“Staying Clean isn’t Hard, It’s Simple Really”
I entered The Cabin as a shell of a human being addicted to Methamphetamine and Xanax (Alprazolam). Life had turned to shit. Each day was more painful than the last. I couldn’t hold down a job, I had no relationship to speak of with my family and the only thing my day to day life was about was scheming, lying and manipulating people to get more drugs or money for drugs.
Eventually, enough was enough, and I decided I couldn’t go on living in this dysfunction. After lots of research I found The Cabin and decided it was time for me to sort myself out, surely there was more to life than the day to day monotony of what I was stuck in while using.
2 weeks later I landed in Chiang Mai, and started on my journey towards a better life. At first I was very skeptical of the program, nit picking at mentions of the word higher power and anything else I could, but after a few weeks had passed, and the lingering effects of the drugs I had been consuming for years started to clear from my body and mind, I realized these guys may have been onto something.
I learnt simple things at first, how to interact with people, how to speak with complete honesty and openness, how to listen to others and how to empathize with their personal stories. The more involved in each group I became the more I realized that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t special. There were endless numbers of people that had been through the exact same thing as me, their circumstances may have been different, their drug of choice may have been different, but their similarities far outweighed the differences. I found strength in the support of others, I learnt that the simplest way to overcome any problem or dispute is to talk openly about it. Not to bottle it up or sit and dwell alone on a problem. Once I made these realizations my progress accelerated again.
I decided to do some time in the Sober House, I thought it would be a good way to prove to myself that I could go out into the ‘real world’ and stay sober and enjoy life, I believe to this day that the Sober House was just as important as primary treatment. It gave me a trial run in the ‘real world’ before I had to go home and face it without the support that is enjoyed in the Sober House.
Since leaving The Cabin I have started a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and am just starting my 3rd semester. I have managed to maintain a distinction average, a feat that I never believed was possible. My end goal is to become a Clinical Psychologist, and although it’s a long road ahead I see it as attainable, not some crazy dream goal that I will never reach, which is how I viewed it when I was using.
Each day is nearly always better than the last, the old cliché of ‘in one year you will be amazed at what you have achieved’ is actually true. I get large amounts of joy from seemingly small tasks, paying bills on time, going to the gym, socializing and meeting new people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all smiles and sunshine, but my worst day sober is far better than my best day way using. Another old cliché that rings true. My relationship with my family is even improving, progress is slow, but it’s happening, one step at a time.
Staying clean isn’t hard, it’s simple really. It only gets hard when you make things complicated. Take it slow, don’t put yourself in any situation you’re uncomfortable in and don’t worry too much about what others think of you. Keep in contact with others in recovery, especially in the first year or so.
My hopes for the future are simple now, to maintain this path that I’m on and keep growing as a person. I am extremely grateful to The Cabin and all its staff for putting me on the path I am now on, and only hope others can come on the journey I have embarked on.