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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Step 2

Some of you may remember that i'm engaged in a 12 step program of recovery from drug addiction, to read what i had to say about step 1, follow the title link. This is what i've been writing to help cristalise my thought around step 2:
“We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
p. 17 NA Basic text ISBN 0-912075-02-3
This time around, I believe that more has been revealed. With that in mind, I suspect that my thinking has been disordered ever since I can remember, even as a very young child. Whether or not it would qualify as insanity, I’m not sure, but what I am certain of is that my personality was such that the first time I used a mood altering substance, I was an addict and from there on in, I had no choice but to continue using until it became clear to me that drugs were making my problems worse, not better.

For this, I have the fellowship of NA [Narcotics Anonymous] to thank. It was there, working through various individuals, groups and sub-committees telling and showing me that there was another way. When I did finally get clean, without a 12 step program, and thus had a choice over what to do next, it was still there. A power greater than myself. Since then I have achieved a level of conscious contact with a spiritual Higher Power, a Goddess of my understanding, but I chose to go my own way and finally relapsed. [i attended regularly for 3 years, staying drug-free and doing very well, but stopped participating and went back to drugs after a further 2 years]

I have experienced a degree of sanity in recovery and I have every reason to believe that I am now and will again. I do not believe, however, that this time it will be about ‘restoring’ but rather rebuilding. Hopefully, a process of continuous re-evaluation of my attitudes and beliefs, with the help of my sponsor [a person with more experience who helps me work the program], other recovering addicts and the security of knowing that I am fortunate enough to be looked after by my HP.

Now, to the present: there will be many of you who are cynical about spirituality, i know i was and can still be, at times. All i can do is tell you about my experience and hope that you have, at least, enough sense to read with an open mind. Yes, it's entirely possible that everything that has happened in my life is purely by chance and that the times where i have felt a direct contact with something that i cannot explain, within the model of current science, was a hallucination. If you had any notion though of the amount of times that my life has been saved by some seemingly random action taking me out of harm's way or even just being resuscitated after consuming vast quantities of drugs, you might well agree that i have led a charmed life.

Believe me when i tell you that i'm not on about your run-of-the-mill dangerous activities here either. A lot of people like to say things like, "I'm crazy!" Or my personal favourite, "I'm mad for it!" When what they actually mean is that, within the safety of their peergroup, they occaisionally find some benefit in doing or saying something a little contraversial. I'm talking about the kind of things that happen on a regular basis during 16 years hard drug abuse and criminality. Clinical personality disorders, insane people trying to murder me and The Rozzers on my case 24/7. In fact i could fill this blog with war stories of amazing coincidences, weird goings on and remarkably lucky escapes (a small portion of it is forming the novel i'm writing), however, i'm going to limit myself to just one thing that happened last sunday night.

I'll preface by saying that i haven't consumed anything directly mood altering for 5 months (to 05/11/05), however it's true that i am taking a serotonin enhancer Mirtazepine and, whilst it has been giving me weird dreams, i was wide awake the other night, having just switched my Mac off and lay down on my bed. So far it hasn't been responsible for any hallucinations, but rest assured, if i do start having any, you'll hear about it here.

So, i'd been thinking about how frightened of giving up smoking i am (because last time i did it, in '98, it nearly drove me to using heroin again). The fear seemed quite overwhelming and so i resorted to The Serenity Prayer:
Goddess grant me the serenity
to accept the things i cannot change,
the courage to change the things i can
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Full unadapted text attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr

As i was saying it, eyes closed, i felt a sharp rap on the top of my skull like somebody had knuckled me, but it didn't hurt. This was accompanied by a vision which i'm not going to go into, partly because it faded so fast that i can only just remember it, partly because it's private: bugger off and get your own conscious contact with spirituality. I'm serious, do it DLA's... i've been on a chilled one ever since, smoking less, doing my stepwork, eating well and without the never-far-away sense of impending doom which has characterised much of my life without drugs. As a starting place, i'd suggest this as a meditation:
imagine yourself on the planet Earth
hurtling through space
you are a tiny speck on it's surface
feel how enormous the sphere is beneath you
you are almost nothing at all
and yet your mind encompasses so much
First one to see God get's a free iPod! Want an iPod now?

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Blogger H5N1 said...

Careful with that one, you might give the Jesus-freaks ideas! It's bound to happen sooner or later - go on the Alpha Course, get a free ipod...

Oh wait, no there is only one god for ipod owners and his name is Steve Jobs.

Joking aside, a really interesting post though...

10/11/05 01:38  
Blogger edjog said...

That's fucking brilliant, dude!
I am actually chuckling out loud, more, give me more, i'm an addict for fuck's sake!

10/11/05 06:37  
Blogger edjog said...

Actually, i was thinking more along the lines of Steve Wo-teverhisfuckingnameis-ak. He was the technical dude, eh?

10/11/05 07:12  
Blogger H5N1 said...

Steve Wozniak I think.

By the way, regarding the smoking:

Seriously recommend the Alan Carr book, 'Easyway to give up smoking.'

Well worked for me anyway, but best of luck - it's a tough one, but if you keep on trying you'll find a way to kick it in the end. (Unless of course it kills you first ;) )

14/11/05 22:06  
Anonymous some_maineiac said...

this was the hardest step for me, even harder than admitting that i was powerless over my addictions...not being the religious sort, the references to God really stuck in my craw, as i thought of all the inhumanity to others that has been perpetrated in His name...

but they changed "the book" slightly to phrase it "a power greater than ourselves" which can be a goddess or The Creator of the Universe or The Great Spirit or whatever it means to me and that suits me just fine...

15/1/06 11:31  
Blogger homeslide D said...

hey i have a blog just on this step and the tradition to

14/3/06 06:30  
Blogger homeslide D said...


14/3/06 06:34  

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