Our own personal journeys in recovery are irreplaceable to others but I personally found it rather ordinary to myself and not with extraneous drama…or so it seems. The first time I actually endeavored recovery, it was basically a detox state of affairs, and I felt that would undoubtedly take care of all of my substance abuse installments.
How funny is that?
I had a reasonably legitimate run with opiates, predominantly Vicodin, which I tuned to by and large due to its easy accessibility. I was taking about 8 extra-strength tablets per day; a fairly insubstantial inclination in comparison to some other more stout acquaintances I later came across in the ensuing years.
A girl friend put me up for a few days and I arrived at her pad with a small prescription of Clonidine, which I had read (in John Phillips autobiog, Papa John) helped with opiate withdrawal symptoms, along with a few Valium and a 6-pack of beer (hey, I had a problem with Vicodin, not a substance abuse concern …).
The Clonodine worked quite well, and put me asleep for large swatches of the day.
After three days, I pronounced myself ‘cured’, and made it home.
I felt great, like I really accomplished something. I did precisely nothing, except temporarily get off Vicodin, which lasted a few months.
Several years later, my problems were a bit more advanced, and I had a full-blown heroin habit, and why aren’t you surprised here?
An old friend helped me get into an actual program via a musicians aid organization.
It was full detox, as well as several months of sober living.
I believe I was on the way to some form of sobriety, and ended up with about six months clean from all substances. 12-step meetings, being of service and continued therapy and meds certainly helped, along with a sense of community.
But eventually, I had to move out, and did so with a fellow musician, who it turns out was very, very helpful. He taught me that I really wasn’t hitting my veins correctly when injecting smack. I learned how to register…and eventually also gave up the registration to my car, which was sold for $300 to (properly) fit in my arm.
I continued on this rough patch for several years, eventually found myself being busted with my dealer and spent a few months at the pleasure of Los Angeles Country, in a 4th floor walk-up.
Upon release, I ended up at a faith-based drug program in LA. It wasn’t really out of choice, I just had nowhere to go. I learned, though, that I was actually ready for treatment.
The main aspect of this treatment that worked was the basic fact that it was nearly open-ended, and I initially stayed in treatment for a full year, and then began working at the facility.
It was time that I needed, and this was provided for me here, and I feel like I made the best of things.