Ryan Donnelly's Blog

Gyno’s and Mechanics

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The longer this site has been running, the more people have been coming to me to talk about addiction.  People who I know nothing about, know very little, or people I’ve known forever, and  have  now opened up to me about personal battles in their lives.  It’s humbling to know that people feel comfortable enough to come to me. It excites me to no end to know that this website and my life in general have become judgment free zones, and to know, that this “zone” is aiding others and giving them the strength it takes to confide in someone. However to be the “someone” that people are confiding to, well, it has given my life more meaning then I can even begin to explain.

Many of the people I talk to who support an addict or who have supported me, have no experience of being an addict. Don’t get me wrong, that is a good thing.  Their support is wonderful, but I do see a big void in the understanding of the addict that they love and care about.  Many people understand the fact that this person was addicted to a substance, which in turn took everything they loved away from them.  What most people don’t understand is the amount of strength it takes mentally to be an addict, and how an addiction takes over the human mind.

I have said time and time again that I hold no degrees in this subject, and that I only speak from my personal experiences with addiction.  I do,  however have no problem down grading doctors and therapists who claim they are ‘experts’ on a subject that they have never experienced.  I personally don’t think anyone is an expert on the subject, because everyone is different, and everyone experiences addiction differently.

Carrie P. Snow once  said, “A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who has never owned a car.”   Though this quote is funny, it still makes a lot of sense to me and how I feel about experts in addiction. How can you truly know everything about an issue like this if you, yourself haven’t inhabited the body of an addict?

Last night a bunch of great people got together for my sisters 30th birthday party.  We reminisced about the time that we didn’t speak to one another, which was around 2.5 years long.  We had many personal disagreements during that time,  but I believe all of these disagreements became that much more toxic due to my drug addiction. I felt as though if I kept the fighting  going, and didn’t clean up the mess, it was easier to keep people away from each other and much easier to hide my problems. I knew in the back of my mind that if I ended the fighting that all of my deep, dark secrets would come spilling out faster then I could do damage control. And I couldn’t have that happen, now could I?

My sister had a hard time understanding why I was so empty, she wanted to know if the reason we couldn’t mend our issues was due to the fact that I just didn’t want to,  or if  it was  part of my addiction.  I found myself for the first time having trouble explaining my exact mental state during my addiction, and during our time apart. 

 The best way I can explain it, is that  my soul was dormant.  I didn’t really understand how empty my soul was until I was clean for about 5 days. That’s when the cobwebs started to break apart in my mind.  I am by no means blaming all of my trouble and disagreements with people do to my addiction. I always had a choice of whether I was going to use or not.  But, being an addict and knowing first hand the power of it, and the hold that it had over me, I knew it was much, much stronger than me.  It was more important than food, water, sleep, family, friends and of course my own health.  It was everything to me.

My brain needed this substance more than any other thing on the planet.  It wasn’t until I went through withdrawal that I realized that my brain had been tricked. It had been lied to and when I finally was clean enough, I was able to look back at the strength it had.  My body was in motion daily, but I wasn’t the one driving it, it was under some evil control.

Talking to my sister last night made me aware that many family, though 110% supportive of me, never really understood my mental state. But, how can could they?  No one really knows what someone is thinking, but I hope that you are all beginning to see just how poisoned my thinking was. 

Being clean is a privilege I have been given by powers larger than myself. It’s a gift to be where I am right now and not in jail.  Thanks to the people who I have hurt terribly, who decided I still had something to offer society and kept me from doing time.  I thank them more then they will ever know. 

This blog and my daily work for others is my payback to those who I hurt and to those I know facing the struggles I faced.  To those of you still battling, you know as well as I know, that the person you are now is not the person you really are. It is never too late to get help and be re-introduced to your true self.  Face the pain head on and don’t look back . Do yourself a solid and don’t let yourself get to the position that I found myself in. Facing death in the eyes.  It’s not worth it.

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