Before my first use I drew a line in the sand, it all began with a justification. I said I would only smoke weed once a week and I would never mess with other drugs. But soon that line was blurred, and I drew another one further than the last.
As my addiction grew stronger, I justified my actions and broke the rules that I set for myself, until I had no rules or self-regulations. I reached a point where I would do anything to feel better, anything to get high.
I didn’t know how to be honest with myself, I used every excuse and justification in the book to feel better about myself. My misery caused heartache and codependent tendencies in my parents. They didn’t know what to do with me. I was sick and tired, but I needed a push that I couldn’t provide for myself. I’m lucky that I received that push before it was too late.
My parents were witnessing my self-destruction, they had to intervene. I was not willing to look at myself in the mirror, so they hired transporters to take me across the country to Wilderness Treatment Center. There aren’t words to describe the way I felt in that moment, I fought but I was tired. After a while I surrendered, which provided me a tremendous level of relief that drugs never could. A faint thought crossed my mind, “maybe this is for the best”.
I slept the entire flight to Montana, I needed to shut my mind off. Upon arrival I met with a counselor. Throughout the entire conversation I attempted to convince her why everything that was going on was everyone else’s fault and not my own. Not once did she try to disprove me, all she said was to be open-minded.
The other patients welcomed me to their community, and I began to settle in. Each and everyday I can say that I learned something new about myself as well as the disease I possessed. It was very difficult to comprehend that addiction centers in the mind, I learned I could not trust my own thinking, insanity had consumed me.
I understood I was using too many drugs, but I didn’t believe I was out of control. After a week or two my insanity got the best of me, so I began searching for ways to get high. My life was just as unmanageable in treatment as it was at home. They threatened to kick me out of the program because I couldn’t figure it out, I was incapable of being honest.
A week before leaving on a twenty-one-day trip to the back country, the group and I decided to expose all our dishonesties, to clear the slate. A few days later our group left for the Bob Martial Wilderness.
Throughout the trip I learned the importance of group unity. I needed to tend to the group’s needs before my own, or I would fall back into my own selfish character defects. This trip granted me a new sense of gratitude and serenity that before I could never comprehend. I began to understand peace, and my relationship with God grew.
When I returned from the Bob Martial, I felt gratified. My parents notified me that I would be attending a therapeutic boarding school, it took a while, but I accepted it was for the best.
As soon as I arrived at Rising Peak Academy it was like I had forgot everything I learned. I returned to being deceitful and dishonest, I was walking towards relapse. It seemed like whenever I spotted an opportunity to scheme, I couldn’t say no. I was completely powerless.
Soon enough an opportunity arrived, this time it was an opportunity to get high. Just like previous events I could not say no, I wasn’t working an honest program. Before the night was over, I ended up in the hospital for an overdose.
I had to call my parents the next day and explain to them what was going on. They didn’t know what to do with me, I could hear the disappointment in their voices. I never wanted to feel that way again. Something had to change, I couldn’t stand being stuck in the same cycle.
It was time to break the cycle. I had three days alone in the woods to think. Sometime during the second day I had a moment of clarity, I knew what I had to do. I had to be honest about everything, despite the consequences that followed. Most importantly I had to be honest with myself, or nothing would change.
From that point on I began improving my daily contact with my sponsor and God. I started to notice a change in myself, I was actively trying to improve. Gratitude and serenity slowly returned to my life. Through being honest and thoroughly working with my sponsor I noticed my obsession to use was fading.
My focus shifted to living in the solution instead of the problem. I no longer must look over my shoulder or worry about keeping up with my own lies. My relationship with my family is better than it has ever been before, it is honest. I can honestly say that I am grateful to be an alcoholic and an addict, at least I know who I am.
Addiction has forced me to grow up early because it is an adult disease. Everyday there is maintenance that needs to be done in my life. As soon as I become complacent in recovery, my addiction will be waiting right around the corner. I am responsible for actively working in my recovery. If I lose sobriety, I’ll lose everything else that came with it.