12 Step Planet - Mike - Addict
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Mike - Addict , Stories about addiction and recovery, Clean and Sober life styles

My name is Mike and I am an addict. I am 22 years old I am from Northern New Jersey and I have been clean since Oct. 20 2009 . That clean date is the date that I surrendered and came back from a relapse since then I have not found a reason to use. NA has given me a reason to live and that reason is to carry the message that No addict seeking recovery needs to die from the disease of addiction and that any addict can stop using, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.   I grew up in a normal middle class family with my mother, father and younger brother. I had everything I ever wanted and was always provided for. But from when I can remember I always felt different like I had missed something that everyone else knew, which leads me to believe that I was an addict way before I pick up the drug. I always needed to be the center of attention from the moment my brother was born and there are video tapes to prove it. When I was younger I remember staying after school and one of my schoolmate had a pokemon card that was all shiny and was the best card out there and I didn't have it, but I wanted it. So being the good addict I am, always looking for instant gratification, I stole that card. I remember it feeling so good to finally have it and not have to pay for the pack of cards to try and get it. I liked that feeling so I did it over and over again and never suffered any consequences. This is where the self centered behavior started. Now when I was 13 years old my younger brother was diagnosed with leukemia. My parents always had to focus on him and take care of him. Well once the focus was off me I didn't know what to do so I started acting out in school so that I would get the attention. At this point I started smoking pot because my friends were all doing it and there was never any one home so we could all get high at my house.   The progression of my disease went from smoking a few days a week to an everyday occurrence with-in a month. At this time I was also drinking beers with the guys in the woods having a good time. This was when using was fun everyone would get drunk have a good time and Monday we would all exchange stories about who did what. Well in the following year I was introduced to pharms (opiates) and I fell in love. For once there was something that I thought made me fell whole. I thought I found something that made me the person I always wanted to be funny, able to talk to girls, outgoing, and life of the party. At first it did but I was wrongly mistaken. The progression was fast from 1 perk 5mg a day, to 20mg a day, to an oxy 40mg a day, to 80mgs a day, to multiple oxy 80's day. I was able to graduate high school and get a diploma but with very low grades. When I graduated I had plans to go to school to become a marine mechanic.   In august of 2007 right after I had graduated and right before I had left for school my brother passed away at 14 years old due to a brain tumor. At this point my addiction went full swing. I used at the funeral I never cried a tear I just numbed myself the only way I knew how to, to use. After his death I still went to school and I moved away to Daytona Beach , Florida . When I left for school I told myself that I was going to stay clean, at this time my definition of clean was drinking and smoking weed. I remember moving into my house and not being able to move from being sick but I roughed through it and got through the 3 days of being sick. It was 2 weeks before I started school and I had a few ounces of weed and access to booze and I was happy. Then my first day of school I just happened to hear a guy all the way across the shop say oxycotin and my ear perked up and I found my new best friend and off to the races I went. While I lived in FL I used everything on a daily basis I needed to drinking a shot in the am to get rid of the shakes followed by a line of coke to wake me up, followed by some oxy so I didn't get sick, and then I’d smoke a joint and chew some xanax to calm me down. This was a day to day occurrence just to maintain. Mind you at this point of my life I am 18 years old. Now I did pass my class and get my diploma but 3 months longer then intended being as I didn't make it to class everyday because I was too fucked up. After school I came home to NJ, because I couldn't support myself and my addiction. I was able to find a job in the career path I was looking for, and I was sure this was going to fix my life.   Needless to say the job, car, and girl didn't fix anything. The progression had gotten so bad that I started selling drugs and not to soon there after I became my best customer. So then I had to start stealing to support my habit and so I could pay back drug dealers. I remember getting paychecks that were gone the second I got them so that I could buy a package in hopes to sell it all to pay back this dealer and in the long run it all caught up to me and the price was so high for oxy's that I had to upgrade to heroin. I remember telling myself that as long as I don't shot it I’ll be fine. But my addiction didn't take much time and with in months I was shooting dope I was penny-less (25k in debt), jobless, and about to be homeless. After the umpteenth time in a detox my parent finally got sick and tired of my BS so with tears in there eyes they gave me 2 options the streets or complete a 30day program.   Even though I was unwilling I went to the 30-day program in Hollywood FL. I went there to make my parents happy so I wasn't doing it for me and it clearly showed. After getting in a fight with a councilor and punching a hole in the wall I told myself I was going to leave, I packed my bags, changed my flight, called a cab to pick my up at 10pm , and was going to meet my dealer in the airport at 2am . In the meantime a friend of mine told me to go and hear the in house speaker and for whatever reason I did. The speaker Joey asked, "By a show of hands, who wants to be here?" no body raised their hands, “ok, so who's going to do anything about it?" I had an overwhelming feeling and raised my hand and unfolded my plot. He responded with " I wasn't expecting that I want you to sit hear and listen to my story and talk to me after the meeting." Joey proceeded to tell my story with two differences he smoked cracked and it took him 42 treatment centers to get clean. He used just the way that I did and he told my story and I didn't want to have to go to 42 different treatment centers to get clean and I had already been in 6. So after the meeting I went to talk to him and he handed me $5.00 and said' "You can do 3 things with this money, you can go down to home depot and buy yourself a shovel and start digging yourself a grave, you could pay the cab drive to get you to the airport, or you can buy a calling card and call me everyday until you leave." With that he handed me the $5.00 and a piece of paper that said don't go and had his number on it. I choose to stay and buy the calling card and called him everyday. When I got home to NJ I went to an IOP as suggest by my rehab. I went to meetings, got a sponsor, got a commitment, and found an ego. All of a sudden my life got good and I thought I was "THE SHIT" and then I started to work Mike's program. Now I said I got a sponsor I never used him, I never picked up the phone, and I hung out with people I used to use with, and was still living dirty (stealing). Another suggestion I had heard was to not get involved with the newcomer "give the newcomer a chance, keep it in your pants" well I figured I was a newcomer so that didn't apply to me. So I got involved with a girl who had a week clean and I had 5 months clean at this time. She decided she was going to hook up with my best friend, and I decided that I didn't like the way that made me feel. So when I don't like the way I feel what do I do best? USE. I told myself "JUST ONE" and anyone who admits to being and addict know that there is never such thing as just one. Well two days and 60 bags later I found myself in a meeting high trying to play it off as I was clean and tried to chair the meeting while I was clearly nodding out. I was pulled to the side by my support group and they hugged me and told me to stay and to just keep coming. They took me out to the diner and loved me when I couldn't love myself. I left the diner and picked up my old using buddy and we went and robbed the dope man. I am so grateful that the stuff we robbed was cut and caused me to OD, because that was the proof that I needed, that I can not use successfully no matter what. This disease wants me dead and I can no longer deny that.   When I came to the next morning I knew that I had to make it to the meeting that night and share about it. I went and surrendered with my head down and as I walked back to my seat a member said "keep you head up you made it back." They all welcomed me back and told me to keep coming and they truly loved me until I was able to love myself. After the meeting I got a new sponsor and he told me to call him everyday for the next 30 days and I did. At this point I was willing to do what ever I had to stay clean. Everyday I called 3 addicts, prayed, went to a meeting, shared, and worked on myself. Once I got some clarity I started working my step because I was told the only guarantee against relapse is working the 12 steps. I also got involved in service because I was told those who get in the center of this program won't fall off the edges and coffee makers don't get high.   Today my life is beyond my wildest dreams I always you to think the older timers were crazy when they would teller me "don't worry it will get gooder!" and today I know what they meant by gooder. With over 2 years clean I still attend 5-7 meetings a week, I am heavily involved in service, I live the principles embodied in the steps, I am I sponsee and yes I call my sponsor everyday, I am a sponsor, I am a son, I am a friend, I am accountable, I am an employee, I am a productive member of society, I am honest, and I am ME. I never thought there would come a day that I would feel comfortable in my own skin. Nut one day at a time when I continue along this process anything is possible. I like to over empathize that the solution to the spiritual, mental, emotional, physical disease that we have is the 12 steps. In my area the step are over looked with a minimum of concern and maybe those people aren't addicts and that's not for me to decide. But for me I had to change or I was going to die there was no way I would be able to continue not using if I was unable to forgive myself for what I had done in active addiction. I love the suggestion WORK THE STEPS OR DIE MOTHER FUCKER!   I hope someone got a message from me experience, strength and hope. Don't use no matter what, go to a meeting, get honest, and do the work. My names mike and I am an addict.