Baby Steps Toward Self Actualization

As all of you don't know I've spent the last year in what's known as addiction recovery. For the past nine years I'd been using my body as a testing ground for a plethora of substances of abuse. Heroin and other opiates having a nice five year run followed  by copious amounts of vodka day and night. In December of 2005, surprised by still being alive and having my facilities intact I had a kind of nervous breakdown. Throughout the years I had managed to be marginally functional. I had a succesion of long term relationships, held down jobs, and always had a car. I was hanging onto sanity by weak dental floss though. For the past year i've been through inpatient treatment and have been free of everything but four beers and daily methadone.

      In this past year I've made much progress in regards to self discovery and faced some rather hard truths about myself. For the past 3 weeks these feelings have been at times joyous and at times painful but i've accepted somw basic truths about myself.


      I've always been meek and a bit of a loner. I dropped out of high school when I turned 16. My main impetus for this was that my "shyness" had not made me any friends to speak of. I was lonley, I was the kid that sat on the bench by himself in the courtyard during lunch. I wandered the library when I got too embarrased to sit out there and watch people who went to my middle school avert their eyes when they were with their friends.

        A few months after I dropped out I found a group of outcasts looking for a new member, now i had friends.  I began trying drugs. I soon went beyond my groups self imposed limit of pot and booze. Oxycontin gave me confidence to interact with others, I got a steady girlfriend. I started using more and more. blahblahblahblah... ok i wrote that to write this.

         I've faced some hard truths recently. I have been putty essentially. I made myself what others wanted me to be.. namely girlfriends. In my attempt to connect with people I sacrificed my ideals, left my free will in the broom closet and when the realization tried to seep through I lashed out at the ones I allowed to shape me and shot more dope until I couldn't find any more and broke my hands on the wall...    More on my realizations later.

billypilgrim billypilgrim
31-35, M
9 Responses Aug 17, 2007

Congratulations on your success, also I like your writing, its easy to follow.

My story is about the same but mine ended up with suboxone. There have been days I wondered if it might have been better not to have lived thru it. It is what it is but the isolation make you miss oxy alright. I have tried to figure what is chemically missing to have no self confidence with out it. In treatment they said "endomorphins" so now for 3 years I take vitamins, whey protein, excercise. I am out of bed most of the day now...But, ya... go into panic mode if I have to interact with anyone. Half the time I feel selfconcious in front my dogs even! Best luck to you!

Thanks for an excellent article! I appreciate your insights and agree with what you wrote.

Kudos to you! You are indeed in control of your life now.

Kudos to you! You are indeed in control of your life now.

As an addict myself, I can relate to your experience with "the journey of self discovery". Sometimes hard, sometimes exhilarating....I've been an opiate addict since 1975 (still am),and was a practicing alcoholic between '79 and '99. I am now alcohol free......but I am very partial to a choof. I have smoked dope since 1971 and I probably will till the day that I pull the plug (a few years yet). Drugs are fun as long as one is prepared to cop the unknown ailments of middle and later years..."fun" they are not.

congadulations on your sucessess

i admire in you all the qualities it reqiured for you to reach the point you're at: strength, character, discipline, persistence...and a will to live. i'm not sure if i can ever quit the stuff that's killing me!!! i feel like such a coward! but, then again....self-actualization is a process, right? i mean, are we ever gonna wake up one day and find ourselves "actualized?" my point is that it's a life-long process and maybe i shouldn't feel so bad for where i'm at!<br />
<br />
even though i don't know you, i'm proud of you! you're an inspiration. keep up the good work!!<br />
<br />
(we're only human)

Powerful writing. There's a lot of inner strength, and creativity pushing through on to the page. <br />
Congratulations, if you don't mind me saying so, you've made it through to the next round, aka mature adult.