I was 16 years old when I first drank alcohol; it was during my dad's funeral. I wouldn't say I drank to muddle through the grief that my father's dismissal had brought in the family. No, that would be hypocritical. I never really liked my father; he made me feel that I'd never fit in anywhere because I was plump and not so bright.
I grew up a sad and anxious child, and to think that the one person who could have been there to protect me from other kids' taunts at school was the devil himself. The sad events of my life would rub on me day and night, but I'd never thought of drinking or smoking.
Seeing my dad lying in his casket with an unaccustomed look on his face reminded me of the brutal mornings he would call me into his room. The fear in me when facing me and the beatings I could get never gave me a reason to cry on this day.
Needless to say, my father never asked how I was coping at school or if I needed a haircut. I understood that he was trying to emphasize physical fitness, but aren't there better ways to do it that don't involve talking about bodyweight?
There is no day I ever felt strong and confident in my body. As silly as it may seem, I drank to the fact that he was never going to body-shame me again. What started as a few drinks to think about the past.
What was coming ahead would gradually become less about whether to seek help or keep drinking.
Alcohol didn't just take away my childhood grief. For some unknown reason, I felt that I was getting my life together. I slept well, and I was generally happy and relieved when high. However, the pleasure would fade away some hours later, and each day I needed just a little bit more than usual.
By the time I was 20, I had tried cocaine and heroin. I would occasionally sneak into my mother's room and steal her arthritis pain meds. I would go with any substance that guaranteed me happiness, even for a short while.
Getting drugs was a hassle until I met Mel; she was a nurse in a nearby hospital and supervised several patients. We fell in love and moved in together. I tried hiding my substance abuse problem from her for some time until there was no better explanation for her outpatients' prescriptions disappearing from her purse.
One time I saw Mel order prescriptions for one of her patients. As soon as she left, I jumped on her computer and made one more order for another patient with back problems.
This way, I'd get enough pills to keep me till the following order. I knew this was harmful to our relationship and Mel's prescribing practice, and deep down, I wanted to stop, but I had hit rock bottom; I needed something to get me through my misery.
One night Mel came home from work, and I couldn't find her cheerful spirit in her eyes. She sat down next to me and told me that my drug problem was nothing to be ashamed of.
She tearfully said it was almost costing her job and had to get me started on therapy. Honestly, I didn't feel I deserved her kindness. At some point, I wanted prosecution and retribution because I felt like a liability.
As a 30-year-old man, I had nothing to show for it except for a bad health record and a strained relationship with every member of my family. But here we were. Mel still loved me despite knowing that I had some psychological shenanigans going in my head.
She wanted to help, and all I had to do was comply. This was a moment of sanity. For once, I realized it was time to get help.
I won't lie; my recovery journey was long. Fast forward, I was admitted to six different rehabs. I kept slipping back into drugs with any small opportunity that came my way. There are days that I felt completely broken and almost gave up.
I can recall when I first started the program. The withdrawal syndromes were too severe; I couldn't take it anymore. I got frustrated that I couldn't control my life or the obstacles I faced during recovery and all my wasted years.
But there's nothing I wanted more than being clean and sober. I had to do everything within my power to sober up again and face reality. The results were a little bit slow, almost unnoticeable but every little milestone I made provided me the energy to go forward.
When I walked out of rehab, I doubted myself and kept fearing a relapse could happen. I've been clean for three years through the aftercare services from the rehab and group therapies, and I can't imagine life any other way.
I'm finally comfortable in my body and flaws, and I believe anyone with a substance problem can get help. Addiction is not anyone's fault, it's a mental disorder. Every addiction patient has his or her own story on how it all began.
However, we can restore our lives by enrolling in a nearby rehab center and offering the best support as a family or friends. If you know of someone who needs help from drug addiction, don't hesitate to call one of our addiction specialists today.
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