Life is the diamond facets created by family, friends, career, responsibilities or lack thereof, and the feeling states of hope, dreams, accomplishments, and failures. It is all the good things we have accomplished throughout our lives; the journey of highs and lows through the school years, choosing our friends and building the relationships, finding the first job and making those career choices, and for some, making a family of our own. We might have shined among our peers on our chosen path in sports or arts, hobbies and little adventures we had that deepened our sense of awe and wonder while expanding our horizons to new goals and skill building to achieve our best. Unfortunately some facets of our life diamond are the bad things large and small we all experience sometime somewhere. Hiding there in the closets of our minds and critically reflected in our daily lives is the noxious little flaw often buried so deep it can’t be seen except through the curious mental microscope of the highly trained professionals probing our lives.
Addiction touches and pulls from every aspect of our lives, most especially from those dark and secret places we never want to speak about or we’re threatened never to speak of by our abuser. Our addiction feeds from this place, telling us that if we use drugs/alcohol or both, that the bad things will magically disappear and we won’t feel them anymore and it seems to work, but only temporarily. What we never heard our addiction say, as we were getting high out of our minds was; it will work… as long as you keep feeding me!
As our addiction devours our souls a little bit more with each high and takes from us everything we ever cared about, worked hard for or loved, we passively allow destruction of our world and so many around us. A self-destructive choice, our addiction ravages over anything in its path; much like a wildfire burning out of control or the fury of a hurricane ripping through all that lies before it.
Unrelenting and cruel, Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer;
Rich, Poor, any race or religion it has no conscious.
My addiction surely had plenty to feed from, Insidious childhood abuse that was both physical and emotional, relationship issues that were always toxic because of the lack of trust I had stemming from being raped by my cousin at 8 and 12 and other shame producing events I didn’t cause. Anger issues from those horrors produced deep-seated secrets hiding in the darkness, wondering why no one ever protected me then, so why should I believe anyone would now. Yes, my addiction had plenty to feed it.
Back to this diamond in the raw and how could I polish it, shape it, and chip away the flaws to reveal a brilliant shining light within me. I continued to polish it as I excelled in school and sports hoping for just a small bit of recognition from the people who were supposed to be there for me, that little bit of approval. I believe most of us need that approval when we are young to grow confident and self-assured; but sadly, a loving home wasn’t there for me and to infrequent for so many now.
Again, my addiction called to me… Feed me!
I went to work at 14 years old to escape the brutality at home… and began feeding my addiction as I darkened another facet of my life diamond. Money they say is the root of all, evil. I would soon find out for myself how true that was… lighting another match to burn away more of the pain in my world.
Charging straight ahead into adulthood, the equal opportunity destroyer continued to push me hard. The part of me still trying to hold on to the world fought back and I set out to find myself and what I wanted out of life… while dragging the disease with me. I graduated with a 3.98 GPA in Electronics and built a career in computers as the Personal Computer revolution was in its infancy. I steadily overcame all the stigma of a woman in a man’s field by quietly and demurely showing them I could keep up with them, and work harder and smarter than more than a few. My life was coming together in steady measure right on schedule as I birthed one and then another child to the craziness I was living.
The smooth, quick thinking, highly functioning Addict I had become, never saw the Cat 5 storm barreling towards my life diamond and me. I thought I had the world under control — the lie of my addiction was yet another new facet of the diamond darkened by my blind need to keep using. I struggled to make sense of what was happening, but couldn’t and didn’t. I was completely surprised by the speed of which it was all gone, in a blink of an eye, fragmented and broken.
Addiction left me in the waste of the artisan’s floor, and there I stayed for years separated from the life I once knew and all I loved. At thirty years old, my addiction took my soul from me and for the next ten years I lay in the waste of my addiction, the darkness that covered me was powerful, covered by the dirt I now believed myself to be — high 24/7.
Yet from the dark pit of my life, almost by surprise, the master jeweler picked me up, dusted me off, gazed into my soul at the diamond in the raw poorly shaped and unpolished, and set to work with steady eyes and gentle firm hands to cleave away the darkness my life had become.
My higher power began to cut a new shape and setting from the chunk of waste that had fallen to the floor of life. With patient and loving precision new facets began to shine and shimmer as the pain and hurt was chipped away, polished and perfected.
I grew steadily in my recovery, learning how to love myself as my higher power, a loving but firm God, loves me.
Polished brightly by small and large changes shaping my new life and the new people I met encouraging and accepting the new me I am becoming, I feel freedom from the darkness of my addiction and know I am a better friend and caring soul that I always aspired to be. The doctors guided me firmly as I healed my mind and body. New friends to help grow my trust and understanding, and that new job to integrate back into life’s workforce.
All these new facets sparkling like a diamond in the sky.
Today I hope that I may shine bright enough to bring light to those still out there struggling, some who maybe have given up hope of ever shining again. I promise there is light still in you too.
Please search for your polishing cloth and the joy of recovery.