You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

the word welcome written in sand by the seaside

When you’re struggling with addiction, you rarely, if ever, feel like you still have your dignity. Although your brain has been taken over by drugs, you know in the back of your mind that what you’re doing is not right. When I was abusing cocaine, I had my fair share of remorse, especially after I came down from my high; but it was never enough to make me quit. I abused coke on and off for three years, until I got to a place where I couldn’t live without it, but I also couldn’t live with myself when I was doing it. It was a maddening cycle of self-hate that only seemed to exacerbate the addiction further.

I had some friends that went through rehab, and quickly concluded that it wasn’t for me. For one thing, they were never able to stay straight for more than three months after leaving their programs. For another, I was never sold on the idea that they were anything more than junkie factories designed to screw you up, take your money and make you feel bad about yourself. Most of the cases I’d seen had rendered my friends worse for wear, and I wasn’t interested in going down that road.

When I first heard about holistic drug treatment, I immediately conjured some new age nonsense administered by some new-age clown with a fake certification spouting empty platitudes and holding his hand out. I’m ashamed at how ignorant I was. I came to find out that the term “holistic” (at least where I got clean) meant healing from the inside out. So much of the past five years of my life had been centered on drug addiction, that I ignored key issues that had always been plaguing me, and indeed, contributing to my ongoing problem.

I spent a majority of time in treatment just getting a crash-course in “me” and what I needed to do in order to become a functional person. Not once did I encounter judgment, hostility or the feeling that I was a failure. It wasn’t like I needed to be coddled; I just wanted to feel like a human being–like I said, dignity is a luxury an addict is so rarely afforded. When I left, I left with a new and healthier sense of myself that has been critical in helping me stay clean, and moving on with the rest of my life.

Some days I love myself less than others and feel more inclined to relapse, but after two years of continued sobriety, I have a great deal of momentum behind me. Finding a successful holistic drug treatment facility changed me from the world’s biggest cynic to a perpetual believer in the possibility of a second chance.


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