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The Stages of taking Care of Yourself and Others

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In active addiction[s] I’ve always looked out for one person: “Myself.” It was true. I couldn’t believe the amount of pain I was in. I was truly struggling, but I didn’t know why.  Learning what to take care of what key in learning who to take care of.

Early Addiction

I felt absolutely miserable and this pain had to come from somewhere. So I tried to find out why. Why was this mass amount of misery surfacing me? I couldn’t find the reason. I then led myself down a path that leads to euphoric sensations—but all in a false pretense—leaving you torn and tattered the next day. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was simply covering it up.Courtesy of care The Stages of taking Care of Yourself and Others Hello my name is Miserable

I tried so many times—but I fell—to figure out the reason I needed something to “get me by.” Well, the truth is we all fall down quite a lot actually. I know in early addiction I would become a dry drunk for a while—continuing my evil ways—and then just dive back in. I was simply a speck in the sands of time. I felt complete dissolution. I lost track of how to be myself and I lost my health.

I began eating trash and vomiting a good amount. I couldn’t keep anything down—it wasn’t much to keep down. My health went south and it became a horrendous sight see. Despite all the chaos of my swelling seas underneath I could hold composure on top of it all. I was stuck in a pattern of inconsistently being inconsistent. It sounds too metaphorical to believe—but at the moment that may be a blessing. Dream with it, as you will.

Middle Addiction

I started to fall down a lot more at this point. Pretty soon I stayed down; it was a force of habit. I felt the incessant need to hibernate. I lost close contact with everyone except when it was time to work. I needed money to support my habit no matter the type of work.

I tore away numerous hours in my bed covered with needles and spoons—underneath blankets—watching episodes of Futurama. I was scamming reality and it took the best of me. I hear a lot of “you look skinny!” or “Have you been eatin’ boy?” Apparently I’d lost a lot of weight. The vomiting from chronic heroin use probably didn’t help.

I didn’t take care of myself. It became the fuel that drove me at this point. I was constantly in the mode of not taking care of myself. At this point it felt intentional. I really started to resent myself.

I was torn between two worlds: [I thought] “Conformity or Hell” [truth being] “Healthy or die.” But, I looked for the next best concoction and started a new demise. “Chronic induced illness syndrome” I felt I needed to call my perils. It was a terrifying and true testament of my time here on Earth during this terrible affliction and addiction. I was being tested for a reason—still not knowing if I passed to this day or not. But once I realized it I started to care about not caring. I stopped caring for myself and didn’t even notice anyone else.

Ending Addiction

Near the end of my addiction I started to care more and more about simply: “Not caring.” Everyone around me said it in one simple way: “Why do you not give a F#$%? I just don’t get it.”

They felt ashamed and I felt pure embarrassment because I couldn’t give them an answers either. There was one simple answer and it was to quit. But truly admitting I was ready couldn’t come as easy as that. Admitting I was truly ready had to come from true heartbreak—signing off on my true bottomless pit. There was a turning point and it was the hardest time of ‘realization’ I had encountered to that point in my life. A lot struggle with the woes of growing up but this was a whole new saga. It was difficult!

I broke her heart simply because I didn’t care enough about myself and it hurt. I couldn’t care enough about the one person that mattered most to her and I didn’t get how much it hurt her, too. She fell to the floor when she found the needles hidden around my room the day I checked myself into rehab. My dad reminisces about her collapsing to the floor in pure agonizing pain. She could have died right there on the spot, but she is strong. She is a strong woman! I’m sorry mom.

 Caring For Others

This encapsulates the spectrum of how I personally felt coming to terms about whom I needed to help most in order to care for others the most. The person that needed to start paying attention to the warning signs in this time of my life was I. Everyone else was taking action in their life—they were doing their due diligence living as active societal members. I came in a little short up until I got myself clean.

By getting the help I needed to push through into a life of recovery I could then reclaim all of the hearts I’d lost along the way. But it wasn’t possible to reconnect with anyone I needed to be around unless I was clean because they couldn’t live a ‘clean’ life themselves with me in it either. I was toxic and it was apparent. It was—and still is—a mesmerizing sight to see. It’s a great new wonder of the world. As I always stress forgiveness we need to find it within ourselves, too.

Deeper down into my road of recovery I began to develop relationships—one I became deeply entwined romantically with. This will come with time and the healing power of giving up what we all thought was the path and finding the correct one from those who’ve done it before!

There is one key term to ‘becoming’ in this process, as I will further explain to you. I learned the number one rule to becoming happy in this road to recovery. The number one rule to staying humble, grateful and happy is to stay truly selfless in your recovery. You won’t know until they know… as they say. But, this is why and where most programs stress the term: “Surrender.”

You can surrender many times in your recovery and it can become a relief knowing you have this tool on your path. I still surrender my will to many things daily and I’m 4.5 years clean and sober. It’s okay. We all fall down.

The only way to be able to take care of others is to take care of you. That is a “promise” you will find on your path. It just matters how we stay active and make progress, because it can be done. I surrender this to you, today, right now. I surrender.


“I forgive myself—I will move forward. Taking the right foot—Moving in the right direction. I will move forward. I surrender.”

-Anonymous recovering addict

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