The only way i could break the hold my addiction had on me was to engage actively with an addiction rehabilitation program. Over 22 years of active addiction, I used every day. There were also many times I swore off with a genuine commitment. I ran around town like a lunatic, stepping on the toes of anyone who crossed my path, causing massive amounts of harm and worst of all, hurting the ones I loved the most. Very quickly I betrayed my values, morals and principles. I did all the things I thought that I would never do. At times I stopped but I couldn’t stay stopped. My behaviours in active addiction were dishonest, selfish, foolish and inconsiderate. The impact on my life was a whole lot of guilt, shame, anger, fear and resentment. My self-esteem was non-existent and I also experienced anxiety, depression and PTSD. My addiction was about taking the edge of my internal conflict and discomfort. I self-medicated my pain. I used both chemicals and behaviours to do this. Both were extremely debilitating to my life, and the lives of the people I cared most about.
It was critical to me to realise with my own eyes that recovery from addiction was possible. Sadly, my mind was so closed to reality.