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Journey of an Addict - Unintentional Decisions lead to Unintentional Consequences
August 26, 2016

Unintentional Decisions = Unintentional Consequences

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you will fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

– Jim Rohn

Journey of an Addict - Unintentional Decisions lead to Unintentional ConsequencesToday I did the “next right thing”. I was joining a small gathering with my mom at her friend’s house. In the restroom I saw a couple bottles of pain pills on the bathroom counter. It reminded me of the old days when I might have taken one or two of them. This time it was easy for me to pass them by.

There was a time when this moral decision would have been an impossible accomplishment.

In my last story, you can see how I became an everyday drinker and was taking four different pills as well. You might think I would have been near the end of my addictive road at that point. But oh no, there was another fork in the road just around the corner. That’s when I found out about Adderall.

This was when a friend was about to graduate and he got a few pills to help him get through his final exams. One of his buddies told him it would help him stay up all night to study and with great clarity and sharpness of mind. He offered one to me as I’d been complaining about how tired I was all the time. Okay – right there – that was the time to decide but I never recognized it. Well, a simple little pill, recommended by doctors, seemed harmless enough to me. Did I even consider the fact that it was medicine prescribed for someone else? No. If anyone was entitled to a perk me up, it was me! I was exhausted every day and struggling to keep up with my new business and a part-time job.

That was my thinking (non-thinking) in those days. I continued to make bad decisions. This is a perfect example of poor decision making by a drunk. Any good decisions were simply not possible for me when I was an active alcoholic.

Was there ever an addict who sat down to think: “Yes, I shall now decide to completely ruin my life”?

I was fascinated with how much more I was able to drink when I took Adderall. I could do anything and everything now. I was Superwoman! I felt I could conquer the world. This went on for a few glorious months. Of course, I’d soon start needing a little more to maintain the same energy.

Then, the supply of Adderall became limited. I started trading in my Percocets for my friend’s Adderall. In time, I was needing more than he could get. Seriously, isn’t it this way with any mind-altering drug? You always end up needing more and either your source or your money dries up, usually both.

Why couldn’t I see this was inevitable before it happened? Did I ever consciously decide to take this dreadful path? Of course not. And, I’m actually an intelligent person.

I never made a mindful decision to take drugs. Fact is, I wasn’t actively deciding anything at all. It just happened.

At this point I was feeling like such a victim. And I didn’t see how I kept attracting the dramas and events into my life that would support the perception of victimization. I needed the pills for the back pain and anxiety. My primary physician cut me off and sent me to a pain management doctor. Since that was several hundred dollars, it was not an option for me so I ended up meeting with a drug dealer on the streets. I highly resented that I didn’t have enough money, that I didn’t have health insurance and that I couldn’t get the drugs I needed legitimately. How galling to think I had to reduce myself to this level simply because I didn’t make more money. This infuriated me. My whole life infuriated me.

So much has changed since then. I am no longer the victim. I take full responsibility for everything in my life. My therapist and my sponsor both helped me understand the anger and fear that was hidden beneath my thoughts and feelings. With time in sobriety comes mindfulness. I am so grateful to be free of all that baggage.

The simple moral decision I made tonight – to consciously decide to do the right thing – is a huge victory for me. It proves again that I’ve made it. I am free and happy in my sobriety. I feel good about myself. I do the right thing, even when no one is looking. What could be better than that?

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien

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