On July 18, 2017, just a few days from now, I will be celebrating 30 years of continued recovery—primarily from prescription pills and pot. As I look back on these years, what I know for sure is that I definitely feel as if I’ve been born again within this one lifetime.
So how did this happen? Truly, when I first started my recovery from addiction, if anyone had told me that I would someday have 30 years, I would have told them they were crazy. I couldn’t see past my own nose, at that point. I often felt like I didn’t even know my own name, especially in those early days in detox.
And yet, here we are.
The Storm Before the Calm
And the way it happened was simply one day at a time. I made the decision, each day, that I would not use a mind-altering substance during that 24-hour period. As they say in Narcotics Anonymous, I didn’t use even when my ass was falling off. It was indeed simple—just not always easy.
In 1973, I suddenly became very ill and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease—an inflammatory bowel condition with no known cause and no known cure. It can be a very difficult illness to manage—it’s painful, unpredictable, and potentially embarrassing. For many years, I was given prescriptions for valium, oxys, and codeine over and over again, week after week—as much as I asked for. It didn’t take long for my body to become addicted to all of them, although in those days I had no conscious awareness of that.
And then I re-discovered pot and life became easier, as if by magic. [Read more…]