Year Later and The Road to Success that Began at Narconon
A little over a year ago, I was making the trip to Narconon to begin my journey towards a drug-free life and I was terrified. I had just left everything behind. My job, my girlfriend, my house, my life. In truth, I had already left all of that behind the moment I decided to relapse and start using again after two years clean. My addiction started when I was 18 years old and was a downward spiral of tragedy, hurt, and pain for many years. I was living in all kinds of different places, even at one point homeless out of my car that did not even run, only providing a place to rest my head. I had little spurts here and there of clean time when I went into treatment for 28 days or a quick detox. I once did a year-long program, and that was half of my two-year clean period, but none of my previous attempts at treatment and getting clean ever did anything to get to the bottom of my addiction.
I knew I did not want to use heroin and cocaine every day, multiple times a day. I did not like being avoided in the street because I was so strung out—I knew I looked scary. I hated that none of my family would pick up the phone anymore because they knew I was only calling to ask for money. I would guess just about everyone knew about my addiction, but I was the only one who could make the change and want something better for my life. I had lost everything before I got clean the first time, even to the point where I spent almost 8 months incarcerated because of my poor decisions. The two years I did have clean felt like a constant white-knuckle affair. I put myself in positions where others were using, and it was only a matter of time before I took that leap back down the path towards drug abuse.
I relapsed in June of 2019 and dove right back into my old habits of lying and hurting everyone in my path, just to get my next fix. I left an amazing job and once again risked my relationship with my family and friends. Right after I got everything back, I was willing to jeopardize it all over again in pursuit of the next high. This is when I told myself enough, it is time for a real change. The time had come for me to go to treatment and listen and do the things that were suggested to me. If I did not, I was going back to jail or I was going to die alone. I knew that is not how I wanted to leave my mark on the world. The only question was where to go to get this thing right once and for all.
My girlfriend at the time found Narconon. When they called me, I was very open and upfront about what I was using and what I had done. The first thing that caught my attention was that the person speaking to me had much more of an understanding about addiction than what I was typically used to when talking to treatment centers, and that was a good sign for me. Next thing you know, I am packed and in the car on my way to the center. I slept most of the way, and when we arrived, I was starting to go into withdraw and that was not a good feeling. It made me want to turn around and call my dealer so I could numb this pain and embarrassment of going to treatment AGAIN.
Within minutes I was being helped by staff members, already starting to feel welcomed and nearly instantly making me feel comfortable with my decision. Getting through the withdrawal symptoms without any narcotics or medical taper felt like a huge accomplishment. I was ready to take on and embrace whatever came next. The program had a very different approach to recovery than what I had done before. It focused more on individual care rather than sitting in a group setting all day fearing what I could say because of my trust issues. It got me to the point where I was willing and able to confront my demons, which had haunted me for so very long, perhaps my biggest win being that I no longer had to carry all of those regrets on my shoulders.
When I graduated from the program, it felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders, and I was ready to face the world. It is a good thing I was ready because there were certainly challenges, some only days after I completed Narconon. Instead of running away and hiding or finding a way to numb the pain, I hit my situation head-on and began to work out what needed to be done to handle the problem. I feel like an entirely new person inside and out. Something very cool that has happened in the time since I finished the program is the family members, the ones who I thought had completely written me off, that have started to talk to me again and the rebuilding of those relationships. They began to hear me and respect me when I told them my story, and that has been an amazing feeling.
The opportunities that have presented themselves in the last year are those that I once thought were not possible for me. Because of the commitment I made to myself, and through the hard work I put in on both my program and the year since, I have become a much better man and grown tremendously. I now look forward to continuing this newfound life I have laid out for myself, seeing the world through a new set of lenses that are no longer clouded by the prison of addiction. Thank you, Narconon, for helping me find this path to success and putting me on the road to a drug-free life.
This content was originally published here.