I have been in California since October 28, 2016. I have been searching for this inner peace and tranquility that will help me to understand the chaos that once drove my passion. Learning to understand yourself is so much more complicated than helping others. When you take the time to understand your own behaviors it slowly starts too make sense.

I have been attracted throughout my lifetime to help others with addiction. It did not matter what the addiction was. It was the personality of an addict that I was drawn to. “An addictive personality is a set of personality traits that make addiction more likely. Addictions come in a wide range of forms, including drugs, alcohol, gambling, exercise, pornography and more. Uniting these addictions is the repeated use of pleasurable activities to cope with stress, pressure and conflict”. ~ 12 Keys Rehab

I have been an addict my whole life. I lived in a world of anxiety in my own head. Overachieving, competitive nature, pushing the limits were the ways that I attempted to slow down the thoughts in my head until they became so overwhelming that I attempted to take my own life at 16 years old. Since that day I have been fighting with myself and those around me. I felt as if I was a failure, because I couldn’t even end my own life. I began to live a life of shame, and it followed me everywhere ~ until I came to California and started to work on my soul.

My addiction became my lifestyle. I started to find my place in the gym. I became addicted to the feelings I got from releasing the endorphins when I trained. I went from aerobics, to nautilus-circuit training, and then to weight lifting. I pushed myself constantly as I started to see the physical changes in my body, which in turn changed the mental thoughts in my head, or so I thought. Over time, the very thing that saved my life, turned inward and became my self destruction. Exercise addiction, bulimia, and eventually anorexia nervosa.

I became addicted to relationships. Promiscuity was a means of acceptance. If some of you reading this where to be honest, you might have lived it to, although much more acceptable in a man’s behaviors.  It is caused, I believe, by the inability to feel love within yourself, so you chase that next relationship without giving yourself time to heal. That constant pursuit of “feel good”, because the internal pain is just too deep.

My addiction poured into my work. This was an acceptable addiction of course. It was the way I was raised. Hard, strong work ethics, but it got in the way of my relationship with my children, because I was never there. I was always at work, because at least I could buy them what they wanted. And then I learned, of course too late, that you can’t buy love.

My addiction grew into an addiction of helping other addicts. I lost the vision of everything around me. I lost the feelings of what love was. I had felt so much pain in my life. The never ending negative recordings in my mind. The constant life turmoil due to my personal choices. It felt as if I was standing in quicksand, slowly losing oxygen, slowly strangulating the very core of my existence. The emotional abuse, the verbal abuse, the physical abuse that left bones broken, living in the chaos of humiliation and despair.

Addicts have a common denominator you see. It is “excuses”. We are selfish. We are weak. We are manipulators. Until something in life happens, and pray to God that it does, that you fall to your knees in a pool of water created from your own tears and you realize that you cannot live like this anymore. When you develop that insight, it is time to own it. It is time to lift your head up high and understand the gifts that you have been given. “I am alive”. “I am alive”. The journey to the bottom of my soul.

Reflections of a Cannabis Nurse,