By: Marc McMahon
Since I started seeing my Mental Health Therapist once a week this past month I have again opened up to myself and learned a few things that I have really not given much thought to before. The biggest one I think and this was just revealed to me last night as I stood on my front porch and pondered my existence, my recovery, and the likes. Here is what I learned.
I learned that this could possibly be the first time in all my years trying to recover that I have actually begun to take responsibility for my recovery and my LIFE! I mean for a long time I think I needed something to blame my addiction on. Something that told me there is noway this is your fault, Marc. You are smarter than that, at least smart enough to learn from near catastrophic failures.
I think I needed that even though it was counter-productive to my recovery. I needed it I think because I could not logically grasp what was and what has happened to me or that I caused to happen to me over the years. That there had to be a damn good reason why when I look back in my mind’s eye over my life all I see is heartache and pain and not all mine either. I am far from the victim here I now fully realize. I created as much if probably not more pain in others lives in my addiction than others have inflicted on me.
I’m Owning Up To My Part!
I started therapy on the advice of my Family Doctor, and my past Chemical Dependency Counselor and because I have a bunch of unanswered questions about my childhood that I wanted to get answers to. But you want to know what? My Therapist asked me during our first visit what it was I was trying to accomplish by coming to therapy’ I expressed my feeling about piecing back together the memory’s of my childhood, and to see about getting me some meds maybe to help me sleep more than an hour and a half at a time every damn night.
I also learned this last night on my porch. I learned that I also have had this subconscious desire to uncover some kind of memory that I can point to and say THAT’S IT. That is why I am an addict I knew it, this was never my fault after all, therefore, I don’t have to feel so bad about the people I hurt, stole from, or lied to over the years. I was looking for a damn excuse so to speak. It was the way I was raised, it was because I never met my real dad, blah, blah, blah, blah!
I am calling bullshit this morning on my need to be right, justified, and made to feel at ease about things I don’t necessarily deserve to ever be 100% satisfied with. Though it does not need to hinder growth. I mean seriously, since I have been clean this time I have seen and felt things about my life and recovery that I have never seen before. These things fill in the gaps and answer more of the questions about why am I this way than placing blame on someone or something ever will.
Time To Man UP
My addiction, my life choices over these past 22 years I can really hold only one person accountable for………ME. There are always contributing factors that mix together in the cocktail that Satan uses to create his deadly addiction but ultimately only I can be held responsible for my life. It is not my Moms fault. It is not because I never met my real Dad or that my step-father disciplined with a firm hand. That actually could have kept me in line much longer than I ever would have you just never know. It is not because family members drank and smoke pot around me during my childhood.
Nope, truth be known, it is my fault, if fault figures here. It is admirable that I continued to try and get clean almost every year of my addiction but could not even though I desperately wanted to, or so I thought. But the fact of the matter regarding each one of those recovery attempts, I CHOSE to go back out and use. I knew what was in store for me deep down inside, I knew the flicker of joy it would bring me in the moment and the extended periods of hurt that would follow. Yet I went back every time. When addiction is raging inside of you and you fight it with everything you have at the time and still loose. That may not sound like much of a choice to you, and I never saw it as one before but it sadly kind of is.
All of my life up until I had this revelation last night I have blamed the demon of addiction that lives inside of me as being too strong for me to conquer at those times and to a large extent I still stand firm on that, mine is a BEAST! But I still have a part in that, I never realized that before. Almost like I was treating myself as a damn victim or something taking no responsibility or not enough for my recovery.
I Am Happy Again
Please realize this article is not written out of self- pity or something like that. I am writing this excited at these new revelations, it is liberating to me to be able to say you know what Marc got to hand it to you man, when you screw shit up you sure go all out. To be able to give myself and everyone else I may subconsciously hold responsible for my problems a break. To see it, admit it, then be o.k. with the fact you are no longer like that and keep growing. That is my state of mind right now. I even have my super silly shit-eating grin on my face and its still only 5:39 a.m.
Thank God I never lost that. I feel more growth coming, changes on my horizon. Not physically, but spiritually and mentally. As a person and a friend. In every aspect of my life I think and it is very exciting. It is also very new, and a little awkward and to be honest with you sometimes a little scary as I approach 9 months sobriety praying to God that this is the last time I ever have to go through this.
If I could leave you with some parting advice or words of wisdom that have been shared with me just recently I would tell you this. Give yourself permission to be happy again, the past may not be pretty but it also does not have the power to define you contrary to popular belief. We define ourselves by our actions, with our hearts. Let your new life define you, take this opportunity to revamp yourself from the person you once were in your addiction and make yourself the person you always wanted to become! You can do that its o.k. I checked. There are no written or verbal laws on the books that state a former substance abuser loses their right to fulfill their dreams. Not one.
So what’s stopping you? Lets’ “Git er dun!” I will inevitably see you as we someday soon skip along our yellow brick road. Stay blessed you all I love you!
About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”