11 Years clean

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smutek
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11 Years clean

Post by smutek » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:41 am

Well then, it just gets better and better each year. I've now been clean and sober for 11 years.

Still by far the best decision I've ever made in my life.

8)

I woke up on the morning of November 19th, 1999 and decided I was done. I had nothing to my name but a book bag with a couple pairs of jeans and a desire to stay clean. Today I'm married to a beautiful girl and have a beautiful 4 month old son, I own a home, have a car, am meaningfully employed, and am in school.

Literally, was homeless 11 years ago at the moment.

Amazing how quickly my life started to improve. It just worked.

8)

Rave
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by Rave » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:47 am

Props man. U fully deserve it :)

Tarekith
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by Tarekith » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:03 am

That's awesome man. Was there any one thing that triggered that, or just a culmination of things?

leedsquietman
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by leedsquietman » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:05 am

Well done and wishing you continued success in your sobriety.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

alex.the.forge
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by alex.the.forge » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:20 am

nice work man, that's inspiring.

Still working on it here.

My Psych told me a good analogy yesterday that has kind of stayed with me a bit.

A guy noticed a cocoon hanging on his verandah. One day a split started to form in it and he can see the butterfly is starting to try and break out, but after a while it stopped and nothing happened for a while, so the guy took his pocket knife and cut open the cocoon so the butterfly got out, and he took it in his hand and put it down on the table. It just stayed there, alive, but not moving or doing anything. He fed it and kept it alive for as long as he could, but it never left the spot and eventually died.

Afterwards he found out that in order to be able to fly butterflies need to go through that process of struggling out of the cocoon to build the necessary strength in their wings, so by cutting it out he had actually prevented it from being able to survive in the world.

The link being, booze and drugs are like cutting the cocoon open and the shit we use it to escape from is actually the shit we need to go through. It may not be easy, but that's really the point.

Out of interest - when you took the big step, did you do rehab, or did you just do it outpatient with NA/AA?

dum
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by dum » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:30 am

Fascinating.

You'd think after 11 yrs you could just close that chapter, you're obviously not 'over it' if you're still counting the years and blogging about it. Those who truly beat their addiction don't bask in it's shadow.
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

smutek
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by smutek » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:59 am

Thanks fellas!

@ Tarekith -

It's hard to pinpoint but I think I would have to say it was a culmination of things and I finally just got tired of it.

I started partying when I was 14. Drinking and smoking weed mostly, eventually started taking acid and eventually got to the point where I was willing to experiment with pretty much anything. I was just a party kid really, I was stoned and wasted a lot but for the most part I stayed out of trouble. I had experimented with it, but I started dabbling more with heroin when I was in my early 20's. Sometime around the end of '93, beginning of '94 I pretty much went off the deep end, started shooting dope and pretty much lost everything. Spent the next 5 years living in various spots - mostly in the ghetto's of east Baltimore. Sleeping on floors in shooting gallery's and stuff like that.

I think that once things get to this point it's pretty hard to deny there's a problem - so pretty much all of those last 5 years I wanted to stop but couldn't. In retrospect, most of those 5 years was spent trying to find a way to get back to the place where I could just smoke weed and drink. I thought I had to have something - once I realized that I didn't have to get high it became pretty easy.

So, basically, it was this huge mind fuck but it just boiled down to a simple choice followed by action. The last night I got high was not unlike any other, just another night of me fucking up my life. I woke up that next morning and the very first thing that went through my mind was "I don't want to do this anymore", but for the first time it was really for me - and I haven't drank or done drugs since.

@ Forge - that's a cool analogy.

I'd been to rehab 4 times, 3 detoxes, in the psych ward 5 times, and 2 separate stints in jails. None of it ever worked. I was locked up from January '98 until January '99. I think that year off of the street helped me a lot. Once I got out I moved into a recovery house and got involved in NA. It still took 11 months of me slipping up here and there, getting high, getting kicked out of recovery houses and moving into new ones. I never went off of the deep end though, and I think for me the important thing was that I hooked up with a group of people that had also just came into NA to get clean and we all became close friends. Having lost so much already I really didn't want to lose this new crew of friends.

Out of that crew of people a few didn't make it and are no longer alive. A few more relapsed here and there, but most of us are doing well and are still clean.

Getting clean was both the most difficult and the easiest thing I've ever done. In the end it boiled down to me realizing, and internalizing on a deep level, that I don't have to get high. Once I really realized this it came down to a simple decision not to use.

From this point I just became really involved in NA. I was really into it the first 3 or so years, helped start a few groups, held positions in those groups and did various service work.

2 of my close friends from my little crew and I, we actually threw a clean rave for a couple of years that did pretty well. We even started getting club kids coming who weren't recovering addicts because our party was just about the music and the dancing. It was killer, eventually my 2 buddies relapsed, one of them died and the whole thing kind of fell apart.

But yeah, I was really involved with NA the first few years - eventually my involvement in NA became less and less and was replaced by things like work, school, family... I still go to the occasional NA meeting and still am a member of a home group though.

@ dum -

Totally get what you're saying, however it's not a chapter that I want to close and I don't think I will ever be 'over it'.

For me this isn't at all a bad thing though. Those experiences played a huge role in making me who I am today - and I'm still an addict, I'm just not using today.

I guess maybe it's kind of like that old saying, "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it". Maybe this is true, maybe it isn't, I'm not sure. I do know that by openly sharing this stuff over the years I've had quite a few opportunities to help other people, which is cool.


squelcht
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by squelcht » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:10 am

@Smutek - You are an inspiration to us all my fellow ying brother.

smutek
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by smutek » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:23 am

Thank you for those kind words.

8)

dum
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by dum » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:49 am

smutek wrote:@ dum -

Totally get what you're saying, however it's not a chapter that I want to close and I don't think I will ever be 'over it'.

For me this isn't at all a bad thing though. Those experiences played a huge role in making me who I am today - and I'm still an addict, I'm just not using today.

I guess maybe it's kind of like that old saying, "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it". Maybe this is true, maybe it isn't, I'm not sure. I do know that by openly sharing this stuff over the years I've had quite a few opportunities to help other people, which is cool.
It isn't. You're still letting your lifestyle choices define your personality. And those are the kinds of personalities that really sicken my arse. Just because you can find some emo-cripples on the internet to give you some high-fives don't make it right.

:wink:
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

smutek
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by smutek » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:46 am

It is, because I say it is, and that's pretty much where it ends for me.

My experiences are my own, and the same goes for the way I choose to deal with them, talk about them, share them, stay under them, get high fives for them, or whatever else you'd like to say.

I appreciate your input, but it's kind of a drag to me to hear that my personality sickens you.

:?

dum
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by dum » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:09 am

smutek wrote:It is, because I say it is, and that's pretty much where it ends for me.
Actually - you said "maybe it isn't" and that you weren't sure. Am I to take it that's not really what you meant ? Are your words as hollow as the lip-service you so plainly seek ?

No need to take it personally, it's just the archetype that sickens my arse. Dry-addicts are not unique snowflakes.
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

smutek
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by smutek » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:28 am

dum wrote:
smutek wrote:It is, because I say it is, and that's pretty much where it ends for me.
Actually - you said "maybe it isn't" and that you weren't sure. Am I to take it that's not really what you meant ? Are your words as hollow as the lip-service you so plainly seek ?

No need to take it personally, it's just the archetype that sickens my arse. Dry-addicts are not unique snowflakes.
Actually, my bad. I read it like this -

...I do know that by openly sharing this stuff over the years I've had quite a few opportunities to help other people, which is cool.

It isn't. You're still letting your lifestyle choices define your personality.


I thought you were just trying to be provocative and I didn't notice that you were referring to the parts of my post that you had highlighted in bold. I guess it was more of a knee jerk reaction.

No worries, I'm not taking it personally and I do appreciate your input, as I've said.

We just have differing outlooks. I've always thought of you as a very insightful and intelligent man, but in this case the "dry addict" comment - if you are referring to me as such - confirms for me that you're a bit out of your depth here.

In any event, I think there is something to be said for your comment about lifestyle dictating personality. This is something I've been reflecting on lately, but not exactly in the context you've presented it.

dum
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Re: 11 Years clean

Post by dum » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:42 am

'dry-addict' for want of a better term. if you know what I'm getting at ignore the semantics. and yes, I'm referring to you - at least how you come across by making these posts. I have nothing else to work with.

ultimately, good for you - you're clean. but you're destined to bask in that shadow for the rest of your life and willfully gorge yourself on lip-service the whole time for doing so. I'd prefer to see you totally past it, and that's why you'll get no high-fives from me.


adieu, mon ami.
Pasha wrote:Thanks dum for being so precise.

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