By: Marilyn L. Davis
When the Path is Dangerous
I don’t know that I thought my addiction path was ‘clear,’ but I didn’t leave it – nope, I bought dope, turned around, and went back home – all on that dangerous road.
If you’ve ever seen a well-trodden path, you know that many people are walking it, and that’s the way it is in addiction. And that can make us think that what we’re doing is okay. It did for me. Sure, I’d see casualties – people got high and got hurt, some died. But still, I continued down that road for many years.
Finally, an intervention stopped me.
This Has to End!
While I was in treatment, someone referred to recovery as the right path. But my counselor and doctor also cautioned me that given the substances and amount I used, I would experience withdrawal. While they could ease the symptoms, they couldn’t make them go away.
I remember one night in particular. Every bone in my body ached, and I couldn’t sleep. I filled the tub with hot water and probably resembled a crocodile with only my nose and forehead above water. When it cooled, I added more hot water. I remember that I thought, “How the hell did you get here?”
When I finally got out of the tub about 4 AM, I remembered this quote from Rebekah Crane, “No, sometimes life beats you down. Sometimes life deserts you, and your only choice is to find another path.”
Not feeling any better physically, I decided that this had to end, and I had to find another path.
Peers Along the Path
The next day in the group, I asked how anyone else dealt with the withdrawals and cravings. It was the first time I understood the power of the peer. Yes, there were counselors, doctors, and therapists, but to hear people like myself tell me what they had done to get and stay on the right path was powerful.
Each person in treatment with me was there because the choices they made got them there. While that seems obvious, it was also comforting to know I wasn’t in this alone. But those who had been in treatment before also said that the path to recovery wasn’t a straight line with a finish line at the end.
They told me I’d encounter ups and downs, disappointments, losses, times of joy, and pleasure on the road to happy destiny.
It’s been my experience these 32 years that they were right. While I’ve strayed from the path and done some ridiculous things, I haven’t relapsed, so I guess I didn’t stray too far.
Are You Tired of Regrets?
“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen.”― Katherine Arden, The Girl in the Tower
I know that many of you are still struggling with your addiction and want to make changes but are just uncertain how to do it. It’s rather like sitting on a fence trying to decide.
While not everyone can have an intervention as I did, let me invite you to find recovery resources: Facebook has recovery “rooms” where you can ask questions, find support, and get answers on how to get into recovery and you’ll find a teacher, too.
“You found the right teacher, good!
The right teacher showed you the right path, good!
And now what remains is much more important than the first two things: Walking on this right path till the end with great discipline!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan
There are Zoom meetings if you’re concerned about in-person meetings. And meetings are not just 12-Step, but secular, faith-based, and Buddhist. There is a philosophy for everyone seeking the right path for them.
Already on the Path?
If you’ve found a way to stay on the right path, share your story, so others know that recovery works. Send a guest submission today.
Writing and recovery heal the heart.
Marilyn L. Davis is the Editor-in-Chief at From Addict 2 Advocate and Two Drops of Ink. She encourages guest posts at both sites. She is also the author of Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate available on Amazon.