I don't talk about this much but I am an addict. I entered recovery in February and was completely clean up until right after I got my nose pierced one week ago today. My addiction isn't to sex, or drugs, but rather cleansing my nasal passages (sometimes called nasal douching) using a neti pot. It's a practice from India where one uses a pot that resembles a tea pot to flush out the sinus passages with warm, salty water.
At the height of my addiction I was using at least three times per day. (A study came out that says using it once per day is problematic. See link below.) I loved the way the warm saline would wash over me, massaging and soothing my nasal passages. I was always chasing my next high.
My using had consequences, frequent sinus infections. But I was in deep denial. I rationalized my using by saying that I was preventing sinus infections and flushing out pollen. In reality I was using so many times throughout the day that I wiped out the immune system in my nose which actually made me get more sinus infections which made me use even more. This was my rock bottom. (The purpose of mucus is to help expel germs and there are immune cells within it that help attack colds, viruses, etc.)
I sought out detox centers and meetings but couldn't find any specific to my addiction. Ultimately I just quit cold turkey. I dumped all my saline down the toilet and, by myself, went through withdrawal. I was able to put together 4 months of being off the pot without any meetings, chips, sponsors, etc.
When I got my nose pierced I relapsed. I thought I could control my using without falling back into old habits. Since I put together some time of not using, I thought this proved I could quit anytime and use without getting hooked. I rationalized that using a neti pot was a superior way to wash my piercing. But old habits die hard. I was back using several times a day.
Within a few days I noticed I had an infection, not the nostrils, but the inside wall of my nostrils were red, had thick puss and were bleeding. My nose piercing was actually totally fine. So, once again I had to stop.
One Day At A Time.
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