I have always had my issues, but since I recently graduated college and have entered the “real world,” as they call it, I have found myself stuck in reverse. I have been going through the motions for so long now. Good daughter, good person, good student…these steps in life have always just found themselves in front of me…even with my secret addiction.

Yes, ADDICTION! SIing is an addiction, at least for me. It is horrible to admit, but I know that my vice may not be drugs or alcohol, but hurting myself makes me feel, just as the more “common” addictions do. It is a temporary fix to an evergoing issue. I recently discovered that SIing is not the problem. I am the problem. I am an addict. I can try to tell myself that SIing is not a drug, but it is mine.

I have a friend who is in a program called “Drug Court.” For those who aren’t familiar, as I wasn’t, Drug court is an alternative to jail or prison for a convicted drug addict. He was facing 3 years time at 19 and chose the program as an obvious alternative. At 21, He is now 18 moths sober. He has to be randomly drug tested twice a week to this day, starting the program at 4 times and has to attend 4 NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings a week.

One day, I overheard him make a comment regarding his former addiction and his having been an SIer. I should say that the few people who know about my habbit, don’t know because I told them. I SI so that no one will never know…and I am sadly very good about hiding it. Or so I thought.

I had never spoken to a FORMER SIer, and part of me really wanted to reach out to him and ask “how did you do it? How did you stop hurting yourself?” But that would reveal my secret. I began attending some of the open NA meetings with him, just taging along. It was alot like the movies, surprisingly. “My name is (insert name), and I am an addict.” They shared about their day and about how they got through it. No one ever asked me why I was there. No one ever stared. I was a fly on the wall. I picked up a pamplet entitled “Am I an addict?” It said to use the word drug to mean anything…including behaviors.

Following are some of the questions it asked me to ask myself:

Do you regularly use a drug  when you wake up or go to bed?

Do you ever replace one drug with another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem?

Have you ever used one drug to overcome the effects of another?

Do you ever use alone?

Has your job or school work ever suffered from the effects of your drug use?

Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?

Have you ever tried to stop or control your using?

Have you ever felt ashamed, guilty, or defensive about your using?

Have you ever used drugs because of pain or stress?

Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?

Am I an addict? Yes. I have finally come to the realization that I cannot stop SIing without admitting that I have a need for it. After my third meeting, I started crying in the car with my friend.  He asked me what was wrong, and I told him that I thought I might have an addiction, but not to a drug. He said, “Is it SI?”

My gut hurt. Had he seen my scars? How did he find out? What did I do to make him see? He said it was nothing I did or said. He admitted he was rather amazed by how easily I could avoid being discovered. But he knew because he was an addict. He understood, and he told me he wanted me to keep going to meetings with him. He told me about the 12 steps and how anyone could benefit from them. He told me about his support group and sponser and how amenity was their stronghold. Anything said there stayed there. No chances of being outed.

Last week I spoke up at a meeting. Today marks 1 week SI free. I am not saying I am cured, but the admitance that I really have a problem is helping. I am not ready to give it up completely, but just for today I feel without it.

I am not suggesting that we all should go join NA, but just that we should consider ourselves before we consider what we do. Consider that if we hadn’t turned to SI to solve our problems, what other drug we would use. I hope this helps someone, because it is slowly helping me.