A Look at Cross-Addiction

VINCE

I am an addict. I have no problem admitting that. What am I addicted to? Well that has always been more or less of everything. Alcohol almost always played a part in my life. For many years it was alcohol and pot, which I considered to be okay. But I look back and see now that when I was drunk, I made a lot of bad decisions such as driving around in destruction mode to trying cocaine, crack, and meth, all for the first time while under the influence of alcohol.
When I started using meth heavily again most recently, it took me out of an eight year alcohol bender. The only reason I could quit drinking was by substituting it with meth. It was very effective, but I was hooked on the substitute.
In my previous years of sobriety, I chose sex. At an unhealthy rate I plowed through women literally and figuratively. I replaced my addiction with the hunt and chase of women I could sleep with and let go, never once thinking about having an actual relationship or starting a family. I needed something to satisfy a need in my brain. I became dependent on women to fill that void. I had stopped using hard drugs for years, but replaced them with a “safe” addiction.
When I was in St. Cloud, I replaced all of my addictions with coffee. That may sound harmless, but doing anything in excess can be dangerous. Fortunately, I realized quickly that I was still looking for that feel good fix and I cut way down before it could get too bad.
The pamphlet (Once again this is one of my treatment assignments from C.I.P. The Hazelden Pamphlet was called “A Look at Cross-Addiction.” My assignment was to read it and write a two page reflection paper on it) says that addiction to exercise can be a negative thing as well. It gives an example of a woman who kept running despite Doctors orders to stop because of a knee injury. Because it made her feel and look good, she kept going until her knee went out and could never run again. I do plan on running when I am released. Running and weight lifting making me feel good and that’s why addicts do the things we do, to make us feel good all of the time.

 
I think if I mix it up with some other hobbies like writing, cooking, agate hunting, and reading, I wont become dependent on just one thing. This is where scheduling comes into place. I can make time for everything, plot out my weeks in advance to include everything I enjoy doing. Variety can be my success. **END***
I thought it was an interesting assignment. There isn’t a date on it but I think it was from fairly early on. Out of seventeen guys in the squad, myself and two others were really the only ones that put forth any real effort. A few of the guys really weren’t drug addicts, but were in treatment anyway. Some of their assignments, I shit you not, were handed in with big bold letters, N/A. It was frustrating to be in a room with people that couldn’t identify with what we were talking about. One of them was there because he was involved in a drive-by shooting in which he missed his target, drove after him, emptied his clip and missed again. Because he never hit anybody, technically his crime was victimless so he was allowed into boot camp for the four year time cut. One time the counselor asked him point blank what would happen now if he saw that guy on the street and he replied, “It’s on”, which made his two gangster friends laugh. For whatever reason the counselor said nothing, and did nothing. That’s the  type of person they let out into the community. I’m grateful that I could get a lot out of the program, but on the whole, literally anybody can be pushed through and back onto the street. Yikes.

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