March 21, 2011
This is a "Goodbye Letter to Addiction(s)" that I wrote on July 8th, 2010 while I was at Pride Institute Intensive Outpatient. It is unedited. I remember reading this out loud in my small group, and the relief I felt when I was done. If you've never taken the opportunity to do this, I encourage you to do so. Writing things out helps me to process through grief and loss ... and to move on.
There's three of you that I need to say goodbye to. Sexual compulsion ... codependency ... but let me start with the one that will kill me first. Crystal meth. I knew about you before I even tried you. The first CMA meeting I ever attended related to a boyfriend I was with. His ex-partner was deeply addicted and in bad shape, so we went to a meeting in support of him. I remember a young guy there talking about wanting to be "poz'd" when he was high. I had never heard this before -- it terrified me at the time. Who knew that just a few short years later, I would be positive, thanks to my first relapse on you ... and being asked by another young guy to poz him.
Crystal -- you're cunning, baffling and powerful. The great deceiver. I used you for the first time in the fall of 2003 -- a result of me losing hope in finding a stable, healthy relationship. I turned to online hookup sites (an addiction I was able to say goodbye to just over a year ago by grace and through recovery) and when I was asked if I had ever smoked you before, I said no. I forgot the foreshadowing I had been given by my Higher Power in that meeting, and didn't think twice about trying you. I loved that you lifted my inhibitions and gave me the feelings associated with falling in love immediately. ... The sex was incredible -- but I just couldn't cum. I tried and tried relentlessly, ending up in a pool of sweat for my efforts. The guy I was with left me a note -- it said "you're a kewl guy -- don't try so hard to cum next time." Nearly seven years later, on May 11th, 2010, I spent seven hours alone, porn magazines strewn across the bed, trying relentlessly to cum, ending up in a pool of sweat for my efforts. It always ended the same way -- from the first time to the last time. The intimacy you promised, was false ... immediate ... and unsustainable.
You stopped working years ago, and for the past three years in recovery, we've become more distant. My visits with you have gone from every few weeks to every few months to as long as 8 1/2 months apart. Somehow, I still chased that first high, forgetting what you take from me when I use, and how little you give back. I forgot my last high, which means it wasn't the last one. But now I have irrefutable evidence of both the payoffs and consequences to using you. It's all there, on paper, so I can never forget where using you takes me. I can't cheat my heart anymore. I raise the white flag -- you win. I cannot use you successfully again. You want to see me dead, and I'm not ready to die. So while I honor the good moments we shared at one time, I have to say goodbye. I surrender to my powerlessness over you, and I will do so each day for the rest of my life. I never have to come down from you again if I don't pick you up. I never have to feel suicidal again. I never have to feel as alone as I did when I last used you.
But I do thank you for one thing. Through you, I've come to recovery, to a way of life I might never have discovered without you. Through this process, my sexual compulsion has lifted to a large degree, and I know that I will use the same tools to work through my codependency issues. So I am a grateful recovering addict -- the whole journey was worth it for the happy, joyous and free life I will lead in sobriety, one day at a time, without you.