Most recovery survivors I talk to can tell me the exact moment they decided to seek treatment. For some, it’s a small push; for others, it’s a shove. The majority of these people have similar storylines, though everyone’s experience is unique. It’s true that a lot of people require multiple attempts at sobriety before it sticks, but ultimately everyone reaches a moment when they realize they’re truly in a life or death situation.
These brave people decided to choose life.
‘How long am I going to do this?’
For Brandon, an athlete and college graduate turned-opiate addict, it was an intervention with his parents.
“One day, my parents looked at my bank account. They sat me down with my brother and my sister on Christmas Eve, and told me they were worried. I was doing more than they thought, and believed I needed help. I didn’t know what to say. I was ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed. My little sister, who had always looked up to me was crying.
“I’m 25 years old. If I didn’t want to go to rehab, they couldn’t force me. But I thought about it and asked myself, ‘How long am I going to do this?’ I was exhausted all the time; it was all I could do to get through an eight-hour work day. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
‘I don’t want to be a loser anymore.’
Josh, a former meth addict who grew up embedded in drug culture, said it was landing in jail that spurred his desire to seek treatment.
“My first night in jail, it really hit me. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t want to be a loser anymore.’
“It came down to it and I was either going to get 30 days in jail or 28 days in rehab. Of course, I’d rather take the 28 days in rehab, so I got a ride out to the program. I had planned to stay for the 28 days, but God had different plans. I stayed in the program for 6 months — and I’ve now been employed here for over a year.”
‘I just got fired, and I need help.’
For John, an alcoholic and prescription medication addict, it was getting fired from a job he loved.
“I was working for a well-known company. I was drinking and taking various prescription pills to cope with my fear, anxiety and chronic pain. One day, the CEO brought me into his office and told me, ‘You obviously need help. I can’t help you in the way that you need it. But I can let you go so you can find that help.’ I was fired.
“For the first time in my life, I had to be honest. I called my wife and told her, ‘I need help. I just got fired, and I need help.’”
Soon after, John checked himself into the Treehouse in Texas — and now with nearly a year of sobriety under his belt, he’s happier than ever.
As you can see, each of these survivors had a specific motivator that helped them reclaim their lives and face down their addictions. But getting there was not easy, and keeping their sobriety will always be a struggle. Learning to address their problems and seeking help are the key elements that saved their lives.
These are just a few stories, but by sharing them with others, my hope is to inspire those who suffer from the deadly grip of addiction. Maybe reading this will be their spark.
– By C. Ray