Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ask Judith: What Was the Hardest Part?

Q. What was the most difficult part of recovery?

A. The hardest part was learning that recovery meant that I had to stop for good. Completely quit. I stopped so many times, but eventually the idea would come to me that I could do just a little bit and still remain in control. Of course, that's a laughable idea. The whole thing about addiction is that it controls you, not the other way around. I had to take responsibility for my actions and fight through the cravings so that I could stay stopped. The thing about being an addict is that you can't do it halfway. You either give yourself over to the drug, or you cut it out of your life and avoid it at all costs.

When fresh cravings hit, nothing else seemed to matter. I'd fail to follow through on plans I'd make just for the sake of making sure I could score a baggie of the stuff that was ruining my life. Of course, I didn't see it that way at the time. It was definitely a case of the heart being willing but the flesh being weak. I wanted to rebuild my life with my friends and family. I wanted to quit, but the hardest part was teaching myself to behave as a person who wanted to quit. You know what they say about "if it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck..." well, if I acted like an addict and behaved as an addict, I still was one. That was a difficult phase to break through.

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