Because of this website, I get emails from around the world (we’re read regularly by well over a dozen countries). Whether it’s a housewife from the American Midwest who is trying to quit with her husband or a concerned friend from France who doesn’t know how to help his addicted loved one, there is one common denominator amongst all these communications: powerlessness.
In the 12 Step program of Crystal Meth Anonymous it’s the first part of step one, admitting one’s powerlessness over crystal meth. Of course, the paradox here is that only by admitting our powerlessness are we then able to take our first steps toward a life free of meth, toward finding a power greater than the drug and ourselves.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I’m not powerless over meth; I can do it in a controlled manner,” all I can say is be rigorously honest with yourself next time you use. Are you really in control? Did your using “run” last only a night, as planned, or did it extend into several nights? (And if you find you can do meth in a controlled manner, congratulations. I can’t. Haven’t met anyone yet who can control it for long, either. It may start off with you in the driver’s seat for a month or two, but, before too long, Ms. Tina has the wheel. That’s my experience, anyhow.)
In 12 Step programs, the addict admits personal powerlessness over whatever drug and then seeks access to a “Higher Power” that is greater than one’s personal addiction. For some this Higher Power is God. For others it is, literally, the rooms and fellowship of CMA, a group of former tweakers who, collectively, are stronger than the drug itself. This latter way is what I want to focus on here. If individual willpower isn’t enough, how do we quit?
We quit with the help of others.
I’m a big proponent of Crystal Meth Anonymous for many reasons, but the best is this: it’s at these meetings where you’ll meet living, breathing examples of people who’ve quit successfully. At the Saturday morning “Happy, Joyous & Free” CMA meeting in Los Angeles, there are often more than fifty people in attendance with at least 2 years or more of sobriety. (Its usual size is well over one hundred recovering tweakers.) At evening CMA meetings in Palm Springs, it’s not uncommon to find a person with over 20 years sobriety sitting in the room. And at the annual CMA Los Angeles convention, usually over 600 recovered meth addicts are in attendance.
A link to CMALA is here if you’re interested. I’m going again this year. I hope to see you there.
And if you live in a rural area where there are no CMA meetings, you can just as easily attend the meetings of Narcotics Anonymous or, the mothership, Alcoholics Anonymous. For now, I only ask that you keep an open mind to CMA and other programs.
The simple truth is this: no one is an island. It’s easier to quit if you have support for quitting. It’s harder if you’re alone. And harder still, damn near impossible, if you remain in the environment where others enable your using, instead of support your quitting. Get positive help and don’t try to quit with personal willpower alone. Admit your powerlessness over meth, find a meeting, and then it’s a lot easier to move forward. That’s how it worked for me, anyhow.