A lot of people out there probably don’t realize just how scary the idea of going to treatment for a substance abuse issue such as addiction really is. Let me take a step back. Before I decided to go to treatment, I first had to admit to myself that I had a problem – and one that I couldn’t solve on my own. And that, in and of itself, is frightening.
I’m a pretty resourceful person with above-average intelligence. I am a college graduate and can speak a couple different languages fluently. On the outside, I looked pretty good, even during the height of my active addiction. The reason I say all of this is not to brag; it’s to illustrate a point. Because of all of this, reaching a point where I was willing to admit – and accept – that I had a serious problem that I, alone, couldn’t out-think.
Hitting Rock Bottom
Many people use the term “rock bottom” when it comes to describing how alcoholics and addicts eventually come around to realizing that they need to make a drastic change, such as seeking treatment, when it comes to their addiction. What’s important to understand is that everyone’s so-called ‘bottom’ looks different. Not everyone ends up homeless, on the street, or else in jail for drug-related reasons.
Take me, for example. In my active addiction, I was what many would call a ‘functional addict.’ And what that means is that I was holding down a very good job, had a car, a place to live, and no legal troubles. But, I was fast-approaching my own, personal version of rock bottom.Looking back with almost two years of sobriety, I have identified several precipitating events that led me to first recognize that I had a problem and then to seek treatment for it.
Why I decided to go to treatment
So, like I said, there were several reasons that helped me to see that I needed help. One of the first things that happened was that I had begun to do things that went against my own value system, such as steal money and even medication, all to support my habit. I felt a lot of guilt and shame about this. I also realized that I was no longer using drugs because I wanted to, rather because I needed to. I simply couldn’t function without them anymore. Yet another thing was that, on more than one occasion, close friends of mine made what they probably thought were benign comments about my drug use but that really made an impression.
Specifically, in my addiction, one of the drugs I abused – and there were many – was heroin. On two different occasions, two different friends (who are not addicts) said to me something quite similar: they had recently seen a documentary about heroin and it made them think of me. This really hurt. I realized that I was going to be known as some junkie rather than a good friend, devoted daughter, sister, girlfriend, and so on. I decided that that wasn’t the way I wanted to be remembered if and when I died from my addiction. It was time to try something new; it was time to go to rehab.
The day I went to treatment
Honestly, it was a relief to check into a rehab facility for substance abuse and addiction. I was so tired of the daily routine of getting and using drugs just so I could get by day to day – all while trying to maintain the appearance that things were just fine. It was comforting to know that such programs existed and that help was available. In my addiction, I had tried so many ways to help myself only to fail. There was moving from state to state, psychiatry, methadone maintenance, and later Suboxone maintenance, acupuncture, and the list goes on.
In fact, despite all of my accomplishments, I regard going to rehab as the best thing I have ever done for myself. Today, I am clean and sober; healthy; and happy. I am thriving in my sobriety with a close-knit circle of trustworthy friends, working at the job of my dreams, and having a great relationship with my family. Most of all, I have my freedom.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, the good news is that there is help available. Drug and alcohol rehab is a specially designed treatment program that will help you begin the healing and recovery process. Call us today toll-free at 1-844-422-6926 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We’re here to help and, remember, you are not alone.