• David Smeltz

The 12 Promises #6

6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

On April 20, 2019 I celebrated my 18th sober anniversary. I couldn't have done it without first surrendering to my addiction, finding a power greater than myself and a lot of help from recovered and recovering men and women I met along the way. My sponsor introduced, guided and directed me to this wonderful way of life and I will be forever grateful to him.

I had felt quite useless and full of self-pity in the latter stages of my active addiction prior to my finding the rooms of recovery. So much so that suicide was a constant thought. Every time I opened my eyes upon coming too I cursed another day alive. It meant that I would once again have to find a way to ingest a drink and/or drug that would help me get through the day and evening until I passed out again; only to repeat the same cycle of suffering the next day. Addiction is a disease of feelings. I used alcohol and drugs to not feel anything (or at least to take the edge off of life). Any hardship or uncomfortable moment meant that I should medicate to get through it. So much, in fact, that anything became a hardship. Just leaving the house was a hardship. I was obsessed with getting high; mainly because I felt awkward and worthless when I didn't. There were short intervals of trying not to use but they ended quickly once I became uncomfortable enough with the way I was feeling. I always knew exactly what I needed to take me back to that feeling of comfort and ease. Drugs and alcohol were not the problem. They were the solution to my problems. I became a chemist that would try all combinations of mood and mind altering substances to find the right buzz. Weed and wine, crack and heroin, Xanax and beer...anything to get me out of feeling. It was the feeling of self-pity that kicked in when my solution stopped working for me. It had gotten to the point that just being high didn't solve my problems. I had to be unconscious. The need to be unconscious 24/7 is a prerequisite for death. I didn't want to be here anymore.

Today, my life has changed completely along with how I deal with my feelings. It was not easy! Especially, learning how to live without the instant gratification provided by mood and mind altering substances. My sponsor told me that either I learn to deal with my feelings or they would eventually deal with me. Feelings of uselessness and self-pity have disappeared in this recovery process. Mainly because I've learned to love myself and have done, and continue to do the work required, to get to this point and to stay here a day at a time. There's a saying in the rooms that I heard when I was initially trying to get sober. "Let us love you until you learn to love yourself". I did and I do. And for this......

I Am Forever Grateful!

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