How Did This Happen?

writing-life-storyI have to admit that the majority of my first few weeks stay in treatment are quite hazy to recall. Due to my fear and lack of trust and faith in anyone, I lied to the clinics doctor in order to get a heavier detox, this was a big mistake… Another fine example of me thinking I knew best!. I was later to suffer the consequences of this, as withdrawing from 60 mg of Diazepam a day is not an experience I wish to repeat.

Due to the amount of Valium I was taking, I became childlike, depending on others for the simple things like reminding me to brush my teeth, crossing the road and even eating. It was several weeks before the fog cleared and I could actually remember anyone’s name. I vaguely remember one night having a conversation with the boiler in the bathroom actually thinking it was speaking to me. Of course this wasn’t down to just the Valium as I was withdrawing from alcohol, antipsychotics, sleeping tablets and was generally not what you would call mentally well. My perception of everything was warped, based on the core beliefs that had gotten me in to so much trouble time and time again.

Due to the amount of Valium I was taking, I became childlike, depending on others for the simple things

During my first week of treatment I was asked to write my life story, highlighting main events that I felt important to me. I was terrified of getting it wrong, until it was pointed out that it was my life and my story, so it couldn’t be wrong as long as I was truthful. My perverse obsession with perfection led to me writing it out several times, then again in my neatest hand writing, yet it was only me that was going to read it! As I read it out to the group, I remember feeling very detached as though I was reading about someone else. Had all that stuff really happened to me? Was I really that screwed up and hopeless? The group and counsellors were kind and encouraging in their brief feedback, and I was left wondering why I had made such a big deal about writing it.

During my first week of treatment I wasn’t allowed contact with anyone from outside of the addiction rehab. I found this particularly hard with my children, fearing that they would think I didn’t care, when it was the exact opposite that was true. In hindsight I can see why this rule was enforced, I would only have worried them as I was an emotional mess of anger, fear and insanity. They had already suffered as a result of my emotional detachment and addiction, it was important that they were protected from further anguish.

I wouldn’t and couldn’t give up, something inside was driving me to try

Each evening before retiring to bed, we were asked to write a diary of our day and what we liked and disliked about ourselves that day. I couldn’t find anything positive to say, I hated myself more than I had ever hated anyone in my life. I felt hopeless and scared that I would always feel this way. My initial hopes had been dashed as I came to realise just how sick I was and the damage I had caused through my self- centred actions. I felt alone, disgusted with myself and frightened. What would become of me if I didn’t recover? Yet I wouldn’t and couldn’t give up, something inside was driving me to try. The unknown lay ahead and despite the fear and temptation to run, an invisible anchor held me there and protected me through the most violent of storms. I came to know this anchor as the God of my understanding, the God of love, of peace and of truth.

Next: A Journey Through Rehab – Week Two