No pill is gonna cure my ills…

IMG_20150302_160237077I knew with certainty that I was a teen alcoholic, not the kind that wrecked cars, slapped girls or wanted to fight.. I wanted to dance all night and pass out on your couch… after I spent hours hugging everyone and letting the world know “I love you, man” … I’m an irritating drunk.  Why did it take me 30 years to figure out no one likes “that guy”? Honestly, he’s a lonely guy to be …

At 16, my wisdom teeth were removed by a dentist that was also a friend of the family. I left his office that day with a prescription for 90 Fiorinal #3 (butalbital & codeine) with three refills. I believe somewhere between the first and second dose I realized I would never go a day again without painkillers… I loved them … I loved everything about them …. and I would do anything necessary to get them. For the next 30 years, every second of every day was devoted to getting and taking prescription drugs.

Anyone who is an addict or alcoholic will tell you maintaining a drug habit is the 5D3FF105-7A84-4115-9363-CE2F6029F001hardest job on earth. It does not take a day off … it does not care that you are physically and emotionally sick… it does not give a damn about your kids or family. You will do whatever is necessary to keep it under control. The nauseating part is watching your soul die a little more every day as you do things you never dreamed you’d be capable of doing. It is a nightmare that ends in one of two ways … recovery or death. Those are the only options. It is black or white. There is no grey.

I believe my first moment of clarity was when I learned addiction is a disease. It is not a sin or the devil controlling a person or a weakness of character. It is a sickness. Nothing more … nothing less. People that have the disease aren’t bad people needing to act “good”. We are sick people needing to get “better”.

I have to think of it this way…

If I’m a diabetic … I have a disease that if not controlled will kill me. I will always have the disease. If I am aware that I am a diabetic and I eat a box of Moon Pies and wash it down with 2 liters of Mountain Dew… I’ve screwed up. If I go into a sugar coma as a result of my action and die … I am responsible for my death. It’s not my responsibility that I was a diabetic. I didn’t ask for it.  It was my responsibility not to eat the Moon Pies and Mountain Dew. That’s all I have to do is realize there is a wonderful life if I’m willing to be a part of it … I want to dive head first into that life! I want to live without the “Moon Pies” that used to control me…

No one has to suffer from addiction alone. There is help available … you just have to reach out. I’d love to hear from you…

This is my journey… this is my life

Rob Cantrell