When I woke up this morning, I had a strange feeling that I couldn’t quite identify. It felt a bit like I’m at some sort of crossroads or junction.
I’ve been mulling it over this morning and I think I’ve figured it out…
I’m now having major doubts about many of the beliefs and activities I’m involved in which relate to drugs and the 12 Steps meetings I’ve been attending.
- I’m having doubts about whether my 12 Steps fellowship is the right path for me to treat my drug problems.
- I’m getting a bit fed up of attending 12 Steps meetings. They take out my entire evening once travel time has been factored in. I value my free time highly.
- I’m not even sure I’m a drug addict any more. I can go long periods without using. This week I passed the milestone of being 30 days clean from drugs. Last night I picked up my orange keyring and felt proud of myself. But… that’s not particularly unusual for me. In recent years I’ve found it pretty easy to go multiple months at a time without using. So it feels like a hollow victory.
- I’m having doubts about the existence and usefulness of God / Higher Power. But it wasn’t that long ago when I felt very clearly that some kind of Higher Power existed.
- Maybe this makes me really arrogant, but I think I understand the whole 12 Steps process. I understand how it works and why each step is important.
- Having said that, I’m really scared of having to do some of the later steps. Maybe that intense fear is the true source of all of these doubts.
- I’m starting to doubt the utility of meeting up with other addicts. Sure, it always makes me feel good. And it’s great practice for using my listening skills and building empathy. I usually learn a nugget or two which seems useful. But I’m starting to feel that the longer I attend, the more I’m going to experience diminishing returns. I’m not sure I’m learning all that much now. I’ve always been someone who gets bored quickly once I feel I’ve learned all the core lessons of a situation.
- I’ve always felt that 12 Steps fellowships are not the only routes to conquering drug problems. Sure, they seem to have a pretty good success rate compared to other routes, but other successful programmes do exist. Many of them are not nearly as dogmatic or faith-based as 12 Steps. My intellectual curiosity is wanting to explore these other options and attempt to determine their relative merits and flaws.
- I’ve been thinking about the fact that DXM (my drug of choice) and Ketamine have both recently shown early promise in scientific trials as highly effective treatments for depression. If I commit to the 12 Steps path, that seems to mean ruling out any possibility of using DXM as medication for my (intermittent but often severe) depression. I’m not sure I’m ready to rule that possibility out, despite the risks.
- In general, I think socialising more is good for me and my depression. But, there are other options than 12 Steps for socialising. And hopefully they’re more local and involve less travel.
I’m not sure what to do about the above doubts. I’ve already messaged my sponsor to let him know how I’m feeling. But (again, maybe arrogantly) I feel like I already know exactly what he’s going to say to me and I doubt it’s going to be enough to convince me.
[UPDATE: I’m feeling an absence of hope, a lack of faith. In short, I feel depressed. Surely it’s better to have some unusual beliefs and behaviours if it makes me feel better. Anything is better than depression.]
I don’t even feel like going to my meeting tonight. I’m starting to feel like it’s not a good use of my time.
Caveat: I am not saying that my previous beliefs/experiences were wrong and/or worthless. Very far from it. It’s been a fascinating experience and I’ve gained a lot of benefits from it. At the time, it all felt very real and I’m not going to just casually dismiss that. There’s so much I’ve learned from all of this, not least who my real friends are.