Drug & Alcohol Recovery, Rehab, Addiction & Recovery, Sober Living, substance abuse, recovery & addictions

Rehab for Drug & Alcohol; Everyone dreads the idea of it. Rehab is really a good thing! Here is one person’s experience:
Recently, I completed rehab through Greenbriar Treatment Center. I’ve been sober for almost four months now and oh how my life has changed. Let me take you back to the beginning, when the sun never shined, birds ceased to chirp, flowers no longer smelled sweet, warm breezes never blew, when life was over and death was lurking around the corner. I lived to die. Life had just became unmanageable and too difficult to live.

I didn’t want to pay the monthly bills for that would require me to be financially organized, I couldn’t check my voice mail for it may require me to take a responsible action and return a phone call. Doing laundry and cleaning the house would require too much energy. God forbid I go shopping at a mall that would require me to bathe and change my clothes.

While drinking, all I wanted to do was isolate myself and numb any sensory motor skills I had acquired throughout life.

After many attempts on my own in trying to get sober my daughters and my friends sat me down and told me it was time to check in somewhere. I sobbed and fought the thought of a treatment facility. Not me, I wasn’t one of those junkies who can’t gain control of their own life. By the way, wasn’t everybody else falling asleep with a bottle of vodka under their pillow at night? Surely, everybody knew the location of 22 different liquor stores in the Pittsburgh area? In addition, don’t we all have favorite hiding spots for our bottles? Didn’t we all write ourselves notes before we begin to drink to remind ourselves where we had hidden our booze for the night? Me an alcoholic, no way…..

In June, I entered the Greenbriar Treatment Center in Squirrel Hill. Climbing the steps, the door closing behind me, I felt like “dead man walking” . There, I was sitting in a room full of total strangers. Some with ankle bracelets, some with no teeth, some in a coat and tie, some dripping in gold jewelry, some black, some Asian some white, some women, some men, some young, some old, some homeless and some about to loose it all. When it was time to introduce myself all I could do was cry. I don’t know if I was crying about the shame I had caused my parents, about the pain that I had put my children through, about the humility for all of the embarrassing things I had done while drinking, about the fact that someone was about to take my bottle away or about the joy for I was going to be rescued. Nevertheless, I was there!

Getting myself to rehab was the most important step in my recovery. It didn’t matter what the reason was for me being there, the fact was that I was there meant that I was ready to change. I was scared shitless. When I was asked to introduce myself and tell the group a little bit about my past I just sobbed. By the end of the first night, whether it was from the buckets of tears I wept or just merely talking with people who had experienced the same things I had gone through, I felt the weight of the world removed from my shoulders. Oh sure, I cried through each meeting for about the first two weeks but little did I know that was the norm and it was my body healing itself.

The group would meet for three hours, four nights a week. Our group on an average consisted of about 8-10 people. By the end of the first week, I was amazed at how a room full of total strangers could share such deep feelings with one another and receive so much empathy in return. I shared more with these strangers than I had ever shared with my family and friends. Before I knew it, we were texting each other outside of group meetings for support, we were socializing after group sessions together, we were planning weekend activities together, we were attending AA meetings together and most uniquely of all, we were becoming our own little family.

A family of close tight knit supportive individuals who had the same aspirations as myself, to get sober. People who had experienced the same experiences, symptoms, thoughts and self pity, I had once experienced. We were the same with the respect of turning toward a substance for a form of escape from this life.

As to why we use, I don’t know. I’m not quite sure I know what caused my addiction. I liked to drink at parties, during the holidays, to be social, on vacation, at sporting events or pretty much anytime. Though eventually, my favorite time to drink was when I was alone in my house with nobody around to disturb me.

Now I know that I understand that my addiction is a progressive brain disease, just as being bi-polar is a progressive brain disease. Without treatment, as with any disease, it will progress to the point of no return. I thank God for Sandy and Judy at Greenbriar Treatment Center. For they have saved my life.

Now, I look forward to each day.

I don’t look beyond the day at hand. I continue to live in the present for that is the only thing I have control over. Let’s face it, there is enough going on in 24 hours to overwhelm my little pea brain yet alone to worry about things a week, month, or year from now. Those are things out of my control and may never even occur. So, I choose to save my energy and focus on the things at hand.

My intentions are to continue the development of my mind, body and soul. I turned my mind over to receive the education necessary to deal with the disease of alcoholism, my body spends time in Fitness and my soul attends AA meetings where I continue to turn my life over to my higher power and remain forever grateful for my sobriety. I hope this blog post assists me in paying it forward and helps a fellow addict who continues to suffer to seek treatment immediately.

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About the Rhoda Mills Sommer

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