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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:06 pm 
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Hello there,

I'm a new user to this site, and am very interested in belonging to a forum of people who are going through the same nightmare I've been living for the last five years.
A little about myself.
I'm 22 currently and have had a problem with painkillers, primarily opium, oxycodone and hydrocodone for roughly five years. I don't think its necessary to provide a detailed history of how I got started, but it should suffice to say that my story is not original, but highly ordinary. I started small and worked my way up, and got myself to where I am through years or lying, denial, and selfishness.
Some of you may say that since I suffer from a disease, I shouldn't be so hard on myself. You may be true, you may... I don't outwardly deny this possibility. But I personally feel that I need to own up to my terrible choices, even if only confidentially. I need to come to terms with myself.
Part of what makes this so hard is because I've lied to so many people, in such deep, audacious, unforgiving ways, that it seems now I could never come out and tell anyone what's really going on. I feel that if I did that, the ground beneath my feet may just as well open up and allow me the relief of falling down into a bottomless chasm where my shame could never be seen again.
8 months ago I came clean to someone I was in love with dearly. I told her everything, the cross I bear every day, the way I wear a mask and hide my real self with a completely fabricated, superficial personality that has learned to smile and pretend normalcy when everything inside is literally frayed and ripped at the seams. She felt frightened, but above all sad that this true "me" was only now coming out. This episode was after a break up. Soon after, we didn't speak for 2 months. I told her I needed to get better, and got onto suboxone.
Fast forward 8 months later. I got off after 2 months, felt ok, went through some bad W/Ds to be honest, terrible PAWS, but managed. Only 3 weeks passed before I found myself indulging occasionally on my nights off. I would write articles and listen to bebop, float in that magic reverie of opiate narcotics until the veil was lifted by the abrasive morning. I treated this like a huge secret, and it was. All the friends I've shown tears to, the desperation, my declarations of "coming clean," what would it all mean now, now that i was using again? what would she think?
worst of all, she was starting to get closer to me again.
What was I to do? on the one hand, I was sure in my heart, this person I loved, this person who inspired me in every way to get off the dope, was worth so much more than a bag of pills. but on the other hand, the cavity, that vacuum of space inside that dope fills, consumed and continues to consume me in every way.
I have kept it a secret.
I gradually started buying opiates every day, to the point where I was regularly taking 150-180 mgs of hydro or 160 mgs of oxy every day. Somehow, throughout this, I've managed to keep my job and stave off wds, but i knew it couldnt last forever. i called my doctor and got a rx for subs, and am on maintenance now.
i guess im trying to say im terribly depressed, and have made this my reality. I am not sure when or if i will be able to get off subs for a while, if i should. At least I can focus on making money and paying rent now, perhaps even finding more gainful employment, but i can't help but feel that I may have fucked my one chance at true love, because lying and being high was more important than being a true, honest, authentic person. I have, to be fair, though some may not believe, have been honest about literally everything else, but when it came to my drug use, that would be a big, fat lie. I wish I could say sorry to these people. I wish I could have them understand I didn't want to lie, hurt, and all that. BUT I felt ashamed. I did. I always felt if they knew, they'd never speak to me again. I'd feel abandoned, which was how i felt the last time i told the truth.
anyway, im not sure what else i wanted to say. :( :(

I've been on it for 2 weeks now. 4-8 mgs a day.i dont want to stay on forever, but i dont want to jump off too soon. I'm scared to death of being discovered. I feel like a murderer sometimes. Like Raskolnikov.. Hiding a terrible, horrible, guilty secret.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:52 am 
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Hello IvanShatov - I saw your post and I wanted to welcome you to the forum.

The way you're feeling, what you've described, is certainly familiar to me and I'm sure many of us here have found ourselves in a similar place at one time or another. It's awful, the shame and the guilt that many addicts cary around, it is a heavy, heavy burden and a hard one to set down. We want so much to be well and to be whole, to not let ourselves down or disappoint the people we love, and we struggle mightily with that.

For the time being, don't worry about when you'll be able to stop taking Suboxone again, or how long you might be on it. Hopefully the medication is working well enough for you that you'll be freed from withdrawal and cravings enough to start healing your body, mind and spirit.

Give yourself some time to work through all of these feelings - you don't have to figure it all out today. I hope that you'll find some support and fellowship here, and possibly in your "real life" as well. You don't have to make this journey all alone.

I have more thoughts for you, but I don't have time right now, so I will check back here as soon as I can. Let us know how you're feeling soon.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:04 am 
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Ivan -

I can certainly relate to how you feel. When I got on sub no one but a couple close friends knew about my addiction to begin with as I had hidden it from everyone. My husband didn't even know about the addiction or the sub. I felt like I was living a lie and I was completely alone. It has been 3 years now and my husband knows (yes....I almost lost him forever because of my lies) and my mom knows as well as my close friends and family.

It used to be that my husband and I would discuss tapering and when I would get off suboxone. I felt guilty and ashamed for taking it. I felt like I needed to hide this as another part of active addiction instead of being proud of myself for managing my addiction. For us it was always a question of when I would finally have the strength to rid myself of this disease and get over it once and for all. Eventually we both learned that I cannot will this addiction away and it isn't something that I will ever entirely rid myself of. I don't have that much power.

I agree with you that you have to come to terms with the behaviors you have had and continue to have and for the shameful things you have done. HOWEVER, you don't have to internalize these behaviors as part of your character and beat yourself up for it all. You aren't an addict because you are a horrible person with poor character. You are an addict because you have a disease and these are symptoms of this disease. You have to come to terms with the behaviors to accept that this is a dangerous disease that can make you do things you would NEVER do otherwise. It is a matter of respecting how powerful this disease is. Then, you can forgive yourself for these things and do everything in your power to remain in remission. For some that means long term suboxone.

I encourage you to continue being as honest as you can with those around you. Share your confusion, sadness, and conflictual emotions with those close to you. Share your uncertainty with them about how to handle this. You may lose your girlfriend in the process, or you may grow closer. Either way, the consequence is inevitable because you can't hide this forever. You have every right to feel the way you do and DOQ is right that you don't have to answer everything today. You certainly aren't alone in this because the rest of us can relate. I am very glad you found this site and I will be thinking of you today.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:04 pm 
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Gosh, Ivan! I think it would be fair to say that everyone signed up on this forum has had these feelings at one time or another. I think you are being way too hard on yourself. We have a disease - a fatal disease. It can't be cured. It can be treated. There were many people in my life who never accepted that. Over the years I have come to accept it, and know that I have no control over those who choose not to.

I have battled an opiate addiction that would rival anyone here, since the early 1990s There are not enough opiates in the whole wide world for me. I would always want more. I have betrayed my husband, my family, my friends, my profession, myself. I carry the guilt and shame with me for the many awful things that I have done. And I mean - AWFUL. My husband has never really gotten the whole addiction thing. When I first had to tell him what I had done, and every time I relapsed after that, he would cry and be so bewildered, and did not understand why I did the things that I did. He just doesn't understand that when in an active addiction, the physical and psychological need for the drug overrides everything else. I really don't think that anyone can truly understand, except another addict. Guess what? We are still happily married and will celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2011. It took me a long time but I finally realized that he would never understand, and that is OK today.

You have been in an active addiction until just recently. Do you realize how exhausting that it, and what kind of a toll it takes on you? You must allow yourself time to rest, to eat properly, to get a little exercise, and to allow your body to heal. Stop beating yourself up, and start taking care of yourself, physically and mentally. If the relationship is meant to be, it will survive, no matter what.

I have been on Suboxone for a little over a year. In terms of my addiction, this has been the most awesome year of my life. I feel normal again. I am not obsessed with getting drugs. I don't even think about them. The cravings are gone. I hope against all hope that I never, ever have to go off of it. My advice to you would be as above. To not worry about getting off of it right now. This is a medication that you are taking to treat a disease that you have. Nothing more. Compare it to diabetes. Sometimes diabetics have to take insulin. That is what Suboxone feels like to me. A wonder drug that has revolutionized my life.

Of course everyone is different, and maybe you won't need to stay on it for long term. I can't remember for sure, I think you said that you were on it for two months before? That is definitely not long enough in my opinion, but that is just me. Also it needs to be tapered down quite slowly when you do stop.

I wish you all the best and I hope that you find that you are feeling better in the days ahead.

~Rossma


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:48 pm 
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Look at it this way bro, it's not your fourth time on suboxone, it's your fourth time off pills! There's always a positive side if you can but find it, so don't put yourself down or beat yourself up.We all feel depressed and worthless at times, it's the nature of the disease. Just keep going for as long as you can, and give your body and mind a chance to heal. In my opinion (and it's only an opinion), the longer you stay on suboxone the greater your chances of complete recovery in the long term.
Best of luck, and stay safe!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:22 pm 
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Hi Ivan,

I wanted to welcome you to the forum. Like others have said, don't beat yourself up too much. We all experience shame and guilt about our addiction, but it's important to be able to move on from the past and live in the present. Also, try not to focus on the future, as it how long you'll need to be on sub. Give yourself some time to stabilize. Spend some time getting to know this new active-addiction-free person that you are.

Lastly - and you may not want to hear this, but you're so young. I hope your girlfriend comes around, I really do. Give her some time. But if not, just know that there are many loves ahead of you in your life. I can almost guarantee that. (Gosh I sound like someone's mother!). OK, enough unsolicited relationship advice. Again, welcome to the forum. Please keep us posted on how you're doing. We care.

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 Post subject: Thank you
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:24 am 
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Thank you, all your words are very kind. I am going to focus on precisely that now. giving myself a chance.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:23 pm 
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Hi Ivan. I know that I'm a little late in replying to you, sorry for that. I didn't see your post until a few minutes ago.

First of all, all of those things that you feel- we have all experienced them. You are among people who totally understand you, and who all wish the best for you. I hope you stick around. I haven't been here long, but I have gained a wealth of information and support from the members of this forum, and it has helped me overcome my worst fears. I hope that we can help you to do the same.

I'm going to go ahead and agree with everyone else. You are too hard on yourself. What have you done that makes you such a terrible person? Comparing yourself to Raskolnikov is a bit counterproductive. He killed a person. You 'killed' an addiction that could have ultimately lead to your demise. You did the right thing. He did something terrible that benefited no one, even himself, in the end. You have done the right thing here. Don't kick yourself for doing the right thing. Yes, it is terribly humbling to have to come to terms with just what turmoil your addiction has caused in your life, and then admitting that you need help not only to put your addiction into remission, but to absolve yourself of all the ills that your addiction caused you to commit. It sucks. But you have to try to forgive yourself. You aren't doing anything wrong by being on Suboxone; you are getting the help that you need so that you don't DIE or fall back into a destructive pattern of existing, if you can even call it that. You are doing the things that a strong, intelligent, and motivated person would be doing to better their life. You should be PROUD of yourself. You really should.

It took me a while to get out of the 'damn, now I have to take a junkie pill to keep myself from being a junkie' mindset. That was absolutely the wrong mindset, and was not at all conducive to my recovery. I had to change the way that I was looking at my life before I could feel that I was actually making improvements. I can't change that I am an addict. What's productive about thinking 'well, if I hadn't have snorted all that oxy, then I wouldn't be in this situation right now'? It's better to think 'Welp, I'm an addict. That's that. Better start doing what I need to do to improve my life, and try not to allow myself to become mired in what I have done to destroy it.

You are doing a GOOD thing. Granted it's a bad situation, and I could see how any course of action that you take could be viewed as also being bad because the negativity of addiction can consume everything, but you are trying to turn your life around, and you should be happy about it.

As for your lady problems, well, try being honest with this girl. Show her this forum. Show her that being on Suboxone isn't admitting to being a failure, and that it's a step in the right direction in regaining control over your life. If she doesn't understand it, well, that's her problem. If she doesn't love you because of something like this, then she isn't right for you, and you will find someone who is. Focus on yourself right now, and stop being so down! You did a GOOD thing. You are doing the right thing, and you deserve to take pride in it, instead of looking at everything associated with your addiction as a failure. Not everything is. Focus on getting your life together; you have that chance right now. You didn't before. Don't focus on how much Suboxone you are taking. Take your pill, get on with your day, forget about it. When you know 100% that you are ready to quit, then quit. If that day is a month from now, great. If it's twenty years from now, well, that's also great. You are going to be fine. Everything is going to be okay.

Sorry about the wall of text. I want you to feel good about yourself because you deserve it. I hope you can do that:) Have you considered therapy?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:03 pm 
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That was an awesome post Melsie!

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 Post subject: Dandelions & Cattails
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:16 pm 
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Welcome, Ivan. Are you from Russia? That's kinda cool! It's good you've found this forum. It can be helpful, and quite informative. While going through this, the more support the better. Anway, Like you and most others, my addiction, like many was very,very secret. After I sought help, and started the sub treatment, people were absolutely shocked that I was leaving late at night to go do lines of my DOC's. I felt ashamed, and still do. I fooled just about everyone, even myself for a long while there. I've only been clean 24 days but even so, small steps =)

I understand the feeling of guilt and remorse for addiction, though in my opinion a comparison to Raskolnikov is a perhaps a bit steep, but if that's how you feel don't keep it inside. It will be quite a change not hiding a big part of yourself, the one that has been hidden. I still struggle with putting up the mask on a daily basis. Do you see a therapist? As part of my suboxone regimen it is required. What made you stop the Suboxone the other times? None of my business but, just curious...Remember, don't sell yourself short, you did this on your own. A lot of people can't. That's a big achievement.


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 Post subject: Raskolnikov
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:23 am 
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It is a steep and unfair comparison, to hoist the guilt of a murderer upon me; but in some ways, it is not so much the guilt of murder, but the guilt of being a perpetual actor, and therefore falsity, throughout one's days. In a figurative sense, it is as though I were killing my spirit, just chipping away at it, every single day. To be narcotized, to be perpetually fixated on the euphoria, the as-it-were pixellated poetic reverie that showers down on me every time I down a small hand full of lortabs, is like staring into an abyss. I almost always feel a distinct yearning in my heart, literally like an arm is reaching for something, and yet I know nothing is there. I'll never extract anything from this lugubriousness, so why do I continually sacrifice myself towards this vicious illusion? I'm killing myself physically and spiritually, and my guilt is that I refuse to let the world in on the Cross that I bare.
Even the people I love.
I tell them any little thing to supplant the idea that I'm clean and that I love myself with the idea that I've back slid, gone astray, am still lost in the madness of my mind.
I'm not sure I've ever believed in the idea of addiction as a disease. I do speculate about it, of course, and I perhaps just simply haven't taken the time to examine the body of evidence supporting the claim, but for certain, I've always intuited that my spirit is responsible for my actions, not my chemistry. If opiate addiction were a disease, surely all if not most of mankind carries it, for there are perhaps a very few select who are immune to the poppies' siren song.
It leads me to believe that perhaps this is only a matter of perspective.

I'm sorry, I am guilty of a long tangent; but you're all quite correct, I really can become extremely morbid about myself sometimes. But life can get like that when you feel so isolated and superficial. When you put on a fake smile on the drop of a dime.
About her... I think it'd be best to bury this for a while. This thing, if it ever sees the light of day, would mean disastrous things. Many broken hearts, many insulted, frightened, at the sheer verbosity and deftly splendidness of my deceptions. It's really somewhat of an amazing release for me to share these thoughts with a forum.. I really can't say enough, I have perhaps two people in my life who will be willing to simply listen and appreciate what I have to say.

I dream of becoming clean. Of being free from this accursed share I've invested in. Being on suboxone, well.. I see it benefits, if only in the sense that it keeps me away from full agonists, but let me chime in and wax poetic: I still don't feel free. I still know that if I lost this bottle of sweet orange pills, I'm going to be in a fair amount of pain for a while. I'll sob uncontrollably, suffer from bilious attacks, become all feverish, sensitive. Nightmares, confusion, piloerection. Well, it won't be so bad.. But still, I can't live my life preoccupied with having my pills. I just can't. My will just cannot tolerate it.
Does anyone else feel this way?
For now, I'm happy taking my time and learning again what it's like to not have to chase shady drug dealers all day and night. To not feel deathly afraid those fuck bags won't pick up, will run their supply, take a week's trip in Atlantic City.. It's a huge comfort to know I've got my situation in control to a degree. But I wan't complete control. Yes I know, we cannot always expect to control everything, one must learn to let go a bit... But this thing, I think I can beat this. Or, I know I Want to beat this. I know I cannot live, in the true sense of the word, if I don't kill this thing.


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 Post subject: oh
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:17 am 
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and yes, I am from Russia, but I now live in New York.. Ive lived here since I was an adolescent


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Ivan, just because you have hidden one part of yourself from your loved ones does not mean that you are putting on a facade where your real life/ self should go.

You are using your addiction to define yourself. Is there not more to you than just that?

Sure, I hid my addiction from my loved ones. I was an addict, yes. But that was not all that I was. That's not all that you are, either. While I can understand that you are carrying this tremendous burden of guilt, and that you are suffering as a consequence, I cannot fathom that you would feel as if you were an addict, and only an addict, and that you were hiding your true, evil soul from those around you. I'll assume that while in active addiction, that opium DID consume your soul, and you did hide it from everyone. Even if that was the case, well, it isn't anymore. Yes, you are an addict, but you are other things, too, especially now that you don't have to cower away from society into a dark corner with your drugs while the world passes you by. You can be yourself now. If you were acting before, then you no longer need to do so. Even if your loved ones are unaware of your treatment, so what? That's not the part of yourself that should be the most definitive. You are intelligent, you speak/ write eloquently, you are an interesting individual with a lot to say, and wonderful ways of saying it. That's what I noticed about you- not that you were an addict.

Anyway, if you would feel unburdened by letting the truth be known, then perhaps you should consider doing so. You should think of what is best for yourself at this point, and do those things that you think are truly for the best. Stop beating yourself up.

Yes, addiction IS a disease. Your brain is permanently sensitive to the intoxicating notion of opiates. You are powerless over them. Yes, your brain chemistry is different than someone who hasn't used opiates, or hasn't become dependent upon them. It is not a matter of you being 'weaker' than your addiction! That idea is nonsensical at best. Addiction isn't something that you can 'win' over- you are powerless over it. And that doesn't make you a weak person because there is no addict that has power over their addiction; it is a physical/ mental impossibility. So don't beat yourself up over that, either. You're doing a good job, ACKNOWLEDGE IT.

Also- one more thing:
If Raskolnikov hadn't allowed the murder to consume his life in the way that he did, then he would have been fine. He wouldn't have had to put on airs about not being a murderer because he wouldn't have felt as if that was the most defining characteristic that he possessed. He would have murdered a person and moved on with his life. Sure, it would have made him a sociopath, but he wouldn't have felt as if he were putting people on by pretending to not be a murderer because he wouldn't have felt that that was all there was to him. Equate yourself with Raskolnikov had he dealt with his actions in a different way that was more conducive to moving on with his life.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:11 pm 
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You've got some great replies so far and like someone else already stated, we have all gone through those feelings about ourselves. In your first post you seem to be hung up on the fact that you can't be honest with your loved ones. Honesty is a trickle effect IMO, start being honest in certain area of your life and you will see how things will get better. Try speaking your mind on this forum, writing your true thoughts and feelings, not obscure metaphor's and references, just plainly stating how you are feeling. This is a place to come and get things off your chest, things that you can't tell your loved ones just yet. No offense but I feel like I'm reading an assignment for a creative writing class. Honesty is never that pretty or coherent, it's raw and true. Learn to get honest with yourself and don't over think this thing.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Hey Ivan, how are you?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:56 am 
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Hi Ivan:

I hope you're still around. I wanted to share a little bit about myself, because I think it may help you put your problem in perspective. I'm a little more than twice your age, and in fact, I have a son in the US Navy who is the same age as you.

I have been a drug addict since I was about 16 years old. By the time I was 19 years old, I had a MASSIVE heroin habit and I ended up getting a 20 year prison sentence for armed robbery. I robbed several banks to fund my addiction.

Well, I spent the next approximately 16 years in and out of prison, but mostly in....I was paroled several times, but always failed miserably on supervised release, because I could not prevent myself from doing drugs.

Fast forward to July 1989, when I was finally discharged, free and clear, from that prison sentence - no parole, no probation, no supervision of any kind, a totally free man. Guess what I did? Within about 2 years I was hooked on pain pills.

And over the next 10 years after that, I relapsed, got clean, relapsed, got clean, over and over and over and over and over again and again and again and again. And Again. And again.

And again.


And again.


And


Again.

It was a miserable, horrible existence. I lied to everyone around me, including myself, too many times to remember.

Finally, about 21 months ago, my therapist suggested that I get on suboxone. I did that and I've stayed on it since.

I also have chronic, advanced Hepatitis C. I will likely require a liver transplant to survive, probably within the next 5 to 10 years, so at this time, my doctors are urging me to stay on suboxone. Everyone's different, but every addict is the same. We're all sick and we all have an incurable illness that, left unchecked, WILL eventually kill us.

I think I have finally, really, genuinely, realized that I am in a battle for my life. And the way I am winning that battle today is by taking my suboxone, working with a therapist, attending a group drug addiction meeting each week and trying to be honest with myself and with others.

Don't beat yourself up.


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