Drug use always seems harmless until the physical symptoms of addiction begin to take hold. That is how my abuse of opiates went at least. When someone would tell me that I needed to slow down or take a break, I would just say “I am not addicted, I have no withdrawals! Everything is fine”. That could not have been farther from the truth. Even before the cold sweats, the insomnia, the severe joint pain, I was already rooted in drug addiction. When the physical withdrawals finally kicked in, I did not care in the slightest. All that did was give me an excuse to continue to get loaded.
Eventually, I tried to detox on my own. Even though my mind wanted me to continue, my body wanted out. Those were some of the most painful experiences in my life. I stopped going to school entirely, and would just sit in a hot bath all day. Hot water was my only (albeit temporary) salvation from the aching and the throbbing. Going outside for a cigarette was the most intensive tribulation of my situation. My legs would almost give out in the elevator, and once I was outside I would just lay in the grass and chain smoke. After enduring all of this agony, I still ended up getting loaded a few days later. Thus, the cycle would start again. I did not understand the concept of needing any other power except for my own to stop using. I was utterly convinced that I could get through the addiction on my own, but I just kept digging a deeper hole. My withdrawals steadily became worse over this period.
Ironically, I ended up realizing I needed serious help after being hospitalized from a mixed drug overdose. It took an even more painful situation for me to see the anguish I had been putting my body through. This was when I surrendered. Not necessarily to a Higher Power, but I understood that I was powerless over this brutal addiction. My family sent me to a treatment center in Arizona, and once there I underwent my first and only real detox. This was a trial that I did not delve into alone, but with the support of loved ones and the expert care of professionals. It was still very intense, but I managed to make it past my withdrawal period with all the help I received.
I felt immensely better once this was done with, at least physically. Mentally, I still had a long road to travel down. That was when I was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous which is still a part of my life. I would never have reached the point where I gained the potential to grow spiritually if I had not taken care of my body first. Detox was integral to my recovery, but it was only the first phase of my program. Once my body had been cleared of the toxins poisoning my body, I was able to start the real recovery work.
Filed under: Featured, Recovery · Tags: AA, Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Alcoholics Anonymous, detox, drug addiction, Drug Overdose, higher power, physical symptoms of addiction, Recovery, rehab, spiritually, Treatment