Alumni Update: My Journey has Just Begin

road, start

Coming home was unusual and strange. It took me a while to adjust to the city I’ve been living in for 7 years. Learning to be with my family and work on building trusting and loving relationship was hard. My addict mind was very much alive and it was only then I understood that the work of recovery really starts when you get out of the protected bubble. The Cabin was the training ground and the real world is where I will be living now that I am out.

My journey into the cycle of addiction began long before I started using drugs and alcohol. The pain that had led me to feel isolated hurt and alone was a result of spiritual expectation that was left unfulfilled since childhood. Although there were some other experiences the major point for me was the lack of spiritual principles in my environment. I started seeking knowledge early and by the age of 13 discovered alcohol and mind altering substances. My experimentation was fuelled by the desire to gain insight and knowledge of the unknown and my own mind. This hunger grew into a full blown obsession and was also fuelled by my ego driven lifestyle of being a performer. Drugs, sex and a quick fix for all my problems was all I wanted and needed in my life. I thought it was enough; it made my problems disappear for a short while.

The hole in my heart grew as i continued to do the wrong things. I didn’t even know what i was running away from; only that i couldn’t face the reality of my life. As time went on my dissatisfaction grew and life was progressively harder. I didn’t know or have any tools to deal with it. I was so far removed from what was going on outside that it was a world of my own that i was living in, mostly based on dishonesty, lies and more lies.

When I came to The Cabin I thought I was different. I looked for differences rather than similarity. I was so deep in my own world that i just couldn’t relate to people. It was the journey of recovery and i began learning how to relate to the world all over again. I needed to learn to live from scratch and completely change my old ways. It was the hardest thing I had to do and I felt like quitting many times. I was determined to make it work and the support I received from all the staff and clients was incredible and made a huge difference to me. I didn’t feel so alone and isolated and I was able to open up and talk about my feelings and experiences, and relate to people. I had many realisations during my treatment and moments where I felt that I was “healed”; living in a protected environment made me believe that. I worked the program at The Cabin to my fullest and made a commitment to myself and to my recovery. The support I received gave me strength and hope to carry on and that I did.

Coming home was unusual and strange. It took me a while to adjust to the city I’ve been living in for 7 years. Learning to be with my family and work on building trusting and loving relationship was hard. My addict mind was very much alive and it was only then I understood that the work of recovery really starts when you get out of the protected bubble. The Cabin was the training ground and the real world is where I will be living now that I am out. I remember going to my first meeting outside of The Cabin; it was raining, gray and cold, quite different from the warm and sunny Cabin with smiley faces and friendly staff. I took up the suggestion of attending meetings daily, finding a sponsor and getting involved with service.

These 3 things helped me settle into my new life and positive habits that helped me move forward. The tools I learned at The Cabin coupled with the spiritual principles I found in the 12 step program (mainly honesty, open-mindedness and willingness) helped me to find a new freedom and life I never thought was possible. I had a few moments that were hard but thanks to the meetings and dedication of my sponsor to my recovery, through sharing and following the steps I was told I made it through. Although only 4 months clean and sober I feel I am living a life much different than before. I am grateful to walk this path of recovery; the sights and sounds are beyond my wildest dreams and I can finally see it and enjoy it for what it is. I was told recovery is a journey and not a destination, mine has just begun.