The Greatest Con - Convincing Yourself That You Don’t Have A Problem.

Let me level with you; getting into recovery is a bitch.  There was a time I fully believed that I wasn’t an addict and didn’t need help.  I completely underestimated my addiction.  Even when I began sticking myself like a voodoo doll I didn’t believe I had a problem.  It is estimated that 30 percent of LGBT struggles with some form of addiction. The three most problematic words that can come out of an addicts mouth are “I got this.”  Convincing yourself that you don’t have a problem is the greatest con game.  Only 10 percent of addicts ever seek out treatment.  Self-deception is the barrier to getting into treatment.   On the flip side, the three most empowering words an addict will ever speak are “I need help.” 

Eventually, you have to wake up to the reality that your drug use negatively impacts your life.  You can’t continue to be a chaos agent wagering your life on denial.  You are like a tea bag, you are in hot water.  When your use begins to spiral out of control, and it will, prepare to go from Park Avenue to park benches.  It’s not my intention to sound mean, it’s just that I mean business. I am fully aware of drug use in gay culture and I encourage anyone who regularly uses to seek treatment. Guilt, shame, and remorse keeps you out there in your addiction longer.  Admitting you have a problem is a scary prospect, but it's a better option than an early engraving of ‘dope fiend’ on your tombstone.  It is a sad, startling reality that few addicts make it.  I’m not trying to sound like a doomsday prophet, but it is my hope to help others survive the odds.  That hope starts with treatment.  The thing is, if you go into treatment for anyone other than yourself, the shit won’t work. 

Overdose deaths within the LGBT community are at epidemic levels throughout the United States.  Dope sprees, binges, and chem-sex have infiltrated the scene taking too many promising lives into full blown addiction and even death.  Buy into recovery through treatment, don’t buy into getting high, the drugs don’t give any fucks about you.  So do you want the red pill or the blue pill?  It is your choice alone. 

We all have a past, now hold your head up.  Going into treatment for drug addiction is a chance to turn an obstacle into an opportunity.  You have to be a beast to recover, but when your future is on the line you can find motivation in the fight.  For a long stretch of years, I had almost completely given up hope in having the future I had always dreamed of.  Being an ‘atomic cowboy’ who doesn’t play into societal norms and being so open publicly about my life seemed to be deep strikes against me.  Add into the mix working through past traumas that have occurred in my life, most of which ‘normal’ people wouldn’t have survived, led me to believe that I would never get the family life I so desperately hoped for.  My ultimate future is the ‘white picket fence’ and when I found myself once again seeing this life as a possibility I began to seek out treatment as to not miss out on the possible.  So, delete your ‘hook-up’ apps boys because you won’t find your husband on them.

All I know is that we can recover.  Addiction is a cunning habit that, after the momentary emotional numbing, leads your further and further away from your purpose.  You lose your way.  Just take the suggestion to go into treatment.  The decision is fully on you.  If you are at a crossroads and recognize that using and addiction are not how you want to live then it's time to seek out help.  You cannot become what you cannot define.  It’s like a rabbit hole prayer with God.  I found that it won’t help on the scale that I know I am capable of unless I make it into recovery.  I must live a life of significance and make a difference in the world.  What do you want out of your life?

Reaching recovery will be a milestone.  From that point on my social media posts should read ‘haters wanted’ followed by the wink emoji.  It will be the most prideful accomplishment of my life.  I consider myself to be between addict and recovery, I don’t plan on being stuck there.  I want to be the resource.  I want to be the fury.  There is no shame in admitting you are battling an addiction and to those who say otherwise, well that is on them.  By now, everyone should gleam that stigmas are ignorant and ignorance has zero standing.  Fresh out of treatment, I have never felt more alive or hopeful.  Sober feels good, but my second chance at the life I have always gunned for feels even better.  It is empowering to surrender the con of denial and find a treatment program that will be the foundation of your recovery. 


Instinct wants to thank C.L. Frederick for sharing his open and honest piece on addiction and rehab.  Discussions need to happen, truths need to be shared and sharing personal accounts like this is a great beginning. For help, check out these resources:

https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/resources/lgbtq/

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/lgbt/

https://drugabuse.com/library/gay-addiction-treatment-center/


C.L. Frederick is an internationally published columnist, reporting on social issues affecting the LGBT community. His articles have been published by numerous national and international publications. A few of the outlets he has written for include The Phoenix Newsletter (Kansas City), DNA Magazine, Prism Magazine, Homoculture, Impulse Group, The Dallas Voice, and The Windy City Times (Chicago). As a writer, he is known for sharing his personal experiences dealing with being a HIV positive gay man and for documenting his journey from addict to being in recovery. He has had several featured acting roles on t.v. shows such as; Modern Family, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, LA Hair, and Empire. As a male model, he has been featured in campaigns for Joe's Jeans, Quarter Homme, and Andrew Christian. He is single in his personal life, but has his Dimaggio. His greatest dream in life is to have a family and he will build that 'white picket fence' with his own two well manicured hands if he has to.

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Thanks for your story and I’m grateful for the truth in the comments. I’m in recovery from addiction that manifested in many of the ways written about here. It’s a battle every day and I’m grateful for the strength in myself, in the rooms and my higher power that gets me through a day at a time. 

In response the the person who said an addict had to ne shi n tough love and prove themselves worthy of forgiveness. My two cents on that is yes and no. Yes, tough love from my family and friends... hitting bottom... not enabling me... helped  get me into rehab, sober living and continued recovery. As for being “worthy” of forgiveness, if I spent every day in recovery trying and hoping to be worthy of someone’s forgiveness I would be setting myself up to fail. My life in recovery is a living amends for the extensive damage I’ve caused. In the steps I have the chance to make a personal amends to those I’ve hurt. If they allow me to and accept it, then great. I’d love nothing more. If they don’t and never do, that’s their choice. I keep living my life. I’m in no way living my life hoping someone feels me worthy. I am worthy and I make sure every day in recovery I demonstrate that.

CastleSF's picture
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The cold hard reality is, some gays -- many gays probably -- will never recover from their addiction to drugs because they are addicted to twisted dark sex. No need to sugarcoat this whole situation. The only thing we can do if we really love the addicts is offer them tough love. Cut them loose until they can prove to you that they deserve your forgiveness. Let God help them. 

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"C" it was nice spending time with you and reading your blog in its rawness and then seeing it in print. I hope your journey in recovery will be as awesome as mine has been and you know where you can find me if need be......out on the trails or in a wig on the stage...... M. Parks 

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I love you...I am fortunate to have been able to  meet you all...you do so much good in this world

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Great article!! I too played the voodoo doll game with my addicTion... I NEVER thought it would go there. The biggest advice in this article that I found to be spot on?? DE-LETE those sex apps NOW! I thought I wouldn't be able to live without them either... They were their own addiction... But I have found my partner and love of my life in the rooms of recovery no less! We both are strong in our commitment to each other and our sustained recovery and I couldn't be happier with.the life I have now just a little over a year into working a program of recovery. I won't mention which specific one, but the rooms of 12 Step Recovery have been my ONLY resource in getting and staying CLEAN from all substances. Nothing else worked for me. You have to learn to live Just For Today. Not in the past or in the future.... Great article! This is such a problem in the LGBT community. Keep up the hard work. 

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I love this so motivating, keep up the good work

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Le retour à la "vie" est sans doute le plus beau cadeau que tu pouvais te faire car toi seul avais la décision en main. La justesse de ton propos montre que tu as décidé d'avancer vers un avenir meilleur et de cela je te félicite ! Il n'est pas facile de se mettre à nu et d'oser dire tout haut que tout allait mal, toi, tu l'as fait aux risque d'en être blâmé (qu'importe la réaction de certains imbéciles). J'espère que ton message aidera toutes celles et tous ceux qui sont dans le déni et que, comme toi, ils oseront dire "J'ai besoin d'aide". Félicitations Cory "You Are Unstoppable"

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