The choice to change is ultimately up to the individual, but it is not easy and help is absolutely necessary if a person is going to have a chance at surviving this new way of living.
Since I spent so many years of my life dealing with addiction to alcohol and pain pills the chances for me to change alone were extremely slim. Often, these attempted changes would be so different from the normal routine that I could not adapt fast enough and eventually give in going back to what has always been comfortable for me. After all, my addictions did more than just give me a high, they were also my way of controlling my emotions and keeping me protected from the pains that came from feelings, my coping skills. This cycle would repeat itself over and over and always end up having the same results until I learned how to accept the help from people and not to shut them out when they got too close.
Now looking back at my own life's situations and the struggles I had with bad thinking errors and addiction problems as I was trying to get out of that same familiar cycle I think of the people along the way who offered help and made a huge difference in my life. From a prison counselor helping me to change the way I think to a free computer after my release that allowed me to consider giving education a chance.
One story in particular that shows the impact people can have on other people is when I had my car accident. Hit from behind and the car is totaled with me in the emergency room having a bunch of tests run to make sure I was OK. The injuries were not too bad, thankfully, but what was significant was that when the prescription for pain pills came I was able to turn them down. Not that I wanted to deal with the pain but rather I understood that the temporary pain from the accident was nothing compared path of destruction for me and my family that is brought on by my addictions if I chose to take the prescription.
When this information reached my Primary Care Physician he was interested in hearing more so we spoke many times over the next couple of weeks about my addictions, my history in dealing with illegal prescription drugs, and how I changed. He then took a chance with me and asked me to speak at his practice, which not only went well but opened the door to a long list of speeches that I would be delivering throughout the state of Maine. I now deliver a couple of speeches a week to Medical Offices, Universities, even Law Enforcement Agencies in an effort to help people learn more about prescription medication addictions as well as the way prescription drugs are acquired and moved on the street.
Being able to do what I do is all possible today because a long time ago someone helped me to learn how to think differently. To join the community and attend support group meetings, to be a part of instead of apart from. I learned how to call on people for help, to use support, to allow people in my life to be close to me and not shut them out. I learned that I am not alone and that there are many people who want to help.