I woke up in the hospital, my palms sweaty, mouth dry, and the overwhelming sensation that my entire life was spinning out of control. I had an EKG on my chest and confused I pulled on the cords. The nurse told me that I had a seizure and if I hadn’t been in the hospital I would have died. All I could do was cry. June 2nd of 2011, my second day in the hospital, was day one of my sobriety.
I spent four days in the hospital, locked in the intensive care unit with twenty-four hour supervision to make sure I didn’t attempt suicide again. My time in the hospital was bleak; I was bored, confused, and gravely desperate for help. Before I tried to kill myself I found out I was going to treatment, and among other reasons, the thought of stopping the drinking and drugging was too much for me to handle. I was held in the hospital until my eighteenth birthday when I checked into a treatment center. My first day in rehab I was energetic and incredibly happy. The fear and desperation was replaced by a sense of hope. I became excited to stop living the way I had been for the past five years. However the feeling of self-loathing didn’t dissipate quickly. My first night I didn’t sleep. I had anxiety and panic attacks, although I didn’t think I was anxious or scared my body told me I was.
After sleeping I made friends with my peers in treatment. They became my family, my support system, and my sounding bored. It was a family like none that I had ever been a part of; they were caring, nurturing, and most of all, unconditionally loving. As I listened to them and shared my own experience the shame related to my illness melted away and gave way to sense of belonging. I finally felt at home.
My days were characterized by group therapy, individual therapy, meals, and group activates. I learned for the first time to be honest and open. However, none of it was easy. The word forever scared me and even the love scared me, I waited for the day that they would reject me and hate me like I did myself, but it never came. I fell in love with the program and the hope that it gave me. I gave myself to something bigger than me, love, and I slowly peeled back the layers that contributed to and perpetuated my illness. I went to AA every day and shared at every chance I could. I attached myself to the idea of sobriety and clung to it with the ferocity of a dying person to a cure. When I finally stood up and got my thirty-day chip I was overwhelmed by pride and accomplishment. I knew that my work had only just begun but I was excited, scared, and hopeful for what laid ahead.
Filed under: Recovery, Treatment · Tags: 12 step meetings, 12 step program, 30 days sober, Addiction Treatment, addiction treatment center, alcohol treatment center, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, attempted suicide, drug addict suicide, drug addiction, drug rehab, drug treatment center, early sobriety, group therapy, individual therapy, inpatient treatment center, residential treatment center, suicide