A person’s memory is impressive because some people can remember incidents that had taken place when they were only two years old. The picture is not very clear in their head, but they recall fragments that the adults can confirm.
In truth, my memory is as sharp as that. I can tell you the child I always sat with in daycare, what my favorite food was as a toddler, and which kiddie shows I loved back then. However, if you ask me about what happened during my mid to late 20s, I may not answer you. That dark phase of my life had come as a literal blur, considering that’s when I tried every drug that I could abuse.
From Valium to meth to coke—I had it all. I am not proud to admit that, but it’s the truth. Luckily, my parents and siblings decided to intervene and brought me to a rehabilitation facility, even if I didn’t want to at first. I refuse to think of what may have happened to me if they let my addiction go on because I’m sure that my future may have been bleak or, worse, gone.
Now that I am sober for ten years (and counting), I try to come up with ways to give back to everyone who has helped me overcome my drug problem. Hence, once I got a stable job, I started sending donations to the rehab that I stayed at for six months. They never asked for payment from the patients, but I knew that they could use the financial help. I also devoted my free time to programs that required facilitators, and it made me happy to see troubled individuals get better.
While those efforts seem right, I have not forgotten my primary supporters: my family. I thought, “What intangible thing can I do to express my gratitude for everything they have done for me?” That’s when I remembered all my nieces and nephews who entered young adulthood recently. Some of them were about to graduate from college; others already entered the real world. I realized that the answer to my question is helping ensure that none of my loved ones will be abusing substances like I used to do. Not now, not ever.
So, I used my journey to sobriety to make that happen. I taught my family members the following:
The Problem With Feeling Overconfident
When I swallowed a prescription drug for the first time, I assured everyone that it was merely for calming my anxiety. I insisted that I would never get addicted to it and that I had everything under control. However, the reality is that I was barely hanging on for dear life at that time, and I depended on the pills to help me get me through my daily schedule.
My previous problem is that I acted overconfident about taking drugs. Although I knew what was happening, I said nothing because I did not want to hear, “I told you so” from friends and family. If only I lowered my confidence level by a smidge, I might have been saved early.
The Importance Of Facing Issues Head-On
Like a typical young adult back then, I wanted to do everything at once. I was working, socializing, building my career, and dating. But not all my decisions put in a favorable situation, and that caused me to worry too much. After experiencing a few issues, I turned to drugs to escape the real world.
As I look back, I can’t help but wonder if my life has become different if I faced my problems head-on. While it was scary, I might not have needed to depend on drugs to “survive.”
The Value Of Asking For Help From Loved Ones
The reason why drugs became my best friend in the past was that I was too proud to let my loved ones know about my struggles. I painted an independent picture of myself in their head—someone you could turn to, not the other way around. Hence, this image prevented me from admitting that I was not okay anymore.
I thought I was doing everyone a favor by doing so, but I understood in rehab that it was the opposite. My family had been reaching out to me; I merely refused to ask for help. Again, if I used my voice instead of swallowing all those pills, things would not have aggravated too much.
When I shared my addiction experience with my nieces and nephews, my parents and siblings cried with me. After all, the incidents might be blurry for me, but they were as clear as day for them. Thankfully, I am healed now, and we are only shedding tears for the dark path that almost took my life back then.
I hope that you have gotten a lesson or two from my story today.