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Old 10-19-2009, 04:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How do I relate?


I really went deep in my addiction. But I didnt come from a bad upbringing. I didnt have a bad life. Quite the opposite. I had everything a kid could ask for. A loving family. We traveled alot. We had everything we needed and then some. Ate out at nice restaurants all the time. New cars every few years. Nice big houses. New name brand clothes every year. Never had to want for nothing. I was a spoiled kid.
I chose to go play in the gutter. To get involved in the darker side of life. Stay in the poverty of the world. But when I was done and ready to leave. I always had all that stuff to go back to.
I have done some really awful things in my addiciton. To myself, to my family, to strangers. And I have also had alot of awful things happen to me as a result.
But I always had that security. I always had a place to go, a family to go to.
So how would I relate to people who come back to nothing and no one?
Some people may not have even gotten as deep as I have and still lost it all.
I am very grateful for what I have. I couldnt imagine not having anyone there for me. I am not too sure I would want to even try and stop using if that was the case to be honest.
I will be the first to admit that had it not been for my family, I would not be where I am. I dont know if I could have survived without somewhere to go all the time.
I try to understand people in all aspects. And its impossible to really see everyones struggle and understand completely. I know this.
But I had it easy. I almost feel like because of how reckless and uncaring I was, how disrespectful I use to be for what I did have waiting at home. That somehow I dont deserve to have it this easy.
You all know what I am startign school for. And what my objective will be to work with women coming from the streets. But even tho I was in the same place in addiction. I have never been where alot of them will be when they go into recovery. Thats with nothing and no one. Not saying they all are like that. But alot of them are.
I am not having doubts. I almost feel like a phoney really.
I wasnt raised in the hard streets. I chose to go there. Chose that over the comforts of home and all that I had offered to me over those years of using.
I chose to pass that by to be high in the street.
Some dont have a choice. Some know nothing else.
I dont know. I am really depressed the past few days. Alot on my mind.
I dont know why because my life is going exactly how I want it to. Maybe thats the problem? Am I self sabotaging?
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you have a lot of compassion, and sometimes having strong feelings of empathy for others can make us feel sad and introspective. I get that way sometimes too.

As far as your experiences go, you can be a lot of help to others in the position you used to be in, whether you have a common background or not. It's not where we came from, it's where we ended up. We all have the common 'bottom' - we all had to stop digging that hole. Some dug the hole deeper than others, but what matters is helping ourselves and others stay out of that hole.

You are a very caring person. I know you will be able to help others in your life. You help me a lot.:ghug3
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not everyone has to lose everything or everyone Trish, or as I choose to say I "gave it away" every time I picked up a drink. Sadly, some do ride the elevator all the way to the bottom, while others choose to get off before then.

You've already said you're grateful, I hope you never lose that gratitude. And when you see or work with someone who's lost so much more, I hope you never take what you have for granted.

I've been thinking and sharing about that alot lately. When I took what I had for granted, when I wasn't thankful for the smallest things in life, my HP took away the things that were important to me and gave me the chance to do it over again. Sort of like wiping the slate clean and having a fresh start.

It hasn't been easy, but I took it to heart and took action. I'd like to think I'm doing a pretty good job this time, and I've never forgotten to be grateful for what I'm given on a daily basis.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Trish,

It could be that you're becoming anxious because things in your life have settled down. Maybe you don't feel like you deserve a good life. That's how I felt for a long time.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I remember every time I would walk in those doors at home after being out there for 4, 5, 6 days at a time. I got this instant feeling of comfort and warmth. Ease and peace. And the first thing that always popped into my head was. Man, It feels good to be home. Why would I want to go out there and live like that when I have all this at home? I would feel all cozy and safe.
I cant really explain the feeling really. Sorta like how I have heard doing heroin feels like. Just a warm satisfying feeling.
Thats what home felt like.
I dont get it. I really am not going to try.
I am not doing that crap anymore. And I can feel like every day now.
Without the regret of where I had spent the last few days.

I did take everything for granted using. All that stuff. I knew I had a home to go to. A family, food in the kitchen, clothes and a nice warm safe bed. But I didnt see it as lucky then. Its just how its always been.
Sometimes I would bring a person I was close with out there that didnt have anything come stay with me for a couple days and shower and eat and sleep it off.
I remember this guy Pilone. He was a homeless drug dealer and he also used. I would let him come stay at my house once in awhule and feed him and let him sleep in my bed while I slept on the couch. I remember the last time I saw him. He got arrested. We were sitting behind a house in the alley and I was up for a few days. Getting high and just having a good ole time. Then we saw the cops turn into the alley. I told him to throw his stuff down. But he didnt. And he got arrested. The last thing he said to me before all that went down was that he will always remember that I let him into my home to shower and stuff. I know he got deported back to Mexico. I know he was HIV positive. I never judged anyone out there. I had all that stuff to go home to and I still didnt feel better than anyone. But I also wasnt grateful at the time either.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You'll do fine, Trish.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Relating is as simple as focusing on the similiarities rather than the differences. As long as the common bonds we share are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well. Take it easy on yourself and keep moving forward as best you can! As long as you stay sober and clean daily, everything else will come in it's own time.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've been real emotional the past few days as well, not sure why but I found gratitude seems to help. I even went to my second ever AA meeting today just to help pull myself out. It was a pretty gnarly one, lots of mommas losing their kids sharing and stuff. Made it real easy for me to think of a whole list of things to be happy about.

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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((Trish)) as far as relating, I think you'll be just fine. I work with several "kids" (in their teens or early 20's) who have had a pretty rough life, on and off drugs - may or may not have had a parent or someone to "be there" for them. They know about my addiction history, my time on the streets, though they usually don't believe me at first

Once I convince them, that yes, I did live on the streets and did what I did to get crack, they usually treat me like one of them, but they look up to me, if that makes sense. They ask my opinion on things, don't always listen, but sometimes they do. I think the fact that they don't feel judged is so important and you aren't a judgemental person, so you will have a similar effect on people.

As far as the self-sabotaging, I still have a tendency to do that, too, but when I start doubting myself, I just push through it. My lawsuit is just about to go through (with work) and I became an emotional wreck...sheez, I've know this was going to happen for quite a while, right?

For me, I just don't do change very easily, even when it's good for me. I'll look back and wonder what all the fuss, depression, turmoil was about, but I still go through it...maybe it's the same for you?

I think Anna has a good point, too. I'm still not so sure I'm convinced I deserve the good things in life, but I'm working on it.

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't quite know how to say what I want so say, but here goes, kinda long & kinda sideways:

I do come from the place you would go to... we were very aware of people like y'all. Come and go and confused the heck out of us to be honest.

Fast forward. For years now I've been living a double life. Well, maybe triple--I don't know how deep it goes. My first three years of college I lived in a residential hotel... you can only imagine what that was like. And they had an absolute no students rule--luckily I worked a job so I could explain my regular schedule. All my neighbors got high/drunk or were mentally ill or on the run from the law--several standoffs, a few murders and every night I came home to a smiling night manager who wanted to sleep with me and had the key to my room...

I was laid off and ran out of money, so I moved to the college. And I never realized how little I knew about the world. I'm not that young--feel older still--and I've been around a few places. But I have never felt so out of place as permanently living here. At least when I lived downtown, I could go home and connect with my neighbors on some level--we all lived there, laughed at the same things. Now I'm just an outsider, and I can't even tell you why.

It was being this level of lost that prompted me to reach out to SR, and since I've been on here, I have found several aspects of several people I can relate to. No one person for all of them. Nor do I expect to. Nobody who grew up with me is in college, most are no longer anywhere, and the rest are either strung out or in prison. I have been had to deal with the fact that I will most likely never meet another human being anywhere, ever, who's been through even similar situations to me across the board. I can, however, meet people who have been through either parallel situations or one or two of the same situations--and through those people is how I have to learn about this suburban world I'm in now.

Y'all are somehow like translators to me. And I can't thank you enough.

I can read all the messages, and I know I sometimes get frustrated because I don't really understand the *situation* enough to be able to parallel it with something I understand, but otherwise, I'm a street kid and to be honest, not ashamed at all. Just on a different road right now, and not ashamed of that either. And this new road is mighty confusing without Rosetta Stones...

Like in life, it's a whole lot of people who--want to or not--can't tell me a thing because they can't see what I'm seeing, even looking at the same thing. It's people like you, Impurrfect, etc, here and in the world, who are the torchbearers for people like me. It might not be the best, most productive role on the whole planet, but it's one that, when yall're needed, no one else will do. So while it's true, back in the day, we couldn't fathom what y'all were doing on our blocks, nowadays, if it weren't for that, well...

Take care Aysha, don't give up, don't think you don't deserve what all you got. That's just being silly. If you didn't take advantage of it, is it available to anyone else? You'd just be wasting it... So what if you didn't always appreciate it--are you starting to see it now?


-TB, going back to sleep.

Last edited by thirtybubba; 10-20-2009 at 01:03 AM. Reason: half asleep not saying what i wanna very good at all
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Also don't forget that everyone gets these down times whether they have ever been an addict or not.

I sometimes feel that way when things are fine because I simply expect to much from sobriety, yeah we are aiming for a normal life and then we get down when we get what we want.

I think that this is an important time, it is how we deal with these unhappy times that controls how we will stay sober in the future.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Aysha......nice post.

One of my drinking Buddy's was a private school teacher.
he came from a very well placed family...in fact a well known family in business circles.

he was married.....taught some famous kids......when he was a kid he could have everything and anything thing he wanted....
and yet he was sleeping in the same shop doorways as me.......begging the same spots as me......and more importantly drinking like i drank.

all his bridges where burnt and the family had turned him loose.
He is still out there.......still drinking....even though i have continued to try to attract him to sobriety...

his life before and my life before...........are a world apart.
but we suffer the same devastating illness.

i found a solution.........he still lives in the lie.
he still continues to proclaim he is ok.........but he is dying.......in fact I'm surprised he is still alive.

so what can i do?.......continue to go catch up with him....regular.
carry the message to the still suffering in the places.....those dark places that i and maybe you hung out.
go chat with the beggars on the street...
stop by and drop off some food........and only food.

thats all i can do..........i cant twist those guys arms....i wish i could sometimes.
i can only share what i have found.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yea TB..I know about all that 'Why would you want to be on this side of town' thinkng. I use to get it all the time. Had it not been for the drugs, I wouldnt have been. I wouldnt have seen a fraction of the things I did. I remember seeing how some people lived in my early days in the street and it baffled me. I was so clueless. Thank goodness for my people in Greensboro who took me under their wing and showed me the ways of the street. That sounds stupid, But its true. They could have just took full advantage of someone as new and naive as I was and I probably wouldnt had lasted as long as I did.
They showed me the ins and outs and also gave me protection. For what reasons I still dont know. I may have to ask next time I write one of them. Now we are just like blood family at a distance. Never seen a drug dealer refuse me dope until then. Oh yes..They exist. All my people in Greensboro would rather see me take my butt home than make their pockets fat. Its happened. Hundred dollars and nobody will give me anything. Instead hold me hostage and call the grams to come get me. Hows that doing? Thats when you know you are strung out. When even the dealers want you to go home.
I remember them telling me to go home cause I was jumpin around too much and stuff. Thats what crack addicts do after days of use. Just jump around. Irking and jerking. CAnt sit still. Try being like that in front of the cops and trying to look normal. Yea right.
I guess I can look back now and be very dam grateful for what I did have. Not just from the people I somehow found out there. But also that I had a family who stod by me no matter what. With all that on my side. I guess I could be in alot worse places, Not only then, but now definately.
I can relate to the addiction part of the gutter. But not coming back to it trying to get your life strait. Its easy for em to say I can do it with all this support and a home and family to comfort me. I will never know what its liek to have to go back to the same area and the same situaitons and try and stay clean.
But your right.It doesnt matter where we came from. But where we ended up. And I know I could very asily have ended up with nothing and no one had I kept going like I was. Anyway. Gotta go to work. Start training for the new position today. Thx everyone. I think the weather may be a factor in my depression lately.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Trish I can not fully relate to living on the streets, what I can relate to is being owned!

I can relate to any one who says that "If I have one drink, I have no idea when or were I will stop drinking."

I can relate to any one who says "I drank when I did not want to drink."

I can relate to any one who says "Alcohol was my life." I recall on numerous occassions stopping at the store to get a gallon of milk and a 12 pack, then finding out that I only had enough money for a 6 pack and a gallon of milk, well I put the milk back and bought the 12 pack.

I can relate to any one who says "I promised my family over and over again that I was going to stop and mean it from the bottom of my heart............. then wind up drunk again the very next day."

I can relate to any one who says "If I had my booze and nothing else I was happy."

I can relate to any one who says "I hated myself for not being able to quit drinking or stay stopped."

I can relate to any one who speaks of being anxious, irratable, and discontent when not drinking.

I can relate to any one who speaks of the shame and guilt eating them alive and the only escape was the oblivion alcohol gave them.

Trish relating to the alcoholism/addiction is imho what is crucial.

I stood right at the brink of losing all the material things and all the relationships I had left, but my bottom did not involve material things really, even though in the end I was able to see that if I kept on drinking that it all would be gone, my bottom was when I knew that I was going to die alone and drunk if I did not find a way to stop and stay stopped. I had a hole in my soul that alcohol could no longer fill.

Trish we are all different in so many ways, but there are the similarities that we relate to that allow us to find recovery and to help others find it as well.

Can I relate to a single mother, a rich person, a homeless person, a minister, a doctor.... no not really, but if they are alcoholics I can on that level and as a fellow human being.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Trish, I can relate some what. I know when going through treatment some of the stories I heard of what the other women went through was heart breaking. The life they had from the get go was horrible. How could I compare myself to them? I had a decent life. I won't call it all a bed of roses though because it wasn't but when compared to others? Yes, I see the difference.

You have a lot to share. Your posts are always so insightful, you have been there, I don't think it matters where you come from but what you've been through. Where could you still be today? You've made a choice to make your life better for you and that will give others hope. People need to know they are not alone in coming from the pits of hell and that life can get better.

I think the most comforting thing in my going through treatment and talking to counselors were the ones that had been there done that and to see them doing well showed me that it could be done.

One of the most inspirational stories is this gal who was a hard core crack cocaine addict. She put herself through law school, passed the bar here in FL., became an associate in a Law Firm and today has her own office. How cool is that? Hearing her story has inspired me to want to achieve all of my dreams and use what I know and where I've been to help another person which is why I'm choosing my degree. I know I can make a difference and I know that with what I've been through it's going to help someone else who is about to travel the same road we have.

You're great Girl!!! I know that you're going to be awesome at what ever it is that you'll end up doing. Maybe not everyone is going to like you (there's always someone) but I bet you'll make a difference in so many lives. So go get 'em!!!! You're gonna ROCK!!!!
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I can relate to what you are saying sooo much Aysha (Trish.) More than you will know... and that feeling of "coming home" after a massive binge to that feeling of safety and warmth and love. I can relate so much.

I have said it before that if i had have been kicked out of home I would be dead/prison/institute. I was saved from myself by the support of having something to fall back on ie- supportive family, home etc. Without that I would be 24/7 alcoholic but most proably dead. i would have certainly be on the street. I remember just thinking I wasa gonna pack my bags and go meet up with some vagrants in London and just go drink and if i die, so what, at least I'l be drunk... INSANITY, but thats how my mind alcoholic mind works, i still catch myself at times envying the tramp in a strange kind of way, I used to go talk with the homeless people lots in my past and although most were from such deprived backgrounds I always felt I could relate to many of them and found them great to talk to, I drank with them a few times if I was out on the ****.

I was lost and still feel quite lost at times... I am rambling but thanks for your post. i could relate to it so much.

Thanks.

I also used to feel strange as well and people who I used to go on binges with would often wonder why i chose that lifestyle when most of them weren't from decent backgrounds like mine... I guess I always liked the underdogs/riff-raff in some kind of way and just prefered the company of the Wreckheads.

I think you feel like you do because you are a kind and compassionate person.
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