Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Hi ,,, my name is Manish and I’m an addict, clean and serene in the Therapeutic  Program.

Just for today, I will try and share for the still suffering addict. The newcomer is the most important person.
First things first: these program works and an addict like me has fond answers to everything within the therapeutic program. And what do I mean by that?
Simply stated, when recovering addicts first shared with me about therapeutic program, they kindled a fire in me which had died long ago. The Fire of Life had died as a result of addiction; the drugs and withdrawals leading to lost ambitions and dreams and a sense of despair that I never thought Id experience. Gone were the friends, gone was the ambition and gone was any remaining sanity.

My addictive personality lead me to use from age 14. It was alcohol, then grass and later opiates and smack and morphine. In between were phases of LSD and dexidrine and mushrooms and downers. I got into lot of trouble with the law too, and the only reason I did not go to jail was because the cops were lenient. My father always bailed me out. Moreover, India at that time in the 70s and 80s had no narcotics control laws yet. Everything was available. Playing music and influence from hippies and yogis had us lot enjoy life. It was one big, happening party.

Then came stark reality, and as addiction and withdrawal distorted rational thought, I found myself in the midst of strange, unwelcome experiences. Having had a history of disturbed sleep, coming from a disturbed family and with sibling abuse issues, the drugs had worked to keep me at ease. But only long enough to have me addicted and then the ugly side became apparent. I headed for hospital for addicts for the first time. Before I started using regularly, I had been in the mental institute for sleep disorder and earlier on had been counselled for bad behaviour and restlessness. The drugs gave me release. Now as i lay on the hospital bed, i dreaded what was coming next.

The chief psychiatrist came the next morning, looked very severely at me and said "Manish, you gave us a terrible scare. Your blood pressure dropped to very critical levels. This is the first time in my long career that I've encountered this situation".

See, I was again the bad boy, the unmanageable teen and the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons. And I hated it. I closed my mind. I got counselled; I tried to run away and finally got discharged much against the doctors and my family's wishes. Fact is, I did not think I had any problem at all, so why all this fuss, attention and money being spent?

I passed time for a few days at home, thinking what I could do with my life. In the hospital they had recommended that I complete my studies. But that wasn’t attractive. I got bored thinking and went back to an old hangout, met a buddy and in no time was smoking a joint again.

This became a pattern for the next decade or so of my life; hospitalization, agonizing withdrawals, staying clean for a while and relapses that carried me deeper into drug use and trouble with my family, friends’ law and society. I also tried geographical and ashrams but with no real results.

And one night, I’m listening to jazz on the radio and fondly chasing smack, already nice and numb on downers. I’m fully possessed by the spirit of intoxication I go into a real deep trance. After sometime, I’m in the midst of a very supernatural and frightening experience. I’m actually seeing my soul leaving my body and settle in one corner on the room. As I’m looking on, a voice says very clearly "You are going to die very shortly". It may have been the spirit of my alcoholic uncle who had died recently or it may have been God, I can’t tell. But I got the message and was screaming "noooooooo,,,,,,, i don’t want to die".

That, I believe, was the first of my awakenings in recovery.

And then it happens few weeks later that I’m sitting chasing smack with some guys and I suddenly start praying to a Personal Deity, a thing I had not done for very long. Then I got lucky. I got the number of a rehab, that too from a using friend. She had stayed clean for 10 months and had relapsed but that held some hope for me. And after I cleaned up in this rehab, i never have had to use again, for 25 years now. In the rehab, one very disturbing and insane night, I had my second awakening. I was lying down in the isolation room, no lights, in solitary confinement and very scared and in very painful withdrawal. I was very unmanageable. My soul cried out for a Higher Power to help. Then I start to breathe easy, and go into a trance and have an experience of the Great Light of the Universe!

We need to have Spiritual experiences; else an addict like me cannot sustain recovery. After the Experience at the rehab, I’ve had Experiences that are more informational/ educational in nature. That's the Power of the Therapeutic Program.

Not to say I've not had problems and failures, trials and tribulations but this Program has shown me success in family, career and society, solutions to the darkest problems and the Great Joy of Living. Really, I can feel that the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel. Abstinence in close association and identification with others in Therapeutic Program is the best ground for growth.

M.I.P has been a Recovery Source for nearly 10 years now. I’m truly a Miracle in Progress. I’m also reminded that M.I.P also stands for Most Important Person, the newcomer. Indeed, we can keep what we have only by giving it away. My gratitude speaks when I care and share.

And having said all of that about myself, I truly believe that any addict can stop using, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live, in the Therapeutic Program WAY ! God Bless y'all and keep coming back, no matter what happens in life or however you're feeling.

Remember to say to yourself "

Just for today, my thoughts will be on my recovery, living and enjoying life without the use of drugs" 

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