Living life On Life’s terms (A voice of addiction


By Jason Firmani


I met a lady one night Not being me I came across, not right But of that night inspiration came To write this book to explain For I am an addict, one of pride Clean and sober, from the world I don’t hide Jason I’m battling to sleep, my head in a spin A book to write, so others can win My gift to you, all part in creation For those who seek addiction salvation Jason This book dedicated to To my beautiful daughter Jayde for teaching me the true meaning of unconditional love To my family- Cheryl (mom), Albie (dad), Jodie (sister), Viv (brotherin-law) and Daniella (niece) for all their love and support through trying times To my friends for putting up with my moods To all who have walked with me in my recovery To Ross for believing in me in a somewhat unorthodox way and for accepting me for who and what I am. Thanks for being you. To our past, present and future together To Robin, Cathy Lee, Melanie and Leon for proof reading from an objective point of view and to Bunny and Fudgie for lessons taught


Contents Part 1: Understanding Chapter 1. Jason, page 4 Chapter 2. The drugs, page 11 Chapter 3. Addiction, page 16 Chapter 4. The addict, page 22 Part 2: Recovery Chapter 5. Approach, page 29 Chapter 6. The tools, page 40 Chapter 7. My recovery , page 46 Chapter 8. You, page 62


So lets go back to the opening line. having fun. I order her a glass of wine and a soft drink for me. is that i’m recovering my life. some say it did nothing for them and for the majority of us we always say that we’ll stop tomorrow? For some. while we ride this emotional roller-coaster. so when we are having bad days all that it is teaching us. I am Jason Firmani. Hi! My name is Jason and I’m a recovering drug addict. No. So why do we complicate it more? Recovery teaches and equips us with the abilities and tools to live life on life’s terms. Life is not easy. every single one of us (including you). We are all special. So from Now on I’ll refer to non-addicts as straight people and us addicts. you feeling down and asking yourself is this really worth it? Why me? I have no life. tomorrow never comes due to an overdose. identify the emotion or feeling and deal with it as normal people would. Material possessions can be replaced. So how come some people try it once and never again. we’ll just be ourselves. 4 . as I’ll explain in this book. is to address the situation or problem. all that I am in discovering myself again. yet it is simple. besides from it being the truth. The reason why I say recovering drug addict. This surprised her a bit (I know why I can’t drink). I lost it all to this dreaded disease of drug addiction. two very distinct personalities in one human being. I can’t! I’m not a nobody or just a somebody. My own definition of normality is one’s own perception of what one would deem as acceptable or permissable. etc? By now in active addiction we would’ve got loaded. A quick story as to why I’m writing this book came about when i was six months into recovery. Addiction is the nature of the addict. because of there addiction. Any way i arrive at our rendevoux point and we introduce ourselves and get chatting. I was pretty excited by this as this is what recovery is all about. my sense of purpose.Chapter 1 Jason One’s worst day in recovery is better than one’s best high in active addiction!!! Surprised? Yes? Then let me explain. actually what we are experiencing is life and all its ups and downs. I have lost good friends through o/d. When we have these feelings of doubt and no self worth. So what is it? Addiction is not the drugs or booze or money. When nothing seems to be going right. One’s best high is that first hit or first pill or first sniff etc (you get the picture). but all we are doing is delaying our growth stages of recovery. while living clean. well it never comes back. well. No. as I have met normal people who are even more messed up in the head as what addicts are. I use the word normal loosely. when my hairdresser set me up on a blind date. Now for one’s worst day in recovery. not the person. living and enjoying life without the use of drugs and having new experiences and most importantly.

She proceeds to tell me her friend’s diabetic and they usually enjoy a few glasses of wine together. She asks if I have ever drunk? If so. Fourthly. believe me she is a bright and intelligent girl in her own right who also had the same opportunities and up bringing as me. I am deffinately no nerd and may as well throw no angel in with this too. My quick come back still doesn’t get me out of this one as I tell her that her mate probably is on insulin or some form of medication. I spent a lot of time as youngster with my grandmother while my parents were at work and all through primary school Life in primary school was a breeze for I was a pretty bright lad who listened well in Being my dad. I always had my nose in crosswords to stimulate and exercise my brain while in active addiction). before the schoolday starts schoolwork. Only a fair chance in society to pay our debts. Then I get told that it is okay for me to drink these (clever girl this). which never materialised. I was not the studious type as I’ve always had a good memory (I thank God today that active addiction did not destroy it. please don’t treat us any differantly as you would any body else. I was born on october 16th 1968 into a middle class family in Johannesburg. I adjusted and adapted well to any situation I was in and got on well with just about everybody. end of that. My sister was the exact opposite who always did her homework and studied for tests and exams. I told her I was a diabetic. then she realised no was no and our conversation took its course on many topics. so when someone says to you that they are an addict. first dilema: how do I explain the reason why I can’t drink? During active addiction my pancreas started playing silly buggers. School is school and hometime is hometime. you wont label us and think lesser of us. why waste a good afternoon of doing nothing or getting upto mischief. yet she is an addict to. my parents were a little over protective but they eased off as I grew older. Cheryl and my sister. Secondly to help the straight person to better understand the addict. No. Thirdly is that we are not looking for sympathy.that recovery is possible. I could never understand why my class mates took the allocated time period to complete there assignments or projects when it could be done in one afternoon and homework could also be known as. but ourselves too. The end of the evening came and we went our seperate ways. We are not gutter junkies which most people think we are. agreeing to see each other again. not just to you. Jodie. I never really had any hang ups. Albie and my mom. so where’s the connection? Brings me back to saying that 5 . what did I drink? I say I used to enjoy a beer or scotch. which gave me the perfect out (or so I thought). but I control mine by diet (take that! I say to myself). Some background info into my life and up bringing. I guess I grew up a happy child (a little over weight but I learnt how to remedy that later on). It came out later via my hairdresser that my blind date thought I was a nerd. I knew the dangers of addiction and the mind and memory are attacked badly. alot of whom I am still in contact with today. we harped on this for a while still. While growing up I was spoilt as I wanted for nothing and had a lot of opportunities to experience things and do things with a bright future that awaited me in adulthood. I had Good friends. So the messages I wish to portray in this book is firstly to help the addict to realise themselves.

6 . The more I trained the more physical changes I noticed. the clever studious kids were always ridiculed (never show your true talents or abilities to escape been taken advantage of-bad philosophy). Then I noticed that the girls were paying a lot more attention to me. need I say more. but by how we came across. but because I think he wanted to make sure that I would always be able to handle myself. till about standard eight which is when I started to come into my own. Moving onto high school life is the same. which wasn’t that difficult as I had a sharp sense of humour and enjoyed making people laugh. yet when my final papers were marked by someone who had no clue as to who I was. The girls weren’t that naughty but good fun anyhow. our class was marked. Which I proved to myself when writing matric finals. To which we are addicted to serves us merely as a crutch. and I still do. to which we are addicted. Fattis and Firmanis) as I could laugh at myself and throw some witty retorts back to those who were teasing me. I was in the naughtiest. all placed in one class with six girls. Twenty four of the naughtiest boys in school. these came later on in life. I always made myself fit in. so I fought regularly through his pre-arranged fights (not a bad thing. I had failed every term in matric including prelims. not because of my weight.addiction is by nature and not that. I wanted to be liked. parents are less protective by allowing us to be on our own in the afternoons to instill in us responsible behaviour. loudest. So. My couson gave me a bit of a hard time while growing up. From standard eight I naturally started losing weight and started training in a gym which the owner had converted his garage into. I think it was more along the lines of sink or swim. passed me and quite well too. disruptive class imaginable. The teasing didn’t bother me (porky pig. It was in high school that first realised the effects of human behaviour and the human mind always fascinated me. Passed standard six much the same way I did primary school but now I was becoming to realise I was different to the other scholars and not knowing how to express it. I never really grew very big for my genetics wouldn’t allow for this. but senseless). which I thought was about time! In high school I never had any serious relationships. it was just sense of knowing. yes. I was just enjoying the moment (good advice-even now). A friend of mine got married last year and roped me into doing a comedy stand up thingy and it felt great! I played sport but never really excelled because. not buy our abilities. I was a fat kid. So please explain this to me when all through matric I was told I am going to be repeating matric again! Showed them didn’t I. A good bunch of guys never the less and we all got on well. hey.

I was hooked from the first line. I used to party all the time and used to get oiled on alcohol. lets give it a try? Boom!!!! A whole new world had opened up for me and every feeling and emotion can flooding back. My weight at the end of active addiction was a whopping 63 kg’s and a 28 inch waist.72m frame with a 32 inch waist. They fulfilled many functions in my life which all manipulated my mind set into believing that the bigger I got. After the police I had a few jobs. Instead I was used as a walking filo-fax. I could never seem to find my feet or grounding in purpose. personal trainer. In the interim with my new found emotional state of mind I met a cute little sexy 7 . it went against my beliefs. just as to how cruel people can be with total disregard for human life. but what recovery is all about! So I’ll wrap up this chapter as brief as possible. topless waiter in a night club on ladies nights (yes please). As I grew. The frequncy of using was increasing all the time and I was totally unaware.Left school joined the police force and was stationed at the Soweto Riot Unit for three years (it was enough. the blonde’s name again and her number?) Or which one was Jill and what is Mary’s number? Then one night some people were doing coke and I thought what the hell. Hey Jay. “this coming from a drug addict”. I was not very nice or understanding with the woman i dated as i did not care much for their feelings. but steroids. Coke was a weekend recreational passtime and every now and then during the week. Tracy I am sorry! My mates were more important to me. The steroids were a big part of my life for about five years I left the police force weighing 96kg’s on my 1. Being an ex-policeman. The next day my phone would ring off the hook. than a relationship. the police robbed me of every emotion and raped my mind. please accept my appology and I ask your forgiveness? One particular girl comes to mind who I hurt numerous times. the more I accepted myself. wow I thought as I saw myself through new eyes. (now there’s a joke. once a fat kid always a fat kid in the mind until one truly comes to love themselves just the way they are). Whenever we went out they would never write down the names and numbers of the girls they would meet. you ladies!!! are worse than guys at strip shows. This book is not about me. (I know this due to first hand experience) and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. repping. enjoyed the job but my life was worth more than R1200-00 a month). I hear you say! It was in the police force where I discovered the power of drugs. Now seventeen months into recovery I weigh roughly 73 kg’s and I’m heading towards my personal goal weight at a lean 80 kg’s. Had many eye opening experiences. If you are one of them. the more humiliating my presence I would have as a policeman. One learns how to switch off. still not discovering narcotics yet. No more fat kid. but never how to switch back on. I cycled as a sport in the police and the steroids did there thing by enhancing my abilities when training and racing. This party mode lasted for about four years (where my memory abilities played a part in my mate’s lives. not narcotics yet.

So no more coke and got married. Seeing her once a year is not enough. She is just gorgeous with the biggest bluest eyes and incredible personality. This way of life became the norm for me. etc. What is it that reality or life can’t offer the addict. dancing on the speakers with no shirt on for a change). An escape from reality. I miss Jayde every waking day more and more. She gave me the ultimate gift. Ecstacy was the final straw. very intelligent. 8 . The divorce was triggered due to the family business. What a control freak! I still hear you asking so where does the addiction come in? I’ll get to that shortly. The marriage lasted four years. Reality seems to have no stimulus for us to live life on life’s terms. where everything is logical and seems to make sense. that forces us to escape into our own little world of destruction and despair. Look at movie stars. They slip into addiction due to a false sense of reality. the world inside there heads. By grade two she could recite her readers. I could have picked myself up and carried on like straight people do. At the age of four she was building puzzles out of her head. but the drugs became my escape. It is at this point of losing control that our addict steps in to take over and we humbly give him or her our power of self control. Since the divorce my ex and daughter have moved to Ireland and have been there for a few years already. I think of all her growing years I’m missing out on. Once we’ve lost control of our own lives. The big question is. famous people. went under because of the financial partner my ex-inlaws had.gymnast from Cape Town and had no clue about my using at first. not being there to be able to comfort her or just being able to tuck her in at night with a big hug and kiss. rock stars. that’s me. She has the most incredible mind. Before we got married Brenda said to me to stop the coke or its no wedding. escape to where? The same place every addict escapes to. Jayde. The financial strain took its toll on us and divorce was inevitible. also we weren’t compatible at all and divorced in July 98. The most adorable and truly specially gifted daughter. The last year of marriage we discovered rave parties and clubs (watch this boy boogie. where life has become meaningless and by perception addiction has all the answers. with all trappings that came with them. These only surface once in full blown addiction. Only one reason. I love booboo! By now you can gather. Yes. Which I fully accept and come to terms with(after I stopped blaming everyone and everything for my short comings and misfortunes). She later became my wife. I have no excuses for my drug addiction. of which I was involved in. that is by choice.

so many have died I hope to save even the life of one Then I know.Chapter 2 The Drugs Many types I have tried From which. the meaning 9 . this books work is done I have been spared for a reason To help you through every season Of emotion and feeling To find life.

for its so called calming therapeutic effect. then psychiatry could treat it. Incurable disease because its all cunning. Feelings of anxiousness. baffling and progressive. especially when my addict’s telling me that its ok to smoke as I can function fully aware in society. If it were mental. This comes about from the liver growing in order to function. Said to be calming after a hard days work or a form of relaxation. aggressive behaviour comes out including irritability and nervousness Effects of abuse attacks you mentally. it’s not mood or mind altering (but run out of cigarettes and watch true addict behaviour come through. hyper activity and restlessness. wine. the apposite is true. Disguised in many preparations. Many alcoholics suffer from convulsions and often drink themselves to death due to the effects of abuse. Addiction is a disease. eg. Death is not intentional but a realty of the abuse 2) Nicotine: A temporary stimulant.I’m not professing to be a leading authority on drugs and addictions but I speak from two view points. If it were spiritual then one of the cloth could treat it. damage to internal organs such as the kidneys and liver.) 10 . shooters and many medicinal preparations. and highly addictive. incapacity of one’s voluntary movements and concentration. but it does’n. Can’t stop at one or two. focussed attention on not having any. one’s personal recovery begins. If it were physical. When sobering up insomnia sets in. So what is it? It’s all three. The addict (alcoholic) drinks for a number of reasons. spirits. from which. physical and mental impairment. It can be understood then. The list goes on and on. then a doctor could treat it. bearing in mind that alcohol is a preservative which is why you always hear of an alcoholics liver being enlarged. the inablity to function on normal levels without a quick pick me up in the mornings. If only it stopped there. We drink ourselves into oblivian to run away from the harsh realities of life From dependance we suffer such things as lethargy. Etc…. 1) Alcohol: Freely available and the one most accepted by society. whether it be on black market or over the counter. Beer. there is no known cure. but to the addict. active addiction and a life without the use of drugs. One that I battle with constantly. My findings and discoveries are from my own personal experiences with this disease and that recovery is possible. In this chapter we’re going to have a look at the different types of drugs.

Dangers of this drug. is highly addictive. With all the new laws being passed about smoking. a pain killer which is only available on prescription (not really) is also highly addictive and one which killed a friend of mine due to overdose (not intentional but a reality of addiction). Just pick up a newspaper or magazine and it’s in your face. is convulsions and yes overdose. yet everyone still smokes. Beneficial only when taken as prescribed. do not. everything from the pharmacy irrespective of the scheduling (how do you think I got my steroids. Leave at night and get there the next morning and still not be able to sleep that day. I would drink half a bottle and drive straight through to Cape Town. welconol or pinks by there street name. That tingling feeling over the scalp. Some do and some don’t. I’m not going to go into detail on nicotine. who are not found in time. Other medicinal drugs which are addictive are morphine. Some are lucky. etc. that anxious feeling we confuse with hyper activity. so don’t feel bad you’re not alone) 3. one of them being a schedule 7 drug. There is a fine line between a hit and an overdose and it gets crossed daily. others. then at night up to ten sleeping tablets and still be awake for two hours (see. last only a few days? Is it not easier to drink a dose than to measure the dose? The sips get bigger and the feelings become more enhanced. in tonic. its business as it pays the bills and I can’t blame them as I was dealing a bit to support my habit too. When they go out. Pharmacies have a codeine register wherein patients/customers need to sign for very purchase as a means of control. Her daily dose would be up to one hunred tablets a day. the dangers and risks of smoking. organ failure. used in most weight loss products. the goose bumps on the skin. so why does a bottle meant to last for two weeks. yes one hundred. they all slip out for a quick puff on two cigarettes. tranquilisers and even analgesics and sleeping tablets. which has now been removed from 11 . it’s a progressive disease). Over the counter: Codeine is the biggest culprit and the one my sister battled for thirteen years. Ephadrine. She must have the constitution of a horse because of the amounts she would take. Yes. Far from that. capsule or tablet form. Pethidine.Available everywhere including vending machines. I know this because I’ve seen you and you’ve told me (I’ve done it too. It boggles the mind. Sorry Jodie I’m not being judgemental but pointing a finger at myself too. Don’t confuse this state being awake as being in a conscious state. 4) Black market: Firstly. you know the ones. as they make it. heart racing. I’ve also experienced them. you too. the smoker doesn’t smoke less.

ecstasy available in tablet. hybrids of marijuana by fusing different types of the herb together and growing new strains. I’m not a pharmacist and this book is not to advocate the use of drugs but to bring your attention to what is available. cocaine. ketamine being another drug cut with MDMA. such as heroin. I want to relay the message that we all have it within us to do it ourselves as I did. Designer being justified by the fact that it is cut with whole lot of other drugs such ephadrine (the one found in weight loss medication carrying a schedule 2 grading). are constantly been shown by those who are doing it! 12 . I did not want to consult the medical profession for research in my book. mandrax. has also been around for many decades and still very popular. Those who say it can’t be done. So not quite the designer drug people are led to believe. capsule and liquid form. crack cocaine. “safe to take” because there is no common disease between man and horse or so I’m told). Even equine medication is available which is common amongst steroid users.the market. also known as MDMA and has been around since the second world war. Then we get a host of other drugs (narcotics). LSD. marijuana or dagga (natural and coated). A very toxic drug.

and its intentions too You brought me down Now. as I gave you permission To invade my life. to total sub-mission Now I bid you my best farewell As I condemn you.Chapter 3 Addiction Bound by addiction. on you I frown Not your fault. a slave to you Robbed of life. straight to hell 13 .

Addiction takes our control away and takes over our lives causing total mayhem and destruction. These are merely the trappings of success. power. It’s in understanding the dynamics behind this force that we begin to know the addict. so my chirpy self will take a brief break as we expose this monster. unconsciously. because alcohol is not really what I’m looking for. Most people view success as being financially independent. Other than substance abuse. We lose touch with reality and rely on the master 14 . because there are so many other “faithful servants” doing the same. which we’ll chat about in this chapter too. I’ll drink you under the table. The funny thing is. the master couldn’t care in the least about you. our outlook on life gets turned upside down as we become so focused on the master. people. If you’re lucky you’ll be home in a few days still wearing your shirt! I appreciate your offer. So the servants compete against each other. It’s not a sin to be rich and it’s every persons birthright to be the best that they can be. In the garages. then i am only starting to warm up. as with every month we need to meet these obligations and now the pressure is on. everyone and anything that stands in his/her path gets knocked down. It is an on going journey. Success is the steps taken in order to achieve a predetermined and worthwhile goal. The best way for me to describe the dynamics of this force is by using success in an analogy. our emotional state.Addiction is the very force which drives the addict to do the crazy things we do. as long as it is ethical and no one gets hurt in the process of achieving. But to the servant in this analogy. When that’s finished we’ll go clear out your bank account and carry on (you said you’re buying). Then we’ll take a quick drive up the road and pawn everything of value you have including your car to the dealer for drugs. Now. So with money being the master. Money is now the master. We drip with jewellary and only wear designer labels. Then I’ll drink out whatever money you have on you. sex. in whatever career or profession they have chosen for themselves. not the end result. gambling and even bad relationships. Furnished with nothing but the very best that money can buy. living in this mansion of a house. our way of thinking. So success is in the journey. we’ll try and do anything to lay our hands on it. He just explained to you from first hand experience what addiction is all about. The principle of addiction or the dynamics of addiction is the same. Addiction is a serious topic. Nothing wrong with this. not the servant. We’re living beyond our means and out of control. We forsake our family and friends. in trying to gain the masters approval all the time. Our very focus is on serving the master. unknowingly at first. Addictions come in many disguises and forms. If you ever un-suspectingly meet a recovering addict and his answer to your question of why he will not a have a drink with you is: “for starters. in all aspects of his/her life chasing that centre of attention. Our actions. even when we are addicted to different masters. but no thank you” Don’t be surprised. top of the range luxurious cars. People are addicted to money. straight people have addictions.

guilt. So why does the servant’s happiness have to depend on the master? We can nurture ourselves but again the servant depends on the master for this. People have the ability to be themselves and it is impossible to please everybody all the time. Paranoia sets in on the way home. What a load of hogwash. Being addicted to bad relationships leads the master to believe that the only way he/she can be truly loved is by being placed on a pedastal. 15 . than take responsibility for our own lives and actions. we’d rather make excuses to justify our irrational and illogical behaviour. In terms of addiction. pain. how we feel. This is best explained through the analogy of being addicted to a person. It’s not us but obsessive behaviour. inadequacy. actions and behaviour patterns. Nor do I want to have this control. Feelings and emotions associated with addictions are hurt. anxiousness and paranoia. comes from within. oops!!! Maybe we should’ve got more. to work. the ties in this relationship is severed the master tumbles and the servant starts to grow. Easier to shift the blame. Then comes the trip to the dealer. remorse. no self worth and no self love. the servant gets confused and all false emotions errupt in both the master and the servant. places or things. Now we better understand addiction. yet with others it becomes the main focus and everything else takes a back seat. These are my feelings and I am not dependant on others for my emotional state. Strange but true. We all have obsessive tendancies. not the longest drive but it takes for ever. Once. Who was watching? Did anybody recognise me? Paranoia leads to feelings of insufficiency. I have no control over people. Coming back to master/servant scenario. anxiousness sets in when we need to get our hands on drugs and will do anything and everything to get them. what to do and even what our needs are. I know what pleases me and what ticks me dictate how we act. This alone shows that there is something lacking in our lives and instead of addressing the issues. Self love and acceptance is the golden key in any relationship. Crack cocaine is nasty as you’ll spend the rest of your life chasing those few minutes of false bliss. We rely so much on this person for our false senses. then it’s the end of the world. Living in this false state the servant leads himself to believe that without the master there is no life. yet we take notice of everything along the way. one gram is already finished and this sets the tone for the rest of the evening: little trips back and forward pleasing the master. frame of mind. We’ve bought three gram’s of coke and one gram is used on the drive home. It becomes so routine and trivial that we drive to work hypnotically. Everyday when people drive the same routes all the time for arguments sake. Not to the drive to dealer and we know the route so well. the problem is created on a see-saw of dominance and control. The dominant personality stagnates as there in no stimulation and the submissive personality get suppressed because there is no feelings of self-worth. low self-esteem. The master has full control of the servant’s emotional state. I’ve learnt this hard lesson in recovery. just some manage to control them and find balance. Happiness is a state of mind. If the servant doesn’t show the master the gratitude he/she is lead to believe they’ve earned.

If you are blacklisted. healing is possible and it only comes from within. Recovery is not for the chosen few but for those who choose it. Go into recovery and see the rewards that it has to offer Addiction is not easy to overcome. Sex becomes the new drug or alcohol or exercise or even recovery. If you are thinking about taking this route. lets not kid ourselves. they adapt as they are forced to. Life still just exists with no purpose and no direction. The addiction to gambling is so rife. Wow. Same behavioural patterns serving a different master.addiction to watch out for is gambling. Casinos even offer the gambler help by means of trained psycologists. except for the “lucky few”. Recovery is not a master either. That’s the thing. Focusing on the new master shifts our attention away from the drugs. Imagine 16 . Recovery becomes a master when our attention is solely on clean time and not living. Addiction directly affects the lives of sixteen people. Gambling was his master. The only master in recovery is you. Pity the same can’t be done to help the substance abuser. there is this person I owe some money to who is actually a supplier of mine and he has threatened to hurt me quite seriously if I don’t pay him (underground drug trade has no ethics in there business dealings. It’s not worth it. as with drugs and alcohol there are no winners. and lets say you win a jackpot at that casino. pardon the punn). Most importantly balance in life is non-existant. as the physical act becomes the master. My father battled with gambling for many years and he will be the first to tell you it’s a big no-no. There are no feelings involved. for in recovery you can’t serve two masters. you will be charged and arrested for fraud. Find out for yourself! Cross –addiction is just as serious as addiction itself. don’t. “mom”! “dad”! “please can you help me. We can’t even take responsibilty for our own lives. I’ve experienced this numerous times too). My addict got pissed off with me for not consulting him in this regard and showed me for another year who was in charge (yes master!!!!) There is money to be made in drugs. Don’t take my word for it. A life without substance abuse is the ultimate high! Don’t believe me? Then I challenge you.Trust me when I say this. We’ll discover in the next chapter these promises aren’t really empty as they carry two Intensions. And by the way I am a drug addict”. That night I made every promise I could think of to stop the drugs. And no. Sex is a major crossaddiction amonst “recovering addicts”. Extremely destructive and crippling. We kid ourselves constantly in believing. He has been “clean” now for eight years. that gamblers can have themselves blacklisted at casinos. Your addict’s intention is much stronger than your own (yup. Another major cross. now that we’ve stopped the drugs it’s ok to drink. And that’s the truth. The addict enjoys all the benefits of the profits and we see nothing. All that happens is a new master presents himself to fill the void of the addiction that was present previously. For that master who you valued so highly has no place in recovery. but eventually they get sick and tired of thee excuses and what they see as empty promises.

17 . Not.blacklisting yourself at all dealers (or pubs and clubs). You rock up there and instead of being supplied with your drugs you are a supplied with a psycologist. Wow! What a caring dealer.

Chapter 4 The Addict Of my life. this is true 18 . you had control For your consequences. I pay the toll These I’ve accepted as my own I reap what you have sown Destruction and chaos behind me now Humbly before myself I bow For my forgiveness and for you I have triumphed.

not for fear of the police but what would be done to me for selling in someone else’s territory. my sister who had become a zombie. (manipulative little bugger. Eventually addiction becomes the foundation for our coping skills in life. The addict is sly.the person can’t deal with these feelings on an emotional level and presto! The addict takes over. helps me to identify them pretty quickly. even you. I have my way of doing things. See the pattern. If they can’t get their own way. stories the addict will then play on your emotions and pull every guilt string they can find. These people could be the high powered lawyer who is your neighbour. and guilt for knowing that drugs are a no-no. they will lie and cheat. The addict does not care when they are in this “feeding frenzy”. Drugs don’t discriminate. thirteen years later. cunning and extremely resourceful. If that has no effect they will steal you blind and pawn anything they can lay their hands on. Myself and my addict share the same body. The guilt stems from knowing. hence leading to another “feeding frenzy”. In reality all that is happening is we’re masking our feelings to the point that we think they don’t exist anymore. who live on tablets to cope with the stresses in life. the bigger the part. was still justifying why she needed this little helper. Me being one and having spent so much time in the company of addicts. just so I can unwind”. So focused is their attention on serving their master. “I had such a bad day so I’ll just take a little pick me up. compounded feelings and emotions get more and more suppressed the more we use. Thanks to her addict. people do! I have used with and dealt to other addicts. I myself would never had suspected. The addict can justify anything. At clubs and parties (I never sold there. that the way in which the drugs were obtained goes against their very nature. The same is said for straight people. hey!). the woman executive with her own business across the road. the doctor who stays behind you. After the little binge and all the effects have worn off. So not that easy to identify physically. Let’s call it myself with a splintered personality. far to dangerous. It all started with a few tablets for her sinus problem. they will come across totally believable. For this problem there’s that. They come home to a full buffet of tablets. I have desires and intentions and I 19 . the drugs start to play. because my addicts name is Jason too. for every situation they “feel” they are in. And I would greet them with utter shock and dis-belief. for that problem there’s this. The deeper into addiction we go. only by behaviour. I have my own interests and beliefs. So fueled is the addict by addiction that consequence never even features. My sister is no zombie but her addict is. again. If you don’t buy into their. you know. A lot of politics involved and I don’t see the need to elaborate).Don’t kid yourself for one moment into believing that the addict is an idiot. People who know me will be shocked when they discover that i am an addict too! The addict is a clever little so and so. guilt sets in and every other feeling and emotion that is associated with this guilt (the hurts and the pains) . They are becoming addicts without even realising it. I would bump into old acquaintances and people I had met during my life. Not schizophrenia. That’s how my sister got hooked.

All roughly the same age given a few years and I know them personally. but it was his frame of mind that consumed me for four years. The same can be said for Jason the addict. Most addicts have a drug of choice. as it was my decision to fully consciously allow him to consume me to the point where I had given him full control. Not me. We have Mike*. As I’ve learnt and discovered. worked with my mom and he could read palms.know what I’m all about. I’ll wear the label of addict only when necessary i. He doesn’t care which master. That is when the head line and the heart line are one line. When I was born my mom labeled me Jason. which I fully understand now. The lines on my hands are almost mirrors of each other. As I said before. These lines don’t influence me negatively as I understand them and recovery has taught me which emotions to use when making decisions. I knew I had an addictive nature and stayed away from crack cocaine. When I was a young boy (and fat) a man by the name of Mike. He tries to control the way i think. Let me tell you a story about the destructive forces of stigmas. A solid thick stripe. one look at my hands and you’ll see the addict. However!! There were drugs I avoided completely and can honestly say have never tried. act and do. (Now this is where the plot thickens) it also occurs on my right hand. the more I drank and I’ve never been a big drinker. I have a simian line. He will always be with me till the day i die. I am the one who has to answer to his actions. People with simian lines battle with emotions and are coldly logical. And it was his master being served. Greg a friend and Andy a very 20 . I would binge. These stigma’s which society places on us are dangerous and hurtful. I’m not passing the buck. Whenever I went to work with her. For about year leading up to this date. They label us addicts attach a stigma to us. That’s where it ends! We do not connect on the same level. running across my hand. I had tried so many times to stop the drugs. In active addiction. They say one in every ten thousand people will have a simian line. This is a true story but I’ll change the names. Mike is an acquaintance. when reaching out to other addicts or when to protect myself. he got it right. not just to us but society too. poppers and the occasional bottle of cough mixture (codeine).e. he would always study my hands make photo copies of them as my hands fascinated him. my ecstacy and lsd was chased with ephadrine. not mine. I accept full responsibility though. as i came across as not giving a hoot. Greg* and Andy*. My lines are quite high up on my palms. The alcohol was never what I was looking for. I enjoyed a full buffet. No. He still pushes his luck with me and thinks he can trick me to help him to serve his master. Once upon a time…… (hey! This is not a fairy tale)! Sorry about that. which means I’m more coldly logical than emotional. welconol and mandrax. It was Sunday the 25th November 2000. The less drugs I took. heroine. people do. Iused speed. So when I used drugs. All I was doing was substituting drugs with alcohol (cross-addiction). I used cocaine. on my left hand. That’s the only label I wear. For those who are into palmistry. I live in reality and he lives in my head. that I finally took control of my life again and said goodbye to the drugs and alcohol. drugs don’t discriminate. I would get about three or four weeks no using (just drinking) and “reward myself”.

With understanding and compassion society could have helped in another way. People were calling him a menace to society and trying everything to get him locked up. this became the norm. The straight person is ignorant to the epidemic of addiction and I hope to help you to better understand. Through this love and understanding he never endured what Mike* did and was able to get the right help. same brilliant pro career. Then there’s Andy*. Mikes* debut into the professional ring was rewarded with a first round knockout in I think it was about twenty odd seconds after the bell (I stand to be corrected). We partied for two solid years. All the while it was Mike’s* addict creating all the chaos as the master needed to be served by any means. Being a pro boxer what could he do? If he fought his pro licence would be revoked (what did his friends care)? Asthma put paid to his career. Eventually he would even smack his mates around and cause such havoc in area. Sometimes I envied him as he was still very responsible and professional in his business. Drugs and alcohol were becoming more regular for Mike until full blown addiction. we are sick people getting better (we are healing and it’s constant). It was his conscious decision to take it. During his career he partied with his mates who took advantage of his boxing abilities and would always make trouble relying on Mike* for back-up (nice friends hey). Mike* was in so much pain and anger but society and his friends would not let up. He’s also cleaned up his 21 . also had brilliant career. Other than having drugs in common they are all retired professional boxers having had a good professional records. And it comes with recovery. If only society would re-accept us and afford us the opportunity to set things right Now we meet Greg*. After that it was all up to him. Well done Greg*. They did not take advantage of Greg* and somehow drugs also came into his life. Change is possible. Knowing that mike* had addiction problems did not stop anybody. fought for world titles. The good news is and I’m happy to say. His mates. Thanks to all the little instigators. We are not bad people trying to become good. Mike* managed to clean up his act and can take his rightful place as a productive member of society. Also had world title fights and a real gentleman. Mike* got a reputation as being a bully and would hit anybody. This very same society could have helped mike* differently if they only understood the addict and addiction. His friends loved him and he is a great guy. His addict was making him do crazy things and he was out of control. Drugs only came into his life when he retired. No. as he showed them all what a menace was all about. putting a lot of people in hospital with serious injuries (he was a heavy weight boxer with a big punch). His mates still letting up on him. still the little trouble makers would involve Mike*. Sometimes I blame myself for his drug using (I gave him his first ecstacy capsule). Menace now being the stigma he wore worked well.good friend of mine. This was to become the norm in his pro career. They respected him. Forcing him to live up to his reputation to the point where it was second nature for him. Yet he never went through what mike went through. because the people in Greg’s* life were supportive and understanding and never took advantage of his status.

and has truly found his path in life, and now runs a successful boxing gym. Andy* I take my hat off to you with the utmost respect and wish you all the very best that life has to offer buddy. You’ve earned it! I also have markings that are synonomous with addicts. I have tattoos (no piercings-not for me). But don’t judge me by them as tattoos have been around for centuries. Another craving which addiction fed is adrenalin. I have always been a bit of an adrenalin junkie and drugs seemed to have had a part in this too. Whether it be in the buying of or the selling of or just in the taking of the drugs, somehow I used to get an adrenalin rush. A subtle feeling but one I could feel (difficult to explain in words). Addiction is a slow death sentence. One that is self imposed when we consciously decided to take that first drug and allow the addict in us to take control. I liken it to a game of Russian-Roulette. One never knows when the gun will go off. (slowly committing suicide) That’s why it’s a progressive disease. Your body builds up an immunity to the dosages you take. The further into addiction we are sucked the bigger the dosages get in order to get that “high we are always chasing”. I made a promise to myself in recovery that I would never play Russian-Roulette with my life again with things I had no control over.


Part 2: Recovery


Chapter 5 Approach
With knowledge, I myself empower To rise above addiction, I now tower For i live a life, so serene Because from drugs, I now am clean It’s not easy, but oh so simple I smile with a cheeky dimple Put down the drug And kick it, like a thug


Facing An Inner Truth Heals Cause Of Using Recovery’s A Great Effort What Our Recovery Knows Face Everything And Recover Leave Everything To God Okay Any Change To Improve Our Natures Personal Recovery Involves Deflating Ego Nothing Else Worked Son Of-a Bitch Everything’s Real Solutions To Every Problem Sober Anybody Doing Drugs In Compulsive Trouble Wrong Or Right Remain Yourself Ass Saving Kit 25 Simply How I’m Thinking .

This same programme helped my dad to achieve eight free addiction years from gambling and my seventeen months from drugs (I promised it could be. And yes it’s not easy (but possible). so don’t expect recovery to happen overnight (aint that the truth). There is one little trick that makes it all possible. detox centres. They get right down to the cause and that’s where the healing starts. Methadone is given to addicts while going through the detox stages for heroin and codeine. so don’t get me wrong. It’s that simple. Rehabs are good and offer the addict a kickstart to their clean time (remember. done didn’t I)! Withdrawal is a mental one but some drugs have physical withdrawal symptoms too. The difference at a twelve step recovery centre is their holistic approach to the disease of addiction. Don’t pick up. which offer recovery programmes. you cannot take them. she tried it. One trick so simple (not easy) that even you can do it and astound yourself. no matter what! That’s it! If they are not in your hand. 26 . that’s when recovery life really starts. Jodie is now eighteen months clean due to the twelve step programme’s approach to addiction. then I suggest a rehab centre that offers the twelve step programme (you won’t be sorry. Why were these methods insufficient? Because they only treat the systems and not the cause! I’m not knocking them as many addicts have benefitted and managed to clean up their act. When you are dis-charged from rehab and set foot outside. such as heroin and codeine. Using my sister as an example (thanks Jodie). she was in active addiction for thirteen years and tried and tested just about every avenue possible to the addict. you name it. There are many methods and means for recovery. the addict is protected from external forces of addictions and is equipped to fight the internal forces with one’s self. If you feel that you cannot do it alone and will benefit from professional help. as now it is up to you to make it work. Help is at hand to relieve the pain of the physical. but living life without the use of drugs) While in rehab. The withdrawal is so severe as the mind and body fight for that fix and the pain the addict suffers is very intense (but worth it). We have support groups and rehabilitation centres and even some institutions. recovery is not about clean time.Recovery Exists Life And Program Seem Empty Choosing Honesty Allows New Growth Everyday Welcome to recovery! We did not become addicted in one day. I promise). Are you ready? Here it comes? Wait for it! (deep breathe) put down the drugs. in learning to identify the addict and the reasons for which we became involved in active addiction. Sleep therapy.

Giving in comes forcibly. you’re not an addict you can stop any time. then we’ll stop. we are not bad people trying to become good. the addict stops living in “denial”. and only. Seventeen months later. I had a select number of friends who I could trust with whom I could associate. Accepting that you are an addict and that you are powerless over your addiction. take charge now and by all means don’t give in). yet it was extremely necessary as I knew these people would bring me down. Wait! We’ll stop tomorrow.Avoid dark people. Do it for yourself and no one else. start recovery today (at this point your little addicts voice is going to do all that is possible to get you to continue using. Stand your ground. This protected me from the external temptations (I was already fighting my addict self and did not need added or undue pressure from others). to be openminded. the predetermined reasoning pops out of no-where. Therefore do not be forced into recovery as your approach will be half hearted. didn’t I?). Fake it till you make it. I’ll give you a little tip then. it’s not a river in Egypt). is taking the first step (a liberating feeling). Recover willfuly and receive the rewards that recovery offers (these rewards only come with effort. willingness. are. So I placed myself under house arrest purely out of self preservation. The most important of these principles which to live by in everyday life. not right now. When relapses occur. The most important of these principles is faith and hope. These spiritual principles enrich my life and open me up to all the good that life has to offer. And so on and so on. Apply these two and all is possible. Thereby not putting my recovery in jeopardy or myself. A quick 27 . faith. It was hard on me to turn my back on friends. Trust me and remember this is a clever tricky little bugger and is going to make deals with you. The healing that these principles offer the addict are priceless and the therapeutic effect they have in your life are without parallel. I have no desire or need to use and drink and it is hard work to get to this point. There we go). Recovery is possible when. At the beginning of my recovery the approach I used was to clean up by any means possible. This is why I try my best to live by spiritual principles. places and things. but it is for a good reason. so I would be in situations I could control. Okay. hope. Giving up comes willingly. We are sick people healing and getting better. I appologise for drawing this chapter out a bit. Come on bud. honesty. No. By which time it will have become second nature. You’ll even be tricked into believing that you are a successful or merely recreational user. No one likes to be forced to do things. In addiction I did everything possible to please the master and now I was to use the same driving force for recovery in a positive manner. Once you have admitted this to yourself. Remember. Don’t take my word for it and try for yourself and enjoy life’s blessings. Firstly to gain your trust by tweaking your interest and secondly to open your mind up to an incredilble life that awaits you in recovery (i promised you a better way of life. Again. not my addict. I was going to be as committed to recovery as I was to addiction. Work your recovery). Reasons for your relapses are perfectly calculated without you even realising it. Tomorrow might not come so do it now! Please!!!!! Give up your addiction and your addict as this starts a positive mindset. and quickly. trust and positivity (come now it is simple. Just once more. if you think it’s not possible. Giving in to others to clean up creates an environment conducive to the addict. (no.

no deals. I have not bible punched once in this book nor am I going to). (awesome stuff. At the start our emotional roller-coaster does not let up so don’t be discouraged. I’ll…………?”. but this is where i take over again. Just put down the drugs. Let’s see! We’ve identified we are addicts and have put down the drugs. stick to your commitment. Recovery teaches you that just for today Iwill not use. Again I ask you not to doubt your higher power as you have already been guided to start your recovery here. so don’t give me that. Every night I thank my god of my understanding for not using drugs and drinking today. So in faith and hope we’ve surrendered our will to a higher power and recovery is now possible. This I gaurantee you of (another promise. Your ups are ups and your downs are downs. We all have war stories from active addiction and we know of the destructive and un-managable lives we led in total chaos. So you are already used to it). Life is good and gets better everyday. one of which is he has spared you for a life in recovery. god. sorry pal. After all he has answered your prayers. We’ve told our addict. You can choose to call this higher power what ever you want to. God! (this is where your open mind comes in. Tell this character to shut up whenever it starts to take up your thoughts and pay this character no attention. In faith and hope we surrender our will (we’ve discovered how easily it can be manipulated. yet we just carried on (yes master!). it automatically instills trust in us as it brings about a calming effect to our (bare with me). (our addict will be with us for the rest of our lives. so please don’t bargain with this destructive character. But. Your higher power will express himself to you as a loving and forgiving one and in ways that you will have no doubt in your higher powers existance. Who cares if it sulks). My dreams. the ultimate authority who makes it all possible). There are two days we need not worry about which are yesterday and tomorrow. Feeling these emotions is all part of the process. We’ve consciously decided that recovery is what we want and made the commitment too. no pressure). “if you can get me out of this one. till you are comfortable to call this higher power. Now we are ready (this is where faith and hope come in). I’m really going out on a limb here. with your open mind full in faith and hope. don’t pick up the alcohol. they have already been determined by what we did today (cool. We surrender our will to a higher power (whom i choose to call god) as this higher power only wants what is best for us and will guide us accordingly. It’s a tough ride but worth it. Teaching us the ability to recognise what it is that we are feeling. and you will be guided to all that is good for you in life. to a higher power (no! Not the master again. My god has proven to me numerous times of his existance and to you too. trust that your life will be one of serenity! Recovery offers untold rewards for those whom actively seek it. 28 . hey!) Through believing in this higher power. hopes and desires that I carried with me in active addiction are coming true and being fulfilled everyday as I see the miracles being performed. And he did! Time and time again. surrender your will to a higher power. This chaos alone should have opened our eyes. Your reading this book aren’t you? In active addiction how many times haven’t we asked god. hey!).

There is no place in recovery for self pity so living in what could’ve been or what should’ve been and what might’ve been does not work. I did not want my recovery to be based on guilt. Build that bridge and get over it now. you are holding yourself back. Most importantly I hurt myself and it was me that needed to heal first so that I could mend what I had destroyed with others later. so accessing them is not an impossibility but a given. That night I realised I was not the bad assed junkie I thought I was. Deal with it. This junkie pride will be your downfall. Jason (me of course) is actually a nice guy (friendship fees to any takers. The world and society owe us nothing so choose to take responsibility for yourself now (even if it means adopting a personality and losing the attitude. The sooner you accept them and deal with them the better off you’ll be. Seriously though. There were addicts there far worse off than I was and my junkie pride flew out the window. as this is where the problem stems from. See. You can do it! I know you can. you choose to blame not yourself. those who did not really know me would’ve been none the wiser as I hid it well as you’ll find out in the next chapter when we’ll chat about relationships (both in active addiction and recovery). anger. I’m achieving what I set out to do and based my recovery on a positive. (clearly. The joke’s on us as we are greeted by them on the way back into recovery. fake it till you make it). You choose to wollow in self pity. Find a support group that offers a twelve step programme). And i have! So can you! 29 . stupid and ignorant). That night I promised myself I would never take drugs again and just for today it is possible (seventeen months later I’m still proving it to myself). At my first support group meeting I was cut down to size by myself as I heard the other recovering addict’s stories. you choose to hate your life. In order for me to benefit from a positive recovery I had to forgive myself first for recovery to be possible. Others are so why not you? I came into recovery with junkie pride as do we all. No way. My addiction and addict nature turned me into a monster around those I loved and cared for. You are where you are exactly by your own choice. hurt. I hurt many people in active addiction. remorse. It was a very humbling experience and one Iwill never forget (NB! Note to self. Very often it’s by our own perception that we don’t have them and it was our so called inability to use them that led us into addiction in the first place as we saw an easy way out. These emotions will have trigger points so identifying them will become second nature with time. They lay dormant till given the chance to catch you off guard. i needed to find myself again.discovering the reason for it and identifying the cause then dealing with it on the spot. and all Icould sense was how honoured I was to be with this bunch who had overcome there problem and had found this new way of life without the use of drugs. (like that dog Pavlov. grateful and happy mindset. So many times I have heard and spoken to recovering addicts with lots of clean time behind. etc (all the negative emotions). only joking). It does not matter what we do or don’t. Don’t suppress it. the stimulus and response canine). then i came to terms with what needed to be done and put the negative emotions on hold regarding others as I needed to focus on myself. some even years and yet they are still full of pain and hurt and anguish and carry resentments and grudges against everything and everyone including themselves (dumb. And I wanted it to. they are there. These skills we have already learnt while growing up and are deeply rooted within us. In dealing with emotions we are being equipped with coping skills.Jason the addict). family and friends and fellow addicts.

What I’m trying to say is that everybody has a purpose or a role to play in life. Marvelous thing this recovery as it allows me to go under cover in society and act and behave and be a productive member of society. if you reading this as a straight person. believe it or not. just as long as I don’t pick up the drugs). We all have limitations. My family will be the first to acknowledge this impulsive behaviour on my behalf (thanks guys) as it has been brought to my attention on numerous occasions. luckily not to often with no drastic outcomes. my fat salary. The opportunity is all we ask for. The simplest way for me to explain it is as follows: I can’t drive an eighteen wheeler truck but that does not stop me from driving my car. These two principles for me were difficult to start with as they have never been one of my strong points. I may not be the best looking boy in town but I can still get a girlfriend. my job. The only common bond we have is 30 . There are only two things I can’t do (actually three). They call it intuition. Living by spiritual principles means I don’t have to go under cover in society as this is one of the reasons for me writing this book. this non-destructive and manageable life I have now is better than any drug). Thank goodness). Which is why we are all different. As are the principles in active addiction the same for all addicts. as hopefully by now you have a better understanding to addiction and the addict. only if I don’t pick up the drugs. We have a function in society and we will fulfull it. Things happen when they happen at the right time. This selfish ability is not to hurt others but to protect yourself from active addiction. I can’t fly an aeroplane but I can still fly to Cape Town. when we are ready! Recovery is a personal thing and often referred to as selfish. again (no thanks. Tolerance helps you through the trial and error stages of waiting for the right things to happen.Patience and tolerance is fundamentally important in recovery. I can’t do recovery for you. Us addicts do not have to hide away or live as a recluse. my motorbike. I know. Extremely therapeutic for me and for you too I hope). Recovery is not the same for all addicts but the principles do apply just as long as you put down the drugs and don’t pick up. my house. so are the principles the same for the recovering addict. straight people included. Only you can do it for yourself and only if you are prepared to. I’m only human and I am allowed to get cross every now and then. etc! Etc! Etc! Then a little voice asked that isn’t it more important to maybe find myself first? Clever little voice this I thought only to discover later that everyone has one of these clever little voices and it has name. Yes. Mission accomplished. (I hope you are enjoying reading this book as much as I am writing it. no matter what! Once you have achieved this then the sky is the limit. so I’m both. A big plus for me is that patience and tolerance have even helped me in controlling my temper (I lose it once in awhile. just like straight people do (remember you are the non-addict). And let me be the first to tell you that our limitations are not obstacles. my girlfriend. as. Wow! Listen to your intuition as it will guide you to all that is good in recovery (higher power stuff this. that which I haven’t tried and that which does not interest me (and stick my elbow in my ear). get the message. There are no time restraints in recovery. Wait? Impulsive or compulsive? Okay. I woke up the second day in recovery and I wanted to know where everything is that this recovery’s promised me. I am an impulsive little bugger. See now this is the part where patience and tolerance comes in. cause then I’m going to stick out like a sore thumb. I wanted my car.

The genius part is that the analogue signal is 31 . Respect yourself first then I know you’ll have respect for me. find them and live. You’ve served the master long enough. We all falter. Why do you think of yourself as worthless? Why are you carrying resentments? Why do you think you don’t deserve recovery? Why have you become so complacent? Why do you think life is so terrible? Why? Why? Why? Could it be that recovery is not working for you because you are not working recovery? I can’t answer that for you. If you do you’ll become what is known as a “dry addict”. do what is required of yourself (you owe it to you and no-one else) and keep on trying. If no-one gets hurt then we get on. Fears manifest and so does joy. then we’ll get on. we are all included in the scheme of things on an equal level. why? It’s your frame of mind that needs working on first. The only real mistake is not to try and it’s sad. Complacency is a killer in recovery as it opens you up to addict thoughts and behaviours. Know yourself first then you’ll give yourself the time to know me and vice versa. when all you are doing is passing them on and denying yourself (it’s silly and does not make sense to me). Don’t let your past dictate your future. not feared. You’ve learnt your lesson so don’t live in the past. but there was a delay between them. Recovery offers us the opportunity to make hay while the sun shines (I was just as philosophical in active addiction as what I am in this book. You have no recovery. like trying to make things work for you in life so that we all win. I am me and you are you. I do what I do and you do what you do. It’s not healthy! Life is meant to be enjoyed. Love yourself and you’ll have love for me and vice versa. so why not you too. only human. There are more important things to worry about in this world. life is the same as in active addiction with addict behaviour. again.the interests and beliefs we share. I am better than no-one and no-one is better than me. so don’t pay attention to the trivial or meaningless things in recovery as they have no bearing on your life. but the functions we perform are different so as to make the scheme of things work for the benefit of all. Each connected to a different decoder and this puzzled me or a while. There were two tv’s on and both showing the same game. till it bites you on the arse and you wake up after a relapse and ask how did that happen? Patience and tolerance. You will only be helped if you are prepared to help yourself and that’s the truth (I am very passionate about recovery as it really is a gift and one that is available for all addicts looking to be “cured” from drug addiction). then we’ll get on. Recovery is personal and selfish and as I said before I can’t do it for you. I remember one afternoon “in a higher state of mind” watching an international cricket game against South Africa. you are missing out on so much that life has to offer. Complacency occurs when you think you have recovery waxed. The only difference is your not using. then we’ll get on. You have the answers in you. One was analogue and the other was satellite. wish I could (typical addict bahaviour it’s easier not to do it than to do it). Everybody makes mistakes as there are lessons to be learnt why. That’s where respect for each other come in. Others are. Now it’s time to serve yourself. as we are. Then genius here figured it out. remember?) The only thing we are assured of in life is that the sun will rise to the setting moon. You’ll miss the opportunity if you don’t wake up to it. And I promise not to judge you so then you’ll not judge me. so why pass on them. I choose joy! Which do you choose? (clue: fear kept us in active addiction and it wasn’t very pleasant. Recovery offers all that you have asked for and aides you in identifying the opportunities as they arrive. My friends will vouch for this because of the most profound things I would say.

deal with them as they arise and get them out of the way in order to move forward. There are no reasons for relapses! Only excuses! 32 . I take my recovery very seriously even if I’m sick. Learn to speak your mind and express your feelings find solutions you’ll be astonished by the therapeutic healing it brings on. Addiction cannot be cured. Force yourself to open up to healing and never be ashamed of what comes out. In active addiction we destroyed relationships with family and friends and just as we need healing so do these relationships too and when the time is right we can make amends where ever possible (time heals all wounds).one bounce and the satellite signal was a double bounce thus causing the delay. That which we have lost materially is gone. a new slate. new beginnings and the opportunity to set things right with ourselves first then others. which is why our approach to recovery should be of a positive nature. Not a bad thing as they are replaced with the new and better as this is what recovery offers us. It is not healthy. It can only be controlled. We have nothing to lose (we’ve lost it already) and all the more to gain. Use it. so be honest with your doctor that you are a recovering drug addict and he will medicate you with safe medicines. don’t use). Harbouring grudges and carrying resentments will only stunt your growth. If things bother you or if you are not to sure about things then express yourself and don’t bottle up. Made sense to me. I don’t take medication which contain mood or mind altering substances. which is why we heal ourselves first to make everything all possible. never to come back. This is not to say that we should avoid problems. When I explained I got blank stares.

Chapter 6 The tools I use the tools with purpose and meaning Undoing the burdens on me so bearing Lightening the load On this clear road A journey on which to embark In the sun. not the dark In faith and hope Not drugs and dope 33 .

We also need to become patient and tolerant of ourselves and apply it to others. We are powerless over our addiction but we control ourselves not to pick up the drugs. The world would be a better place through understanding and motivation instead of the destruction that comes from trying to control. These two go hand in hand as without one. Learn the lessons from the bad and enjoy the good (do not question either unless there are lessons to be learnt and skills to master). places and things. This higher power i choose to call god. Being persistant in getting our lives back on track to finding employment. Patience and tolerance Patience and tolerance is what has to be applied to all aspects of recovery. trust yourself so you can trust others. Enough said on this.Surrender your will We’ve discovered how easy this is. I have met many control freaks. Simple strategy. A god of my own understanding as he has expressed himself to me. We like to think that we have control but do we really! Just let things be and that will eradicate the domino effect of dominance and sub-missive behavior. Good things come to those who wait! Powerlessness This is what we all are and straight people included. Patience and tolerance teaches us to accept the bad times and the good times as well as trial and error stages of recovery. then that harmonious environment will be created for everyone to benefit from. I’ve come to know him as a loving and understanding god and i hope you do to! Faith and hope On which recovery is based. It instills a sense of knowing that everything will be okay in time to come. We learn what works for us and that which doesn’t. The calming effect is awesome as we come to know that we are powerless over people. In faith and hope our mind set is imbedded on recovery creating the mental awareness needed for recovery to happen and to start the healing process. so while we’re in this frame of mind give to a power greater than ourselves. The only things that we can actually control is ourselves and what happens to us and it stems from choice being in different situations. Higher power Any power greater than ourselves with our best interests and for our own good. From dealing with problems to identifying emotions. By employment I don’t mean getting a job. it’s finding a rewarding and fulfulling career bringing every aspect of success into our lives. 34 . the other has no purpose. Keep control for yourself that way you won’t set yourself up for a fall.

Change yourself into a recovering drug addict and embrace a life without drugs and alcohol. You are the master of your own destiny and it will only go where you want it to. Part and parcel of life). Courage Strong as a bear and as brave as a lion (now I’m getting ahead of myself here)! Nothing as severe as this. Change your thinking. your way of doing things. It’s not the quantity of clean time that matters but the quality of life living clean and sober. I’m grateful for the u-turn that my life has taken and the direction I am heading. There have been some rocky times when I haven’t been the nicest person (yes! I have off days. You know the one). Do you want to exist or do you want to live? Your choice? Change Change everything about you which is associated with addiction and addict behaviour. I choose faith and hope. The past has gone but our future is there. Life waits for no one. your attitude. When you think that things aren’t going so well you’ll be grateful for your gratitude journal as you can reflect on how well things really are! Life is not a bed of roses but what you make of it. Change is possible. help and support they have given me in cleaning up. but courage enough to face our fears and stand our ground to deal with all that life deals us. Giving back what we have held back. as it puts strategies in place for us that makes our recovery possible as we become productive members of society. Again I say that recovery is not about clean. it’s all up to you. Live by your nature and not the nature of your addict (that destructive tricky little bugger. not where we left off but at the point where we choose to fall in again. There is so much i am grateful for. Courage gives us the ability to climb back in. Give thanks and be thankful. I am grateful for my family and friends and all the love.Program The twelve step programme for me is the most beneficial one for any recovering addict. your outlook on life. So set up a programme that will enrich your life with all that is good and full of personal growth. ourselves and all that comes with us. Gratitude Keep a gratitude journal and write in it as often as possible all the things you are truly grateful of and for no matter how meaningless it may seem. You? 35 . You’ll soon see that things aren’t as bad or as big as what we make of them. I’m grateful for all the opportunities in my life and this book being one of them. You can steer it out of fear or from faith and hope (a sense of knowing). Very important. change your view of alcohol and see it as the downfall it brings with it! Change your perceptions and life in this mind set of change. I’m grateful for recovery and all that it has done for me. Express and show gratitude when it is appropriate to.

use it! Let go Let go of everything that will hold you back. A jail sentence if you like and one that is self imposed. worry about yourself first and hopefully your recovery will be contagious and they will catch it too once they see the positive changes in your life. Most importantly is to let go of your friends and places in active addiction. Recovery works for all addicts irrelavent of the master. didn’t we? And we went out of our way to use didn’t we? Active addiction is an obstacle in life. She is six weeks ahead of me in clean time (remember recovery is not about clean time but quality of life living clean). In active addiction we had obstacles which are more difficult to overcome than limitations. he is nearing nine years. We did everything possible to please the master. can’t help with this one only adrenalin can). Relapse Banish the thought. face them and embrace them then send them on their way once you have dealt with them. Fear manifests into reality so don’t entertain it. I won’t take mind or mood altering medicines when I’m sick. Release your fears and move on to discover all that awaits you. My dad let go of his gambling addiction to the twelve step programme too. only excuses (I’m hard hey?). So many recovering addicts relapse purely out of fear of relapsing. Don’t hang onto things that you yourself will place in front of you as obstacles. who had done all the rehabs for both of us. To let go is to surrender to help. Focus on the positive aspects in life and not the negative. if you want it (take it! It’s what you’ve asked for. Remember there are no obstacles in recovery only limitations which we learn to cope with and soon accomplish. your addict behaviour. Let go of your addict. 36 . So focused are they on this fear that it actually happens. The other fear is physical (sorry. boredom. he doesn’t play lotto (my sister included).Fear How you see things and how you deal with things. I went with her to a twelve step support group meeting and have been clean ever since. It’s called self preservation. not working recovery. So let go of active addiction and parole yourself and rehabilitate in recovery. We share the same approach to recovery. When she left rehab. No reason to relapse. The good part is we are eligible for parole any time we like. haven’t you)? There are two types of fear and we’ve just discussed emotional fear. I caught recovery from my sister. Identify your fears. They have no place to live with you as they hold you back. Don’t worry about them. Life is really good and gets better each day. your using thoughts. Relapse occurs through complacency. It was only when she went to a rehab that offered the twelve step programme did I really see the change in her.

10. 11. We humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings. We made a list of all the persons we had harmed. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him. 3. 6. 8. lives had become unmanageable. and to practice these principles in all our affairs. ourselves. That’s all I’m saying! (be yourself not the addict. we tried to carry this message to addicts. We made a searching and fearless moral inventry of ourselves. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. that our 2. We were entirely ready to have god remove all these defects of character. and became willing to make amends to them all. 12. 7.Honesty Be honest with yourself in everything that you do. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible. praying only for knowledge of his will and the power to carry it out. if you have to fake it till you make it. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction. think and be. and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. We admitted to god. Then you will be honest with and to everybody around you watch as you slowly start building up and regaining trust. 5. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of god as we understood him . Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps. 37 . then do so) The Twelve Steps 1. 4. 9. except when to do so would injure them or others. say.

shedding a needed tear I needed this. no matter what My addict against me trying to plot This voice eventually in subdue To my recovery I stuck like glue I found the life I seeked to require And all my heart held in desire My addict I have forgave As I’m alive and in no grave A second chance I’ve been given So have you. I had to recover And I. to re-discover I endured the hardships and the pain To fight for my life. Ihad to regain This went on for quite a while Often having to fake a smile I won’t pick up.Chapter 7 My recovery My life destroyed or so I thought In courage I this battle fought Desperate and brave to face my fear Often. if you’re driven? 38 . myself.

The grounding lessons learnt in the first months are what got me to this stage of my life which makes everything possible. Your pessimistic view of life will gradually change to one of optimism (remember negativity has no place in recovery. Not consecutively though. for my recovery! My addiction to mind and mood altering substances (steroids. But thinking back to my time in active addiction every molehill seemed like a mountain (hey cool. not hiding from family either. make no mistake about that (I’m sure you straight people would agree?). so lets say you were twenty when in active addiction and kicked the habit at age twenty seven. facing people we so magically avoided. more excuses to use) as all we did were compounding our problems. This book is a gift to myself. If I had to go back and do it again then I would do it gladly as anything is better than active addiction. The first months in recovery were hell. Please don’t be hard on you if you compare yourself with straight people of the same age. no drugs or steroids at all. drugs and alcohol) was nine years. From bad comes good as we learn to see what works for us and that which doesn’t. yet when faced by adversity we were no where to be seen (well physically maybe and that’s about all) as we would escape into our warped little world back in the corners of our minds thinking it to be a safe place to hide. piling them up one on top of another. Can’t avoid those dreaded creditors calls anymore. No one’s recovery is exactly the same. You can choose to live in it or you can choose to exist in it. 26 may 2002. only the principles in making it happen. We catch up quickly if you hang in there). Even as I write this book I still have to take that bitter pill every once in a while. Not negativity but complacency or fear of facing your problems and not being grateful). it’s about adapting to the situation and getting on with it.I begin this chapter buy saying that in two weeks time. as the first three years of my marriage I behaved myself only having an occasional drink at socials. It is said that our maturity growing stages are stunted in active addiction. In grounding ourselves we search for the answers deep within us and allow our true natures to lead the way in discovering our very essence of who we are (you’ll see we are pretty damn alright) and finding a sense of purpose in life for what ever reason it may be. I choose to live and with choices there are consequences. I’ll be eighteen months clean and sober. Life is what you make of it. being open and honest with ourselves as to who we really are and what we are going to do to fix our lives. As you embark on your journey to self discovery as that is what it really is. be they good or bad I have to accept them as they came with my choices and cannot blame or give credit to anybody else other than myself.big lessons to be learnt here. Living life on life’s terms is no bed of roses. In recovery there’s bitter pills to swallow. Our perception of adversity is a little less severe as the actual. Now. In active addiction we were all to pleased to experience good times. to share with you. 39 . Anything that prevents us from returning to active addiction irrespective of the consequences is part of our growth process. Take them as they are vitally important for your growth as they prevent us from returning to active addiction (think of them as vitamins). It’s dealing with everything that life is about whether it be in good times or bad. they’ve gone through all the head bump growing stages you are just starting on (you’ve only prolonged these stages that’s all. then you would be a twenty seven year old with the maturity levels of a twenty year old. In recovery these problems don’t miraculously disappear (wish they did) but are the start of our growth by dealing with them. but worth it.

ask any successful recovering addict. Not easy to explain this but I just know it so please trust me on this. Early in recovery while getting re-acquainted with Jason I was shocked at what I had become (not me. By successful I mean not using! I said in the beginning of the book that recovery held two meanings for me. happy times and sad. These two meanings have bearing on my life everyday. good times and bad. nor some body brand new. The myself I discovered was me. I will not deprive myself of all that active addiction took away from me (with my permission). I battled for the last year in active addiction to quit the drugs by myself. I have learnt so much and my personal and spiritual growth has bloomed through all the lessons I’ve learnt (and still learning daily). Recovery for me is having a relationship with life and all it’s ups and downs. I asked but no one applied). They say that Africa is not for sissies and neither is recovery and as I said before recovery is not for the chosen few but for those who choose it! This chapter is about relationships as everything in life is relative. then I would binge and then the cycle would start all over again. if you want to clean up say no to alcohol too. Being drunk and fighting the cravings made me quite aggressive at times. The lessons I have learnt we’ve discussed in chapter 6 under the tools and by applying them in life we see that we can overcome all. I must have an evil twin somewhere). Not a new and improved version or an upgraded model. disappointments. I am to have a fulfilled. Some simple and some hard but worth it. Combining active addiction with recovery in regard to lessons that I’ve learnt has empowered me with so much wisdom and knowledge that I’m sure I would not have discovered elsewhere had my life had taken a different path. There was no way I could function in life living and being in this state. Before we can have a relationship with life we have to have a relationship with ourselves first. We cannot drink. My message to you. When I was drunk I new alcohol wasn’t what I was really looking for and this was my road to relapse every time. as this will determine your relative life or existence in life’s journey. prosperous. would I? No! Not a thing because I would not be the person that i am now. I have daily healing and 40 . It took a long time for me to admit to myself that I was an addict. no matter what I won’t pick-up. I drank more and drugged less. Even when I admitted to myself that I was an addict I still couldn’t clean up. Firstly that I would clean up and get better and secondly to recover all that active addiction had taken from me. luckily not getting physical bar one little incident at my local watering hole. I came into recovery with the right mind set. and it was myself I discovered in recovery. I can’t be anybody other than myself (there is no one else qualified for the job. the same person I had neglected by destroying this relationship with myself. I would last a couple of weeks then relapse. I merely helped out the one waiter who was having a hard time with one of the patrons. happy and successful life. I’ll do whatever it takes to fight this and I will triumph (try with umph). things working out or not etc. Speak to any other recovering addict and you’ll be told the same. I broke it so I must fix.If I could go back in time and change things. it bites us and defeats us and becomes a cross addiction leading to relapses. the person I have always been. a purposeless human being (I fooled a lot of people in active addiction as I was ashamed of them finding out the truth about me). not realising then that alcohol kept on tripping me up (pardon the punn).

My mom is a woman of substance and has endured a lot of hardship and pain. life and everybody else. goals. Never to return yet they can be replaced. She taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. a lot of which straight people take for granted and it is there perogative to do so. I only get to see her once a year and it’s hard on me as I think about the most important years of her life that I’m missing out on. not blaming 41 . I thank my family and friends for all their help and support in me getting this far (one of the rewards of recovery is healing relationships that active addiction destroyed). A big thank you to my parents who supported me unconditionally through all the lies and deceit and my wrong doings. The material things you have lost. This was only made possible by putting down the drugs and taking the time in getting to know me. hopes. Mom and you have a right to walk around with your heads held high. coping and life skills enabling me to live life on life’s terms and to have a healthy relationship with myself. During this time I discovered me and everything about me. what works for me and what doesn’t. successes now and future. Another way for me to define the second meaning of recovery is reclaiming and these are where the gifts and rewards come in. needs. Financially. daddy! In having a personal relationship with myself I have rekindled all my feelings. Thank you. As I write this book I am still to pay off a lot of debts. my debts will be paid up with time as does recovery happen in time. my sister addicted to over the counter medication and me) and never once turned her back on us as she was always there to help us out.with this healing comes gifts and rewards. I love her and miss her terribly and don’t get to speak to her as often as I’d like but she is always in my heart and thoughts. I love and miss you booboo. Here in one family you can see that the twelve step program really and truly works and is the key to a fulfilled life. Jayde. There are so many people who I need to thank which I will do face to face when the time is right. ideas. How I think. Mom and dad I am blessed to have you as parents and one day I’ll be able to make it up to you in whatever ways possible and am truly grateful for all you have done for me. self forgiveness and self love. With her living in Ireland for the last few years shielded her from seeing me at my worst. To my dad a big thank you too for showing me that recovery is possible irrespective of which master we serve. Rome was not built in a day nor did active addiction happen overnight. We have many years ahead of us and this is even reason enough for me to stay clean so I can enjoy the experiences of our brief times together. thoughts. dreams. not letting my past dictate my future. wants. Life is good and gets better everyday! Recover to discover yourself! Have a relationship with life and everybody benefits! My relationship with myself and life is as it should be and accepting all the terms and conditions that apply. not just materially but non-materially as well (probably the most important and beneficial to the recovering addict as without them we have nothing). The most important person I need to thank and appologise to is my daughter Jayde. she has put up with three addicts (my dad a gambler. desires. A better daughter no one could wish for. emotions. free from active addiction. Recovery helps me to cope with this situation with my daughter and I’m comforted to know that for that one month a year I still get to see her and have treasured memories of our times together. who I am and what I am. emotionally materialisticly I was ruined. A big thanks to my sister too who went to all the rehabs for me. I saw how faith and hope in a higher power worked in his life and the benefits there of. are gone.

cycling or gym. Affirm starting with I am or I can are powerful affirmations. loved one’s or work colleagues etc. Always affirm in the positive using positive statements and make them short. people who inspire us and people who simply drain us. Write them down and read them as it adds to the effectiveness of your affirmations. There are all types of people that we encounter on our life’s path so we all need to co-exist. people we like and people we dislike. and I know that they only come with effort. don’t we? Today I am here through choice. friends. I have experienced the health benefits of recovery and training. we are not designed to live life alone! Which is why we have relationships with other people too. Healthy mind and a healthy body plus it keep’s us sane. I chose to recover by choosing to put down the drugs and accepting I will not use mind or mood altering substances and that I am an addict. second time it says wait a moment you might be serious. 3x just for today I will not use 3x I have purpose in life 3x I am happy and successful in aspects of my life 3x I can do anything I put my mind to Write each one on a separate piece of paper and say them to yourself three times a day. in the afternoon and when you go to bed. the problems only surface later in life. There is a reason for saying each one three times as it imbeds it in your sub-conscious mind. Taking responsibility for my life and being the best that I can be and consciously search for the gifts and rewards that there are for me. whether it be running. Say each one three times. When you wake up. I found affirmations to be extremely valuable in my recovery and I know they’ll work for you to. There are people we get on with and people that we don’t. third time it tells the subconscious to make a note of it and guide you to it. not letting emotional fear deciding for me. It doesn’t have to be these affirmations. I accept I’ll never get to a lean 96kg’s clean from steroids as my genetic structure won’t allow it but I’ll get to 80kg’s and be equally happy. for twenty one days and see for yourself. Think it! Believe it! Become it! Get involved in exercise of some sort. I quit sugar and foods high in glucose (pretty dumb don’t you think)? Over the past seventeen and a bit months my pancreas has stabilised and my sugar levels are normal now. See that’s the thing with steroid abuse.others for my downfalls and shortcomings. you can use your own. Now. First time mind goes sure I’ve heard it before (sarcastically). I have asked for us not to be judged in this book so therefore in return we should not judge others (this applies to everyone. success and fulfillment. This is possible by applying principles before personalities. sweet and to the point. Don’t do it! Get cracking and get training and enjoy the natural release of endorphins. whether it be with family. Do it. This is one of the ways we re-programme our minds. Everyone has their own life to live and we can’t live it for 42 . using courage to take the steps forward to finding happiness. We reap what we sow. We owe this to ourselves. prosperity. My body is another reward which I’m getting back. This is a daily ritual and affirmation. Addicts and straight people combined). during active addiction my pancreas was playing up and instead of quitting the drugs. whatever tickles your fancy do it.

another reward of recovery). Totally contradictory to what we were told. We give back what we have received in order to receive so as to give back. Today I get along with a lot of my using friends and we have mutual respect and understanding. I have healthy relationships in my life today and when I meet people I give them and myself the time to understand and know the person. not for to much longer. only possible by putting principles before personalities which comes from understanding other peoples view points which is determined by there frame of mind. I prefer to make my own decisions thank you. It is impossible to please everybody all the time. I’ll be on my feet soonest. With understanding comes compassion and we soon realise that we have no right to judge others. and if things don’t turn out as we would have liked to then it is all to easy to blame everybody else. Two very special human beings with strong characters and deeply rooted in principles and morals which I have received from them and applied to my life. You guys are the best. we like to take the credit for it. Because you don’t get on with that person doesn’t mean that I won’t either. We are powerless over people. Do others wrong and wrong will be done unto you (you get the picture). So often we are told by others that so and so is like this. Recovery is a selfish programme so as to avoid relapses and to live life on life’s terms but this doesn’t make us stingy people otherwise we could not be productive members of society. The relationship with my sister is strong and with us going through recovery together has strengthened our ties. People make their own decisions and choices in life for the purpose of growth along life’s journey. We have a good understanding with a lot of love and respect. We need to create healthy and harmonious relationships to coexist. I look at the relationship I have with my parents (yes 33 years old and living with mom and dad since my divorce.them. Everyone has a part to play so play it to the best of your ability and accept the responsibilities which are part of it. Often our paths cross and if things work out. I can get on with just about everybody and so can you which means we’ll get on too. this is a fact of life. The trust has been re-established and has become the foundation to our bond. The wheel of life turns continuously and it’s not our responsibility to be the downfall of others. And when we meet that very person we discover they are like that. From family to friends and even ex-girlfriends and I thank you all for the lessons I’ve learnt. I have very special relationships in my life. after all I’ve put them through they are still there for me. Even in active addiction we were close even though we used to 43 . We have our differences every now and then. which I am blessed to have. It’s in our personal approach and understanding that determines our actions and reactions along life’s journey. just do the best you can and be honest with yourself. Who’s to say we were right in the first place. Thank you and I love you. Mom and dad I may not show it as best I can but I am grateful for all you’ve done for me in depriving yourselves so I can have. Soon I’ll be able to do for them what they have done for me. If people act irrationally maybe it’s because they are going through tough times. We only judge others by our own standards so again what works for one doesn’t count for someone else. places and things. I don’t see them often (for obvious reasons) but when we do get together I make sure it’s a safe environment which they understand and hopefully one day they’ll join me in recovery.

An amazing little girl. When I first met Brenda she was timid and very shy and we clicked. aided in his recovery too. his wife Candice and Melanie. And the friendships i have made with the people i grew up with and went to school with most of which i till contact with today. The relationship I have with my niece is like a big brother. It’s more than a friendship. We manufactured and marketed cosmetics which were skin treatments from a doctor from 44 . Brenda. Her dad lives in Johannesburg and her mom and stepfather in Cape Town. he’s the brother I never had and has always been there for me through thick and thin and me there for him. including you Miss-B to name but a few. Let me start off by saying that I love short woman with dark hair and strong bodies. Before I was married steady relationships were not for me and again I appologise if I hurt any of you. Lots of lessons learnt here in how true friendships work. Over time we thought we were ready for marriage (I had to stop the coke first. There is a support group too for the family of addicts. all from understanding addiction and the addict. having the same devotion to my dad. Being so close they also felt the pinch of my active addiction. Within the business they ran it from Cape Town I looked after the Gauteng region. Robin and my friendship started in high school in 1986 and we’ve been close ever since. I have brother-sister relationship with his sister Dalene and his mom Vicky is like a mother to me too. and this was the start of our problems. Between my mom and my brother-in-law they could write a best seller on coping and living with addicts. instead of us being able to work through them. all I did was accommodate her insecurities and gave them room to grow. I got on well with far family and her with mine. I knew that she was insecure and possessively jealous and I thought that they would go when we got married. Back to Brenda who was a provincial gymnast so already she scored bonus points. Then I have a deep rooted friendship with my buddy Robin. And she did and her relationship with her daughter has blossomed and grown. The physical attraction is always the initial attraction. She calls me Jason not uncle and I wouldn’t have it any other way and in her eyes I can do no wrong. once we get to know the person do we find out if there is a future or not. She found a good career and I got involved with the family business with my inlaws. my partner in “crime” and womanising. which I did and her family and mine had no idea of) and tied the knot. Thank you to the Millers. I have always been fortunate enough to date very attractive woman.take advantage of each other with emotional blackmail. They know who they are Now I come to my intimate relationships starting with my ex-wife. Slowly she started coming out of her shell as things started to progress. I tried my best for her not to have any reason to feel these emotions. turns me into putty (my mom says I’m not shallow but deeply shallow. understanding and compassion. I had a good relationship with both her father and stepfather. Just goes to show what can be accomplished out of love. In their sixteen years of marriage my sister was an addict for thirteen and my brother-inlaw never left her side and living with faith and hope that one day she’ll get better. In my daughters eyes I can do no wrong too and we have an incredibly strong father-daughter bond. Abs and calves are my weakness. My mom. Then there are friends from active addiction who are genuinely good people and who’s names i choose not to say. her mom and stepfather. I have many special friends in my life and I treasure our friendships especially Alan.

nor would I inflict it on anybody else. The lessons I learnt from Bunny is that it is possible to love again and one must not fear taking that chance in finding love (which brings to mind the saying it is better to have loved and lost than to never to have loved at all). I met bunny a few months after the divorce and I wooed with flowers and poetry till she agreed to have supper with me and we hit it off pretty well. This would be immensely cruel and heartless of me. At supper she told me that she had gone or an interview to work in Dubai and did not want to get involved or hurt me. She got the job and we shared an amazing few months together before she left. She knew about my using as we had met in a club. We pulled out of the American deal weeks before it was to happen because we did not trust our partners who were setting the American market up for us. At first just ecstacy and after the divorce I went off the rails. eventually Brenda and myself merely existed in the marriage. I was more in love with the idea of being in love than I was in love with her. We got on very well and I have some memorable times with her. This lasted just over four years. We had many good times together and shared a lot of common interests. The divorce gave me excuses to use again and it wasn’t long before I found the coke again and everything else. Bunny is a 45 . Brenda and the rest of her family (who also had bikes) all went to the buffalo rally together. The pain of the divorce was unbearable. She had just come out of a ten year relationship and she also learnt that life with someone else is possible (didn’t have to be with me but with anybody whom she wanted to) and we helped each other to get over the hurts and pains of our previous relationships as best we could. We had sold everything we had and were ready to go. during the same time myself and brother-in-law were trying to set up a business in America to market our products there. I admire beautiful things and am a hopeless romantic. When she got back she told me she needed time and space and that was that. I’ll refer to them by the nicknames I gave them. It took off very well and there was lots of money to be made. Being a Libran. We really did try to make it work. we just couldn’t get past her insecurities and jealousies. Brenda. Fudgie and Ross. It’s strange how people come into your life at just the right time. eventually the time had come for her to leave and she was off to Dubai for two years. and I swore to myself that I would never go through or feel that pain again. Here I will introduce you to three other woman who had a strong impact on my life and for the lessons each one taught me. We both had a passion for motorbikes and we each had a superbike. To cut a long story short we were in dire straights and had lost everything. There were still parts of our marriage that needed attention and to the outside world we seemed to be the perfect couple. We kept in contact all the time and not realising that the drugs were giving me a false sense of love. One experience I’ll never forget was when myself. An incredible weekend. I have no regrets about my marriage and Brenda and myself are good friends today and I hold nothing against her. The financial partner in the business crippled us and skipped the country. I was devastated at first but knew the drugs would sort me out.London. She hated Dubai and returned after six months by which time I had gone through my grieving period with not a scar thanks to the drugs. and I accept my responsibilities for the marriage not working. all within about eight months of the divorce and I simply gave up. They are Bunny. Our marriage collapsed and there was nothing to salvage. Jayde and myself had everything. The last year was traumatic for us and the drugs started to come back into my life. I moved on and never pursued her as I was with my true love being the drugs. All marriages have problems I know.

Congrats Bunny and may you find all the very best that life has to offer. We bump into each other now and then I’m glad to see how successful she is and is getting married at the end of the year. I’m going off on a tangent here so coming back to Fudgie. I helped her work on this by changing her mind set and re-programming it (affirmations work) and indirectly working on myself. Also that self preservation is only applicable after the relationship is over and not during and to be yourself so as the other person gets to know you completely so they can see you for who and what you are. She still doubts herself every once in awhile. The mind and body has always fascinated me and I read books on anatomy and mind power often. One guy that she dated is still one of my best friends today. She was a dancer (now get your minds out of the gutter. Neither of us were ready and an addict is incapable of having a healthy relationship. In working with Fudgie she was working with me as I could see the changes in her. she is extremely motivated and driven and if we were to have had a relationship when she returned from Dubai I would’ve held her back from achieving her goals and ambitions. From Fudgie I learnt a lot and most importantly that it would take me to clean up and no one else. I had all the knowledge and wisdom of the human mind but was not strong enough to kick the habit totally. I have always been quite philosophical. things started progressing between us and I was so desperate to clean up and I thought this is it. Thinking back as I write this our relationship would never have worked and I confused our physical relationship with that of a steady one. Today Fudgie and myself are best of friends and am proud of her as to how far she has come. anyhow she was attracted to my intellect and knowledge of the human mind. I always knew that I would clean up one day only never knew when. Having a weakness for abs and calves I also find maturity in a woman an extreme turn on and have gone out with some older woman in the past. By this time I was trying my best to clean up and relapsing all the time. We would have ended up hating each other. in writing this I put principles before personalities in order for me to be honest. one of my attractions to Fudgie. A stunning person 46 . also from training and cycling I had extensive knowledge of how the body functions and how easily it can be manipulated.beautiful girl and a beautiful person. she had no idea about my addiction as I could hide it well. We bumped into each other one night and rekindled our friendship. She deserved more than that I thank her for the brief period in my life and for all she did for me. Well done Fudgie and thanks for your friendship. She was very anti-drugs and I thought that if I got involved with her then I would succeed in kicking the drugs. I pursued her and chased her thinking that she was my lifeline. don’t we all? She has lost the anger side to her and replaced it with a positive outlook on life and facing and dealing with her issues to finding serenity. I had known Fudgie in the past (before the drugs during my little steroid binges) as we had a few common friends in the social circles that we mixed in. Make no mistake. The time period between Bunny and Fudgie was over a year and no relationships in between other than with the drugs. I still believed it would take a relationship to do the trick. She was a very bitter and angry person from being hurt from relationships. I was no idiot during active addiction and my mind was sharp. not a stripper but danced in productions) so imagine the legs and abs on this girl. just that my addicts mind was sharper. Hence. If you hide yourself in relationships they will never work. She is also finding her spiritual path in life and is growing in leaps and bounds.

Ross had a few reservations about us. I was ten months into recovery and things were finally starting to take shape in my life. Two months into our relationship her self preservation kicked in when she thought things were happening to quick and she did not want to open herself up to being hurt and put the brakes on. By the same token nobody could make me relapse other than my self if it had to have happened. Coffee became supper and I was smitten with her all over again. To cut along story short she got divorced then met someone else and moved to the country while I had got married. Ross and myself have a bit of history together which dates back to my cycling days. This was tough on me but I stuck to my guns and did not relapse as now I had plenty of using excuses. I also knew exactly what attributes I was looking for in a girlfriend and I was not prepared to get involved with someone for the hell of it. We chatted for hours and reminist over the past and played catch up. I behaved myself that night because I wanted to be sure about this. All the best to you Fudgie in the future! The points I’m making with these relationship stories is that only I could clean up for my myself and no one else could get me to clean up as I thought. We connected on all levels and as our relationship developed we agreed to take things slowly and see where it would lead us. Two weeks later my grandfather passed away and instead of using I stopped smoking (the mind is an incredibly strong tool if you apply it). one being that she is five years older than me and thinking that one day I’ll look for someone younger which had happened to women that she knew of. Ross is the one and I sensed that she was developing feelings for me too. She was also very married which I respected. With us always having an honest and straight forward relationship I knew I didn’t have to hide anything from her and told her about my drug addiction. also it would not be fair on the other person. She was this cute and spunky little beautician who used to wax my body and helped me with my steroid induced acne problem (my back was bad. I was working and my parents had helped me to by a car in their name. In that week we played mind games feeling each other out. At the 47 . so let me continue and tell you about Ross.with lots of potential to really make it in life (of which I have no doubt she will) and has a lot to offer. hope and faith I would achieve it. I was ready for this. I would tease her and chat her up and she would put me in my place time and time again. Around this time my grandmother passed away. Very sharp this beautician is. Recovery had helped me deal with and overcome my issues in life and to let things happen naturally. During this time we had bumped into each other once and it was like we had never lost touch. She hadn’t changed and got better with age. Within the first half an hour I knew that Ross was all I was looking for and so much more. that would’ve been a shocker). tolerance. We went to movies during that week and by the Saturday I knew. This would never happen as she was exactly what I was looking for in a woman in every conceivable way and to fill her shoes would take someone not of this earth. thanks Ross). She had been hurt a few times in the past and did not want to repeat the same mistakes again. We met for coffee and she was shocked at the sight before her and I could see it in her face (she should’ve seen me when I started recovery. A very honest and straight forward friendship developed over the years and we got to know each other for who we were. because I was lonely (yes recovery can be lonely but you are not alone). my mind focused and I knew what I wanted out of life and with patience. Years later and my tenth month of recovery she bumped into my sister and asked me to give her a call.

Thanks for being you and for your love and support. The bond that I had with her daughter and son was awesome and really enjoyed our times together. My self preservation kicked in afterwards and Ross’s during our time together. No relationship has a chance when either party applies pressure. and finally. Nope. it was a package deal and one that I gladly accepted as this is what I was looking for. You are a stunning. We had opportunities to make it work and I realise that we needed this time apart to deal with ourselves and grow from this. Relapses are self inflicted by not taking responsibility for our own actions. Still trying to quit again which I’ll get to in chapter eight. Within time you will come to know this too! 48 .time of my grandfather’s passing Ross and I agreed to be friends as the friendship was far more worth saving than the relationship. I’m not “captain recovery”. Wasn’t long before we were back together. We had the makings of a life long commitment. let alone both. now gone. as she put it. The last few weeks have been great and thanks for your understanding. We all got on well and I missed being a dad). intelligent and amazing person (not to mention extremely sexy). They say we should avoid intimate relationships in the first year as we are still trying to heal the relationship with ourselves. I know the mistakes I made and I can’t go back into the past to correct them but I have grown from them and life goes on. As you can see by living life on life’s terms does not constitute a relapse. With what Ross and myself went through towards the end I was frustrated with myself and thought I could have one cigarette and I’ll be fine. We had tried to put boundaries and restrictions on us but they did not work. thank you for believing in me and encouraging me to write this book for it’s been in my head for so long. My feelings for you have not changed and you still rock my world Ross! I’ll never forget you. From the relationship I learnt that it progresses at it’s own pace and no matter what we do the progression is natural and we tried to go with the flow. the universe had other ideas for us. Being powerless over people means we cannot force someone to do things against their will as they need to make conscious decisions for themselves. Ross and my relationship grew and progressed then took a wrong turn somewhere with us putting so much pressure on each other that we “lost the plot” to make it work. I have seen how having a personal relationship has changed my life and the lives of all recovering addicts. We would listen to each other and not hear what the other one was saying and I accept full responsibility for my part. here it is. which brought us down. Ross. From you I have learnt a lot. Eventually Ross applied the brakes again when her sense of self preservation kicked once more. Stay focused and committed and all is possible. My most important relationship is the one with my higher power who has made this all possible. I went through some rocky stages with Ross but my life is just as important as everyone else’s. we have some very deep conversations which I still enjoy and am glad that we have no regrets. For Ross and myself to be able to make it meant that we all had to get on with each other (myself and her children. Relationships do not work under pressure and we were unfair to each other. I’m just committed. Here was the woman of my dreams who I had envisioned growing old and living a fulfilled life with. My grandparents passed away who were always there for me and I suffered a great loss along with the rest of my family. The details of the failings are not important but it is a bitter pill to swallow when someone you love in entirety walks out on you. I would fetch them from school every second Friday and the afternoon would be our time.

Rest in peace.To my grandparents. 49 . Thank you. Pat and Ernie. who have been an inspiration to me all my life.

woman and man Just for today I will not drug On addiction I pull the plug Do it and you’ll find A serene peace of mind As you recover Yourself to discover 50 .Chapter 8 You Stop the using. I know you can I urge everyone.

sister (Jodie) and couson (Kerryn). just for today . Now it’s your turn! I.Welcome to your recovery. I surrender my will to . Maybe even you managed to apply some of what you read and understood to your life. Do it and do it now. What you have read are my thoughts and my own personal philosophies on life which have helped me to get this far. So thank you to my dad (Albie). Living proof in one family that it is possible and being done. then you? I. My family have been kind by letting me include their testimonies on condition that I give to you the poems which I wrote for them as they hope it will inspire you as much as it did them. the reader. there is hope if you choose to recover. (do it for twenty one days and see?) 51 . For the addict reading this book. Jason Firmani. So I’ll start. I know it was not easy but well worth the journey to self discovery. the reader have never taken drugs then leave it at that and pat yourself on the back. To the straight person I hope you found this book to be informative and to better understand addiction and the addict. Just for today I will put down the cigarettes and not pick up. admit that I am powerless over my addiction to nicotine. . This chapter is devoted to you. If you. and not pick up no matter what! This I promise to myself. I surrender my will to my higher power (my god of my understanding) and pray for his will over me and the knowledge to carry it out. a journey that many people never had the privilage of accomplishing or finding. Addicts come and go as do dealers but the drugs will always be. If you have been thinking of trying it? Please don’t! For some of us fortunate one’s it’s a long and bumpy uphill climb back. I will put down the . I’m not an unreasonable person and am willing to do this with you. No matter what! This I promise to myself. Tomorrow may never come. admit that I am powerless over my addiction to . I saw how easy it was to be addicted by lighting that first cigarette after having quit for two months. to make the decision by admitting who you are and what you intend to do about it.

Jodie Wonderland Hang in there my little sis On your road to bliss Who am I to point and judge As you. you can You’re strong. others will. out of it only the strong will eminate Through tears of sorrow and joy you’ll cry When time answers to your question of why Wonderland is not great Simply a euphoric mind of state A vehicle to leave reality To withdraw in totality Euphoria your mind to rape Wonderland your place to escape Reality is what is now Endure the pain in appreciation of how Kicking is half the battle won Day at a time. over obstacles. I to you do say Be positive and in thanks to pray As you draw strength from those around Look for your lifeline it will be found Listen to their stories and take to heart Don’t sit one side to be apart 52 . habitual to forsake Think it! Believe! Become it! Just about you keep your whit From out of the depths of despair Comes your road to repair Not alone. stick to your plan It is habitual to take Now. now trudge As you’ve seen. no magic wand Others have. addiction does not discriminate Yet.

I was only there for two weeks and then discharged. our only limitation’s to put our elbows in our ear Jodie’s story: As at today I am exactly 19 months clean and sober. Up till now I had realised that these tablets took away the pain and also at the same time made me feel really good. I just think that I resent him to a certain degree for having introduced me to these death tablets. I started my recovery in a rehab because I never felt that I was capable enough of doing this recovery thing alone. to live I will Every morning when you awake These words I give you to take Today. I took these for a good couple of months and then decided to have the sinus problem corrected by having a nose operation. but do not fear As humans. it’s hard I kid you not But what it takes. you’ve got the lot Stick around and pray. Why did I feel this way? It made no sense to me at all. After the operation I remember thinking well surely now I don’t need these tablets my operation is now done. What did he do about it? Just gave me more tablets when I saw him next and asked for them and I even got them on a script to make it cheaper for me.We are all one and the same Bonded and joined by guilt and shame One for all and all for one To defeat this battle that weighs a ton Back to back. This was the start of my downward spiral to “hell on earth”. Within a two year span I was taking a minimum of 8 tablets at a time up to 4 – times per day. I will stay clean Because it is what you mean Yes. It might even sound like I am blaming him for my addiction but I am actually not. Her chemist had told her how much I was buying from them. He said this was cheaper than getting script after script filled off my medical aid. I started off on about 2 tablets 3 – 4 times per day. They also suspected something. Soon this wasn’t enough anymore. My family realised I had a problem by now and booked me into a government rehab . My mother went to my doctor and told him that she suspected I had a “problem” with these sinutabs. My story starts about thirteen years ago when my daughter was only around 1 and a half years old at the time. me it will kill Don’t need it. I was only home 24 hours and I felt that over whelming need to take a sinutab. I don’t even think that I lasted 2 weeks out of rehab before going back onto my tablets at 53 . Little did I know that I was well and truly physically and mentally addicted to these tablets already. In rehab I was introduced to the 12 steps. for pain. I had sinus problems and my darling doctor told me to use sinutabs (the pink and white ones with codeine). stand and fight Kick it hard with all your might This is poison.

heaviest sleeping tablets available. Around this time I had a nervous breakdown. It was business as usual the very next day as I got home. I was in pain for 24 /7. I also never thanked my husband for saving my life as I thought when I came too that he was trying to have me taken away against my will. good. hiding them from myself. in our safe so that he could monitor what I was taking. This went on for at least 6 months and it was in this time that I started having memory blackouts. It was just after this that I had a very serious brain seizure in front of my husband and my daughter. My husband tried locking up all my “stash” as he called it. I felt so lost by now that I new I had big trouble but I didn’t know how to cope with it. a terrified husband. sinutabs (as always) and valoids. It was at this time that I pawned all my and my husbands jewellery worth at least r50 000 for around r5000. I had a very serious accident at work where I almost died. In this time I was put on a hole lot of new. Of course I was always to clever for him and always had a back up plan in case of these “emergencies”. Years and years of abuse of up to 60 tablets a day started taking its toll on my life. It turned out that I had a 1cm 54 . 800 sinutabs. This all went on until approximately July 1998. having my husband dispense less to me. Of course this did not stop me. I had started losing weight after my accident and I wasn’t well for long time and by now I had lost around 60kg.full steam ahead. Needless to say I went on a binge from the moment I hit that aeroplane seat and I finished my tablets within the first 12 days of my holiday. By now I couldn’t get through a day or anything for that matter without my “fix”. Its very scary let me tell you not to remember hours that you lose out of your life. I was released and took so many of these tablets mixed that that 30 days worth lasted me just under 7 days. (100 rehypnols. You name it and I took it. This is when the big trouble hit. I was terrified of the drugs but even more terrified of not having them. and a very distraught mom and dad as well as a room full of paramedics that had me hooked up to every machine they had. I landed up in hospital in Kissimmee twice while I was there with a bladder infection according to them. and 150 valods). Wow it was great. tranquilisers. heavy drugs. I was operated on and after that I went through some very intense and painful occupational and physio therapy on a daily basis for months. You name it I tried it. Like cutting down. No script needed. Its around this time that I discovered “cocktails”. I took a good 4 weeks worth of tablets with me. Another two years went by. Ha ha I was dried out for a couple of days and then I spent another two weeks there monitored by the doctors. You think by now that god it can’t get worse but guess what it does and in a big big way. Anti-depressants. We would be away 3 and a half weeks and I did not want to run out. I was once again put back into the same government rehab and this time didn’t even make the two weeks to dry out. I spent the night in hospital. Never a question was asked as long as I paid cash no one cared. I came too in my bedroom with a hysterical daughter. Here I saw that if I mixed all the medication they were giving me together I could go on a high of note and none of my ailments could worry me. I needed cash because i had certain chemists that would sell anything to me over the counter as long as it was cash. Anything I wanted I got from these chemists. tranquilisers. I was having a ball on all these legal drugs. I was well and truly hooked. I tried so many times to stop. I didn’t realise what had happened to me so I just got paranoia and screamed at him like a raving lunatic instead of thanking him. and ended up in a 5 star fancy ”mental hospital” for help. I was taking sleeping tablets. Of course all the doctors were willing to give me anything I wanted because of it. In this period we also went to America on holiday. because he had tried to do this to me many times before.

I came around alone and scared. I started forgetting everything. At this time I was having panic attacks severely. I did not want to go. My dad new about the twelve step programme at one of the leading private rehabs. In this short time I had a blackout. 12 rehypnols at around 10:00 If I could not get rehypnols then I would take anything I could get my hands on. 4 valoids. I couldn’t remember things like numbers. I was pushed by my family and I went to my first meeting. 2 tranquilisers at around 5:30 30 sinutabs. They really tried to help me but also told me that I couldn’t get well over the phone and I would have to come to one of the narcotics anonymous meetings to start with the healing. She spent most of her time with my mom and dad. I was blacking out so much that I was losing 2/3 of my day everyday. Then to add insult to injury I blacked out for around 10 minutes and came to not remembering where I was or how to cope with where I was. I cried through the first half of that meeting. He asked me to phone the helpline. 2 valoids. I was on a roller-coaster to hell and I couldn’t stop it. I was hysterical. I phoned this help line with a lot of skepticism. talking rubbish and gibberish to anyone that would listen. I spoke to 2 really great guys. My husband did his best to keep her around but I was taking up so much of his 55 . The longest clean time I had had in years. He came home to a hysterical wife clueless to her surroundings. I was in Tara for about 3 months. After I had that seizure she was terrified and she wouldn’t come home too much. it took 6 members to calm me and get me back to my husband waiting for me in the car park. 2 tranquilisers in the morning 20 sinutabs. or even things I had done. When I started up again I hit the worst period ever in my life. names. (real dronk verdriet). He was only gone for about an hour. places I had been. 1 tranquiliser at around 3:00 30 sinutabs. 4 valoids. 4 valoids. I was aggressive and very hysterical at times. I could not get anymore tablets in America so I was well and truly out. I could not even function in any way as a normal person. A couple of months later I ended up in another rehab. 2 tranquilisers at around 12:30 15 sinutabs. I could not wait to get home. I had a panic attack. I could not remember where my husband was and I couldn’t remember his cell phone number to call him and ask him where he was. As an example one night my husband went out to get us take-aways. I didn’t even know how to get back to him on my own. This went on for weeks. No I only lasted 6 weeks out before I was back on all my stash. My mom and dad were also at their wits end. My holiday and everyone else’s around me turned into a nightmare. The best holiday I could ever have wished for was turning into hell for me – self induced of course. They do not sell codeine over the counter in America and no one would give me more than 20 on a script. I was desperate and very miserable.kidney stone in my right kidney and this was only discovered on our return to South Africa. I was going through withdrawal and I was in pain in a strange country. From July 2000 – October 16 2000 I took so many tablets that how I am still here today is truly a miracle. My daughter at this time was spending very little time with us at home. I had to have surgery to get rid of the kidney stone and now I was even getting pethadine along with everything else. I went through hell but it did not stop me. 6 valoids. I had become very reclusive by now and hated mixing with people. Its not like passing out. This was now in the July of 2000. I was taking: 20 sinutabs. To others you look like you are there but it is as if your brain goes to sleep only so when you come around you are still in the same place but you cannot remember what has happened in that blank space of time.

I realised that I had to take my life and my recovery one second at a tome if necessary and not that no matter what I could not pick up the drugs. In the second week I started getting involved in my twelve step program that I was given. I was so angry with myself for allowing things to come this far. Boy was I wrong. I found out why I was always so self destructive and I was put on that long road to recovery with the tools I would need to walk that road. Recovery has never been easy for me. I didn’t really want the job my husband wanted me to get out and have a life and he thought this job was what I needed. They make it look rough on TV but let me assure you that it is 50 times worse in real life when you are going through it. I had to disect every aspect of my life in every way possible.time he just couldn’t cope with both of us. I also had to understand that all addictions go hand in hand and to keep truly on the right road I had to stay away from all addictive behaviour including not drinking any alcohol. got through it and sometimes even 56 . I really have taken each day as it has come to me. How I felt about myself. I had never been any kind of an alcohol drinker but I realised that if I drank alcohol this could lead me to crave my drugs. “no” to drugs. I had been for an interview the previous week and had even got the job. My addict in me wanted to doubt everything. For the first time in years I really had to look at myself. There is no distinction if you are taking street drugs or over the counter. I thought I was not so bad because I was “only” on over the counter drugs. Once I started and got into the work we had to do I realised that it was making a huge difference to me. I went into rehab purely to get out of having to start a new job on the Monday. Yet I still managed to con the person and get the job. So now I abstain from all mood and mind altering drugs and alcohol. I may have gone in with this attitude but let me assure you that my attitude did a 360 degree turn in the next 6 weeks. It didn’t suit my addict. Little did I know that I was as worse off as the heroine addicts and let me tell you it was horrific. This was like nothing I had ever been through before. I was going through a horrific physical as well as mental withdrawal. So to get out starting this job I went into rehab on the Sunday. Once again ha ha. How could all this writing and talking possible help me and my problem? How could this “just for today” stuff ever really mean anything to me or make a difference in my life? All these questions my very much alive addict was battling to cope with. I realised even though I had never thought about alcohol I could see how easy it would be to cross-addict to something like alcohol. If they don’t you can actually have a heart attack and die. I realised that one is too many and a thousand will never be enough. They had to put me on a special medication called methadone to wean me in the first few days. No matter what I had to say no. One day at a time really did start to mean something to me. When I got home I didn’t even remember the interview or even the building I had been in. Going through withdrawal in a room with 3 other heroin addicts trust me there was no distinction. I heard how a lot of addicts cross addict very easily and I did not want that to happen to me. It suited me to. I can only thank god that my mom and dad were also there to help give her a sort of “normal” life. By not getting the high I would like to get through Alcohol would make me crave the drugs of my choice. My first 10 days were hell on earth. Addicts can and are very devious people when in active addiction. I started out with a lot of skepticism. Don’t fool yourself in believing otherwise. I answered so many questions in my life. It is all so complicated and yet also all very simple too. if left to go cold turkey from day one. It was at this time that I was persuaded to go into the 12 step rehab. The day that I walked in I walked in a total wreck of a human being.

57 . Mostly to my darling daughter. You have grown up a beautiful and talented girl despite me and I love you for it. Thanks for the hours of company that you gave me in my height of addiction and also the love an the support you showed me. I have had to accept that I did this to myself and I can get through life now without drugs. Cheryl and Albie. for his tireless patience with me and for all his help in the darkest time of my life. I thank you for this and love you all very much. I am glad you come home now and you seem happy so I must have done something right. **The poem put in with my story was written for me by Jason and given to me in rehab. As things come up now I have to deal with them with a sober and clean mind. that I lost in December 2001. I have had many obstacles put in my way over the past 8 months but I have managed to get through them one day at a time. you endured years of a mother that was never really there emotionally for you. I sometimes have no recollection of a lot of things that happened to me in active addiction. To my grandparents. To my brother. for the love and the understanding. Patsy and Ernie. It kept me going during a very hard time in my life. for standing by me as a comrade in my addiction and also for joining me on this journey. I thank god that I have taken stock of my life and am alive and not in Wespark Cemetary. You all never gave up on me. I know that if I had not gone into rehab when I did I am sure that I would not have made it to December 2000.enjoyed it. I still live with a lot of the consequences of my addiction. for helping me with my daughter when things were falling apart and not to mention the unconditional love and support you showed me. I am just glad that I have been given an extended lease on life to make it up to all of you. I thank my mom and dad. There are periods in my life that I have totally forgotten. Thanks Jason. I would like to thank my husband. Jason. You all helped me every inch of the way. Daniella. Thank you for your love and support through some very difficult years. Vivian.

divided we fall Never to a no answer call 58 .To Kerryn: To our own lives are we the authors Yet in life both students and tutors For to half we learn The rest we earn From the twelve steps you will find Times when you were hard and kind Times when you were happy and sad Times when you were calm and mad The twelve steps offers a new foundation To be applied in daily application For gambling too is an addiction No known cure only arrestation Step 1 is the crux to it all Admit powerless so as never to fall In life things happen for a reason Never as clear as the changing of a season As family we often take each other for granted As sure as the farmer knows what he’s planted But out of the blue a storm appears And what was always sure now disappears Not gone and forgotten But a time of separation to grow and reflect on As we all have now come together again Our family bonds to strengthen and deepen For in that time we were apart Gave us the experiences needed for this rejuvinated start For each to help and to show What’s required for our family to grow No resentments or regret Just true faith on each other to bet United we stand.

hating myself and wishing I could die on the way home so that this would all end. I clearly remember walking out of the casino. Going to the casinos every now and then. help and encouragement for you A foundation of support in times of feeling blue A collective of experiences learnt to share For each other to nurture and care. I was planning my next “escape” to the casino. The more times I won. I have two small children who needed me and as much as I hate admitting it to myself. See. I must say that in no way are they responsible for my lack of control. I know then that my life is changing for the better. At times my husband would go to the casinos with me. I had applied to various banks for credit cards. In fact once. I would give him some money and he would go off and play. I wanted to write about what happened to me. I would go for an hour after work and started lying to my family about my whereabouts and the amounts of money I was spending. My husband often knew I was going to the casino’s but he had no idea of the amounts of money I was spending or where I was getting it from. I was going to a casino at least 5 times a week. I knew I had a problem but did not want to do anything about it. hoping someone would smash into my car and end this all. because then I knew I could never go into another casino again. 59 . Then quiet a few casinos opened a lot closer to home. except myself. Still this did not stop me. this way he never saw how much money I was spending. my parents and family being avid gamblers. Love Jason Kerryn’s story: Hello. I lost the respect of my husband and had no friends anymore as I was always letting them down! This I could not bare. I then started spending a lot more time at the casino’s. Even though they did introduce me to casinos. While I was at home with them. which he did not know about. because it may help others not to become like myself and if this could help at least one person. for where I am now. my name is Kerryn and I am a compulsive gambler. I would actually get upset if i went in and someone else was playing my machine. the more times I would visit the casino. I would leave my bank cards at home with him. and eventually got us into a very bad financial state of affairs. I actually drove home through red traffic lights. spending a small amount of money. I am a 33-year-old mother of 2. I would also then feel very guilty and buy them things to try to appease my guilt. but in the meantime.Friends come and friends go Some have gone to a place we don’t know But family lasts till the end A promise at birth on which we depend To motivate. I had a perfectly happy childhood and have a wonderful family so I cannot blame anything or anyone in my life. I started like so many others. I began to spend too much time away from them. I had my favourite machines that I played. I would often join them.

It has now been 4 months since I have gambled and I must say that the first few months very indeed very hard. became the person who I have to thank for getting me onto the right path. sitting outside of the centre. he thought. my mother and I having a very close relationship. she talked me out of it. but the one thing I wake up feeling each day is that “today” I will try to make a difference. whether it is family or friends or fellow GA members. I got out my car and went into the meeting. To phone someone who knows what I am going through helped and still does. very hurt and said that he knew what was happening but could do nothing. The support you get 60 . You do not realise how much you miss while being controlled by the disease and how much you gain once you start arresting it. but I now have become addicted to getting well and to start becoming a better person. I found myself one evening begging my mom to take me to a casino and eventually. someone I hope to become one day. That evening. feeling so humiliated and hating myself. phoned our local gamblers anonymous group and found out where the meetings were. Eventually. I then made use of the “phone list” given to me at GA and now I can say. I then contacted the help line and after speaking to that “angel” for over an hour. He only looked at me. I can only thank you from the very bottom of my heart and hope each one of you know how very much I do appreciate you. he said that he was just waiting for it all to end. The people there were nothing but nice to me and made me feel comfortable to be there and welcomed me. To each and every person there. Not only did they help me to stop gambling. She and I had not spoken for years but it just so happened that she contacted me after going through hell herself now being a member of NA. I remember my first meeting. and thinking of every reason why I should not go inside. and I must say that the road has been long and hard but I feel that without attending my weekly GA meetings and doing the intensive 12-step program. who have never given up on me and continue to support and encourage me daily. that it has become so much easier. I knew she would blame herself and would have done anything to convince her that in no way was she to blame. To each of you who have supported me through this time. but the immense relief once it was all out in the open was huge! The next morning I phoned my folks and told them. but I told all to my husband. Although I have not gone into the “nitty gritty” details of how bad a person I became whilst gambling and what terrible things I did. I started confiding in her and eventually she convinced me to “come clean” with my family. These things have become my “insulin” and have also shown me how I can become a better person. slowly they are helping me become a better person and to start liking whom I am. Most of all i thank my husband and two boys and my mother. through a divorce and us loosing everything. I remember bursting out into tears as I walked in. Update: It is now 13 months that I am clean. I cannot tell you how hard it was to tell him what I had been doing and to see the look in his eyes. if you have thought about it. I don’t know how it happened. I certainly wouldn’t have made it thus far. She told me all about her recovery and is such a beautiful person. In no way and I at the end of the road. I truly thank you. I did it and still hate myself for it. believe you me.A very good friend of mine.

Michelle gave me a red rose tied with a ribbon to give to Jodie. 61 . my life has taken a turn for the better. The lengths we went to. My recovery started at my first meeting when I said “hello. my name is Albie and I am a compulsive gambler”. Ajay. Cheryl and my family are still there supporting and encouraging me everyday. I love you Cheryl. horse racing and casino’s and ended up a loser. my blessing from god. to get money to feed our addictions. As I write this testimony it is eight years and nine months to the day that I attended my first meeting. I broke the trust my wife had in me. only arrested. Michelle. Cheryl never turned against me as she continued to give her love and support. Peter and Poobie who have helped me in my recovery since my first meeting. these groups is immeasurable and since the first day of being clean. I attended my first gamblers support group meeting and realised that I am not unique and the terrible person I thought I was as I suffered from an illness that cannot be cured. the first day of the rest of my life. And so started my long recovery. May be 2nd to politicians. I still do it one day at a time. Albie’s story: 25th august 1993. I made a promise to myself that this would never happen in my life again. Without your love and support. but our families do and as a result suffer extensive damage. The most important “medicine” necessary to my recovery from being a compulsive gambler to living a 100% gambling free life. As the addiction grows we undergo a change in personality which we cannot notice. And man do I feel good due to the twelve step programme! I tried various forms of gambling. who knows what might’ve happened to me? Over the years I have applied the twelve step program in my recovery. The 25th August 1993 was my daughter’s birthday and I was so broke that I could not even afford a birthday card. only time can heal this feeling of being let down by your loved one. Tony. a hurt which may never be overcome. con artists and dreamers in the world. being a gambler is not as noticeable as an alcoholic or drug addict. In closing I would like to thank Cheryl for her love and support. I know my testimony at meetings has helped many gamblers and their families to recover from addiction and to gain respect and trust again. Ingrid. I still attend meetings today to remind myself of my illness and continue on my road to recovery. As you are aware as an addict we are the best liars. I never missed a meeting for the first six years. faa fee.

. 62 . irrespective of your addiction. Proof that recovery is possible and more importantly that it is for life and it all starts once you have accepted and acknowledged it for yourself that you are an addict. painful road to travel without the support from my wife. for my recovery and big thank you to all who cared. my higher power. I thank my god. family and my support group. And we (you) all lived happily ever after in recovery!!!!! The end Or is it………………. Albie 25-05-2002 There you have it.Recovery from an addiction is a long.

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