Addiction & Recovery - Meet others & come say hi

Posted by Colleen Young @colleenyoung, May 17, 2019

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?

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

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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?

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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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@helenfrances

What is the difference between dependence and addiction?

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Hi, @helenfrances – this is an excerpt from a Mayo Clinic article featuring a Q&A with an anesthesiologist for a trauma professionals enewsletter. This response relates directly to your question on dependence versus addiction:

Q: Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction?
A: Yes. Physical dependence on an opioid occurs in humans and in lab animals. It happens when a patient has received opioids for approximately five days or more and develops withdrawal symptoms — such as tachycardia, goose flesh, diarrhea or diaphoresis — when the drug is withdrawn.

It is very different from addiction, which is drastic behavior an individual exhibits to obtain opioids, such as stealing medications, buying street drugs to treat pain or engaging in risky behavior in exchange for drugs.

The whole article has information that might be of interest on the opioid epidemic from the point of view of a pain specialist https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/trauma/news/treating-pain-responsibly-in-the-midst-of-an-opioid-epidemic/mqc-20438006.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @helenfrances – this is an excerpt from a Mayo Clinic article featuring a Q&A with an anesthesiologist for a trauma professionals enewsletter. This response relates directly to your question on dependence versus addiction:

Q: Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction?
A: Yes. Physical dependence on an opioid occurs in humans and in lab animals. It happens when a patient has received opioids for approximately five days or more and develops withdrawal symptoms — such as tachycardia, goose flesh, diarrhea or diaphoresis — when the drug is withdrawn.

It is very different from addiction, which is drastic behavior an individual exhibits to obtain opioids, such as stealing medications, buying street drugs to treat pain or engaging in risky behavior in exchange for drugs.

The whole article has information that might be of interest on the opioid epidemic from the point of view of a pain specialist https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/trauma/news/treating-pain-responsibly-in-the-midst-of-an-opioid-epidemic/mqc-20438006.

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Thank you, Lisa, for differentiating
dependence from addiction.

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@zeph317

Hi my name is Jenn. I've been in recovery for 2 years. I was addicted to drugs (any and all) and alcohol for over 20 years. I'm able to sustain my recovery only because of Jesus Christ.

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Hi, @zeph317 – thinking of you today. Wondering how you are doing and how your recovery is going lately?

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