RECOVERY UPDATE 1.0
The most important distinction that I got from The Cabin process is the reality of this disease called addiction. I see now that the logical confliction many experience when introduced to this disease is based inside of the cold hard fact that the only doctor that can actually treat such a condition is our self. This is impossible to do alone which is where other addicts and alcoholics on the same path come into play. The most important preparation for recovery I got from The Cabin was the introduction to the fellowships of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.
At just over three weeks “out” since graduating my four month long treatment at The Cabin I can attest to the challenges of dealing with reality after rehab as jarring in a way that no treatment center in the world could ever prepare a first timer as myself for. After using drugs and drinking alcohol for nearly 20 years, putting them down whilst inside that wondrous jungle-bubble of comfort and support was actually a huge relief. This was the easiest part of the equation for me because of the natural environment and organic feeling that The Cabin provided. Coming back to my senses, I felt inspired by what I was hearing from those who had already made it through this process. From that came a hunger to venture further forward into a life of recovery. I looked at my time in treatment as a sort of boot camp opportunity to build and develop the muscles needed to keep my head above water during the challenging times to come. Vital healing occurred during this time thanks to my willingness and of course the support of The Cabin staff, especially my counselor who knew first hand exactly what I was going through. The five aspects of spiritual, physical, psychological, social and personal analysis were all fundamentally applied in a way that generated a forward motion for me in my early recovery. Looking back now I see that using all these facets to build up a positive momentum is a great advantage for entering such a new beginning as is life after rehab. Treatment is not so much a time to kick back as many end up accepting it to be. I noticed at times in primary treatment that I felt so comfortable and content as if I was on a vacation holiday break from life. Looking back now I see how much this is a pitfall one must be aware of if they are serious about staying clean. As much time possible must be utilized during treatment to exercise self discipline and community support, peeling back those layers and digging deep into both the truths of our habitual ways of being and the ugly murky pains from our past.
The most important distinction that I got from The Cabin process is the reality of this disease called addiction. I see now that the logical confliction many experience when introduced to this disease is based inside of the cold hard fact that the only doctor that can actually treat such a condition is our self. This is impossible to do alone which is where other addicts and alcoholics on the same path come into play. The most important preparation for recovery I got from The Cabin was the introduction to the fellowships of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. The transitional stage of living in the Sober House during my secondary treatment turned out to be as crucial if not more important than my time in primary treatment. This was where I got to develop the habit of attending at least one meeting every day, often priding myself for taking on a schedule of 10 meetings per week. My addict attitude has always been “Go big or go home!” and that did not seem to vanish once the drugs did. In my experience so far, going to meetings is the only way to remain fully aware of the realities that my active addiction caused so that I won’t think it is ok to test those waters again. Listening to others in recovery is vital for me to be reminded that I really fucked up and it gets me present to the fact that I am not alone in fighting this good battle. It also sheds light on the testament of how proven the 12 Steps are which motivates me to continue my own step work and never give up NO MATTER WHAT.
These 4.5 months of clean time for me seem like a year. It is the longest I have gone in two decades without drink or drug; boy do I cherish it. Although I often think of using my drug of choice (crystal methamphetamine “ICE”) again, I now have the tools and ability not to act on those impulses. Using my time in treatment to study the aspects of addiction and do a thorough self-evaluation did prepare me for the storm in the most effective manner I can imagine possible. However, I will say the real treatment begins after discharge is complete and we enter back into the world. Going to meetings and working the 12-step program with other addicts has shown to be an effective self-treatment, which is of course an ongoing, and never ending process. I dare state such a bold statement because this journey is not all about remaining free from substance abuse. As a matter of fact that element of abstinence often seems to fall into the background of most discussions and shares about recovery. The work in this program is more so about becoming an extraordinary individual with interdependent relationships living an empowered SPIRITUAL Life without continued regret. This way of being in turn makes the thought of using drugs and drink much less desirable as one moves out from those limited realms of victimization and limited hopes. Will I make it through? To be totally honest I really don’t know. The thought of being that “one” out of 30 in the statistics inspires me but at times also feeds my head with a good excuse to relapse. Fortunately we have the simple context of “a day at a time” or even a breath at a time if needed. I am just glad that my counselor pounded some reasonable doubt into my head before my discharge because confidence is easy to conjure up before you get on the other side of those locked gates. Hearing how many end up falling back into it so quickly was a great forewarning of how hard it really can be at times. I do miss my time spent at The Cabin; it was by far the most memorable time of my adult life and I do believe that carrying that memory close to my heart will somehow help me pull through in the testing times to come.