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[ Personal Narratives ]

Please Listen

I was recently looking back at some of my journal entries from the end of my active addiction. I would sometimes write during my moments of clarity. When I found this particular entry, it brought tears to my eyes. By the grace of God, I am now 2 1/2 years sober, but reading these words brought me right back to where I was when I honestly thought I was going to die from my disease. I was broken and fearful and completely powerless. Today, with the help of others just like me, I am free. Today, I am once again free to choose, I am self-aware and I am healthy. It is amazing what a tremendous impact  2 1/2 years of rigorous honesty and vigilance have had in my life. I never believed I could stop. Today, I am able to say, “My name is Vanessa, and I am a woman living in long-term recovery.”


Journal- August 16, 2014

Please listen…

When I tell you that I am scared. When I tell you I don’t want to live this way anymore. Even if it seems like it should be so easy. You’ll want to tell me, “Just stop!” It’s not that easy. If I could, I would. I promise you this. I don’t know when I lost the ability to stop, and now I have crossed that invisible line between normalcy and chaos. I don’t know how to get back to the other side. I am sick. I am lost. I am afraid. 

Please listen…

When you ask me why I keep doing it, and I tell you I don’t know. Sometimes I honestly don’t know. One minute I feel strong and determined, and the next I feel weak and broken. I am in the grip of something much stronger than just myself. Sometimes I tell myself I am done for good. I say it with such conviction too.  And before I even know what is happening,  I am suddenly right back where I started again. I gave in to my disease. In that moment, I lost my will to fight. I am sick, and I can’t do this alone. 

Please listen…

When I tell you that I need help. The best time to help me  is in that moment where I get the courage to ask. In this moment, I need you to listen, because I might change my mind tomorrow, or even an hour from now. Please fight for me, even if you are angry with me. If I should ask for help, please help me in that moment. Please help me find a meeting or treatment as soon as possible. Every second that ticks by from the moment I speak the words, “please help me,” my addiction has already begun working to reel me back in. I cannot do this on my own. 

Please listen…

When I tell you that I am afraid I will never have the strength to stop. When I tell you I never meant to end up like this. These are not excuses. These words are true, even if everything else I say seems like a lie. Just because you cannot feel my pain, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It is very real to me. I need help. Please don’t give up on me. 

Please listen…

When my words are angry or hurtful…it’s not you I am angry with, it is myself. My words are a tool I’ve learned to use to protect my addiction. I am not as hateful as I seem, I am sick. I never meant to hurt you. I never meant to hurt anyone. I never meant to hurt myself. I don’t remember when my disease took hold of my life, but it has…and I can’t do this alone. 

Please listen…

When I tell you I can’t stop. I believe that, even if you don’t. Addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful. Addiction has re-prioritized everything in my brain and now I am convinced I need my drug to survive. To me, giving up my substance would be like taking away the air I breath. I panic. My entire life seems to be lived in fear these days. The fear of living. The fear of dying. This fear is very real to me, even if you cannot feel it yourself. 

Please listen…

Please hear the words I am saying. Please hear me!  Let go of your desire to tell me what I should be doing, or what horrible things I have done in the past. I know what I have done, trust me. I have not forgotten. Please let go of your desire to respond before I am finished speaking. This may sound rude, I don’t mean to be. It took courage for me to share these things with you today. Although it may be an impossible request, because you are not addicted, please try to understand that I am not in control anymore. My brain has been hijacked by the devil himself. He is much stronger than I am. Even as I am sharing my fears with you in this moment, he is waiting patiently for me to be alone again. Please don’t leave me alone with him. Please don’t give up on me. Sometimes, I don’t even know he is there and I will need you to point him out to me. Please listen…I cannot do this alone. 

Please listen…

When I tell you that shame and judgement are not working. When I tell you that what I need is compassion and understanding. When I tell you that the embarrassment and shame of what I have done already has me believing I am not worthy of the life I lead. I know I am not worthy of your respect in this moment, I have done and said some awful things, but can I please ask for your empathy? I need help. I need love. Love is greater than hate, is it not? I cannot even remember anymore. Everything is so mixed up in my head, I can’t even tell what’s right or wrong. 

Please listen…

don’t want to die, not really, but some days I am convinced that I do. Please don’t let me die like this. I am begging you. Please don’t let me die, not like this. I cannot do this alone. I need guidance. I need to remember why life is worth fighting for. I have forgotten what it feels like to have hope, to feel joy, to feel the sun on my face. Please don’t let me die like this. 

Please listen…


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