Stepping Up

I relapsed. Again.

A few days after my post “I’m Blake and I’m an Addict”, I relapsed on pills and alcohol. I was kicked out of my recovery house, and back in treatment after only three days. This time, I went to a dual diagnosis rehab center. As I usually do in treatment, I met a lot of good people and made great connections. My first couple weeks in rehab were positive. I was optimistic and ready to get back to doing what I had been in recovery prior to my relapse. In the last week and a half or so of my stay, I started to sink into hopelessness. Another relapse seemed inevitable. 

After 30 days inpatient, I returned to the same recovery house. I was miserable. Some days I felt as if I would never laugh or smile again. After a tumultuous two weeks, I self-harmed one night and had an episode of dissociation the next day that landed me in the ER for evaluation. While I was in the emergency room, I was told that I wouldn’t be allowed to return to my house due to the escalating mental health issues. I broke down. I returned to my parents’ house and got drunk and high that night. I stayed clean for a day or two, but then found out that I was also kicked out of my day program because they thought that I needed a different level of care. I interpreted all of this as people giving up on me. I lost my house, my treatment providers – people and places that meant so much to me. For the next ten days, I got as messed up as I could on as many things as I could. Booze, pot, cold medicine, pills, and in the last few days, heroin. Faced with how quickly things had fallen apart, I emailed a staff member from the rehab I had left less than a month earlier, and she got me readmitted in the next couple of days. 

I returned to treatment the day after my 22nd birthday. Again, great people, strong connections. I felt defeated and the hopelessness persisted. I restarted the 12 steps with the same staff member that I had emailed (I had been at step 6), and worked on the first three while I was inpatient.

A little over a week ago, I was discharged and moved into a new recovery house in Stewartstown – a tiny town in rural York county near the Maryland line. Due to the relocation, I have had to find a new sponsor and begin to rebuild a sober support network that I can only hope will be like the one I had in Lancaster.

During my stint in rehab, I missed an appointment I had made over a month in advance to start hormone replacement therapy. Pervasive dysphoria haunts me and my interactions every day, and I was crushed to realize that once again my inability to stay sober took away my opportunity to get on testosterone. I was able to reschedule my appointment for September 18th – only three days away from now. My brother is coming back to PA from college in order to take me to finally get my prescription. God willing, on Monday I will be one step closer to being my authentic self, and that chance is the biggest gift that sobriety has given me.


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About Blake Ressler

I'm a kid just trying to get by.

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