January 15th 2001. That’s the day that changed my life. I got into drugs at a very early age. Over the years I used them for many different reasons; to have fun, to relax, to get a rush, to fit in. To feel different than how I felt without them, alone and inadequate. With the drugs I was a leader, well-liked, super cool, afraid of nothing. Without them it was just the opposite. I was an intelligent kid, but I never felt that way. I always felt that I had missed something, that someone, everyone, knew something that I didn’t. Others always seemed to know how to handle life’s situations. Not me. The drugs helped. When using I could handle what ever you could throw at me, or else I just didn’t care.
Through my 37 years of using, I never saw any consequences. Not that there weren’t any, I just never saw them. After all, the only person I was hurting was myself, right? That’s what I thought. I never noticed the chaos that I caused in others lives. At the brief moments where I did, I would just use more to make it go away.
On January 15th 2001 the consequences caught up with me. Like an Appellation avalanche my life came crashing down around me. I wanted to die. For the first time I not only noticed how far into the mire I had sunk, but also how many others I had dragged down with me. Looking back, it was the best day of my life. That fateful day showed me, without a doubt, that I was an addict. For the next year I bare-knuckled it, I didn’t use, but life still sucked. I still had the same anxiety, the same hole in the pit of my stomach that I had always felt. Why? I had quit using; everything should be fine and dandy. Why wasn’t it fine and dandy? How was I supposed to deal with all the crap that life spat at me – without using?
Enter Cocaine Anonymous. When I went to my first meeting I found a bunch of guys, sitting around, laughing about things and situations that weren’t funny to me in the least. They told me of the horrors that they had faced, the terrible feelings that they had felt… I felt like that. They connected with me in a way that only another addict could. Then they told me; “We have a Solution”.
They began to tell me what C.A. had done for them. How working the Twelve Steps had changed their lives. How getting a sponsor and following his suggestions had led them to a Higher Power that they could understand and trust. They showed me hope. Still I fought it. I had to analyze the program. Figure out just how it worked before I would go any further. It just didn’t make sense to me. How could doing things for others have anything to do with fixing me? I didn’t get it. They told me to surrender. They told me to quit trying to figure it out and just do it, and that if I did, I would see how. I looked at them and their lives and I saw hope. So I did what they said.
Today I continue to try and do what they suggest and help others, to the best of my ability, and you’ll never guess what… It Works!!! I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But it does. Today I am able to handle situations that used to baffle me, and whenever I think I can’t, I call another addict. Today I wake up looking forward to what the day has to offer. Thanks Cocaine Anonymous. Thanks to you… Today was a good day.
– Mike R. 01/15/2001