Wishing and Hoping

There’s an old song that my Mom use to sing to me when I was young called Wishin’ and Hopin’ . . . I don’t know who sings it, I actually use to think that my mom made up the song herself. I guess the song is right that it doesn’t matter how much you might wish for something it rarely comes true and if you want it to happen, you need to make it happen. So after I got past my wishing and hoping stage that I could just wake up one day and no longer be addicted to painkillers, I finally admitted to myself that I needed to go for professional help to get better. I then spent the next year going to a total of three different drug rehab centers in Florida, with each of them ending with me relapsing after I left their facility and got back home.
 
It had become my contention that rehab didn’t work. It certainly didn’t work for a lot of those people I use to watch on celebrity rehab . . . 5 deaths out of 42, and even one of the counselors on the show himself had 24 unsuccessful attempts at rehab! I had convinced myself that rehab was just a bunch of empty promises and people paying lip-service to a disease that was slowly destroying me. I thought more than once about killing myself, but I could never get up the nerve to move it beyond thought; I figured that the pills would eventually do it for me. I just went about my life with the constant notion that I had nothing to live for. 
 
Then one day in late 2012, I saw a TV commercial with a former pro football player that also had a pain pill addiction. I looked up his story online at their Hope Stories website that I saw in the commerical. When I learned that he was taking like a hundred painkillers a day when he was addicted and today he was living his life free of pain pills, I decided to give rehab one last try. I entered the Palm Beach drug rehab center from his TV commercial with very low expectations; actually I wasn’t expecting anything to be different at all from my three other failed attempts at other Florida drug rehabs. As before, I chose to put myself in somebody else’s hands and hoped by the time I left I would be clean and stay that way after I got back home. There was a definite difference in almost every aspect of their approach to treatment in comparison to other rehabs. I think it was their level of care and compassion that stands out to me as the single biggest difference. My detoxification was also a big improvement because I had actual doctors helping me throughout my detox. I really appreciated how their entire medical staff always treated me with respect. I felt like I had worth, like I was a human being again. It was nothing like I felt when I was at the other rehabs in Florida. 
 
After I completed the detox phase I actually looked forward to starting the behavioral health aspect of my treatment for the first time. Their holistic approach to rehab opened my eyes and provided me with insights about myself that helped my recovery while I was in rehab and after I returned home. Before I started their behavioral group therapy I was never a person who easily opened up or shared much about myself to anyone, including any of my girlfriends that I had dated. But I found myself gradually starting to open up which each passing day after hearing the others in my group therapy sessions tell each of their stories. Even after I came home once I successfully completed their program, I have continued to stay in contact with several of the other patients I met there. We are all now part of their alumni program and help keep other strong anytime anyone of us faces temptation or is having a rough time. 
 
James C.
Orlando, FL