Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Wow, so GBE is back up and running again.  Ok, it has for a few weeks now but I been slow on the uptake these days.  Haven't been doing much writing recently so it's taken me this long to decide I want to be part of it again.  For those of you who were part of the original GBE on Myspace, I blogged as Clarkster there.

So.....control.  What can I really say about control?  Control is what every addict thinks they have, even as they are spiraling out of control.  Kind of a funky paradox.  We could be homeless, living in a cardboard box under a bridge, weigh 90 pounds and have open oozing sores from infected track marks on our arms, and when asked if we want help, we say, "Nope!  I'm good, but thanks for asking.  I got everything under control."

Rather fucked up, huh.

Control is a multi-layered thing in addiction-land.  No one, upon trying drugs or alcohol for the first time, ever intends on ending up an addict.  That's loss of control #1:  genes.  Whether an "addiction gene" exists or not, one cannot argue that these things have a tendency to run in families.  Why is it that one person who uses drugs or drinks socially can take it or leave it, and another can't?  "Disease" or not, I do believe that some people are born wired with addictive tendencies.  It might not manifest itself as drug abuse, but might as an addiction to food, shopping, sex, gambling, or what-have-you.

Usually, though, part of the appeal of using drugs - apart from it being fun and cool at first - is to escape reality.  Even if not realized at first, most addicts are trying to escape from something harsh in their lives.
Loss of control #2:  the ability to face reality.  The more a person runs from their problems, the less able they are to deal with it later on down the road.  It's a cumulative affect.  The drug use itself is usually just a symptom of the underlying problem(s) that was never dealt with in the first place.  Treating the underlying problem(s) is just as important as treating the drug abuse.

Left to just run amok, drug abuse will usually end up turning into a real bonafide addiction.  Meaning, your body and brain depends on the chemicals just like it does on water or air just to be able to function normally.  Loss of control #3:  bodily functions.  Once users are that deep into their addiction the only control they have over their bodies is to keep feeding it their drug of choice, or face the consequences.  Withdrawal is not a pretty sight:  shaking, sweating, puking, diarrhea, cramps, aching, insomnia....and in some severe cases, even death.

But are we really that helpless?  Some addicts are able to take back control of their lives by admitting that they have no control.  Step #1 in AA and NA is admitting we are powerless over [drug of choice] and our lives have become unmanageable.  Of course getting to that point where we can admit loss of control - ironically - takes quite a bit of control.

Part of recovery - and taking control of one's life - as an addict is also accepting responsibility for one's actions.  In doing so, we have to accept loss of control #4:  we cannot control other peoples' reactions.  Over the course of our "career" we have hurt friends, family, and even innocent bystanders.  Recovery doesn't mean we get a free pass and all is forgiven and dandy.  We may never gain back the friendship and trust of those we hurt.

So, what does a recovering addict have control over, anything?  Yes.  Whether or not we pick up.  No one forces us to use.  No one ties us to a chair and points a gun to our head and says "shoot up or I'll kill you."  We make that choice, willingly.  Even if it seems like lifes' circumstances "force" us to pick up, that responsibility lies solely with us.



  1. potent...rush of truth. thank you best rush ever dontchya think? : ) ((hugs))

  2. Hey Steve, great write hon, I know this one came totally from the heart, I was wondering if we were going to be blessed with you in this group.

    blessings n' hugs

  3. Brenda: I'll get back to you on that! ;)

    Jul: Thanks my friend, it's strange getting back in the groove again among people I don't know, or at least don't recognize cos I only knew them by their Myspace names, heh. Hope to see some posts from you too.

  4. Powerful post. I'm glad I stopped by from GBE 2.


  5. I agree with you. My son told me the other day that my father drinks because of my mother. I told him that he drinks because he wants to drink. He gave me a funny look but I explained to him that no one is putting him in his misery but himself. Anyone can change a situation they're in but it's ultimately up to that person to choose what is right for his or herself.

    I ramble. Sorry. I blogged in MS under Diana Jillian and Trinity Emerald. And I changed my name over and over. LOL.

    Great post.

  6. Joyce: thanks for stopping by.

    D Ana: Now Trinity Emerald is a name I recognise. :) Yes, as hard as it is for me to admit, I only have myself to blame for my predicament.

  7. Painfully truthful insight into a world many of us have never seen. Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Mojo: thanks for stopping by. Writing about my struggles with addiction helps me a bit, and like you said, gives others insight into the addicts' mind.

  9. Excellent write! I always love how you are straight forward and honest and quite frankly it is refreshing. Many hugs to you (((STEVEN))) Cheers, Jenn.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Beautiful blog, Steven!

    Years ago I had a friend who was an addict and it seemed to me that he lived his life like on a ferris wheel because to be steady bored him. He had to have those extreme ups and downs and I could relate at least a little to this...

  12. Excellent, excellent post.

    "The more a person runs from their problems, the less able they are to deal with it later on down the road."

    Absolutely true, no matter what specific problems someone is dealing with. Ideally, we'd all face right up to the shit that scares us most. That's rarely how it works, but it'd sure save a whole lot of grief.

  13. Very insightful, powerful post. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Jenn: Thanks hon.

    Marian: I can totally relate to that. Boredom in normal, everyday, clean living has caused many a relapse for me.

    Word Nerd: and no one ever wants to admit that they're scared, either.

    Resident Gamer: thanks for stopping by.

  15. I totally believe that some people are born wired with addictive tendencies. I'm glad you're writing again and I'm glad I found your blog.

  16. Good point about having control over whether you use or not. I think this applies to a lot of aspects in our lives. We can control what we do.

  17. We have had our conversations in the past. :-) I am glad you are writing again! :-)


  18. Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like this topic was perfect for you to start blogging again! It sounds like, today, you're in control. Great job!

  19. Strong post. Can you understand why you went down that path? Is there someone around who you care for? being alone can be even more difficult.

  20. Very strong post, and helpful for non-addicts to understand what is happening in the lives of friends and relatives dealing with an addiction.

    Thanks for sharing.

    (Stopping by via GBE2.)