I used drugs and alcohol for a reason; I wanted to feel different. Feeling good was the bait that Satan used to fish for me, comfort was the poison, and it was my spirit that he ultimately killed. My crime was true passion; in love with a lifestyle that was out to seal my fate. For generations addiction was understood to be a lack of willpower. Many (my parents included) believed that the addicted person chose to make bad decisions and act selfishly. Most thought that recovery could be accomplished by forcing addicts to just say “no” to their urges to use. Tell that to the hundreds of people that I left standing on the side of the road of destruction that I paved for decades. Like going on the Jerry Springer Show, and not being sure of why you are invited, I knew the outcome was not going to be pretty, but I appeared anyway. The line between abuse and addiction is hard to see until it is crossed and usually that is as thin as some politicians integrity. My mind and soul were at odds with each other and I was caught up in the middle like ham and cheese between two slices of bread. The collision and merger of two mass objects usually produce cataclysmic effects is what I learned in Physics class. I was discussing my book with a colleague Wednesday and she told me that she was “addicted” to ice cream. Chocolate! With chunks! To some, that might be as funny as an Eddie Murphy stand-up comedy routine, but to me it hit home. She told me of an incident where she had been “clean” for months and after a long hard day of helping her daughter move into her dorm room at the University of Florida and not getting home until midnight, she relapsed. She rationalized her problematic behavior. She was out to lift her mood and then rest her mind. My friend self-medicated with mocha almond fudge. That was me in a past life and of course my substances of choice yielded more lethal consequences. So, if I am dealing with a disease that is impossible to understand, that has great strength, and excels in achieving one’s end by deceit or evasion what am I supposed to do? I am so glad you asked. Recovery is like walking up a down escalator; it is impossible to stand still. I could list a myriad of things that are important in recovery but let’s start at the top. Work on building and sustaining healthy relationships, starting with God. Psalms 40:1-2 reminds us. “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” You can’t control what’s going on around you but you can control what’s going on in you. Peace!