If I think about the past eight years of my addiction, the thing that sticks out the most to me is the huge amounts of shame that I had.
I didn't want to be an addict. In fact, it took me just about the entire eight years of the addiction before I finally said that I had an addiction.
There's a huge addiction campaign called #nomoreshame
This is because I wasn't alone in my shame. Most addicts have HUGE amounts of shame that need to be addressed when they decide to get treatment.
In case you don't know, there is a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is the thought, "I did something bad", Shame is the thought, "I am bad".
There is such a stigma around addictions. Here I was, a successful person fighting demons inside that were telling me on a regular basis that I was bad because I was an addict. They would tell me that I was so bad for what I was doing that I didn't deserve to get treatment or to have a happy life. I didn't deserve love from anyone, especially myself because I became an addict. What I didn't realize is that I had fallen into this. I had four surgeries in four years. I was given medications that weren't monitored very well.
The biggest turning point for me when I got treatment was to be able to look at my situation over the past eight years and have compassion towards myself. My addiction no longer defined me. The shame was no longer there. I was doing to best that I could to cope with the issues I had in my life. Taking pills served a purpose for me. They helped me cope when I didn't know how. Now that I have the tools to cope with hard things in life, I no longer need the pills to feel better.
I would like to tell anyone who is silently struggling with anything to look at your situation and have compassion. You were/are doing the best that you can. You are not bad.
By doing these posts, I want to shed light on tough issues like these. I want non addicts to have a direct window into the life of an addict. I want people who are struggling to feel my love and understanding and know they are not alone.
Here are some recovery quotes I found on Pinterest:
I was so high when this pic was taken, that I don't even remember taking it. When I look at this, my heart aches thinking about how much shame I carried.
I especially like the last pic. So true.
I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I have received from writing these posts. Like I said, I really have no idea where they are going, I am just writing as the thoughts come to my head. I will be sharing as much as I am comfortable enough with sharing at the pace that I am comfortable sharing it as well. Love you guys!