Addict (drugaddict) wrote,

The Great Debate

I have eschewed coffee for some time now, as a regular beverage. I have maybe two cups a year, usually at a nice Italian restaurant with a fancy expresso machine with a fresh made cannoli.  I stopped using tobacco after I got clean, while in detox/rehab, and relapsed after about 3 years- reacting to a relationship difficulty.  I smoked and dipped and chewed for about a year and a half, until the ugliness of the habit overwhelmed me.  I couldn't run up three flights of stairs without being winded (I was a long distance runner in high school-letterman and all that) and got comatose during a particularly rousing sexual session.  The girl thought I had died, and freaked out as she had two johns die on her when she was working.  So I quit, and I have not gone back to smoking or tobacco use since.  It all comes down to how well I have worked the First Step, that is my observation, my experience. 
If I look at my use of anything that makes me "feel good," and the truth of the matter is that the activity really is detrimental to my health, mental, physical or spiritual, then it is my disease resurfacing in a new or repackaged form.  Our literature spoke of us developing new addiction patterns that bring as many problems as before.  This seems to be the flip side of the "total abstinence" vs. "medication" control issue that is all the rage right now.  If we have no opinion (allegedly) regarding medication, then why have one pertaining to voluntary injuries, like tobacco or caffeine uses?  I still refer to the area right outside a meeting entrance as the "Death Zone," I still have trouble breathing when I linger there to chat or hobnob with my suicidal acquaintances.  I don't partake of the coffee, and I make jokes about "...if you drink more than two cups, you'll have to change your clean date...," as we tend to like our brew strong and plentiful.  It is a choice, and we all have a choice to make, every day.  Do I live, or do I die?  I am no longer comfortable with allowing my disease space to kill me any more.  I try to be vigilant and willing to change the things that I can, to look for practical, spiritual solutions to the problems I face daily.  
I have to ask myself, am I living the First Step?  Am I powerless and my life unmanageable because of this situation or this substance or this activity?  I fought for years with my sexual addiction, or rather the sexual aspect of my addiction.  I still want to give over to those desires, to just have fun sex with some woman, no real intimacy, no commitments, no spiritual entanglements.  I cannot do this any longer and justify the behavior.  It cause me too much pain and does not address the fact that I wish to have a real, valid and intimate relationship.  The pleasure does not outweigh the pain. I seek intimacy, not intercourse- I am not willing to settle for less, today.  I deserve better, and the person I wish to share that with deserves the best I can give, my total commitment and devotion.  I need that relationship developed from honesty, openmindedness and willingness.  I want to be a real person, not just look like one.
We can tip toe around the real issue, our disease, and avoid it with rhetoric and self-delusion all we want.  Just like when we were out there using our particular drug, we refused to see the damage and insanity until it nearly killed us.  Sometimes, not much changes, even though we think we have come so far, we really haven't strayed too far from our disease, and we haven't made the real decision to move forward, we haven't developed the discipline to do so.  The Steps are numbered for a reason.  They are an orderly path for recovery from active addiction.  The journey starts, as we all have been told and can read for ourselves, with the First Step.
Marc B.
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