Flashback: An Inconclusive Self-Diagnosis

The following entry is part of a flashback series I post on occasionally. This post was originally published in a blog titled, "A Detox on the Rocks" that I kept from 2005-2007. I have copied the entries and declined editing a single letter. These words teach me more about my addiction now than they ever could at the time. 

Thursday, April 21, 2005

what constitutes addiction?

just how exactly is addiction diagnosed? usually it is self-diagnosed. there are various self assessment tools out there, such as the MAST (michigan alcohol screening test) DAST (drug abuse screening test) CAGE, SASSI, FAST, etc.

although i score high on all of these tests i still have to confront my denial on a daily basis. i tell myself things like "i'm young, it's no big deal" or "everyone around me uses just as much or more than i do". well, the truth is that i'm not a teenager anymore and the only reason everyone around me uses as much as i do is because i have surrounded myself in a subculture of addicts. not to mention, both my parents are active addicts. drug and alcohol abuse was a "normal" part of my everyday family life. but, i'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. i want to be healthy and productive. i have not received much support for my decision. my mother, my boyfriend, and most of my friends think i am overreacting or paranoid. people tell me to "just quit" if i don't want to use. problem is i've been trying to "just quit" everyday for years. i'd suffer silently wrestling my insecurities. when did it stop being fun? was it ever fun? and when did i cross the line? i always said i'd never end up like my parents. now i'm divorced from a man who i'd find passed out with a needle stuck in his arm, and it's nothing to be playing cards on a friday night and see the crack pipe being passed around. i look at these people and think "thank God i don't do that" or "what a bunch of junkies" me? i'm a pothead. i like to get wasted. take a few pills here and there? sure! but, i need them for my nerves... right?

i guess what it comes down to is that i am unhappy. i can't seem to quit by myself. i obsess about drugs and alcohol. i use against my will and better judgement. i am an addict. maybe.

posted by Jane at 4:35 PM 3 comments

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