It was my second day back in a rehab home that I was in just 4 months earlier. I couldn’t take my eyes off the clock as my mind raced at 100 miles per hour. Each minute felt like an hour and I wondered how I got myself into this situation again. With pretty much all hope lost I wondered if I even had enough strength to take another shot at recovery. Rehabs were becoming a very common occurrence in my life and I was completely sick of the same cycle, over-and-over again. In the previous fifteen months of my life, ten of them were spent in 3 different rehabs. This wasn’t the way my life was supposed to go. This wasn’t part of the plan.
I’ve come to learn today that many things don’t go according to plan and everything happens for a reason. I believe that to my inner core. I was usually able to put together a few months of recovery upon leaving the rehab – but at some point, each time, I would give-in.
At this point in my life, the jig had been up for a while and the fun and games were long over. If I’m being rigorously honest, the fun stopped when I was around 19. I was 23. Oxycodone was my drug of choice which inevitably lead me to heroin. I firmly believe that a drug is a drug though – and they are all different branches off the same tree which is the disease of addiction. Alcohol took me to marijuana, which lead me to Xanax, and eventually ended up progressing to opioids.
That’s just the way my journey took me. Everyone has a different journey but the pain we all go through and the feelings we have are virtually all the same. The end game is also the same which is inevitably death. Unless we find recovery. The drugs that I thought were helping me at one point had now completely robbed me of almost everything. There was no debating that anymore. Even with knowing all of that, I kept going back to the same poison that was literally killing me. I couldn’t stop. I wasn’t a bad person, but there was no debating that I was a mentally sick person. I came to find out I was very spiritually broken as well. I was mentally, physically, and spiritually broken. I needed help.
My run up to my past (and God willing last) rehab was a short one but it brought me to my emotional bottom, which ironically was necessary to get me to the point I’m at today while typing this. All the guilt and shame of doing well for a time – and then throwing it all away again brought on a lot of pain. That same pain is the driving force in my recovery program I work today. I decided I was going to give my all to recovery this time I around. I put a lot of effort into my past attempts at recovery but I would be lying if I said I gave it my all. I was going to do more than talk the talk this time. I realized that if I gave anything less than my all I would suffer the same fate that three of my friends suffered this past year. Death.
I spent about eight months at the recovery home with the last four being a transition phase. I slowly got accustomed to being back in the real world which was so essential for me. I started to work a full-time job and began to go home on the weekends. My days in recovery started adding up and my peace of mind drastically increased. My mind is where my problem and obsession exist. Throughout my life, I’ve always just wanted peace from within. I thought drugs were a solution to try and escape that. A temporary solution to a much bigger problem – and it was a very temporary solution. There’s no peace of mind in living to get my next high and having all my thoughts obsessively revolve around it. There’s no peace of mind in building up lie after lie in-order-to get my next fix.
My new life in recovery began on November 21, 2015 and is still going strong one day at a time. The best gifts I have received from recovery are not the material kind: I have a much better relationship with my family; I am a lot better at being comfortable in my own skin; and I have a much better peace of mind. The friends and authentic human connections I have made along this journey are unbelievable. There is something so special about being on the same path as someone and having the same goal, while also knowing (and sharing) their struggle. I look at this as a gift and feel extremely blessed.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to live in recovery and many people continue to lose their lives to this disease. From someone who could not maintain time in recovery and failed over-and-over again, to now someone with 15 months in recovery, there is always hope.