As the old saying goes, “Honesty is the best policy”. I have to be honest with myself and others at all times to stay sober. This can be difficult for me at times. For example, I know in my heart and soul that I’m an alcoholic, but I still must remind myself of this daily. I know that if I have a drink it will lead to many more, causing and creating wreckage, not only in my life, but to others whom I deeply care for. I know that If I were to relapse, I will find myself in jail, institutions, or it may even death. With my most recent relapse, I was hospitalized for thirteen days. This was an eye opening experience. I had to be honest with the Dr.'s and caregivers that were taking care of me in order to get the care I needed to survive. Alcohol in any form will hurt my mind, body, and spirit. I have to work an honest program and be honest with those around me and remain accountable. If I am not being honest, the only person I’m truly hurting is myself. Only through honesty and integrity will I reach my highest potential. When I was in my active alcoholism, I was extremely dishonest with myself and others. I would lie to my employer and call in sick when truthfully I was either too hungover or just too lazy to work. I have lied to my family and lied to myself, often justifying it by making excuses that allowed me to keep drinking. However, honestly knew that alcohol had control over my life and that my life was unmanageable. I was spiritually bankrupt in every sense. After forty days of sobriety, I am learning to be honest with myself and with others and will continue to do so in my recovery. I just have to stay present and honest while taking life one-day-at-a-time.
This time in treatment, I wanted to be really open-minded and honest. I wanted to make sure I shared everything on my mind and how I was feeling. During the first couple of months at South Orange County Detox and Treatment it was easy for me to be honest and open because I wasn’t really struggling or craving drugs. Now that I’m completely off suboxone, it’s a struggle for me to be honest when I’m struggling and open-up with my feelings. I get worked up when things don’t go my way and I don’t like getting that way anymore. When I was on Suboxone, I convinced myself that suboxone wasn’t doing anything for me, but now I realize that it completely stopped all of my cravings. Sometimes, I feel stir-crazy when the cravings are coming on and it has been difficult to stay honest in this new state of mind. However, as of lately, my time has been preoccupied with things that I enjoy doing which has also helped get through the cravings and gives me a new perspective on myself and my future.
I have also struggled being honest with my family. I have lied to them so many times during my addiction and I know I will need to make it up to them. When I go home, I want to be in my best state of mind. After talking with Salina, I realize I just need to voice my thoughts and be honest about my feelings which will help keep me in a better state of mind which I’m trying to do, 1-day-at-a-time.
Honesty is a moral value that I struggled with in the beginning of my recovery. I have hidden behind lies and been in denial for so long that I was afraid to be honest. Honesty was a foreign concept. There were times that I had been honest and told the truth but in those times my words had lost all value. In my active addiction, it was easy for me to lie, be dishonest, and roll with negativity. It was effortless acting in such ways. However, in order for me to regain a positive outlook on life, I had to be willing and honest with myself and the actions I needed to take and exercise daily to acquire and maintain a level of trust and respect for myself and others. Today, I do things with an understanding and purpose to better my life. I no longer have a reason to lie. Being honest builds and supports the friendships and relationships I’ve gained back in my life today.
I can whole heartedly say that I have dedicated myself to the program and to recovery. I have noticed a big change in the way I think and just my outlook on life in general because of this. I heard somewhere that in order to stay clean you have to be willing to put as much effort in to being clean as you were when you were using. In the beginning I thought it would not be possible to put that kind of effort into recovering. Getting high felt so good it made sense for me to put all my effort into using. The thought of being clean lacked in comparison to the feeling I got from drugs. After changing my environment and seeing sober people actually enjoying their lives without drugs and happy was enough to make me want what they had. That is what ultimately gave me the motivation I have now and what made it that much easier to dedicate myself to recovery and living a better life.
I have been clean and sober for four months and am committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure my sobriety and clean time. I know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to and for once in my life I am willing and dedicated to staying clean and giving myself a chance at having a better life. I know that I am capable of accomplishing great things as long as I give myself a chance. I have enrolled myself back in college and am excited to return to school and I know through hard work and dedication I will succeed at accomplishing my goals and eventually help others to accomplish theirs.
I’ve always felt that I had a strong sense of loyalty to others I’ve gotten to know well in a short period of time or felt committed to tasks or work that align with my morals or value system. However, the result of my dedication isn’t just about the quality of work or the quantity of friends I make, for me it’s about being productive, having a sense of worth and purpose, and maintaining and pursuing new adventures. My addiction had me dedicated to a life not worth living. Today, I can say I view life much differently. I have my up’s and down’s but I don’t give up.
In my futureless past I dedicated my life to drugs, destruction and wrongdoings. I was convinced that there was nothing left for me in life besides living on the streets and withering away with each drug I put in my body. Words cannot explain how grateful I am now that I have pulled myself out of that hell of a life. Although I had to completely run myself in to the ground to do something about it, that moment finally came. Coming through the doors of South Orange County Detox and Treatment saved my life, LITERALLY. I took too many pills and they had to rush me to the hospital to get my stomach pumped. If I would have chosen to go anywhere else, I would be dead. Realizing that I was now in a safe place surrounded by love, support, and motivation, I made the decision to listen to what they had to say. Some of it was hard to accept but I dedicated myself trying the suggestions given to me. Without a full surrender you cannot fully dedicate yourself to anything. South Orange County Detox and Treatment has saved my life and given me a new purpose to help others gain the very tools that were taught to me, as well as being dedicated to my recovery program. I used to think that people who would say these things were crazy, until they all started coming true. It is possible to change your life no matter how hopeless, broken, or beaten down you may be. It’s all a matter of dedicating yourself to something greater than yourself and, in my case, a mentor. It’s never too late to change.
Having an attitude of gratitude can really shift your perspective into a positive light. Being grateful for what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have can help you restart your day. Instead of comparing myself to what others have I try on a daily basis to be grateful for what I do have which helps me not to take those things for granted. When I practice gratitude I find myself much happier and grateful for the little things.
In my early sobriety, it was easy to see the things that I was grateful for, mostly because before I was in hell drinking and using. I was definitely grateful for the help South Orange County Detox and Treatment (SOCD) and Salina provided for me as that was a no brainer. It was my resentments that was blocking me off from having gratitude for the others that stuck by my side. I was horrible to my family and I made them out to be there worst people in the world when really it was me who was completely destructive and antisocial. It took me a long time to finally start realizing that my family really did stick by my side and fought for me when I needed help this time. They helped me get here to SOCD and now with two years of sobriety under my belt, they have completely transformed me into a better man. I say that it is easier to know what I was grateful for when I was in early sobriety because I was in a state of surrender. When I started getting more time under my belt and at times even being complacent, I have been selfish in my thoughts overlooking the big picture of what I now have in my life. Although I have these fleeting thoughts I have people here at SOCD that have been with me since day one that are able to pull me out of that “Stinking Thinking” and help me grow from my mistakes. I am forever grateful for the friends I have made here and my family who still believes in me.
To me gratitude means showing your appreciation for something. Being pleased or happy with someone or a certain situation or outcome. Today, I have many things to be grateful for, but a lot of the times its easy for me to forget how much I have to be grateful for and I only focus on the negative aspects in my life. Being in treatment has definitely opened my eyes to this and made being grateful for all the good in my life so much easier.