An estimated 23.5 million Americans age 12 and older are in need of treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, and yet only about 10% receive it. For those lucky few who find their way to a serene and holistic rehabilitation facility, the journey toward recovery success is possible, and the effects lasting.
To understand a man, one must walk a mile in his shoes. This is the story of rehab success, for Ricardo (last name withheld), or at least a few of the steps along the miles of his journey.
I had to Feel the Pain
Maybe we’ve all been the inflictor of pain on one another, I don’t know. I know now that I caused pain for the people who cared about me. I probably knew it then, too, but I didn’t really want to know. When addiction takes over, it feels like it feels a void in your life. Even though I wasn’t really saying to the people around me, “You can’t make me happy, only this can make me happy,” I know now that it seemed that way–telling my family that I did not value my own life and I certainly did not care about them, only using.
Most of my so-called friends at the time used too, so no one really judged me in that way. I thought of those people as my friends for that reason–no matter what I did, they didn’t care. It took me a long time to realize that they also didn’t care about me, they only cared about the next high.
The people who really cared about me were hurting.
I know for some people they have a single moment, a “call to Jesus moment,” some people call it. Other people call it “hitting rock bottom.” I didn’t really have that. I should have had it many times, honestly. I was out of work. I had lost my driver’s license. I had tried to date and always messed up my relationships. None of those things were really “rock bottom.” As long as I had the next high, I felt like I was filling that void–that growing, nonstop, insatiable void.
Eventually, it just got like, “Enough is enough.” I’m tired of my mom worrying about me, a grown man. I’m tired of having no self-respect when I look in the mirror. I’m tired of scaring up the cash, or doing anything, just to get the funds to get that next high.
I had to see and feel the pain.
Then I did. I felt like I could finally see all of the hurt that I was causing the other people around me. I felt like I could look into the future and it was just more of the same, stretching out into an endless black abyss with no way out. No escape.
That was, until I found Serenity.
Dig Deep and Want More
I came to Serenity for one reason–to reach deep inside me.
I’d tried to quit before. I had quit several times, actually, for short periods of time. Honestly, even going a day without using, I would count the hours going by and feel like, “This is it, I’m really quitting this time.” Sometimes those hours would even turn into weeks, but eventually I’d always go back to using. I had quit cold turkey. I’d tapered off. I had tried self-medicating on other things that were supposed to help; really they were just other forms of addiction.
What really helped me were the classes. I had never really done things like art therapy, or cooking classes that helped me understand how to take care of myself in that way.
I learned to paint and sculpt. I learned that I love to put all the things that I am feeling, like the pain and the passion and everything, into a painting. Art classes got me through some of the roughest days. I don’t think it will be my job or anything, but I know that painting will still be part of my life after rehab.
More than those classes, though, my peers helped me out so much. There comes a point when one needs to dig deep and to want more. I wanted more. I wanted to be able to relate to other people, and yet to be the one to control my feelings and my own behavior. I wanted to be able to look myself in the eye when I looked in the mirror, and to face the future with a kind of confidence that didn’t come from a drug or from a high, and wasn’t some sort of escape–just a real look at the future.
The friends I made in group and in classes helped me do that. They didn’t accept my excuses, either. I mean, we’ve all heard all the excuses at this point, anyway!
A Passion to Live
So many times in my life I’ve wanted to die. Drugs do that. They make you think you are so alive, and then so dead, or like you want to be dead. I think everyone who has been in that place can understand that, even if it sounds kind of strange to people who haven’t been there.
In recovery, there were also times when it seemed so not worth it. Looking at the pain you’ve caused, at the things you’ve done that you’re ashamed of–man, that feels like it’s going to kill you sometimes. That’s worse than detox, you know.
But then not only does it not kill you, you rediscover this passion for life. I did. I have a passion to live the remaining part of my life decently.
I am really looking forward to living life, really living. I feel so much peace now, with the past and with the future.
I am so grateful for this place.
Find Life and Peace
Everyone has a different story to tell. For some, an intervention is needed before they will seek recovery. Others will need to experience something like “rock bottom,” really feeling like they have hit a wall, before they will finally face getting help with treatment. Others have stories like Ricardo’s, where they reach a point where “enough is enough” and they are ready to make a change.
Another thing that Ricardo really did right, was going to treatment to really practice self-exploration and to “dig deep.” No one really makes a change without making the decision to do so. Deciding to really face the pain that has been caused to love ones, and really own up for the mistakes of the past, can make it possible to live the future.
At our facilities, we understand the complex factors involved in addiction, and how to help each individual overcome them. We offer a variety of classes and activities, as Ricardo experienced, to help with recovery, including:
- Anger Management
- Art Therapy
- Communication Skills
- Conflict Management
- Crooked Thinking
- Drug Education
- Life Skills
- Music Exploration
- Nutrition and Cooking
- Physical Fitness
- Recovery Support
- Relapse Prevention
- Smart Recovery
- Stress Management
With these programs and customized participation, we can help you or your loved one find peace, overcome addiction, and experience lasting recovery.
Contact us to find out how.