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I AM HUMAN Experiment

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The “I Am Human” Experiment is an experiment created by Substance For You owner Brian McCollom. The experiment is a testament to why we all deserve second chances regardless how hard we may fall down. In early recovery we all ask the questions “Who am I?” or “What have I done?” There is reason to believe this is why we exhibit a feeling of loneliness. But remember, we are all just human. Simply by proving the point that we are all equals we can learn to forgive and grant second chances. Although we are individuals we fall into the same behavioral patterns as others. That’s to say, we are individuals but many have done what we have done, been where we have been and have even come back from it. There is a saying I like to live by and it still holds truth after five years into my recovery:

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or how hard you’ve fallen. What matters most right now is how you pick yourself back up. Learn to try again and move forward. This is what makes you into the person you are today, not the past mistake(s).”
-My Grandmother

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There are many truths to this, although we want to live in our past experiences. But, with holding grudges we only build resentments towards ourselves and situations, and in recovery staying in one spot is not where we need to be. We want to continually be moving forward, gaining recovery, and becoming better. If we don’t do this, it in turn will build our reservations holding us back from building and growing ourselves.

If we choose to focus on the past there will be only one unfortunate thing you’ll accomplish: You’ll Stay Obstinate

If there is one thing that I have learned from recovery it must be this: We must continue to positively move forward in order to grow.

There are plenty of places to start when growing one’s self. Before I start the step working routine I’d like to leave you with another quote my grandmother gave me before passing away:

 

“Son, I know you try hard to be the best at everything. There is just one thing I want you to know: I don’t care what you do or where you are in the world as long as you are the best at what you do. I don’t care if you’re digging ditches for a living. If you dig ditches for a living you must be the best damn ditch digger that I’ve ever known.”
-My Grandmother

This goes to prove a point. We don’t  need to be the best at everything we do but we must always be the best at being ourselves. Addiction differs from person to person, but we become individuals in our recovery. In an effort to help ourselves realize that being human is the best part of ourselves, I’ve comprised a step working method. In efforts to realize that we all make mistakes and we all fall down, I’ve developed the “I Am Human” Experiment. First, we must realize that we are all equals who make mistakes. We must except forgiveness. How do we do that, you ask? How do we realize that humanity and commonality are what helps us move forward? How does this help us move from addiction to recovery?

Humanity is what makes us unique creatures and is what makes us important to our individuality. So, first start off by making a list of things that make you, well…you. For example here’s mine:

1) I love to write
2) I love to help people
3) I love to play drums
4) I love to play guitar
5) I love to learn

Underneath each of those listed items, write three things that you’ve personally done in those areas. This may be a little harder than you think (which is the point of this exercise). Don’t mind if others have done the same exact

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things. The more generalities we write about in this exercise, the better. One point to prove: “You are not alone.”

On the opposite side of the paper next to each number, write down things that you said you love to do, that you know others have also accomplished. So now we are doing the opposite as we did in the previous steps. We are finding commonalities between each and every person living or dead on this Earth. Once again, “You are not alone.” You may now realize that some pretty important people have done these things as well.  “It’s all going to be okay…” and yet again, “You are human.”

Next we find ourselves in a predicament. Which list is longer? The list that is proving that you are the only one to accomplish these things? Or the list that proves others have also accomplished similar things? I think you will find the answers to oppose what you thought they would. Yet again proving, “I am human. I am not alone.”

This practice takes focus on our self-centered type of behavior that we have or may still be experiencing in addiction or early recovery. This creates the assumption that “I am the center of this world,” and lets you realize… I am not the only one to have done these things, I’m only human.

After taking the positive steps you did in one through five, now take a negative spin on it. With positive and negative reinforcement we pleasure both sides of the brain. Here is my list of negatives:

1) I’ve done drugs
2) I’ve hurt people
3) I’ve stolen things
4) I’ve broken hearts
5) I’ve broken my own heart

Next, you repeat the same type of steps. Write why you think you’re the only one who has accomplished these things. Then on the other side of the paper document the ways other people have accomplished these things.

For mine, I can’t think of many individual traits that I keep in one through five above that ONLY I have accomplished. However, I can think of numerous people I’ve met close in my life, at meetings, online, or even celebrities who have done these things that are haunting me. I yet again realize, I am only human.

Next for the third, final  list we will write the things that we work to better ourselves (and don’t forget to include how we will make it happen). Here is the list I would have made in early recovery:

1) I will get clean by going to rehab and making an effort to do right this time
2) I will help those people I hurt in some way that will better their life
3) I will give back to society from the things I’ve stolen. I will give back because today I can
4) I will make someone feel loved today
5) Today I know that I am loved

This may be just a starting point but sometimes that’s all some people need. We can finally realize: “We are not alone. I am only human.”

I wish all of you well. To know that you are loved and many others have been right where you are. This is a case to prove that we are only human and are never alone in this battle. With that feeling it makes things just a little bit easier to get better, move one step at a time towards recovery and gain a proper peace of mind.

All the speed and well wishes in the world to you and your loved ones.

We are in this battle together, united we stand!

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