Nothing is as hard as the beginning of something… a relationship, a book, a painting, a journey, its beginning and its end. That first step that forces the second and the third.

After the roll is established things kind of take care of themselves;

and this is nothing more than my opinion at this point in time, and I mention this point in time because things change with time.

Time changes things but at the same time, time only exists because there is change. If there was no change at all, time would not exist.


Just imagine me…at this point I am just laughing, thinking about whoever is reading this and I am picturing that person thinking what in fact I am thinking at this moment:

“What the hell is he talking about?”

I came over to ANA due to a set of circumstances in my life that forced me to do something, and one of the options was rehab.

Ten years ago I went into a rehab in London and managed to get clean and stay clean for over a year but then… relapse happened. It took me another ten years of my life to get here again, to be clean and some would say that God only knows for how long this is going to last. Well, I would say that it will last for as long as I it want to, and that is the reality of it.

Nobody is forcing me to do anything and the same applies to all of us, the decision is always ours.

I know it is very easy for me to talk now; when the pain, diarrhoea, sleepless nights, head loop, frenzy, desperation, frustration, anger, hate, sweats, madness, physical and psychological disarray, etc., etc., are gone.

To be honest I don’t even want to think about it.

All I knew, was that I had a chain around my neck and I was a slave, and I desperately wanted to break free from those chains but couldn’t. For some reason, for some mad reason, I could not stop using and yet I could…but I couldn’t.

Some of you will know what I am talking about.

I had tried and failed before, so my life was lined up and that was it, I might as well accept it and get on with it…

For whatever reason I ended up trying again and I am over a year clean, back in college, doing voluntary work, living in my flat and happy as I can not remember being, and all because I gave it another chance.

Things happen, life moves on and things change. And there is Time…

Good luck to all of you…

Antonio Pancadas
October 2005