Staying Focused

It was hard to believe that I had been in rehab for nearly a month at this point. The time had flown by. I still had a further 8 weeks ahead of me, booked in for a full 12 weeks. I didnt want to have to repeat the addiction rehab experience again (nor can I have afford to) so booked for the full program to give myself the best chance of recovering. I saw it as an all or nothing opportunity, and was absolutely willing to give it my all. The fog of my detox was now starting to clear, and could see things with alarming clarity. At this point the nights were the most painful. I was only managing to sleep a couple of hours a night, the rest of the time was taken up with thinking! I found myself having to sit with the most uncomfortable of feelings, but was been assured that this would calm down over time. I started to take comfort in prayer. I didn’t know what I was praying to, but the thought of something looking out for me comforted and distracted from the relentless thinking. Riddled with guilt , I found myself removing the pictures of my children and family from my bedroom wall. It was too painful to look at them, I missed them so much I physically ached inside. It was vital that I stayed focused, to leave would have been disastrous and a waste, so I took the decision to take their pictures down and placed them in my drawer. Instead I focused on recovering and not the damage left behind. If I did this right, I would have a life time to make it up to them. If I gave in and let remorse and self pity take over…. Well I knew what would happen and was not ready to give up yet.

I focused on recovering and not the damage left behind. If I did this right, I would have a life time to make it up to them

For anyone who has been reading this blog, it may be hard to imagine how I can let my self hatred hurt everyone else around me and wonder what it is that I did that made me hate myself so much. You may or may not be thinking, okay so you drank too much and took too many pills, but you need to get over it and stop beating yourself up. Its difficult to describe, but alcohol and pills were not my problem. The problem was me, the way I thought, the way I felt, the way I didn’t deal with anything and feared everything. There is a reason I became addicted to feeling comfortably numb, and that is that I couldn’t cope with reality. My answer to life was to block it out. I lived in constant fear. If you asked me what I was afraid of, I couldn’t give you an answer. I didn’t know myself, I just knew I felt it and hated it so tried to numb it.

My addiction was more than just a physical craving for a substance, it’s a mental illness that affected the way I thought, felt and consequently acted. Pills hadn’t changed this, the problem remained as the problem was in me. I had always blamed everyone and everything else for my problems. It was easier than looking at myself and addressing my illness. My addiction provided me with a comfort of sorts. It was all I had come to know and the unknown was much more frightening to face. But there came a point, a point where I had to make a choice, to either die an addict or live a clean and sober life. You may think this is a very straight forward and easy choice, but for those of you who have been there, you will know it is not. Personally for me it took me to the depths of despair which included ending my marriage, losing the care of my children, destroying my parents peace of mind and even an attempt to take my own life. Yes this may be raw and even uncomfortable to read, but its my truth and also the experience of many others that suffer from addiction and whom are affected by it.

Step 2 in the 12 step program of recovery asked me a simple question, was I willing to believe in a power greater than myself that could restore me to sanity.? Yes, I was insane, my Step 1 proved that. I was powerless to stay away from drugs and alcohol, couldn’t control my consumption and my life and internal state was completely unmanageable. Everything I had tried to regain control of myself and my life had failed miserably. I had no fixed ideas of what a greater power was, but had to concede that I was not the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega. I didn’t create the world and nor did I have the power to destroy it. I realised I was something very small in something much, much bigger. With that, I gave in fighting everything and everyone, I realised how futile it was. I held on to a child like belief in heaven, a creator of the universe and the basic principles of good and bad. I realised that I didn’t know best and that I needed to be shown how. I was ready to trust in the process of recovery and take a leap of faith. I had nothing to loose and everything to gain. Yes I was willing to believe. This decision bought hope and relief to me. I actually started to feel that there was a solution for me after all.

Next: A Journey Through Rehab – Week Five