Experience Strength and Hope by Simon Mott
"I make no secret I belong to Narcotics Anonymous and share my recovery in the Hope that others may find recovery from addiction"
In NA we share our experience strength and hope in meetings, when invited. Translated this means we talk a bit about our past experience using in active addiction, about our new found strength, and our hopes for the future.
I suffered, my daughter suffered, my family suffered, girlfriends, work, even society suffered as a result of my addiction.
But my daughter suffered the most because she needed me and I wasn’t there. I was using and so every time I returned I would make promises and let her down. This is very painful to look back on when think about it today.
We are all recovering from my drug addiction even though it ended 14 years ago this month.
I was the guy with potential who could not realize it, however today I own and operate a world famous rehab in Thailand, in my wildest dreams I would not have entertained this idea.
"This is a brief outline of my experience, I don't like going into war stories or a drugalog as I don't believe that is important'
From a young age I talked my way in and out of trouble but particularly during my addiction. I reinvent myself around the world doing geographical after geographical. New place to live, new girlfriend, new job..but no of this worked - I always ended up finding and using my drug of choice, and if I could not do that I used your drug of choice.
I spent 20 years roaming the planet, from Kibbutz in Israel, working in Germany and even from state-to-state in America working to get high. Finally I ended up on the dole, on methadone and in a shitty council flat in London.
My background was from a middle class family and grew up in kew gardens, I even went to private school for a while until I got expelled, it was by no means the perfect family however to was not so bad, no obvious abuse or trauma.
However insecure I was I was also king baby: Addiction is a Self-centered condition, a narcissistic condition due to many factors, so I have learned. Everyone is born narcissistic however most grow out of it as adults - but some have arrested development.
I have since learned I have a Brain disease – this makes sense to me now. Addiction is a chronic, progressive and fatal illness. The disease manifests with the following symptoms....
1. Craving and inability to consistently abstain – that was me for 20 years.
2. Impairment in behavioral control – no self control and I felt so helpless.
3. Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors – Denial about what was wrong, I new I was an addict but I thought it was your fault?
4. Interpersonal relationships – Everyone who came into contact with me suffered, I had some lovely girlfriends who tried to save me, but could not.
5. Dysfunctional emotional response – An angry mess on and off the drugs.
It only ever got worse being an addict. I crossed more lines, I took more risks and my tolerance grew so I needed even more drugs, until I got to the point where, rather than just getting stoned slumped in the corner, I desired total oblivion. Thats when i started waking up on the floor with the needle still hanging out my arm, overdosed. The thought of my mother finding me like this filled me full of guilt.
My active addiction left a lot of wreckage behind me and that cannot be undone but I make amends directly and indirectly by not repeating the past and helping others.
I had to reach rock bottom and emotional bankruptcy so the drugs could not mask the mess and I had less and less ability to find and use the drugs - it was over before it was over.
Experience Strength and Hope - Share yours on our Blog....
"My Strength is my recovery today, because without that I have nothing"
It was at a low point in my life that I realized I was either going to die a miserable death or I had to change my life totally and get clean – Easier said than done after 20 years of heroin addiction! I believe I am one of the lucky ones who finally got recovery after a lot of soul-searching and with the help of Narcotics Anonymous.
When I first attended NA and AA meetings everyone seemed to be doing so well I did not feel I fitted in, but going to rehab for a while bridged that gap - so by the time I returned I was already on the same path.
Still living in the same area as I used in, Camden Town, was going to be a challenge, so I stuck close to other recovering addicts, they were also attending meetings. We are a formidable force when we stick together, no where else can you find this for recovering addicts.
This time I was painstaking about my development when I finally got the message of recovery, in Rehab and in meetings.
I worked the steps with my sponsor I did service in meetings I had a sponsor that I met with every week and text and called daily I work on my Anger issues
At first I was scared and anxious but slowly I began to love the freedom I have from not having to find money for drugs and use drugs every waking hour.
Peace and serenity – I am not given to these characteristics or qualities easily, I often choose madness over sanity as It lights up my brain pathways of addiction.
Old school structure and discipline were now my best friends, for a punk rock rebel this was indeed a change, I did not always like what I heard in meetings but I always managed to get something positive when I tried.
Since cleaning up I have learned about Core beliefs, like the feelings of uselessness and self-pity the kept me using and my active addiction alive. Here are some examples;
- I am a victim
- No one likes me
- I am stupid
- I cannot change
I have worked on my Fear of people and for years now regularly give presentations and hold group meetings, learned this in NA.
I had what I can only describe as a spiritual awakening in my room at the Rehab -
"I realised I did not have to use ever again"
This realisation fills me with emotion, sadness for my past and joy for me now.
Today I believe in Karma - what comes around goes around.
I have a new found purpose and a new family - a second chance!
I first started out helping addicts in London by giving them clean needles to use with but I had no idea where it would lead. I founded a treatment center in an amazing part of the world, Thailand. I wish to continue developing Hope Rehab and one day let is run without me having to oversee operations - then I know I have done my job.
Thailand has been my home for the last six years, it has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams. I love the people, the fresh food, the weather, the culture, lifestyle and spirituality of the Kingdom. I wish to remain here and I am building a new house in the countryside, in the beautiful rice fields where I would like to spend more time.
It is not all about me anymore and my role is to be responsible for many others today, both at work and at home.
My outlook has changed – the old Simon can come back from time to time but on the whole he does not run the show.
I actively practice an attitude of gratitude, this keeps me in a positive frame of mind.
There are still consequences. I have Hepatitis C as a result of sharing dirty needles. I'm 50 now and basically lost a good 20 years to my addiction. But I am making up for it now.
The news that I have been nominated for Thailand's newest entrepreneur award was shared with me last week, I still can't quite believe it however I am aware of my remarkable achievement setting up Hope Rehab.
Experience Strength and Hope by Simon Mott