The End Of Rehab And A New Beginning
The final week of my treatment at addiction rehab had arrived, I would soon be unleashed on the outside world once again. A mixture of fear and excitement bubbled inside. I yearned to have my own space and to do simple things on my own, like go for a walk or to the shops, without having several others from the rehab tagging along. I couldn’t wait to spend some quality time with my children, it had felt so long since I had been able to do this, and never before without valium.
Physically I was recovering well, my appetite had returned and I had gained some much needed weight. I also found I had far more energy that normal, not surprising considering I used to take the equivalent in sedation used to knock out a horse!. Emotionally I still had a long way to go, although had come far from the woman who was once unable to hold a conversation without drifting off or bursting into tears. Spiritually, I felt alive; I was full of hope and appreciation for the small things and couldn’t wait to experience life in all of its techni-colour glory. “Life holds meaning and purpose, something that was always missing. I am no longer empty inside.”
Completion of treatment was celebrated in the rehab I attended with an informal ceremony to mark an end of an era and the beginning of a new one. I had seen previous clients graduate from treatment, their family and friends invited to join in with the celebration. I had chosen my mum and dad and a few close friends to attend and although divorced and remarried, my parents came together to support me on that day.
Part of the graduation was to select two songs that had depth and meaning to me and that represented how I felt about my addiction and my hopes for recovery. My first song was Massive Attacks Protection. The words held great meaning for me, all I had ever wanted was to feel safe and protected from the world, others and myself. My second song was by Cold Play, God put a smile on my face, and I really felt he had. I still had little conception of this power greater than me, but felt that without a doubt I had recently tapped in to what I had been looking for, for most of my life.
During the Graduation the other clients, counsellors and my parents were given the opportunity to feed back to me anything they felt would be beneficial for me to hear. Everyone’s words touched me, others really did not see me as I saw myself. They saw someone who was caring, considerate, gutsy and determined. I had only ever seen myself as weak and selfish and wrongly assumed that others would see this in me also. My Dads speech brought tears to my eyes as he told me how proud he was of me, words that I had longed to hear from another. Despite all the fear and pain and worry that he and my mum had suffered as a result of my actions, they were both there, sat by my side, supporting my recovery. Words failed me, and when it was my turn finally to speak, I bit back the tears hard. I was full of gratitude and love for everyone that had helped me to reach that pivotal day. Rehab had not only helped me to get clean and sober, but had shown me a different way of life that was worlds apart from the one I had been living.
With my new found perspective on life, I knew recovery wasn’t going to be easy, I knew it was going to take work and commitment. I was prepared for the bad, but if someone had told me of the great things I would go on to experience, I probably wouldn’t have believed them back then. I had started to believe in the power of God, but was yet to find belief in myself. I have since found that belief in myself and my belief in a God of my understanding has strengthened and grown over the years. I have achieved what I thought was impossible, both in my professional career and in my private life. Most days I learn something new about myself, in the way that I react to life and to others. It is a continual process of growth and learning. Sure there have been painful times, but from pain I have grown and thanks to the program of recovery that I still practice I have never strayed far from the path.
Today I am sober and I am clean off pills, I have no desire to return to them or need. I am able to earn a living, doing something that I love. I have a great relationship with my children, that is full of love, fun and trust. I have rebuilt my relationships with friends and family. I have discovered new passions for poetry, writing and sport. Most importantly I have a life that I am content to live, and I am content with me. Life holds meaning and purpose, something that was always missing. I am no longer empty inside.
Polly is Now 15 Months Clean And Still In Recovery.