Striving to Make a Difference

My story of how I began my inpatient drug treatment is a long and complicated one, with a lot of details that are still somewhat difficult for me to fathom. As with many addicts, I was turning to drugs as a means of numbing a lot of my emotions, and it eventually took me to a point where the only way for me to safely stop using was to admit myself for help.

For as long as I can remember, I have felt like I did not belong. No matter where I was, or who I was with, there was this nagging feeling of being out of place. I don’t think there was any one person that introduced that feeling to me but, nonetheless, it persisted throughout my childhood and adolescence and young adulthood. Soon enough, I learned that the drugs could numb the pain. When I was high – it didn’t matter on what type of drug, I did them all – I never thought about where I came from or wondered why I was adopted. As I grew up, it became difficult for me to relate to my brothers and sisters. They were my siblings, but they weren’t my blood. Since I knew there was no way for me to connect with my biological family, I struggled for a sense of self. My siblings always accepted me for me, but there was nothing they could do to convince me that they understood the emotional anguish that I was drowning in.

My time spent in treatment helped me to address a lot of my emotional quandaries. They taught me to accept myself for who I am and who I have the potential to be. Simultaneously, they helped me to let go of the negative feelings that I harbored about who I was genetically or biologically. At the inpatient drug treatment facility that I attended, the meetings helped to rediscover that it is the people around us that matter the most, not the people who do not stick around. Focusing on the present is an important skill that inpatient drug treatment gave me, that, and to let go of the past.

My addictions did many things to my life, changing me, forever. But I was lucky enough to have one part of my life remain unchanged – even in the midst of my addictions – and that was the love of my family. They supported me through the entire process from detox to recovery.

I wasted a lot of time being a drug addict. I don’t want to ever live like that again.  I am currently looking for work at an treatment facility, because I want to help others regain their lives as I have regained mine. Not only would working at an facility give me the opportunity to help others, it will provide that much more sober support to me in my recovery journey. I have heard that many people try to work in the field of recovery after they have successfully completed their own rehab. I feel that if I surround myself with other people who have experienced the same lows and highs as I have, it would be akin to being at a meeting 24/7 which could only be beneficial to me in the long-run. I also want to go back to school to become a counselor so that I can have more one-on-one contact with the recovering addicts; mostly, I just want to make a difference in other peoples’ lives.

Sally S.
West Warwick, RI