“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
? Edgar Allan Poe
It has been awhile since everyone has heard from me. Some still have not heard from me. I thank those who have respected that silence lovingly. My silence is not due to writers block, nor is it due to just having nothing to say. I always tell my friends that God gives me my writing and speaking material through life experiences…I recently had to inform him I had enough material.
The last two months have been a journey for me. A journey I would not wish on any parent. If you read my blog regularly, you are aware that I am of the firm belief that pain is how God gets our attention and the greatest lessons we have yet to learn come to our attention through pain. Pain usually comes around the corner when you think you’ve “got this” and are exactly where you should be with your lessons. God always has a different plan.
For the last 4 years, I have had the challenge of having a daughter who is addicted to heroin and crack cocaine (I write about this with her permission). This is the first time I have written about it…actually, the first time I have had the courage to write about it. In those 4 years I have learned a lot, mostly through pain. We have had our ups and downs, as those of you who are loved ones of addicts know all too well. In January I was blessed with my grandson, who is a beautiful soul and was born an addict. He made it through his time well but his mother did not. My daughter, after spending 28 days in rehab in December returned for another 20 days in March. She is now 36 days clean and we are taking it day by day.
The way I tackle the challenges in my life is through educating myself as much as I can on the challenge I am having. Until recently, I have been in denial and unable to bring myself to even read anything about addiction. What I am learning is quite amazing.
You do not have to be addicted to a chemical or alcohol to be an addict. We are all addicts to some extent, based on my observations. My addiction? Perfection. I have believed, up until recently, that if I were not perfect I was not deserving of love…therefore, I was addicted to any behavior that would help me attain perfection; control, over-working, obsessing over little things, worrying, etc. Of course, none of these behaviors guarantees perfection, but our ego tells us otherwise.
What is your addiction? Control? Sex? Drama? The best way to deal with an addiction is to first become aware that you have a problem, are powerless because of it and admit that your life is unmanageable because of it (Step 1 of the 12 steps to recovery). I am not sure which is harder…being the one with the addiction or being the loved one watching the addiction unfold. What I am seeing is way too many beautiful souls suffering with addiction. Something needs to be done.
In honor of all of those who are dealing with an addiction, either as an addict or as a loved one, the next 12 “Journey Back to Self” blogs will be covering addiction and the 12 steps…with the Chris Sopa spin on them, of course. My hope is that someone will read these blogs who needs help, needs to be understood, needs information or just needs to know that they are not alone.
We are all in this together…let’s tackle this once and for all.
**Reverend Angela Peregoff on why we have limitations and challenges:
“Embracing it is seeing the value in it, being awed by it, extracting the gold from it, and knowing that your limiting belief and the experiences it leads you to are so central to who you are and how you’re evolving that you wouldn’t give it up for anything.”
~Rev. Angela Peregoff
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn.