I am a recovering addict. I’ve been sober for a long time now. In my recovery I have had to look back on all the things that I did while I was getting high and forgive myself for doing these things. Some of it was easy. Like forgiving myself for becoming a mean and nasty person because drugs were the most important thing in my life. Any drug addict is not very pleasant. There were things that were a little harder like telling my mom exactly how much money I stole from her to buy drugs. That took a bit more effort and work to achieve self forgiveness. Then there are some things that I don’t even like to think about. These are the things that still come up in my nightmares.

In my addiction there were many times that I had been kicked out of my house and either slept in my car or went from friend’s house to friend’s house. Eventually my friends got sick of me because I wasn’t very grateful when I was high. This had me getting more creative, and by creative I mean manipulative. At first it wasn’t too bad. I’d find someone who would want to smoke some weed, get as messed up as possible and either they wouldn’t let me drive or I’d just pass out. But that person would usually kick me out in the morning and learned not to let me do that again. So I moved to something a little bit more extreme. I’d find dudes who would let me over so we could get high and convince them to let me sleep over by getting naked.

I blocked out the feelings that I was abusing myself because I liked sex way too much. I only felt a small amount of guilt that was easily pushed away with another hit off the bong. I honestly thought that I was living the life. I took pride that I was the one making the booty calls and not the other way around. I had this false sense of pride and power because I was sleeping with 3 or 4 different guys every week. It was a weird sense of power that I had. But some of these guys started telling me I couldn’t come over. Or they would ask me to leave after we had sex. This was confusing. It was like my power was stripped away from me and now I felt violated. They were doing to me exactly what I was doing to them and it didn’t feel good. I was sleeping in my car and spending more money on gas because I was driving around all night so my drug money was getting dangerously low. Sex used to get me what I wanted. I used to just want a place to stay, but now all I wanted was to get fucked up. So I used sex for drugs.

There was no way I could get around the shame in this. There was no excuse I could make to rationalize this act. It is hard to even say that I traded sex for drugs never mind forgiving myself for doing it. It took me over a year in sobriety to even admit to another person that I had done this. After months and months of talking about it and constantly reminding myself that I am no longer the person that drugs had morphed me into, am I able to accept my horribly misguided actions. I was listening to the call of drugs and nothing else.

I live a spiritual (not religious) life style. I’m grateful for my days and for the people that are present in them. I give to the world only what I would want back to me. I smile at strangers and hold doors open for them. I compliment the people that get on my nerves and I give constant reminders to the people I love how much they mean to me. I do this because as long as I’m giving positivity I am receiving it and that makes forgiveness 100 times easier.

By Lauren Cappadona

Reflection Magazine