My addiction started at the age of 15 and progressed through the 70’s and 80’s. my first “drug of choice was heroin” then it was simply “more”.  More of anything. My first encounter with treatment was a year long rehab or “TC” therapeutic community in 1980. by then the drugs had all but isolated me from all family members except the innocent two children I dragged through my addiction with me. That rehab gave you drinking privileges at 9 months clean and sober and that began another 7 year spiral of alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction. I found the 12 step program in 1987 and remained clean and sober for 7 years. I relapsed on one pain pill then many in 1994. I also struggled with an undiagnosed and untreated mental disorder so for the next 7 years I was off and on again clean. I finally went on methadone for the right reasons and got clean on November 8th, 2000 and have remained very involved in N.A.  and A.A.  I am now stabilized after 10 years on psychotropic meds and often deal with depression but I don’t pick up no matter what. Addiction is a cunning enemy of life and a chronic disease for which there is no cure. I truly believe in 12 step treatment on a daily or more frequent basis for the rest of an addict’s life. It is so easy to get back into denial, rationalization and manipulation of self and others. The one promise of N.A. is that an addict, any addict can get clean, lose the desire to use and live a better life. This has come true for me. I have survived cancer twice and i remain clean.

MARY ANN – written on July 29, 2009