Midlife Crisis: Overcoming My Addiction To Meth, Part II

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Stephen Mucci is a recovered meth addict trying to help others by sharing his story. His experience with meth has taught him to take control of his own life and confront the consequences of his actions. He will be releasing a memoir later this year.

Read Part I of his story here.

We're highly motivated to avoid painful emotions and, conversely, to seek rewarding, pleasant emotions. The crux of quitting meth for me was to counteract the pleasurable feelings brought on by the drug by invoking even stronger negative emotions caused by suffering an avalanche of dire consequences.

Invoking Negative Emotions

I'll tell you very clearly and explicitly how this phenomenon of invoking negative emotions worked for me. I was sitting in jail awaiting my sentencing hearing in which I knew I would be sentenced to about four years in prison. I choose to quit meth permanently at that very moment. I knew that if I continued to use meth I would either die an addict, or even worse, end up spending the bulk of my remaining life in prison.

The overwhelming negative emotions associated with that realization, including shame, guilt, fear and self-loathing, were my ticket to freedom. From that moment nearly fours years ago to the present, I’ve never been seriously tempted to use meth again. I simply recall all of the horrendous consequences I suffered, and any fleeting thoughts or temptations to use are squashed.

Am I implying that you have to first suffer horrible consequences from your meth abuse to have the motivation and the kind of powerful negative emotions that will enable you to quit? The answer is no. I think if you thoroughly educate yourself about meth and its devastating life consequences, and take that knowledge to heart, you’ll come to face the fact that your future is very grim if you continue to use.

All of the information you need is readily and abundantly available through books (particularly books written by recovering meth addicts), meth resource web sites, blogs, and Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) meetings. I didn’t educate myself about meth when I was using, and I paid a very heavy price by keeping myself in the dark. I was the proverbial ostrich with his head stuck in the sand. I didn’t want to know the truth about the long-term consequences of meth addiction, and I avoided the truth at all costs. Don’t be like me. Don’t be an ostrich.

My Memoir

I’ve written a memoir about my time as a meth addict and my path in recovery. The book, Just Because I'm Paranoid Doesn't Mean Someone Isn't Out to Get Me: A Meth Memoir by Stephen Mucci, will be released later this year. I believe it’s a must-read for anyone who is even thinking about using meth, anyone currently experimenting with meth, or anyone now fully addicted to meth (and their families).

Good luck to everybody out there who wants to improve their lives, to free themselves from this horrible drug, to sustain the positive changes they’ve made, and to help others still trapped in the nightmare.

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