Below, I’ve listed a few questions people have frequently asked me. If you have other questions that I haven’t answered in this blog, please feel free to reach out, and I’ll do my best to answer.
What Is Withdrawal Like?
Horrible, but short. If you’ve had the stomach flu for three days, you can deal with short-term withdrawal. There are body aches, nausea, and tremors. Your nose will run like you have a terrible cold, and your skin will feel like there are spiders crawling underneath. But all of this passes.
I firmly believe that anyone in any circumstances can push through the first few days of withdrawal. The truly difficult part of recovery is maintaining sobriety afterward. Three days of intense discomfort is temporary, but the constant temptation to use, the knowledge that you can just get high at any point and this or that problem will go away? That’s forever, and that’s why recovery is a lifelong process.
How Do I Join A Group?
Go to a meeting. I’m serious. It’s that simple. When I first went, I was ashamed, and now I don’t even know why. Why would I be ashamed when I’m meeting with a group of fellow addicts?
If you’re using, you probably have friends who use. Do they judge you? Of course not. They use too. The same goes for groups. Everyone in your local Narcotics Anonymous group is an addict. Every single one of us has felt the crushing grip of addiction, and every one of us has something to be ashamed of. Some have used meth, others have been enslaved to crack, and others like me have spent years “chasing the dragon”. Many of us have lied, cheated and stolen to support our addictions. No matter what you’re addicted to, no matter how worthless you may feel, there are others who have felt the same way, and who want nothing more than to help others rebuild their lives.
What Do I Do To Stay Sober?
Everyone has their own strategy, and you’ll hear many of them in group meetings. Some people focus on their career, others on hobbies. I’ve personally found strength in helping other addicts recover.
The common theme here is the purpose. If your only goal is getting high, simply abstaining from drugs is a failing strategy. I can’t personally tell you what your purpose should be, because I don’t know you.
What I can tell you is that recovery is an ongoing process, and that purpose comes from other people. Ask yourself, who do you care about? Then, whatever the answer, see what you can do to help those people. When I started seeing myself as someone who could help, someone who could build others up, I had a reason to stay clean.