I’m Not an Addict, I’m Chemically Challenged

March 28, 2010 — 1 Comment

Was it hard for you to admit that you were a drug addict or alcoholic? It wasn’t very hard for me to admit it to myself. That part actually came pretty easy. It was saying it out loud to another person that I found difficult.

I would try to think of different ways of stating the fact that I’m an addict. I’m prone to addictive behavior or I’m afflicted with the disease of addiction…I’m chemically challenged (that one is my favorite). I guess this was when I still felt shame about being an addict. Now that I have left the shame behind, got a little more educated about everything and stopped thinking of myself as a bad person…I’m an addict.

Everyone has their own story and my story isn’t really that much different. There was a long time between me realizing that I was addicted to drugs and me telling anyone else that I was addicted to drugs. I guess that is how it goes though. Once you are able to truly admit that you have an addiction problem and you need help, you can be on your way to recovery.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, if you choose to share with the group you raise your hand and then it’s your turn you introduce yourself. I say “hi, my name is blah blah and I’m an addict”. It just goes to show that even the littlest things about these meetings are helpful. Admitting out loud to a group of people that you are an addict is very powerful.

When I first began in recovery sometimes I believed myself when I introduced myself as an addict and sometimes I didn’t. I would go in and out of being in touch with my problem. Sometimes I really “got it”, those were great times. I felt I got the most benefit out of NA meetings during those times. Sometimes I didn’t “get it”, those were not so great times. I would sit and think about how in the future I would be able to use this or that again because I didn’t really have a problem, I was just saying I did because that was what I was supposed to do. I was basically daydreaming about controlling my use.

Finally at one of my meetings I shared what was going on with me. How I didn’t always think of myself as an addict how sometimes I just don’t “get it” the same as other times. I looked around as I was speaking and I saw a lot of people nodding their head, smiling and some kind of chuckling. It dawned on me that these people also shared these same feelings in their early recovery. They knew exactly what I was talking about because this is what addicts go through. I felt such relief. There advice to me was so simple, “keep coming back”.

That is what I do, I keep coming back. I do what the winners do.

One response to I’m Not an Addict, I’m Chemically Challenged

  1. I think I first sensed that i was similar to the people in the rooms, there were a few special ones that went out of their way to try to help me feel welcome and see the error of my ways ( we were all bussed in from a rehab centre), and i began to feel a kinship with them.

    However I still absolutely believed that i was just having a good time, as all young men do, and that all this noise in the background from school’s, family, legal, incidents, etc were just that a noise and that they’d pipe down in time.
    I found it incredibly hard to share ANYTHING AT ALL, and even introducing myself in the round robin that kicks off some of the meetings in South Africa i had trouble saying my name and said i was ‘an addict’ just to fit in!

    Conceding to my innermost self and others that I was beaten,,, took a little longer.


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