RECOVERY FROM METH / ICE ADDICTION IS POSSIBLE!!
By Robert Mittiga
Science is showing that recovery is possible....
1. Brains Recover
The data from new scientific studies on the brain’s healing from meth use is very good news. When tested, meth users who were abstinent for five years or more and non-meth using control subjects had similar neurochemical levels. In short, after 5 years the brain can often show no sign of meth destruction. In another study, a group of meth addicts were compared to a control group of age-matched non-meth users. Just upon quitting, the meth addicts performed far worse on measures of cognitive performance and neuropsychological functioning, as well as emotional distress. But, after a year of continuous abstinence from meth, these subjects performed comparably to the healthy control subjects.
2. Careers Recover
If you started using meth when young, you most likely never got the opportunity to start that career path you’d once imagined for yourself. But I personally know dozens of people who have recovered from meth use and gone back to finish high school and/or Uni to work in a field they love. If you started using later in life, you most likely torpedoed your career, perhaps beyond repair. But I know many former addicts who have reclaimed their once-thought lost careers.. And, on the flip side, I know just as many recovering addicts, who went on to wholly new and promising careers – often jobs more satisfying than the ones they had before becoming an addict. Sure, we usually have “recovery jobs” for a few years – those easier and simpler jobs that allow us to focus primarily upon our recovery in that first difficult year or two. And perhaps this recovery job will grow into something more career oriented, or get you through school, but either way there’s no rule that says you can’t dream big again career-wise (at any age).
The simple fact is the longer you stay clean and sober, the better your skills at life and work become and the more opportunities you have presented that you can capitalize upon – because you are clean and clear headed. It just takes time. Your career, like Rome, can’t be built in a day. But give it a few years of clean time and you’ll be amazed at where your life goes. This is one of the many reasons it’s good to go to recovery-based meetings: because there you will hear the stories of just such successes. You’ll hear of addicts who were just as bad off, or sometimes even worse, than you who have now made new lives for themselves. I know of one homeless addict who went from driving a shopping cart to a Mercedes. Sure it took her well over a decade of hard work in her new career of real estate to achieve this, but she did it. And I mention the fancy car as a symbol, not an end in itself. What’s most important is: today she is respected by her clients and coworkers. And she respects herself.
If you are new to recovery and a career that brings passion to your life seems so far out of reach as to be laughable, cheer up. That’s your brain today. Your brain a few months and then years from now will be much healthier and able to take on responsibilities that now you can’t begin to imagine. Stay clean and you’ll be amazed.
3. Relationships Recover
Here’s a big one. Our relationships can recover. Perhaps not all of them. It’s a sad truth that usually some relationships don’t survive our addiction to crystal meth. But what can definitely recover is our ability to have open and honest relationships once we get clean and sober. When using, we couldn’t be trusted to show up and participate in what it takes to be a good spouse, parent, child or friend. We were married to the drug. But once we got some clean time under our belts, we learned to show up and be responsible. We could again be counted on in times of crisis. (In my experience, the recovered addict is often one of the more solid people to have around in times of crisis just because they have survived living hell before, and so they have a larger perspective on life.)
But big miracles occur once we get clean and demonstrate, over time, that you can live life free of meth and other drugs. Those who had rightly learned to distrust us often come to love and trust us again. And rightly so.
4. Connection with a Higher Power Recovers (Spirituality)
A friend of mine, whom has gone on many a call to empty out a person’s home who died of an overdose, tells a familiar tale. When he gets to the dead meth addict’s home, there’s always a lot of at least two things – drug paraphernalia and books on spirituality. Why are so many meth addicts interested in spirituality? I think it’s because, while using meth, connection to that higher power (however you define it) is blocked.
Certain other drugs have a history of being used in connection with the pursuit of spirituality (peyote, acid, marijuana) and there’s a healthy debate about the validity of that, especially for those of us with an addictive personality. But I think that most of us can agree, meth takes one to a dark place where the light of spirituality doesn’t shine. As you recover from meth addiction it’s quite common, more common than not, I think, that we find ourselves actively seeking to rekindle a spiritual connection. Often this comes at the local church or synagogue, but just as often it’s a less organised more private affair. Either way, our deep longing to reconnect with a spirituality usually grows the longer we stay clean.
Even for those former addicts who are atheists, many will tell you they still have a strong sense of spirituality – or something close. It may be defined as a connection to a goodness or “loving kindness” in humanity, or to self awareness, or some other path that doesn’t involve a deity, but it’s a path of seeking nonetheless.
The truth is: YOU can recover and YOU will recover. Many have done it before YOU. Many will after.
New Year is your time. Join life. Join in recovery and leave the former darkness of your using life behind.
The message for a New Year is: You can do more than just quit your addiction to crystal meth – you can recover a life that’s truly worth living!
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