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Are You Like Me?

If you are reading this, you are like me or know someone like me.  I like excesses, want to know what more is like.  If I get focused on something, I take it as far as I can take it.  “You only know limits by exceeding them”, “Find the toxic dose and back off slightly”.  As a small kid I learned that if I spun around fast and stopped, the horizon would tilt and I’d feel, well, drunk. I liked this, wondered what else might I do.

This ability could be a strength, took us to all sorts of heights.  With proper focus we are the artists, the musicians, the poets. And sometimes your Doctors.  It sure helped me to have a fun career helping folks the way only a Dentist can.

But, “If you dance to the music, you have to pay the piper”.  Darn it, finding those limits bears consequences, and consequences we might not have been ready for.  We were tough, strong willed able and confident. We’d be OK.

Let’s jump to what it’s like when we decide who’s an addict.  Heck anyone with any drive in life runs into things when it just does not make sense to keep doing this.   But something in our makeup, in our genetics made it different. We wanted to get away from whatever was burning us but we, we could not.  We tried this and tried that and cut back and still burned down the house or something else hard to ignore.

Some of us found a way out.  We all know people who didn’t.  And people who are trapped in it now but say they are just fine.  We wonder why we lived to write stories when they did not and we were so much alike.

For me, the way out of a lot of it did involve the NCCDP.  Not too long before I received an Invitation for membership from the NCCDP it did not exist and yes addicted Docs could see taking their life as a better option than continuing the awfulness. They did not have another option that I had.

Making the changes that were needed was very hard, took years and years to feel really comfortable with no chemical assistance.  But it happened, built a new office while my Dental license was suspended through the trust of a banker whose brother suffered from alcohol. Folks want to see us succeed.  I was never high in that office one moment for the next two decades as I finished my career.  Some of you reading this know what that means.

It is very important to place chemical addiction where it belongs in this.  If there were no drugs on this planet my kind will find ways to overdo things in dangerous ways.  My own list is long.  And what I have learned through the NCCDP helps me know how to manage those every day too.

We are lucky to be born with these drives and if we get some help along the way, we are ones who do the special stuff.

— A Grateful Recovering Dentist —