If you’ve stumbled upon this blog post, chances are you’ve either been through detox and treatment or helped send a loved one through a facility for the help they so desperately needed. That being said, I won’t waste your time trying to educate you about the basic services provided in both settings. I will, however, delineate the differences between your run-of-the-mill center, and highlight what we here at South Orange County Detox & Treatment (SOCDT) provide that differentiates us from the pack.
While in my active addiction I relied solely on my current circumstances. I was a young kid who was addicted to drugs and alcohol who had no education that exceeded high school, worked multiple unimportant jobs to me, lost all my hope in my dreams and thought that I would live as addicted for the rest of my life. I struggled with the constant conflict of myself living in my past but also trying to live in my future. My past allowed me to keep justifying my using, and with this came the sight of my future perceived as failure and disappointment, which also kept me stuck in my addiction. Despite this way of thinking, it was inside my true self where I kept a small amount of faith in myself and that I deserved and could be better. I did the best thing I could have ever done for myself which was sought out treatment and where I am today in my life started out with a motivating vision of where I wanted to be and how I was going to get there.
It was during my treatment where I found my imagination again. I started thinking again like I once did before my addiction. When I was little, I used to imagine myself with endless possibilities for my life. I would imagine that I can do anything I wanted to do, just if I was willing to put the work in. This is the same type of thinking I gained back after entering treatment. The first step that I took was using my imagination to see something I was, even when I wasn’t. I had always seen people taking year sobriety chips and never thought I would make it to that level of sobriety… but not this time. This time it was different. I developed a vision of myself achieving one year of sobriety even when I only had a few months of sobriety. I reminded myself that where I was at was only temporary. As long as I put in the work that was needed and lived in my vision each day, my vision would eventually become my reality. Although before anyone else believed in me, I needed to believe in myself.
I achieved that one year of sobriety and am about to take my second sobriety birthday. I couldn’t have achieved any of this along with the other countless gifts that I have received during my sobriety, without having that vision of where I wanted to be and how I was going to get there. I used to rely on sight of where I was going to pick up, who I was going to get it from and where I was going to use it; but now I rely on vision of where I want to be, who I want to be and how I’m going to get there.
Beauty is an essential part of proper healing. To heal one needs to realize the beauty in everything. Whether it is recognizing the beauty in a great day to the not so recognizable beauty that is masked with the overwhelming natures of anxiety. Being able to recognize beauty in any day can switch the mentality and ultimately change a bad day to a good day. Beauty in healing is appreciating and being grateful for things that are often taken for granted. Beauty is waking up in the morning, experiencing a sunny day, and having food in one’s stomach. Beauty is having people who care for you. Healing itself is beautiful in nature. Growing and being open minded towards being a better individual is beautiful as is needed for proper healing.
Growing up I had this ideal picture instilled in my mind, that to be happy, to succeed I needed to follow the social “normality”. That having the beautiful wife, the kids, the house, the dog, the good job was how it was supposed to be. For me this was my dream, at least I thought so. I wanted to be the best at everything I did, from a young age I always dreamed of being a professional baseball player. And work hard at that I did, day in and day out, practice, practice, practice. But, I always knew something in me was different, something in me just wasn’t right. I had this void that I just couldn’t fill. No matter how hard I worked how much effort I put into things. I just always felt empty.
As addicts, we have this endless empty feeling that we can’t fill for the life of us. Then we discover that a pill, that drug, that drink makes us whole again. At least we think it does, but in reality, it just keeps us from feeling, keeps us from remembering the trauma we have endured in our past and our present. Keeps us from truly showcasing our gifts and our talents. We stuff these feelings, these emotions, that we hate so much down, hoping and praying they will go away with each substance we ingest. Day-in and day-out we search for that feeling, to feel nothing at all.
For years and years, I layered these feelings with drugs and alcohol. With each new day, I became more hopeless. I began to think of an end, I began to think of a way out. What had I become? What happened to me? I once dreamt of a house and a family, and now I dream of not waking up the next day? That once I wake up I have to go through the pain and the suffering of having to feel these feelings, that were so prominent the day prior.
I knew I needed to do something different, I needed to make a change. I found that last bit of hope left within the hopelessness. I began believing in myself, that maybe I was meant to be something other then this rundown junkie with no goals to achieve. I found courage and strength with each passing day. Though it was not easy, I kept grabbing on to that little bit of hope each day, praying that it will take me to the next.
We all have something that haunts us; we all have our own demons that we have to live with. Whether it is one thing or a multitude of situations. In the end it’s how we learn from it, it’s how we find out how to embrace the strength within ourselves to move forward. Finding the hope and the courage to want to be a better person with each new day is a struggle within itself. From personal experience, I can tell you it is not easy, but it is worth it and so are you. Each and everyone us has a gift, how we go about that is up to our discretion.
Courage- A Mother in Recovery's Perspective
Courage is a cornerstone in recovery. When it comes to getting sober, I have to change literally everything, that in itself takes courage. I have to have faith in God and stop trying to control my life. Giving up and Giving it to God and those who know better than me is the ultimate act of courage. Being honest and admitting my mistakes takes courage, I’ve been running from my own reflection for so long, It’s a hard pill to swallow. I am by nature extremely selfish, I like to blame others for my problems, mistakes, and flaws. Being willing to sit through being uncomfortable and taking responsibility for my part, big or small, takes strength, especially from someone as selfish as I am. All of these things are vital for me to stay sober. Courage is walking in truth, even if it hurts. Courage is bringing everyone together and on the same page. Courage is trusting Salina and giving up control. By acting in faith and honesty; the web of lies and manipulation will begin to fade, and once the wreckage clears, things will stop being so scary all the time. If I can have the strength to admit the mistakes of my past and to promptly right my wrongs, life will become less chaotic. I will be, “ a producer of harmony rather than confusion!” Courage is being a mom. Courage is being honest about how I feel even if others don’t agree. Courage is using my voice and choosing to be my own women. Courage is being willing to listen, even if I don’t like what I hear.