by: Jessica F.
Entry Date: June 2009
Since my last entry…
Since my last journal entry, life has changed in so many ways. As life often does, I suppose. My beautiful baby girl is 20 months old now. Watching her grow up with a clear head and mind has been by far the greatest gift I could have ever received. She is thriving and growing in so many ways every day. I can’t thank God enough for the gift of being a clean mother.
I've just recently moved in to a two bedroom home with just myself and my girl. It’s a huge step for me because finally after nearly four years in recovery I can trust myself to be responsible enough to run a home, as well as take care of myself and my daughter all on my own.
I’ve also applied and been accepted into the Developmental Service Worker program at my local college for the fall semester. I am beyond excited as I have waited SO LONG to move onwards and upwards with my life. It has taken me four years to get myself to a place where I am able to get everything in order to become a successful member of society. Life has so many opportunities out there for me. It truly is amazing.
With that being said, I have had my struggles. Living with the disease of Addiction is a daily challenge. I’ve had moments of doubt, moments of insanity. Times that I have convinced myself that “I can handle it now”, “It was just a phase”, and most frightening, “I was so young, I can’t possibly have to live with recovery forever”. But, thankfully, I work a strong program, and I did not pick up. I go to meetings every week, I meet with my sponsor, I surround myself with recovering people. And when I need it most, I reach out for help if I just cannot stand it anymore. There is always someone on the other side to lend a hand. That’s the beauty of recovery, that we are never alone. If I did choose to use just the one time, I would have lost everything that I’ve worked so hard for, in an instant. It is just not worth the risk for me anymore.
I will be celebrating four years this coming August, and it absolutely blows my mind. But when I take a look back at how far I have come, I know that I wouldn’t want to trade my life with anyone else in the world.
Entry Date: November 2008
My Experiences in Rehab
Rehab for me was one of the hardest times in my life. I tried many different treatments centers a few different times. I went to all women treatment, long term, short term, co-ed, day treatment, but I was never successful at any of them until I was truly ready to change.
I went to my first treatment center strait out of the hospital. It was a 3 month/ all women program. At first I was really excited about a totally new experience. Something other than the hell I had been living for so long. I packed up the few things I owned, and moved in. My excitement quickly died and reality set in. I was an emotional mess, not quite sane enough to handle all that was being thrown at me. There were rules and more rules, chores to be done, other women to get along with. But worst of all, I had to start dealing with all the feelings I had been trying to avoid for so long. Unfortunately I did not last long in this setting. Because I had been using for so long, and so hard, I was unable to handle the intensity of a treatment center. I was not truly ready to accept that I was an addict, and that I needed serious help. I left 8 days after I arrived.
I left the treatment center believing I could do whatever “it is” that I needed to do all on my own. That thinking ended when I relapsed the night before I picked up my 90 day key tag. This led me to believe that I CAN’T do it all on my own, and I wanted to seek help yet again. This time though I wanted to do it on my own terms. So I went to the Royal Ottawa Hospital and took a day program that was held once a week for a couple of hours. I wanted to believe that this was enough for me, but I continued to use uncontrollably. When they randomly drug tested me one day, I failed…obviously. They sat me down and told me they didn’t think this program was enough for me, and they seriously recommended that I seek long-term treatment. I was very unwilling to accept this, so I left, again believing that I could do it all on my own.
I was struggling to keep up this façade that I was ok, that I could handle “it”, that I wasn’t using and that I didn’t need help. That is until my world came crashing down around me all over again. I very quickly ended up just as miserable as I had when I entered the hospital the first time. I felt like I had nothing, and no one. So when a few of my loved ones sat me down, and begged me to give long term treatment another chance, I gave in and accepted the offer of help.
Here I was, AGAIN, on my way to another treatment center. I was completely and utterly defeated. I knew that this was possibly my last chance, and it was time to make some changes. I entered a co-ed treatment center located in the country. It was four months long, and the program was geared towards youth aged 16-23. I was committed to sticking around for the long haul. This time it was really tough. I was confronted with a lot of things I didn’t want to face. A lot of core issues and character defects were brought to my attention. It was extremely painful and I had nowhere to run. Not that I didn’t try. I think I tried to leave almost every week for a whole three months. But this time I had no one to bail me out, no one to come and get me. Since we were out in the country, I couldn’t very well walk home. So I stayed. I worked the program. I learned how to live again. We were taught how to eat properly. We were taught how to be responsible for our actions, and that they had consequences. We were taught how to go to bed, and wake up at a decent hour. We were active, went for walks and group outings once a week. We had group all day long. Dealing with feelings, and our pasts. We learnt the effects that drugs and alcohol would have on our bodies, and that maybe we wouldn’t get another chance to live if we went back. We were told when to eat, when to sleep, when to have a smoke, when to go for a walk, when we could read and listen to music, when we could shower. We were pretty much told exactly what to do, and how to do it. Because we didn’t know how to live anymore, and these simple tasks we needed to learn. Like I said in the beginning, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I graduated on December 12, 2005, and I’ve been clean ever since.