The months leading up to April 26, 2013 involved lots of lying, stealing and hurting almost all of the people around me, and taking big amounts of cocaine on a regular basis. I stole lots of valuable things and thousands of dollars from my family and relatives, went to two outpatient recovery programs and one inpatient treatment center, was under arrest few times, and had lots of destructive behaviors that did not only affect me, but my family and friends as well.
My mentality was really unacceptable that time, but basically, whenever I was not high, I was thinking about where to get my next fix, to get high, and no one could ever stop me from doing it, including myself. My relationship with alcohol and drugs was just common. I typically smoked weed while driving. But, my addiction and alcoholism progressed: I overdosed on cocaine in a BP bathroom and got arrested because of it. I got out of the jail after a few days, but I was required to enter rehab.
My first week in rehab was really frustrating and it really sucked. The feeling of throwing up every few hours, feeling hot and then cold, sweating a lot and shaking violently made me really feel irritated. But the doctors said that those feelings are just some of the withdrawal symptoms caused by not using my choice of drugs for days. Because of this, I decided to leave rehab during that time. My bags were packed and I was almost ready to leave, but some patients in the facility stopped me from going and essentially took me in the lecture room. I also do not know why I didn’t go against them during that time. It is maybe because I was just too tired and I actually did not want to leave and now I am grateful and glad that I actually decided not to leave. I started to appreciate and understand the importance of friends, the significance of having people around me who were there to remind me when I was going into the wrong direction and to listen to what they were saying. From that day on, I had not thought about leaving the rehab and I began following the things that the professionals in the rehab were telling me to do.
I was released from rehab after 45 days and moved into a house with my friend Ken, who I met in rehab. I only stayed there for few months and decided to move back to my home town. Recently, my typical days are something like: wake up at about 8:00 in the morning, have some breakfast, go to school, work on my writing, spend some time with my friends (without alcohol and drugs of course), do some recovery stuff, and go to sleep at around 12 midnight.
Sometimes, I still can’t believe that I’m capable of doing some things like having healthy meals, taking the trash out, and/or doing the dishes regularly. Most importantly, I’m able to be a good son, friend and citizen. I’m not causing problems for those people around me and I feel grateful even for the simplest things in my life, something that I was not able to do before.
One of the things that I am grateful for is the gift of experience that sobriety has given me. During my addiction days, what I only experienced was sickness and temporary relief, but when I started to get sober, I also started to experience all the good things that life has to offer together with the people who I care about.
During the year of my addiction, I probably have hurt and used people just to sustain my addiction; now that I am sober, I can see a great opportunity and I now have the willingness to makes things right. All I want to do now is to make a better version of myself: a healthier, happier and more useful one. There may be times that I fail, but what is important is that I’ll keep on moving forward.