When I got sober, I immersed myself in my program and trying to stop the spinning of my out of control life. Slowly, very slowly, things stopped spinning and resumed a normal course. As a result, I have been able to immerse myself back into my passions, writing, reading, reading about writing, hiking and living a normal, simple, mundane life. I am becoming content with this life and am all too happy to continue forever on this path if it keeps me sober.
In my reading recently, the last two fiction books I've read have protagonists who are overcoming addiction, one alcohol, the other Oxycontin. In the first book it was clear to me that the author didn't understand addiction at all. This person may have interviewed addicts for the book, but didn't pay very good attention. The second book, the author nailed it. Either they understand addiction from a first person point of view, or payed very close attention when interviewing addicts.
The book I'm reading now is Eric Clapton's Autobiography. Here is a man who understands walking through the complete hell of addiction and living to walk out and tell about it. He nails for me the definition of my addiction. I just have to quote it here:
"I just assumed I was in some way immune to it and that I wouldn't get hooked. But addiction doesn't negotiate, and it gradually crept up on me, like a fog...It was so insidious, it took over my life without my really noticing." He goes on to describe how his loved one's attempts to help him were a complete failure until he was ready. Then, even though he was ready, it wasn't that simple. I remember the first time I got sober it was not simple. It took everything I had to move forward. When I relapsed, I thought I had beaten addiction and could "manage" it. Yes, I managed myself really well...right into homelessness, bankruptcy and complete and total humiliation.
Now I understand the power of addiction, and I love reading about other addicts who are recovering. Our stories are so similar. It is, however, their journey, and I am grateful that they are willing to share it so openly. And the thing that continues to amaze me is that even though we are different people, addiction is the same for all of us.