A short blog about addiction and recovery

I’m still writing my main blog about last week. But I thought it would be good to do a mini-blog. This draws out my specific thoughts inspired by a book I read about a personal experience of addiciton and recovery.

Reflections on getting and staying clean

My main reading book last week was unusually an autobiograhpy – Tania Glyde’s Cleaning Up. How I Gave Up Drinking and Lived. It is about a woman getting over her drinks and drugs addiction. Her website can be found here. Clearly it could fit in the ‘misery lit’ genre but so could acclaimed fiction such as The Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. My feelings on this can be read in this previous blog.

Key points about addiction and recovery

Glyde’s book is good in that it does deal with specific issues around being a female addict. But she also brings forth many points that I can relate to. This is in terms of having been an addict myself and having been ‘friends’ with many (you can’t really avoid it if you’ve lived in Brighton):

  • Addicts are people with an amazing amount of energy and creativity. Witness the crazy lifestyles they live and the adventures they get into. Shame this is not put into something more useful to society right from the start rather than only after getting over their addiction.
  • Many addicts are insecure and fail completely to believe in themselves. They are also often constantly striving for better or to prove themselves.
  • Addiction is often linked to boredom.
  • Addicts lie to and mistreat other addicts and non-addicts.
  • There are always some great things to look back on when you were an addict from the position of now being clean.
  • Too easy and not true to say ‘I wish it had never happened’.
  • Too many people blame all their problems on their childhood.
  • To give up successfully you need to reach a point where you decide yourself it is the right thing to do.
  • Giving up your addiction and getting clean is hard work and it will always be difficult to maintain.
  • Don’t ever stop feeling proud that you are in recovery.
  • You need to change your life to successfully recover. Particularly important are creating new social networks and there are many ‘friends’ you lose (thank God).
  • It is much better to life live post-recovery.

I also agree with her on the questionable value of psycho-analysis. Indeed, she equates it’s usefulness with a belief in astrology which is intriguing. She now advertises as a therapist so not sure she still sticks with what she wrote then.

I do disagree with her on one thing. I don’t know how she works out giving up drink and drugs helps you lose weight? Most addicts I know are really skinny, I went down to nine and a half stone on drink and drugs. Currently I’m nearly fourteen stone!

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