One of the things I struggle with in my daily life is the feeling like I am somehow different from other people. Many times, this is the absolute truth. I sit in a staff meeting and I can pretty much be assured that no one else there lived in an alley, had survival sex, or has track marks that look like a relief map of Brazil on their thighs. The divots look like valleys while the unadulterated flesh looks like Virginia peaks in comparison.
Many people do something in their lives that they find troubling or shameful. What if there were a thousand of those things? Each street corner or song or memory or movie creates a recall of cringeworthy events. I think many people relapse because they cannot sit with the stew. The heavy feeling in your stomach as if you swallowed hot rocks of remorse. It is hard to start over.
I came to a place of forgiveness within my own paradigms. On prostitution "well at least I was getting paid for it while she was at a bar giving it away for free." On being an addict " at least I was not harming other people, just myself". These were a new set of rationalization that have changed over time.
I have come to the conclusion I survived for some greater purpose. I give a voice to those who suffer in silence. Everyone has their own narrative but mine is one of forgiveness of self. Any day I do not stick a needle in my neck is a day full of accomplishment. I have achieved what escaped me for many years- a day with out drugs.
There is a Japanese saying that the nail that sticks out gets beat down. Some days I have to enjoy being board.