New research is validating what many of us have believed all along: one of the most powerful ways to fight addiction is to find something in life to get super passionate about.
I know that once I engaged fully with my passions, recovery was so much, well, easier. If I was to immerse myself in rewriting my novel, which is what I did, there was no room for crystal meth in my life. The more my writer’s passion grew, the less control ice had over my life. I chose life, not meth.
For most of us, freedom from meth doesn’t happen overnight. Quitting is not an “event” that occurs (voila!) and is done with. Quitting is a process — a sometimes long, sometimes slow process. It happens over time.
The question: How do we encourage and facilitate the quitting process? What actually helps us stay clean?
Mark Twain once said, “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” Don’t we know it, too?
If you’ve been struggling with crystal meth, you’ve probably come to realize that quitting—even though difficult—isn’t nearly as difficult as staying quit.
After withdrawal ends, the question for us is no longer “How do I quit?” The critically important question becomes: “How do I stay quit?” And there are many different valid ways to answer that question.
According to a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, over 40 percent of people with a substance use disorder also have a mental health condition, yet fewer than half (48.0 percent) receive treatment for either disorder.
This “over 40 percent” number is averaged for all substances, alcohol to heroin. In my experience, the percentage of meth users who use to self-medicate mental health issues is closer to 75. According to epidemiological data, 40 percent of adults using amphetamines have a lifetime history of depression. And that’s just depression. What about anxiety disorder, attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder, impulse control disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. But it’s important to note my evidence for the “75% of meth users are in some way self-medicating” claim is purely anecdotal, not scientific. Still, it’s a lot of us.
The user who self-medicates will have a rougher time in quitting.
A friend a mine doesn’t understand why he can’t stop using. He’s in his mid-fifties, lives in West Hollywood and like many of us gay men — like many straight men and women, for that matter — we mixed our meth with some serious sexploits. The sex/meth connection makes giving up meth harder for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation.
He struggles. And, as I’ve written elsewhere, I believe with most gay men and all other “sex tweakers,” that until you are completely okay — and I mean truly, really, okay — with the fact that you never get to have meth sex again, you will continue to relapse — over sex, of course. Once you’re truly okay with letting go of meth sex, letting it go completely, then your odds for successfully quitting are much higher.
You probably don’t remember when you first heard the phrase “chronic relapser” bandied about accusatorially at a 12 step meeting. I certainly don’t remember. It seems like some words have always been there from the start — those certain words and phrases exclusive to recovery. Like addict, enabler, and chronic relapser.
Yes sir, when it comes meth, we might get a week or even a month of clean time, only to toss it all away and use again. And again. And again. And again. And…
Today, Fergie is a multiplatinum recording artist, who has traveled the world with the Black Eyed Peas. But in 2001, she was broke, unemployed and addicted to crystal meth. Fergie reveals why she turned to drugs after her girl group, Wild Orchid, was dropped from their record label.
Culled from Quitting Crystal Meth‘s Facebook page and other sources, below are some of my favorite videos and feature articles.
First, My Fav Vids to Watch…
Satan Explains Addiction
South Park, Satan and Addiction — need I say more?
Davey Wavey Followed a Recovering Meth Addict on the AIDS Ride and Finished Strong
Luke is a recovering crystal meth addict who had been off the drug for 12 days after a relapse when he allowed vlogger Davey Wavey to follow him on the AIDS/Lifecycle ride and chronicle his journey. They had been planning the trip for some time, but hadn’t counted on the relapse.
Rapping About His Relapse
The smash hip hop rapper Macklemore presents his hit song about relapse. The song’s title: Starting Over.
On the Power of Vulnerability
This is the TEDTalk that, if you’ve not seen it before, I really encourage you to see it soon. For those of us that believe the opposite of addiction is not sobriety — the opposite of addiction is intimacy and connection with others — Brene Brown’s talk on “The Power of Vulnerability” is a must see video.
Oh, yeah. I think this comedic bit about getting triggered is falling-down funny. But my best friend (and fellow meth addict) shrugged a “meh” when I showed it to him. But me? LMAO — really.
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And Here’s Some of My Favorite Articles/Posts to Read:
Three years ago Luvo Manyonga was a crystal meth addict. Now he is an Olympic silver medallist. This is his journey from the tik-addled townships to Rio glory, with the help of an Irish former street-sweeper turned strongman. Read more…
Bubba the puppy has had to endure more cruelty in his young life than any animal ever should. But despite all he’s been through, his is still a story of hope — and, as you’ll soon see, immense gratitude for those who helped him through it. Read more…
The following was adapted from a post originally published in 2014 and still rings true today…
The media is filled with stories about the tragedy of meth addiction and paints a pretty grim picture for the recovering meth addict—the odds aren’t good, the road seems rarely traveled successfully. From our perspective: what a load of media hype (read: bullshit). Let’s give them this: life addicted was indeed grim. But that was our story while addicted. It’s NOT our story in recovery. It’s NOT our story while living a meth-free life. My hope is that the new year reminds you of the great possibilities your recovery has to offer. So what is “recovery”? To answer that, let’s look at what recovers:
We hear it all the time in recovery: You only have to change one thing, everything. Of course, that’s an exaggeration to make a point. And that is: You can’t keep doing the things you did while high, and expect to remain clean and sober.
To get clean you have to start changing the people, places and things in your life that you associate with using. You have to change those daily patterns and routines that will lead, ultimately, to your picking up the pipe or syringe again.