ways to make amends for some of it, either by paying it back, or paying it forward. Right now the smartest thing to do is to not beat yourself up over something you cannot change, the past, but make a better plan for what you can change, the future.

One day at a time. If you choose to continue in a 12 step program, there is a way of dealing with the junk of our pasts. You'll get to it when you are ready.

congrats on your clean time and making a committment to recovery.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know that when I look forward, and am in the moment things seem less daunting. That doesn't mean I forget the people I hurt or the things I have done. It just means that I do the next right thing.

I look forward to posting more with you.
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y la Sabidura para reconocer la diferencia
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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what you've become is a someone working very hard to stay clean and sober Jennybeth. I'd focus on that rather than on the past, however recent

We can't change yesterdays but we can sure do a lot about our todays

D
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I suggest connecting to a local group of NA members would be beneficial ...

Alcohol was my addiction....and AA gave me a fantastic new life when I started working the AA Steps.....NA has a similar plan for how to live clean and enjoy it.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think all of us can relate to the things we have done while active in our addiction...and probably most of it, isn't something we should be proud of...BUT.....our past does not define who we are right now!! that is the healing part of recovery...moving past all the crap..and learning from it..and being free from it....at times memories haunt me I just don't allow myself to "stay there" I can't undo any of it....but we can make better todays...and tomorrows!! all the best on your journey!
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for your kindness and your replies folks! Sometimes I think only other addicts would "get it" if I'm having issues...... you guys are great! Appreciate the mercy!
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Jennybeth-I'm 26 days clean and still have not been able to forgive myself from stealing from my friends. Not only did I steal from them but I would replace the pills with look-a-likes! How F'ed up is that?? My guilty conscience was killing me and still is even though it's a little better now that I know my friends have forgiven me. It was a tough pill to swallow ( no pun intended) to admit to them what I did but I felt some relief after I did!
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