Ellen T.

ellenDOB: 7/21/48; Chicago, Illinois.


I always had the feeling that I was out of sync with the rest of the world . . .

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I often think about the fact that I was probably under the influence in the womb and I know I was under the influence of addiction before I was ever under the influence of drugs, like a lot of people who develop a full-blown addiction in later years.


Both of my parents were alcoholics and I don’t think that the fact that they were not particularly good parents is as important as the fact that they were both addicts, because I think that my experience is that people seem to have the disease or they don’t, and it seems to be inherited.


It’s just too common to be a coincidence. And I grew up as a little girl in the Fifties and then teenager in the Sixties. Perfect timing because I was introduced by the family doctor to diet pills — amphetamine — which was a natural lead into using the street drugs that became available in the late Sixties, and although there was a period of time in the Seventies when I was married and living a fairly normal life normal in that, you know, I bought groceries and gave the kids baths — what have you — I was never comfortable in my skin.


Though during the marriage I wasn’t particularly using or abusing chemicals, I always had the feeling that I was out of sync with the rest of the world and when that marriage ended in the late Seventies, I was introduced to a particular drug that took me downhill very, very rapidly into the sickest part of addiction. And I stayed in that insanity for, ah well, five terrible years, but for a number of years I was progressing and then I began to progress very rapidly. And I found recovery. I found recovery in 1984.


And to me it seems as though everything that I know about how to recover from addiction has to do with spiritual principles — it simply does. Everything that I have heard along the way, being a hippie, flower child, and a student of philosophy, and a student of life, everything came to a focus in learning about how to recover from addiction. And that focus was a practical approach to spiritual principles rather than mysticism and philosophical discussions and practical application of spiritual principles like honesty and real caring.


As far as my spiritual path now, I think people who stay clean generally find some sort of higher power, or God if you will. I have one of my own creation that does real well for me. I like the concept of prayer because I used prayer before I knew it was prayer. I think everybody said out loud “PLEASE HELP ME.” In the moment of insanity when we are talking to ourselves, when in essence we are talking to the God self (God of our understanding).


So that’s what keeps me sane today and in recovery from the active drug addiction. I have found that addiction has many aspects I never knew about and as the months and years go by I find more insight and more abilities to use the tools — the principles. And here I am today in mid-life doing everything absolutely different than I ever did before. That’s the nutshell.


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