My Cocktails of Abuse & My Substance Abuse Treatment

I used to use anything and everything that I could get my hands on. I was a poly-substance abuser, as they call it, before my substance abuse treatment.  Alcohol, meth, coke, heroin: I tried them all and often used more than one at a time. 

I was estranged from my family, because of my addictions and drug use, for four years. They cut me out of their life after multiple failed interventions and two failed stints at different substance abuse treatment programs.

A few times, I tried to quit some, but not all, of my vices at once.  I would declare, “I just won\'t use drugs anymore!”   But without drugs, I would increase my alcohol intake. Then I would get tired of drinking and I would declare, “I’m done with alcohol!” But, I would not give up the drugs. The seesaw of my addictions tricked me into believing that I was in control of my use.  After repeating this cycle a few times, I was frustrated with myself.  I felt like a failure for being tied down by my addictions.  I thought I would never get sober; I didn’t think it was possible.  I had suicidal thoughts, because I thought that I could never end this cycle.  It was a nearly deadly overdose that finally persuaded me to try substance abuse treatment again.

The therapist at my substance abuse treatment center explained it all to me.  It never occurred to me before. But my counselor opened my eyes. And for that, I am forever grateful. Without the tools I learned at my substance abuse treatment program, I would not be able to say that I am three years clean and sober today.

At my substance abuse treatment center, they helped me discover the reasons why I used so many different drugs.  My cocktail of abuse was a symptom of the post traumatic stress of my childhood. As a young child, I was molested by a family friend.  The abuse went on for three year, but I never told anybody about my abuse until I began my substance abuse treatment.  I was too ashamed; I tried to pretend that it never happened.  My counselor helped make me understand that I was not the only one who began using because of a troubled childhood.  Hell, I was not even the only one who began using to melt away the memories of child abuse.  I began to feel whole, knowing that I was not alone in this fight.

It took a lot for me to get sober.  Beside the multiple substance abuse treatment centers, I had to leave my hometown. It was hard for me to do.  My whole life was there; my family was there; my “friends” were there. But I made the difficult decision to stay in Florida, near my substance abuse treatment center, because there I could find serenity. There, I knew my dealer was thousands of miles away.  There, I had the natural healing powers of the sand and the sea at my disposal, every day. There, I had the tools to begin my life again.

Bruce V.