Addiction & Recovery - Meet others & come say hi

Welcome to the Addiction & Recovery group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
This is a welcoming, safe place where you can meet people who live with and understand addiction and the journey of recovery. Together we can learn from each other and share stories about challenges and triumphs, setbacks and the things the keep you on track.

Pull up a chair and connect. Why not start by introducing yourself? What is your addiction experience? What helped you on the road to recovery? Got a question, tip or story to share?

@savana1

Yes my rooted issues was they way I was brought up, my mom was also an addict and are relationship was very verbally and physically abusive my dad wasn't in the picture , so feeling unloved and wanted as a child turned me out into drugs

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Thanks, @savana1, that is very insightful. Once again, only share as you are comfortable doing so, but do you think the drugs provided you with some comfort that you were missing growing up?

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@hisgrace6992

I feel that the most important character trait is integrity. I feel this because as soon as you start to deny what you are feeling or start to tell untruths you are starting to "cover up" again which is why in essence a lot of us turned to drugs to "cover" up something we could not or did not want to deal with.

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The word, "integrity" is a good one, @hisgrace6992. Would you like to post more about how to keep integrity foremost in your life?

Liked by johnwhitfield

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@hopeful33250 sorry I took to long to reply I've been busy. But yes drugs became a comfort for me

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@hisgrace6992 @johnwhitfield @savana1 @hisgrace6992 @kclynd @zeph317 and others in the Addiction/Recovery group. I'd like to invite you to read a new post from a Member, @stsopoci, about his struggles with addiction/depression and the need to stay positive. Here is a link to his post, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/importance-of-focusing-on-positive-with-depression-anxiety/. After you read the posts I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Just thinking about the struggle to stay positive when (and especially) if you grew up in a negative environment. For me, it took years to overcome a negative mindset. It took years of training my mind to think in new ways. I used books, therapy, medications, new activities (such as going back to school, etc.).

Just wondering how you became a more positive person?

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@hopeful33250

@hisgrace6992 @johnwhitfield @savana1 @hisgrace6992 @kclynd @zeph317 and others in the Addiction/Recovery group. I'd like to invite you to read a new post from a Member, @stsopoci, about his struggles with addiction/depression and the need to stay positive. Here is a link to his post, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/importance-of-focusing-on-positive-with-depression-anxiety/. After you read the posts I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Just thinking about the struggle to stay positive when (and especially) if you grew up in a negative environment. For me, it took years to overcome a negative mindset. It took years of training my mind to think in new ways. I used books, therapy, medications, new activities (such as going back to school, etc.).

Just wondering how you became a more positive person?

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I find that as a teenager I kept my alcohol secret to myself and never told anyone. Later I took up marijuana, angel dust, cocaine, etc to help medicate my extreme anxiety and my issues with my Dad. I could drink anyone under the table but I never drank with people, I drank alone.
I was angry, depressed, scared of every moment on the planet and didn’t tell anyone. I play many instruments and when I performed was the only time I was happy.
My wife of 45 years stayed with me and later told me she just kept on praying that I would figure out what was wrong. I quit all drugs and alcohol in 1996 oct 13th when I was either going to kill myself or tell myself the truth. It helped to quit but I still had major issues. Psychologist told me my Dad was a complete narcissist and It would take a long time to recover if I could. My wife is an angel.
1. I went to weekly meeting to just talk.
2. I wrote down all of the things I was good at and read them everyday.
3. AA meetings didn’t help
Me but they do help many.
4. Men’s meetings to talk religion or philosophy or literature or sports or anything with people of your age Helped me.
5. Nature and birding frees your spirit.
6. Helping others grows on you and releases endorphins that energize you.

Try anything to feel like you are performing on stage to a million people. And they are screaming Love you love you love you!!!

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@stsopoci

I find that as a teenager I kept my alcohol secret to myself and never told anyone. Later I took up marijuana, angel dust, cocaine, etc to help medicate my extreme anxiety and my issues with my Dad. I could drink anyone under the table but I never drank with people, I drank alone.
I was angry, depressed, scared of every moment on the planet and didn’t tell anyone. I play many instruments and when I performed was the only time I was happy.
My wife of 45 years stayed with me and later told me she just kept on praying that I would figure out what was wrong. I quit all drugs and alcohol in 1996 oct 13th when I was either going to kill myself or tell myself the truth. It helped to quit but I still had major issues. Psychologist told me my Dad was a complete narcissist and It would take a long time to recover if I could. My wife is an angel.
1. I went to weekly meeting to just talk.
2. I wrote down all of the things I was good at and read them everyday.
3. AA meetings didn’t help
Me but they do help many.
4. Men’s meetings to talk religion or philosophy or literature or sports or anything with people of your age Helped me.
5. Nature and birding frees your spirit.
6. Helping others grows on you and releases endorphins that energize you.

Try anything to feel like you are performing on stage to a million people. And they are screaming Love you love you love you!!!

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What a wonderful testimony it touch my heart and I could truly relate, I'm so glad your out of your addiction and living your fullness of life @stsopoci

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I tried to quit drinking for 5 years with AA meetings and support from my family and friends and still went back to drinking and other drugs. With untreated GAD it was difficult to live in a very competitive work environment raising a family and trying to keep my head above the water. What I learned, for me, was that I had to take care of myself and quit medicating myself and get professional help. As soon as my self esteem grew stronger, I stopped all alcohol, drugs, etc and stopped for myself.
Now….. the recovery will always be celebrated everyday after that first day of drug free. It takes balanced living, lots of support and check ins to friends and doctors that know you.
Everyday you celebrate the Day and every moment and start seeing things that were always there to enjoy.
I see my grandchildren growing up and becoming young adults.
I would never had seen them if I didn’t face the “truth” that I needed help and had to start taking care of myself.

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@stsopoci

I tried to quit drinking for 5 years with AA meetings and support from my family and friends and still went back to drinking and other drugs. With untreated GAD it was difficult to live in a very competitive work environment raising a family and trying to keep my head above the water. What I learned, for me, was that I had to take care of myself and quit medicating myself and get professional help. As soon as my self esteem grew stronger, I stopped all alcohol, drugs, etc and stopped for myself.
Now….. the recovery will always be celebrated everyday after that first day of drug free. It takes balanced living, lots of support and check ins to friends and doctors that know you.
Everyday you celebrate the Day and every moment and start seeing things that were always there to enjoy.
I see my grandchildren growing up and becoming young adults.
I would never had seen them if I didn’t face the “truth” that I needed help and had to start taking care of myself.

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Great story of your journey from addiction to sobriety, @stsopoci.
I'm wondering who else would like to provide some details regarding insight, experiences or other motivators that help keep you sober?

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@savana1

Yes my rooted issues was they way I was brought up, my mom was also an addict and are relationship was very verbally and physically abusive my dad wasn't in the picture , so feeling unloved and wanted as a child turned me out into drugs

Jump to this post

Hi, @savana1 – wondering if you would share more about how your upbringing impacted your later addiction? Do you feel that you patterned some of your coping style after your mom's behavior?

@hisgrace6992 – what type of childhood hurts do you feel influenced your addictions to meth and alcohol?

@zeph317 – you mentioned a few addictions you had previously, and for a couple of decades. Do you have times when you feel tempted to go back to any of them?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @savana1 – wondering if you would share more about how your upbringing impacted your later addiction? Do you feel that you patterned some of your coping style after your mom's behavior?

@hisgrace6992 – what type of childhood hurts do you feel influenced your addictions to meth and alcohol?

@zeph317 – you mentioned a few addictions you had previously, and for a couple of decades. Do you have times when you feel tempted to go back to any of them?

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I was raised in an alcoholic dysfunctional family. Genetics play a major role in my alcoholism. Dysfunctional family affected my behaviors and feelings. I drank because I was an alcoholic at an early age. . I am in a program and I know plenty of alcoholics that were raised in a good family environment. The environment I am sure plays some role, but it does not the primary cause. There is a lot of adult children of alcoholics that are not alcoholics. If in a program ACOA they work on behaviors and feeling which can long term damages from a dysfunctional family.

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@johnwhitfield

I was raised in an alcoholic dysfunctional family. Genetics play a major role in my alcoholism. Dysfunctional family affected my behaviors and feelings. I drank because I was an alcoholic at an early age. . I am in a program and I know plenty of alcoholics that were raised in a good family environment. The environment I am sure plays some role, but it does not the primary cause. There is a lot of adult children of alcoholics that are not alcoholics. If in a program ACOA they work on behaviors and feeling which can long term damages from a dysfunctional family.

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Hello @johnwhitfield
I'm glad that you shared about your involvement in ACOA. Adult Children of Alcoholics. There is another similar group, ACA, Adult Children Anonymous, which is open to anyone raised in a dysfunctional home (whether alcoholic or not). Is the group you attend a 12-step group or does it offer a different format?

Here is a website with information on these groups:
https://adultchildren.org/

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Here is a little bit of my story. I had gone through a difficult time divorce, the suicide of my son, and chemotherapy for a year. It was 3 years in a row. It took me a while to get my feet back on the ground. I started back to work as an A&D counselor. Big fish in a small pond. I played hard and worked hard. I got grandiose and complacent with my recovery program. Big mistake! It started out using pain pills then move to alcohol. Deadly disease! Very long damaging relapse. My health was affected but I did keep trying to recover..Everybody abandoned me. My family and wife for years. I was referred to a little bit different treatment center. So by the grace of God and my past knowing what to do so I got sober. Now very attentive to my recovery program and support. The relapse was total hell. I really enjoy a sober life and I enjoyed it before my relapse. Three big motivators not hurting wife anymore did not want to live in hell anymore and the big one I remember how much I enjoyed a sober life. Very grateful for life and sobriety! I am a laid back old hippie!

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Hi @johnwhitfield

I'm so glad that you posted about your recovery process. What you revealed about addiction/recovery/relapse and recovery is a great example that a relapse does not have to last a lifetime. I'm so pleased that you were able to pick up the pieces of your life and continue on in a sober lifestyle.

If you could, please share with us what you do in order to remain sober. For example, what physical, spiritual and/or social activities help you?

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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What is the difference between dependence and addiction?

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Excellent question. Anyone with a good scientifically based answer?

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