Rehab is not about drugs or alcohol – South Coast Herald

It’s really a question of behavior and state of mind. “I’m addicted and always will be.”

This is the story of a former resident of the South Coast Recovery Centre, a place that changed his life.

There is no cure for this devastating disease, but it is manageable.

Just as a diabetic should manage their blood sugar levels, an addict should manage their environment and their mental health.

Some say it’s simple, others say it’s complicated, for me it depends on how you look at it.

I lived in active alcohol addiction for over a decade and I can tell you firsthand that it is only getting worse.

If there are addicts out there reading, don’t think a miracle will change things for you because miracles don’t happen in this industry.

I am not a religious person but even a religious person will tell you that God does not help those who cannot help themselves.

You need to get up and do something about your problem.

A famous cliched quote in recovery circles states, “If nothing changes, nothing changes. I’ve been battling addiction for nearly six years and I’m happy to say things have finally fallen into place for me and what a beautiful journey of self-discovery it has been.

Some people take 28 days to get things under control, others three months, about six months, for me that was a solid year in rehab and five years of timid quit attempts.

I’ve been to the most expensive luxury drug rehab centers in the country as well as the cheapest labor-intensive hells.

They are all unique and benefit different people in different ways. About 90% of them, however, use the 12-step program and it is used to this day for a reason: if applied correctly, it works.

Most will tell you it’s a spiritual program and I agree it is, but for me personally I had to come to the why? Why am I drinking?

Addiction does not discriminate, you will find addiction in any race, religion, occupation, age, gender, nationality, wealth class or origin.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have, whether you have a family or whether you have a doctorate.

I have shared rooms with convicted felons who have spent years in the worst prisons in South Africa. I met people who had just lived under the bridges. I’ve spent time with lawyers and doctors who were high on morphine.

I rubbed shoulders with royalty, yes you read that right, members of the Monegasque royal family all suffering from the same disease, addiction. Everyone is on an equal footing here. The only way out is to surrender.

First, to win, you have to give up. This paradox can be a bit confusing but it is a simple concept.

You have to come to terms with the fact that you can no longer sustain this lifestyle, you have to realize that you are playing with your life and this is dangerous territory.

You must also surrender your life to the care of professionals or to the program in general. If you couldn’t stop on your own, then you need to throw in the towel and let professional help take over.

I drank daily from morning to night, while trying to lead a somewhat “normal” life, but in the end I was not cheating on anyone, not even myself. It was not a normal life.

Here’s the catch, for most people, you have to go through some major mess and horrible mistakes in life before you want to change.

Some call it hitting rock bottom. Everyone has different rocky bottoms, but at the end of the day, the real rocky bottom is buried six feet underground.

This untreated disease will undoubtedly result in either prisons, institutions or death.

The stats for a successful recovery are dangerously low, but I prefer looking at one stat that trumps all others.

Recovery is 100% possible for everyone and anyone.

A big part of the 12-step program in a very general sense is about making peace with yourself and your past.

For me, I realized that my issues were buried deep in issues of self-esteem and insecurities and I needed to find out where those insecurities were coming from.

Most if not all people, drug addicts or not, experience some sort of trauma or pain.

You may not even realize you’ve had a trauma, it could be lurking somewhere in the back of your mind and you have to dig to find it. It can be something as simple as what a school bully once did to you. It could be as serious as the regular sexual abuse of a minor, but how we view this trauma is all relative.

You can’t tell me that being chosen one day at school wasn’t as bad as witnessing a murder because everyone’s trauma is different and perceived differently by the one who perceives it. All is relative. I discovered where my childhood trauma came from, made peace with it, forgave, processed and moved on. That’s what it’s about.

In the process, I started to find that people actually liked the fact that I was sober.

That I drank to hide behind my insecurities and depression. I found a clear mind. People have now become a pleasure to talk to rather than a difficult task. Sobriety is not a prison sentence, it is now a privileged choice of life.

I found sobriety. I found myself. I have found peace. I found happiness.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Like the South Coast Herald Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and instagram

Comments are closed.