Category Archives: Favorite Posts

Hi Joseph. What is happening to me?

With traffic averaging over 20,000 visitors a month, I get serious email. The rawness and brutal honesty of my readers never ceases to amaze me. Here’s a few I found interesting. I didn’t have to dig deep. From the month of December 2016…

12/2/16

Hi Joseph,

My name is Marianne and I’m sort of a meth junkie. Once a week I get a $40.00 bag, snort it by myself in about 2 or 3 days, then go on with life until the next week. This has been going on for about 10 years, more or less, and until recently I didn’t think about stopping, rather it was my treat to myself. I have no other vices, don’t drink, smoke, or sleep around, don’t have meth mouth, a face full of scabs, or support in any way and at 66 years old it’s very hard to change. I don’t ever feel a physical need to tweak, but the stuff makes laundry and house cleaning enjoyable. How can I start the process of quitting?

Continue reading Hi Joseph. What is happening to me?

My All Time Favorite Definition of “Good Sobriety”

 

In case you haven’t heard or somehow missed the post, a while back I relapsed after almost four years clean from meth. On the morning I got my 60 day chip (for the second time) at a favorite 12-step meeting, an old-timer came up to me and said: “Joseph, do you know what the definition of ‘good sobriety’ is? It’s being mostly sober over a long period of time.”

I was floored. “Mostly sober?”

Continue reading My All Time Favorite Definition of “Good Sobriety”

Is It Also Time to Quit Cigarettes?

If you smoke cigarettes, now is also a great time to quit them. Not just because quitting is good for you—which it is—but because ditching cigarettes actually increases your odds of successfully quitting meth . . . big time.

Here’s a tough statistic. If you smoke cigarettes, you have a 45% greater chance of relapse.

Why? Mostly because of chemicals added to the cigarettes that serve as “addiction boosters.” These addiction boosters actually open up the same receptors in your brain that are affected by meth. This means smoking cigarettes while trying to stop meth makes quitting much more difficult because you’re continually triggering those receptors in your brain into thinking meth is soon to follow. To put it simply, your brain associates the cigarette fix with a meth high. Continue reading Is It Also Time to Quit Cigarettes?

3 Things You Can Do That Will Really Help You Stay Clean After You’ve Quit

 

A return to the basics this posting. They may seem obvious, but how often they’re not practiced. Let’s look at three things that you can do to help yourself stay clean after you’ve quit.

1. Do Not Isolate

Continue reading 3 Things You Can Do That Will Really Help You Stay Clean After You’ve Quit

Why Is It So Difficult to Admit My Relapse?

 

A while back, when an interviewer asked about my thoughts on relapse, I said:

It’s important to understand addiction through the medical model so we can jettison the guilt and shame associated with relapses. This is not to encourage or excuse slips, but to be realistic. Most meth addicts will relapse during the journey of their recovery. Society doesn’t condemn the person with hypertension who gains instead of loses weight. We don’t shame a diabetic for having a sweet tooth or forgetting to take his meds. We sympathize with their slips and cheerlead them to do better next time.

Then why is it so difficult to admit my own relapse?

Though I’ve preached not to be ashamed of relapse and, instead, learn from it so it won’t happen again, when it came to my own relapse, I did feel shame. And for the same reason that most who relapse feel shame: we don’t want others to see us as having failed, don’t want to set our sobriety clock back to zero.

Also, my position in the recovery community doesn’t make admitting relapse any easier. After all, I’m the guy who wrote the book on quitting meth, the guy who’s a so-called expert, with a website that gets about 20,000 visitors a month. A lot of people look to my story as inspiration, thinking: If this guy can quit and stay clean for years, why not me too?

I knew if I went public about my relapse, I would let many of you down. But, in discussing this predicament with friends and mentors – some with double-digit years of clean time – the question arose: Why not be an example of coming back from relapse? Since relapse is a part of most meth addicts’ recovery journey, why not be that example, Joseph? Then let the chips fall where they may.

This “relapsing phase” of my recovery lasted about two years. You could easily call it a dozen smaller relapses, but to my mind, what seems most truthful is to view the entire time as one continuous relapse, sprinkled with periods—sometimes months or longer—of being clean in between.

I’m beginning to think there are as many reasons for relapse as there are users who relapse. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous would tell you the number one reason is holding resentments. Others would say relapse comes from unaddressed childhood (or adult) trauma. For me it was sex. I believed I’d fully let go of wanting that meth-fueled sexual experience. But when my boyfriend relapsed and we broke up, I started having a nagging feeling inside. I could live without meth sex in the abstract, but when it came to my ex-boyfriend having wild meth sex with other guys—the kind of sex he and I never experienced because we were both in recovery when we met and fell in love—I just couldn’t let it go.

Normally, I’m not the jealous type, but suddenly my jealousy was off the charts. I desperately wanted to experience that kind of crazy meth-fueled sex with him. I even went as far as to think I deserved to—after which, my addict mind added, we would both stop, get clean together, and renew our sober relationship. This last part, what my addict brain wanted me to think, is laugh-out-loud funny to anyone who knows addiction. What a ridiculous justification!

Or as my friend from San Francisco, Marc, would say: “Girl, please!”

No one in their right mind would buy that “after using meth together we’d easily return to normal sex and live the clean and sober life,” but I wasn’t using my right mind. I’d let the emotional intensity of my jealousy overtake my thinking and my addict mind ran riot.

One of the big lessons for me in all this is: I can’t just do meth for a weekend here or there (what some term “controlled using”). Nope. For me, once I let Miss Tina out of the cage, it was harder than hell to get her back inside again. Like I said, it took about two years of on-again/off-again using with my ex before I truly quit the drug (and him).

Since part of my recovery at that time involved working a 12-step program, I had further self-inquiry to do. I had to honestly explore all of my reasons for wanting to withhold from you the truth of my relapse. In 12-step lingo, it’s called “doing an inventory.”

As mentioned earlier, I didn’t immediately disclose my relapse because it affected my self esteem and pride as a so-called leader in the meth recovery movement. Would I be labeled a fraud who couldn’t practice what he preached? But even less flattering is this:

I was worried about my monthly royalty check from Amazon. Would this revelation affect the sales of my book? Would the thousands of visitors to this website every month now dwindle?

(I wish I could tell you I was above these petty thoughts. I cannot.)

I’ve always believed that relapsing doesn’t mean you lose your recovery time. Yes, in the 12-step rooms, one must set the sobriety clock back to zero and start counting from day 1 again—but, for me, that’s just academic. You don’t lose the wisdom and experience gained during your previous clean time. One doesn’t suddenly lose the hard won positive lessons.

In my own case, it did seem as if the strength gained from those clean years wavered for a while—and I did feel lost, uncertain. But that strength, like the wisdom, was still there, waiting for me to return to it. It’s the strength that ultimately allowed me to end the relapse.

In the rooms of CMA and NA you’ll hear it put this way: “Relapse is a part of my story.” For me, I need to take this one step further: Relapse is not just part of my story; relapse is part of my recovery. In other words, recovery is not a one-time event to be achieved. Recovery is an ongoing process to be lived.

Now I return to what I told that interviewer: It’s important to understand addiction through the medical model so we can jettison the guilt and shame associated with relapses. This is not to encourage or excuse slips, but to be realistic.

And let me be one hundred percent clear: I hope my experience with relapse is over forever; I don’t plan or make any room for relapse to again occur in my life. But I am no longer arrogant enough to think relapse is safely foreign, either.

After Relapse, Recovery. What Else?

And I have no doubt that what I’ve learned through this relapse will help me relate to others who are still struggling today. I get chronic relapsing. But here’s what else I also get, one of the most crucial lessons of relapse:

A solid, strong recovery can follow an extended period of using. It can even follow a weekend of using.

Recovery from meth is about getting our lives back. Fuck meth for what it’s done to my friends. Fuck meth.

All around me I see it, again and again. After relapse there can be recovery. You just come back. You return to the rooms of CMA, NA, or AA, if that’s your program. And, if it’s not, there’s LifeRing, SMART Recovery, SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety/Save Our Selves), Women for Sobriety and others.

Maybe you get clean on your own. Many do, though I know I couldn’t—but that’s me not you. Or perhaps you end your relapse with the help of a therapist, a spiritual advisor, a guide book, or with some eclectic and personalized mix of all of the above. What’s important  is that you come back.

As a my friend of mine, who’s struggled for years with relapsing, proclaims, “I’m not a chronic relapser; I’m a chronic returnee.”

Sure, it’s often tempting to think of the relapser as that person who just keeps trying and trying, getting some days or weeks (maybe even months) clean here and there, only to relapse again before any substantial time accumulates. But remember, I was a few months shy of four years when I relapsed. And in my work with fellow meth users, I have met people who’d quit for much longer than I, and yet still relapsed.

(On the flip side, I have a dear friend—I actually dedicated Quitting Crystal Meth to him—who quit over twenty years ago and has never relapsed. It bears reemphasizing: Just because relapse is a part of most of our stories, it does NOT have to be part of yours.)

If you’ve relapsed before, I hope you never relapse again—and I hope my honesty here has helped in your resilience in quitting, as opposed to discouraging you. Because the news about quitting meth is encouraging. People quit meth all the time. And if they relapse, they can come back.

We don’t have to die from this disease.

In that vein, I’ll end this post as I traditionally do by reminding that, yes, most definitely you CAN quit crystal meth—whether you relapse or not. Learning strategies to better maximize the possibility of quitting (and staying quit) is what this blog is about. Peace.

 

Telling On Yourself

 

When you’re triggered or have a craving to use, one of the best things you can do to counteract it is to “tell on yourself.” That means talk about it with someone—give them the gory details of your flashback, craving or fantasy. You’ll be amazed at how confessing a craving will lessen its power over you. For your sobriety, it’s crucial that you find a best friend – several if you can – with whom you can be completely honest.

If you are working a CMA, NA or AA program, this person will most likely be your sponsor. But even though you tell your sponsor everything regarding your addiction, I think it’s very important to have other sober friendswith whom you can come completely clean too. I’ve got a handful. The more sober friends you have who understand, the better. When we keep our urges to use secret, we’re far more likely to relapse.

Early in my recovery, out of nowhere, the thought crossed my mind that on my next trip into Los Angeles, I could have a one-night party. (After all, I’d been sober over six months at that point, didn’t I deserve a little reward?) So within ten seconds, I planned what lie I would tell my friends in Palm Springs, the lies I’d tell to my L.A. friends who thought I was coming to visit, planned exactly where I’d stay to party, from whom I’d buy the drugs (online) and exactly how much I would pay for an eight ball. Really. In a matter of seconds. My monkey mind ran with it, planned the whole thing out.

In maybe ten more seconds, I was floored by guilt. Immediately, I extended the thought to include how awful the end of the party would be, how I’d feel when I crashed the day after—then I realized: Who was I kidding? I’d never partied for just one night in my life. My usual run was 3 to 5 days, always 5 toward the end. No, if I used, I’d party for days then crash briefly and rationalize that, since I’ve lost my sobriety already, I might as well party for a while longer. And so the cycle begins all over again. I might go on another year-long run, or worse. When my mind played thorough this possibility I was relieved because the urge to use, the sudden fantasy, had been busted. Still, I knew what I had to do.

The next morning, I took two sober friends aside and confessed the whole thing to take away any power that it might hold if I kept it secret. I eventually shared about it at a group level later in the week, disempowering the fantasy even more. Having a friend, or several, you can share everything with is crucial to sobriety. Because we have to learn not to shame ourselveswhen our disease rears its ugly head. It’s not a weakness of character to be triggered or get lost in a using fantasy. It’s what the malfunctioning brain of an addict does—craves more drugs.

How we treat that craving is the key.Don’t keep it secret. Take away your disease’s power over you by “telling on yourself.”

You CAN quit crystal meth. Learning strategies to better maximize the possibility of truly quitting is what this blog is about. I hope it’s helped. Peace.

Goodbye Crystal Sex, Hello Sober Sex

 

If you combined sex and crystal, sober sex might seem overwhelming at first. But thousands of recovering tweakers have relearned how to have healthy—even hot—sex without crystal. It’s just going to take some time and effort.

Like it or not, the reality is sexual desires often come roaring back in the form of fantasies or cravings. Anything to escape the boredom, right?

First, the harsh fact: Life without meth means life without meth-fueled sex. It’s okay, even necessary for some, to mourn this loss.

One complaint you hear a lot from former tweakers is: regular sex seems dull and just doesn’t feel as good as it did on crystal. There’s a physiological reason for this. After all the repeated and intense dopamine dumps in your brain, the fibers in the pathway associated with sex are damaged. But just as with most other pleasurable feelings, this will change over time. Your brain will heal and you’ll definitely start enjoying sex again. Just remember it takes time and effort on your part.

Also, sober sex is a different kind of sex. Instead of the limit-pushing, intense, compulsive, nonstop-pleasure marathons you used to have on crystal, you’ll have normal sex. If this sounds boring to you, it’s just because you’re still operating from the perspective of meth-fueled sex.

Imagine charting your pleasure on a scale of 1 to 10. If you think back to your first orgasm, whether having sex with another person or masturbating, it was probably so intense and amazing that it scored off the charts—say, a 15 on a 1 to 10 scale. But, after a few more sexual experiences, each orgasm no longer felt so new and intense. Orgasm leveled off to where it belonged, near the top of the “normal” pleasure scale, close to 10.

Like that first orgasm, the first time you had sex on crystal was off the charts. But it was much higher than a 15 because it created an unnatural physiological state that the human brain could never reach on its own. In short, that first experience of crystal sex was closer to a 60. By comparison, sober sex quickly became unsatisfying. After repeated experiences with 60-level crystal sex, regular sex felt empty and boring and on the 1 to 10 scale, sober sex probably rated a 3 or less.

It’s important to remember this 3 manifests from the distorted perspective of crystal meth—an expectation of 60-level pleasure that the human brain was never meant to experience. After quitting meth, regular sober sex may continue to feel like a 3 or less for awhile. However, in time, your perspective returns to normal and sober sex begins to feel enjoyable again. Of course, sober sex will never be as intense as that 60 of crystal sex, but it will again become one of your great pleasures in life.

Your brain adjusts. Trust the thousands of meth addicts who successfully quit before you—the 10 of natural sex will not only be “enough” but amazing in its own right, just as it was intended to be.

So how do you handle sex in sobriety? There is only one rule: no crystal sex. Here are two opposing ideas…

Wait a year. I’ve heard it said in CMA that, if you are not already in a relationship, it’s healthy to stay away from sex for a full year. This gives you time to work on your recovery without the complications of a major trigger.

Don’t wait, but keep it sober. On the other hand, in the early days of CMA, it was sometimes suggested that newcomers have sex with members who had some sobriety under their belt—a big “no-no” in AA circles. The rationale was that, if you have sober sex with a newcomer, at least they’re learning to have sober sex and are less likely to relapse with crystal sex. (These were mostly gay male meetings in Los Angeles.)

One of my friends who’s been clean for over five years put it best, I think. If having sex makes you more likely to use meth, don’t have sex for a while. On the other hand, if not having sex makes you use – that is, you get all pent up from forced abstinence and one day you have an explosion risky sexual behavior – then do have sex.

Mourning the Loss

Regardless, you will mourn the loss of crystal sex. In Overcoming Crystal Meth Addiction, Steven J. Lee, M.D., a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction, uses the analogy of a “trip to Antarctica with breathtaking sunrises over colossal glistening snow peaks, unlike anything you could see on this planet” as a way to put the loss of crystal sex into perspective. On the expedition to Antarctica, you face tremendous challenges. Your body and soul take a beating—it’s 20 degrees below zero with fifty-mile-per-hour winds and you get dangerously lost for awhile along the way.

But after this long, difficult and very costly journey, you get to experience something few people ever do: the unseen world of Antarctica. Then, like Dorothy in Kansas, the journey is over and you find yourself back home in the normal, everyday world. But you have an amazing memory to carry with you for the rest of your life. Lee writes, “the immense physical effort and financial cost to get there remind you that this is a place not meant for humans to see. That makes the memory that much more precious—the realization that you saw the unseeable.”

Once more: unlike most people in the world, you actually experienced Antarctica and still have amazing memories of the journey. But you’ll never go back. Those once-in-a-lifetime peak experiences are over. “This is an important admission you need to make to yourself,” Lee continues, “because any hidden fantasy that one day you will have crystal sex again is a seed that can grow into an uncontrollable craving and a relapse.”

You’ll have to grieve the loss and accept it—or else risk relapse.

Remember the stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and, finally, acceptance. These are applicable to your grief over losing crystal sex forever. Denial: I don’t have to think of “not-having crystal sex” as a forever thing. Anger: I want to have that experience again, damn it. Bargaining: I can have crystal sex for one night a month, right? Depression: No, I can’t because crystal doesn’t do one-night stands. Acceptance: Since I don’t want crystal to ruin my life, I’ll have to give up crystal sex forever, which is a worthy exchange.

Sex is tricky. And that’s the understatement of the year. There’s only one thing that’s certain: a healthy and active sex life is important to happiness.

So given that, here are three final points to consider about sober sex:

You were emotionally connected to the meth-fueled sex, not to the other person. It’s a lie that you were “more connected” to your sex partner while using meth. Though you might have been physically connected while having a wild party, it was actually the meth and sex that you were emotionally connected to, not the person. Be honest, your sex partner could have been almost anyone. The meth was the crucial element. In sober sex, you have the opportunity to experience a genuine emotional connection with another person—something you didn’t get with crystal.

After you get comfortable with sober sex, you will be able to have those 10-level experiences again and, most importantly, that will be enough. It’s true. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking normal sex is just a weaker, tamer version of that wild beast crystal sex. Because the truth is that sober sex is a different animal altogether. Sober sex has its own rewards of intense pleasure that sex on meth will never have. Remember kissing? Remember going slowly, and feeling that warm glow from happiness you felt as you explored your partner? Remember feeling really connected, looking your partner in the eyes and staring deep into their being? Even though you’ll always have your memories of crystal sex, the intense desire to have it again will pass with time. You may have flashbacks and intense memories from time to time, but they will lessen.

What you get to have in sobriety are sober experiences—and that includes sex. Relearning how to have sober sex could be a book in itself. The main tenets are: don’t use no matter what and give yourself permission to change. Other than using, if you want, you can try everything you did while thwacked out on crystal. But, today, you get to try it sober. Then, if you find that certain sexual practices don’t work for you anymore, you can, in a sober and respectful way, change those practices.

Sobriety is not about making our past behavior wrong. Other than using, it’s fair game to experiment with your experience—give it a try sober. You may like it. Or you may feel that certain attitudes toward sex no longer work for the sober you. It’s not uncommon for the “no strings attached” sexploits of a person’s using days suddenly to seem empty and hollow because, in sobriety, you now want something more meaningful—a “connection” to another person beyond NSA. If this happens to you, then, in a sober and respectful way, begin looking for more lasting connections.

Sex does again become a peak experience. It’s just that now it’s a 10 at best. Now, it’s what is humanly possible. Sex could be fabulous enough before crystal. It will be again afterwards, too.

You CAN quit crystal meth and have great, hot sex still. Learning strategies to better maximize the possibility of truly quitting is what this blog is about. I hope it’s helped. Peace.

[This blog post was adapted from the book Quitting Crystal Meth: What to Expect & What to Do, available at Amazon worldwide.]

Remember: “My Disease Wants Me Dead”

 

A good way to think about addiction is to personalize it. Think of your addiction as a living being, as “my disease,” who has wants and desires of its own. Whenever you get triggered, remind yourself that the “thought of using or drinking” is your “disease speaking” within your mind. And remember, “My disease wants to kill me.” This motto or a variation of it—like, My disease wants me dead—can be a powerful affirmation whenever thoughts turn toward using or drinking.

In AA, people often say, “I’m fine while inside at the meeting. It’s when I get to my car afterwards I’m in trouble. While I was sitting calmly inside, my disease was outside doing pushups in the parking lot.” I like this because it reminds me that, at any moment, even when the last thing on my mind is using or drinking, this disease can rear its ugly head. Try considering any using or drinking thoughts as the voice of your disease—a malevolent “other” who is out to harm you. This is closer to the truth than not.

Your disease has many great lies to tell now that you’re trying to get and stay sober. My favorite is: Don’t worry, now that you’ve not used for a week—or month, or whatever time—it’s clear proof you can in fact use in a “controlled” way. Really? When has that “controlled” using or drinking ever truly worked? I don’t know about you, but I was never in control with meth. My brain was hijacked and I was powerless.

You’re disease also loves to go negative. Any of these dark refrains sound familiar? I’ve relapsed so many times, I might as well give up on recovery. Maybe I’m one of those who are “constitutionally incapable” of doing what’s necessary to recover. Or, since I relapsed yet again, I might as well keep using until I run the train off the tracks since I’m going to have to reset my sobriety clock anyhow.

Then add to the fact, this disease of addiction is one of the few diseases in the world that tries to convince you that you don’t have it. It says to your thoughts, again and again, “Your not a real addict. You can control your using, if you really want to.”

It would be laugh out loud funny if it weren’t so deadly.

It’s crucial to realize your disease wants one thing, to kill you. During my first year, I said to myself at least once a day: “My disease wants only one thing, to kill me.”

And for those who have recently slipped—a word I prefer over “relapse” because it’s less shaming—I firmly believe there’s no reason this most recent slip can’t be your last.

As they say, our disease is cunning, baffling and powerful. And though it talks to us in our own voice, inside our own heads, remember: I am not my disease. It lives separately from me, a dark companion within myself who wants nothing more than to kill me first chance it gets.

Don’t let it. Call out your disease (your addict mind) as separate from your healthy, true mind. Though your disease talks to you in your own voice, realize it’s not who you are. Rather it is your addict mind, waiting patiently in the parking lot, doing pushups.

Label the monster for what it truly is: my disease, who wants me dead.

You CAN quit crystal meth today, if you decide to start the journey. And if you are in the first few months, learning what to expect during the quitting process can be very helpful. Then, not only are you prepared for what’s coming, but can find strategies to better maximize the possibility of truly quitting. I hope the above helps. Peace.

So You’ve Just Quit: 4 Actions That Will Help

 

So far, the blog postings this year have focused on those who are newly quitting. If you’re several months, or longer, into your clean time, most of this may not apply to you.  But you may know someone to whom it does apply.  So even if you are beyond these first few days and weeks of recovery, I hope you find something that helps your recovery in some way — if only to remind you of what you might tell a friend who’s trying to quit. In a few weeks, I’ll post again on a broader topic of recovery from crystal meth.  Until then…

So you’ve just quit. Here are 4 Actions that will help:

  1. Replenish Your Body

One of the first things you’ll want to do is to break away from the “meth diet.” This usually consists of Ensure, Gatorade, and the occasional protein drink every other day. Here’s what you need to do.

Eat: Start eating solid foods.

Hydrate: Drink enriched water, vitamin enhanced water, or, even better, coconut water.

Get your stomach back in shape: Try probiotic drinks like Kefir and yogurt. I especially recommend Yakult, a great product from Japan available in most major chain grocery stores.

Vitamins: Take a multi-vitamin daily. Maybe double up for a week. Also increase your potassium intake. Probably the best source is coconut water, but there are always bananas.

And, of course, the next best thing you can do for your body is to rest. Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Let your body recover from the intense run you’ve just been on.

  1. Calm Your Mind

As with replenishing your body, resting is very important. This means not only sleep, but you also might want to rest your mind by “zoning out” with a marathon of your favorite TV shows or movies. “Thank God for streaming Netflix,” one addict told me. “I spent my entire Withdrawal binge watching hours and hours of Glee.”

Basically, you’re just trying to get through the next week or two without stressing your body and mind any more than they already are. In this “detox” phase of your recovery, you may be depressed and, most likely, highly emotional. Your brain is desperately trying to heal right now. Try to give it a break and just zone out with something mindless from time to time.

And if you are quitting under the care of a doctor, she or he can tell if you need Ativan or Klonopin (and will prescribe a limited amount) to help calm you from the immediate physical and emotional distress of withdrawal. No medical advice here, though. Ask your doctor and it helps if he or she is familiar with addiction medicine.

  1. Banish Shame

It’s natural to feel ashamed of the mess your life has become because of this disease. But, if you are to survive, you’re going to have to jettison any shame, at least for the time being. After you’ve moved through the initial stages of recovery, you will be able to address the damage you’ve done and find other ways to move forward responsibly.

For today, try to remember you have a disease. Your brain is still physically malfunctioning and it’s going to take time to heal. It is crucial that you give yourself this time. Feeling shame can keep you in a loop—or shame spiral—where, instead of moving forward with healthy recovery, you become overwhelmed with guilt and keep relapsing. For the sake of your sobriety, you must banish shame from your life today.

Here’s the blunt fact: shame is the great enemy of recovery, in both the short and long term. And finally…

  1. Do Not Make Any Big Decisions

Well, this is not really an action, but an inaction. Now is not the time to make any of those “big” life decisions. In fact, you can’t trust your decision-making process at this point because your brain is a mess.

Now is not the time to quit your job or end a relationship. Now is not the time to come clean to grandma about your addiction. Now is not the time to confess anything to anyone, period.

Just sleep, rest, and eat—for now.

This is just a beginning. There are many things you can do to help maximize your success at quitting this awful drug. I know it seems like you’ll never be free of it, that life can’t exist without meth at least somewhere in the picture. But that’s not true. You had a life before you became addicted to meth. Here’s something I like to do. On a Saturday morning, go to a farmer’s market and see all the happy and joyous people interacting, buying food, talking and laughing. These are people living vibrant, full lives in the light of day without meth. You used to live that way and can again.

You CAN quit crystal meth.

Today if you decide to start the journey. These 4 actions will help. They were adapted from the chapter two of my book, Quitting Crystal Meth. The entire chapter is on this website. Just see the tab up top. I hope it helps. Peace.

An Open Letter to Crystal Meth (guest post)

 

Well, after all these years, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the ins and outs, finally it’s all come down to this moment. Am I such a fool to think that I can actually end this relationship we share, somehow find my way back home without that endless string being somewhere attached to my body, to my soul, just waiting to tug on me in some future that soon enough becomes the past, all the while nothing has really changed.

Even when I’m away from you, I can feel you close, closer yet still, waiting for me to seek your never-ending embrace, of warmth, of mindless sense of purpose, of circular cascading thought, of peaceful chaos within. Do now I see the truth of what you really mean to me, or am I only trapped in a lie among lies, a story within stories, where the next chapter is never the last chapter, and the hero never comes home.

I have to end this relationship. I can’t go on living the lie, a lie that exists both while clean and while using. A lie that allows me to believe I can walk away, only to find myself back again soon enough. A lie that I can manage this, even though I feel like shit, my priorities are totally fucked, and I ignore and avoid my family and friends. I know you don’t make me feel good. I know that staying up all night focused on endless mindless shit that isn’t real, isn’t any good for me either.

Why do I see you as a companion, a treat, a source of warmth, peace, serenity, focus, purpose, when the reality for each of those words you are in fact the opposite or a path that leads away from where I know I want and need to be, not toward it. How long will I cheat on myself with you, letting you take my days and nights, my weeks, into nowhere and nothingness, letting you rob me of my hobbies, my natural interests, my on balance view of sexuality, my physical ability to enjoy it.

How long can I let you convince me that the emptiness I feel with you is actually happiness, that the void in fact is contentment, that the purpose is in fact without meaning of any nature I can comprehend. Am I such a fool to believe that I can actually walk away forever? Is there such a thing as forever with you, or apart from you? The seemingly endless banter and needless chatter that run together forming something perhaps only you can understand. That racket, this noise in my head, the pounding, the feeling alone when I’m with you, alive when I’m dying, awake when there’s nothing left of me.

Can I really walk away, or am I doomed to repeat the story, a story that’s been told so many times by so many souls over so many years, but it never seems to get old, old enough for them to wake up, for them to take notice, that the grand lie you so elegantly and faithfully execute exists nowhere outside of their self-inflicted minds. That the hallways lead nowhere, the sun isn’t really shining outside, the feelings, the pacification, the show you put on for those around you, the stunning sense of how you must appear to them, almost as if you are outside of yourself, removed from soul, alone in the shadows of a former sense of self.

I can’t permit you to make be believe that one more will ever be enough. That keeping the run alive is actually living. That I’m anywhere near as alone as I feel. That turning towards you leads to pleasure when in fact it only leads to pain. That I can hold it together with you when in fact I’m falling apart. Why must I be forced to admit that freedom from you is finite, just as life with you has become.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow, I will have to stand up to you, be forced to betray myself against you. For I know that the only real strength I have, I have when I’m not with you. That the further I dare stray from your gingerly grip, the easier it becomes to forget you. Then why do I return to the warmth of my torturous existence with you, over and over again, like a horror movie that endlessly loops, luring you in while appearing amenable, only to terrify you over and over again.

Today is the day, when my twisted relationship with you must come to a close. I have no choice as I simply cannot find, pursue, and become my destiny, exercise my true purpose, achieve my true greatness, while I permit myself to even consider you a valuable crutch, a worthwhile treat, a much needed escape. I can no longer allow myself to cheat on myself with something/someone that I know deep inside only exists within me. This inner struggle has no end, and yet I hardly recall the beginning.

The realization that you are part of me and yet I must remove you from myself, feels like I could be self-amputating a limb, killing my best friend, killing some part of myself forever. When in fact I know deep in side that the truth, the lie, the comprehension of your existence within me, only can exist because I allow it, only because I choose to say yes, to a lie you once told me, that I never stopped believing, and now I must forget, if I’m ever to rediscover my true and genuine identify, purpose, place in this world, conscious, alive, awake, at peace, eternal.

(written by and anonymous guest who submitted it to the site)