Picking Up The Pieces From My Past Addiction

Forgiveness means patience and time. Time, I have learned, we can never run out of, especially in recovery.

author-addictionDuring my active addiction my life had become so magnificently unconventional and inappropriate, I don’t think it ever really accomplished itself as a behavior, never mind a life, more like a warm and fuzzy toxic cluck. Life in active addiction had forced me into the death sentence of a futureless future in a black hole accompanied by a life full of heartache and hopelessness. Regret at missed opportunities that I watched pass me by, whilst focusing on the people who had betrayed, damaged and walked out on me, whilst I was slumped over a sink with a needle hanging out of my own arm saying, “What about me?”

My whole persona and identity had become shaped to that of a victim—a victim of my past and of my thoughts. The one who focused on the problem, the hurt, degradation and the humiliation, the girl who tells you her life story over and over again, one of those people in 10 years time who turns into a shoulda, woulda, coulda type of girl if only things had been different.

When I made the choice to change and find out if life had more to offer me than what I had been getting, I had to have hope that there was something bigger out in the world for me. Hope that something bigger was in front of me than what was behind me. For so long my past had been living a daily routine in my head and it was very much alive and voicing its resentments whilst scolding my heart and burning my soul. I had no energy to chase my destiny whilst being tainted with self-pity and crying on the floor, looking backwards and upside down at it all. I had to learn to let the first half of my life go regardless of how painful it would be and how empty I would be at the loss. Active addiction had allowed me to live in my past and it meant that I had no energy to be in the here and now which is where I needed to be to go after a future for myself. And I had come to decide that I quite liked the idea of having a future.

In active addiction, I had given myself full permission to go out and destroy every living cell in my body and rob myself of love, empathy and compassion. By practicing the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous in my daily life I was able to find a purpose to my life and I was able to practice forgiveness. Before I went into recovery I thought the world and his family owed me an apology for the harms done upon me, for the hurt and degradation, the endless abuse and self-loathing. However, I soon learnt that the first person I had to practice forgiveness on was myself. Forgive myself for rejecting and starving myself of love. Until I could learn to forgive myself I was incapable of forgiving or loving anyone else. Read more “the fix”…

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