In the last year and a half, I’ve been largely neglecting my blog. The primary reason for my lack of updates has been my increasingly serious problem with drugs and alcohol.
Since the beginning of 2016, my drug use has spiraled completely out of control, expanding from weed and stimulants to benzos and opiates. I was hospitalized last summer following a bout of depression and insomnia that intensified beyond my control as I came down from tripping on Robitussin. During that hospitalization, my treatment team urged me to go to a rehabilitation center. I adamantly refused, stating repeatedly that I don’t have a drug problem, and that I could easily control my use.
I was discharged after a month, and returned to abusing pot and pills that same night. Within a week, I was right back to the same pattern that I had found myself in prior to my hospitalization. A month later, I turned 21, and immediately began drinking heavily amidst my constant drug use. I got high or drunk every day, as many times a day as I could. I woke up after ever brief period of sleep shaking violently with my stomach in knots. I wrote each of these instances off as panic attacks, and rationalized my self-medication to relieve my discomfort.
In September, a series of stressors in my life led to a drunken suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization. Upon my admission, I had to be medicated for dangerous withdrawal from multiple substances. That’s when I realized that the “panic attacks” I woke up in were actually withdrawal symptoms. Again, rehab was recommended to me, and again I refused. This time, I wasn’t discharged from the stabilization unit after a month. Instead, I was transferred to an extended care unit where I remained for four more months. It was during this time that I began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings within the hospital. Even amidst others who struggled with similar issues, I strongly resisted identifying myself as either an addict or an alcoholic. Slowly, I started sharing more and more about my habits, eventually evolving my mindset to realize that I had been in denial. I learned about addiction, but held fast to reservations that I was not yet done getting high.
I was discharged from the extended unit with the hope that I would be able to stay clean despite my remaining hesitation towards the idea. Again, I relapsed the same day that I left the hospital. This time, my problem escalated beyond what it ever had been before. I couldn’t do anything if I wasn’t high, and I stayed up and didn’t eat for days on end. I continued to use everything that I had in the past, and I began using cocaine and methamphetamine. I knew that it wasn’t going anywhere good, and I attempted multiple times to sober up on my own. White-knuckling my way through every second, I never lasted more than several hours.
I started to contemplate rehab more seriously than ever before. A good friend of mine managed to convince me to schedule an intake appointment at an outpatient drug and alcohol facility. I reluctantly agreed and decided that I would clean up in time for my appointment. Of course, that’s not how it happened. I used quite a bit of meth and coke in the couple days before my intake, and I couldn’t hold off on the day of either. I went in to be assessed for treatment high out of my mind on cocaine. They drug tested me, and I peed dirty for a variety of drugs. The staff at the outpatient office recommended that I go to inpatient rehab. I had assumed that that would be their response to my current state, but I had not decided prior to my appointment whether or not I would agree to go. With a bit of persuading from a couple therapists, I caved and signed myself into rehab.
I spent 28 days at an inpatient rehab facility. I went through detox, learned more about the disease of addiction, went to AA meetings, and attended many different therapeutic groups. At the end of my stay, I was faced with the decision of whether or not to return to the house where I grew up and was living before my admission to rehab. After a lot of deliberation, I chose to move into a sober living home once I was discharged. I have been living in the recovery house since, attending drug and alcohol outpatient 5 days a week, and going to AA meetings more nights than not.
Today I am 73 days clean.
Today I am a recovering addict.