Learn to Love Yourself

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I was not feeling so well last night, so I woke up this morning and decided to write today. I'm a day behind, but still haven't used. I'm STRUGGLING today though....

In the past, I would have used as soon as I woke up, if I felt like it. Not said a word to anyone and used.  I'm writing now, so my readers know EXACTLY where I am. I will ALWAYS BE HONEST.

I had a few slips in December. Nothing continuous, but I need continuous clean time! It's New Year's Eve and it's going to be a difficult time for me. A lot of people are partying and drinking, I'm glad I don't crave alcohol. Not to say I can drink. The last time I was drinking...

April 24, 2014...I'll never forget that day night. I was catering, my first place of employment down here in the South. They put me in the kitchen to help the Chefs. Once the event was over, the Chefs decided to open up their bottle of Tequila (I believe that was the bottle they brought. It could have been Vodka for all I know, or can remember.) Anyway, I had a few shots with them, shots in plastic cups....so it could have been double shots. Afterwards, I went to drive home, and this is where it gets REALLY FUZZY! It was my first time driving home alone from this venue. I remember they were doing construction on the way home at this circle type thing, like they have in Jersey. Well, the circles in Jersey are brightly lit up. Here, NO LIGHTS AT ALL. (Which is what I told myself, LIED TO MYSELF, why I had the accident.) So, I'm driving down the road....and swerve off of it so forceful that I hit a tree, bounced back and slammed into another tree. If you can picture, my car was stuck between 2 trees. I'm down a hill, have NO IDEA WHERE I AM AT. So I call my fiance, yes, the man I've been putting through hell with my addiction for 7 years at this point. I'm crying, telling him I've been in an accident and don't know where I'm at. (Later he told me that I called him before I left, and he could tell that I was drinking and in no shape to drive home. He said he asked me what the address was so he could come get me. He said I refused saying that I was OK to drive.) Now, he's at home, asleep with our 10 year old boy. He jumps up, calls my sister (she knew where I was working and the route I'd take home.) He calls 911. Thank God man stopped on the side of the road and waited with me, he gave my exact location to my fiance. Needless to say, the police arrived and gave me a field sobriety test, which I could not pass at all. So they asked if I would take a breathalyzer test. I agreed, they arrested me (MY 10 YEAR OLD WATCHING EVERYTHING). Once in lock up, I find out I'm double the limit. Thank God I was wearing my seat belt. Even with, I had a nasty bump/bruise on my forehead from hitting, I'm assuming, the steering wheel. A day later, I was released with a court date. Which I later plead "No Contest" and received 18 months probation, 9 of those months I have a PAM device (Portable Alcohol Monitoring Device) which is costly, 70 hours of community service, court/probation fees, a few classes which are costly AND timely. 


Think again. All I must do is REMEMBER WHERE I CAME FROM as recently as April 24, 2014, and with the help from my Higher Power, I will not drink. Because ALCOHOL IS A DRUG. It might be legal, and anyone who's NOT an addict can probably handle it, but.......

I'M AN ADDICT, and I can not handle Any Mood or Mind Altering Chemicals. Hell, I get addicted to anything,  the computer, cleaning, blogging, whatever. 

Now, I just had a week, right? That day I count from....I didn't get high, but I bought and tried to. That's enough to count as a relapse for me. I eventually threw it out, but being that close is too close for me.

So thank you to my readers. Because today, you just helped me get another day clean.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I'm at my one week anniversary! One week without any chemicals in my body. I've been here before, recently....


I only hope this time I can make it past 2. I told you in the beginning, I was going to be brutally honest. It doesn't get much more honest than that.

Do you know how hard it is to admit in a blog, online, for the world to see that you're on a week? But if I'm not honest right now....I'll relapse.

And I'll do anything to stay clean.


Saturday, December 27, 2014


This is the hardest part about staying clean for me. The past couple days have been a struggle for me. Just life showing up. 

I remember living on South Street in Philadelphia when I was 18, my first apartment. (By the time I was 18 years old I had been getting high everyday for 4 years.) I remember 8:00 am would come around and I'd look outside and see people walking to work or school, hailing cabs,  getting on buses. But I was just coming home from a Rave Party, coming down from whatever drug and thinking,  "How do they do it? How do ALL these people,  get up....go to work....EVERYDAY....and NOT do drugs? How are they living life WITHOUT chemicals?" And, "Why can't I?" 

Well, I know it all started when I was 8 years old and my father died. He recently turned 29 and was not sick, so it was a huge shock for everyone, ESPECIALLY me. I cried so hard and so long, my mother couldn't handle it. She broke down and gave me a valuim,  probably a little piece. But that was the beginning of the end. Now, I don't blame my mom, she was going through her own stuff and did what she thought was right. But that woke up something inside of me...my ADDICTIVE PERSONALITY. So, from then on, when I was sad, I'd take one of those "blue" pills. And when those "blue" pills got me too tired, I found capsules (diet pills, I'm sure) in the medicine cabinet to "wake me up".  So I never learned how to live life on life's terms.

Now we're at present day, 30 years later, and I STILL don't know how to live life on life's terms. If I'm sad, I want an instant fix....when I'm tired, I want an instant fix....I don't know how to deal with situations without the use of chemicals. But I must learn. And I will, 


If I want to break the cycle, and I do, I MUST learn. I believe addiction is part genetic and part environment. So, knowing how much I love my son and knowing I can't change genetics, what CAN I do? I can change how I react in situations thereby teaching my son that you DON'T need chemicals to live. All the while truly showing him love, because I will have

"Learned to Love Myself".

Thursday, December 25, 2014


It's Christmas! And guess who, for the first time in a long time is clean this holiday? ME! It's a wonderful feeling, being here mentally, for my family. It was the best Christmas morning ever. But, like anything, nothing stay perfect forever. The wreckage of my past crept up on me today. I was confronted with 2 huge decisions.

First, I was having a conversation with my fiancé. As I mentioned, this man has been through it with me. And all through my bull, he's been the most loving, supportive, forgiving and faithful man I have ever met. He does not deserve what I put him through during my active addiction. All my lying and sneaking around, all of my manipulation and "just not being the person who he fell in love with". (Because I fell in love with a chemical.) So, I decided to try and get help online. When he asked what I was doing,  I could have lied, once again.  But I'm trying to change my ways and live right. So I told him, "I'm looking for online recovery help." One thing I did not mention was thato this journey I'm taking with all of you, beginning to recovery and learning to love myself.....well...my fiancé did NOT know I recently I had relapsed. Well, he did, but was waiting for me to "come clean". I thought I could just move past this point in my life without making waves. But it looks like I couldn't. So I decided to be honest. That caused an argument. An argument that I can't and DON'T DESERVE to win.


Because EVERYTHING he said was the truth. Not 1 lie, not 1 exaggeration. I hurt him so badly. He can only take so much. Love  CAN NOT conquer all!

So I come to my second dilemma: Do I leave him BECAUSE I love him so much and I don't want to keep doing this to him? CAN/WILL this be my last run? I want nothing more than to be a family. But I also know me. Me as an addict,  I should say. And I'm terrified! What if I can't do this. What if I fall. What Do I do. I don't want to be the cause of his pain any longer.

And after all of that emotion and anxiety, I've made my decision:

WHY am I doing this? WHY am I blogging?? WHY am I reaching out to people with years clean for help?? WHY am I joining online recovery communities?? WHY? 

Because I want to recover, I want to Learn to Love Myself. So that in return I can love others. 

I am on my way, I do not need negative thoughts through out my head. Those thoughts will have me back out there in no time. I can only do this One Day at a Time! 

Just for Today I will not let negative thoughts rule my mind!

And that's all I need "Just for Today". Because yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. All I have is today. And I made it through another one.

Just For Today

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


As my head begins to clear and my medicine starts to work, (when I'm in active addiction I stop taking my mental health medication,) I begin to have good days. Now, I know not everyday will be a good day, but today was awesome! I also know a lot has to do with my medication, but a lot also has to do with me being clean and sober this Christmas.

I've already received much more help than I expected. Janey has been there on a recent bad day. I want so badly what she has.....sobriety for years. But I know I can only get there 1 day at a time.

So,why was my day so good? Because I realized I have EVERYTHING I NEED RIGHT HERE AT HOME! I have the greatest family. The most amazing little boy (who's not going to be little for long). His love alone is what I must remember when I get urges, cravings, crazy thoughts. The thing that scares me is an addict can justify using at any moment:

I'm happy.....I'm sad.....I'm bored.....I'm anything really, and guess who's an addict.

But for right now, tonight, I'm good. And I can't ask for more than that. And my fiancé,  The Most Amazing Man In The World! You would think with all of his support, love and commitment, that I'd never slip. (Slip, what a sugar-coated word for using. ) But again.....any excuse.

Today is a good day though, and there is NO EXCUSE! I do promise, however, to be honest with myself and with you if I do relapse.

I want to thank you for being on this journey with me. It gives me accountability and gives me that extra push I need, as an addict, to be myself.....a recovering addict and not an active one.

(Names have been changed)

Sunday, December 21, 2014


It is true what they say, "You must Learn to Love Yourself before you can love anyone else".
And I desperately want to show my precious son and fiance how much I truly DO LOVE THEM!

Today I want to talk about my disease and what I'm doing about it. When I am in active addiction, I don't even recognize me. I completely neglect myself and my family.

First thing is first....do not be in active addiction. I cannot do this on my own.  I need help from people who are in my support system. So, I begin my journey.  A scary but rewarding journey. There is a reason that I don't love myself enough to remain abstinent for any length of time. I am going to try and find out what it is that I loath about myself so much, that I feel the need to harm myself time after time.

This time I am doing things differently.  I asked for help. Asking for help is a huge first step in recovery.  I admitted that there was/is a problem. (STEP 1)

Janey was very open with me when I met her. She had been recovering from this disease for 6 years now. I would love to get 6 years free from using chemicals, so I decided that she would be the one I turned to for help. Over the next few days I'm getting my N/A books out and I'm going to read. I need to figure out this disease so I can begin to love myself again.

My family has been through so much with this disease. My fiance has been the most supportive person in my life. I don't know what I would've done without him all these years. But he is only human, and there is only so much he can take before love just isn't enough.  He's shown me love, support and commitment time and time again. I only wish that one day I can show him the love and respect he deserves from me. I don't mean to be this way. There is something wrong with the way my brain works. Besides the disease of addiction, I have mental illness as well. I'm not making excuses,  just stating facts.

(Names have been changed.)

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Most people either know someone, are related to or are an addict Addicts...Wow, what a stigma. What do you think when you hear that word? A poor person living in the inner city, full of crime, maybe even on the street? Dirty needles and drug paraphernalia? Someone you wouldn't give the time of day for? Well, I would like to open you eyes by the end of this post. Addiction is a disease many people live with. There is no know cure for this disease, only a chance of remission/recovery. The disease itself will never go away. But as addicts we have a chance of living a normal productive life as a contributing member of society. 
The first thing I'd like to talk about is addiction as a disease. Once an addict, always an addict...BUT that does NOT mean we must be active addicts. addiction can be put into remission and we CAN recover.
The second thing I'd like to talk about, is this disease cares nothing about color, social status or financial wealth. Addictions come in many forms. From workaholics, to food addicts, to drug addicts and alcoholics. 
The third is the stigma..Addicts are liars, cheaters and flat out "BAD"  people. 
First of all, addiction is a disease I know all too well about. From immediate family to myself. Addiction doesn't have a face. It doesn't care about you high class neighborhood with your exclusive friends. It can attack the upper class man with the beautiful wife, house, kids, perfect life, right? Until he begins to hires an escort on the side because he is addicted to sex. Food is an addiction, work, exercise, dieting. Anything that can be done in excess. An addict's brain takes everything to excess. For instance me. Sure, I can get hooked on illegal substances in the blink of an eye. But my disease is much more than an addiction to one substance, or one area. My disease will show up in all areas of my life. For example, I could work real hard not to use any illegal substances. And that may work for a while. But the root of my disease....I have a void, a dis-ease in my life. And this is NOT something that can be fixed externally. This is a problem I have inside of me. A problem only I can fix. Not a new boyfriend, not a great job with great pay. Not shopping, Not sex. I've learned, using drugs is only a SYMPTOM of my disease. The disease will tell me to do anything and everything I can think of to take myself "Outside" of myself. Plain and simple...I am unhappy with me. Not my boyfriend, not my job, not anything but me. And I've come to realize, once I put down the drug...which was numbing my pain from this void, I start to feel intensely, all the pain, hurt, guilt and shame from me using. And it hits me all at once. So, if I am not starting to work on myself at this early stage, or at least learn AND USE coping mechanisms for Life on Life's Terms, the end result will ALWAYS be a chemical relapse. Maybe at first, I might use shopping or sex, but eventually THAT will weigh on my conscience and I'll want to numb my feelings and emotions.....so I go back to the only thing I know that works....DRUGS. Now....on the flip side. A RECOVERING ADDICT. One who is living right, working on themselves (with a mentor-not alone), well....this scenario I just painted could very possibly end different. Coping skills are huge in recovery. Addicts (I) use because I can not do what everyone else seems to be able to do.... handle Life on Life's Terms. Something everyone else seems to do easily too. What happens with an Addict, (besides the genetic aspect,) at an early age there is usually some type of trauma we never learned to work through. From Parental divorce, to death, to abuse. Even witnessing abuse. We think we were too small to remember or have it affect us. we don't get the proper help, and we self medicate. No one says "I wanted to be an addict when I grow up". This disease does not care if you are White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, male, female, transgender, straight, gay, bi, transsexual, rich, poor, from the Upper East or Lower West. GOT IT? This is a human disease, again, for which there is NO KNOWN CURE, only the chance of recovery. We will always have the disease of addictions, but remission is possible. There is no vaccine. DO NOT think you are immune. It's cunning and baffling and will sneak up when you least expect. We are very intelligent people. We figure out our issue (pain) and we learn how to make ourselves feel better. Self medicate. We are resourceful people and extremely talented. We are very creative too. Imagine if we put all of our energy, ways to make money and living off of nothing, and all our desires, in to something good instead of something negative. we'd change the world! We are kind hearted and compassionate people. We DO make bad choices, but most of those bad choices are a result of our disease, not who we really are. If you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to post. Being an addict has given me the amazing gift of an open mind. I take criticism well (I'm not a push over, I will stand up for myself). But I would love to hear your thoughts, wheather you agree or disagree. Thanks!