Paul, a long time meth user, shared his Drug Abandonment Ritual with me.
*Paul started using meth when he left school at 18 and finally realized he needed to quit when his second marriage failed when he was 32. I questioned Paul about his use - where he used, how often and also about what was around him at the time of his normal use. Paul filled out a questionnaire and made his plan which he shared with me.
This is what he told me.
"I used to snort meth in the kitchen of my apartment, mostly from the countertop. The kitchen was pretty bad. I hate doing housework and cooking and such so the place was filthy. Looking back I dunno why I didn't die from something. All the smells in there were part of my use I guess. Anyway after talking to you and making a plan I first cleaned the kitchen. God it was awful and it took me days but I kept at it. I threw out tons of crap and everything that smelled bad went. I had to get another fridge as mine was way awful.
Then I started planning my Drug Abandonment Ritual like we talked about. I got rid of my coffee pot so I only have coffee when I am out. I tried tea but didn't like it much so got hot chocolate for when I am home. I know you said to do my ritual somewhere different from where I did the meth but it didn't work for me cos I am in the kitchen a lot. Anyway I got another CD player and found a couple of jazz CD's that I had not heard for years. I used to like jazz. I did get another mug for the hot chocolate, a bight red and gold one from Goodwill and I got rid of all my old mugs. They all had the associations of meth round them.
I sorted out my clothes and packed my T shirt with the Hard Rock logo as it reminded me of a visit to Chicago and getting really stoned. I put everything I could think of in that box. The hardest thing was my driving license. I couldn't pack that. I used that to crush up the meth. I knew I would have to live with that one. I put the box in the attic.
I got a candle with a pretty strong cinnamon smell. I never smoked pot or anything so lighting the candle didn't bother me. The hardest thing was what to do with my hands. Lining up meth into neat lines and anticipating the hit was a big part of my ritual. I tried several things until I found some modeling clay in a thrift store. I have always liked fiddling with stuff so I use that to roll and knead and make stuff and then flatten it.
I used crank first thing when I got up so now I get some hot chocolate, and put on the jazz. Then I set out the clay. I got a baby picture of Jenna (his daughter) and set that up too. I try and relax like you suggested and then beat the crap out of the clay!
The first weeks were tough. I had the box in the attic and I went and got it out twice. It is a good thing you said to cover it with duct tape. I sat and looked at it but then put it back. By the third week I was over the worst of the withdrawal from the drug but I still needed the ritual. I still needed that. I added to it as I started reading. When I was little I used to watch my Gramps fish and he used to tie flies. I found a book on tying flies so made that my reading while doing my DAR.
As you know I have been clean for five and a half months now. Still can't find a job but things are bad round here. I have been for several interviews and two wanted a pee test which I could give - no worries! It felt good.
* Name changed to protect privacy. Part of this email was edited for clarity.