It’s a frigid morning, the clock ticks 06.35 am on my smartwatch, am still seated on my garage sofa, waiting for the cloudburst to stop the downpour.
These rainy clouds just halted my jogging plans. Have to be seated for yet another 15 minutes it seems. I am Jennifer by the way.
The pitter-pattered tune from the shells of my garage making to backpedal my times. When I look back at the old times, my mind tries to recollect the hard times. After all the brain is negatively biased!
I had some stiff phase of life with heroin addiction. And everyone needs a reason to consume that drug for the first time. Yes! I too had a purpose for consuming heroin. My boyfriend broke up with me after a long steady relationship of 6 years.
After he left me, my world became too dark, my heart drowned in fear, and I felt abandoned. All I wanted is to escape this reality and heroin was my only hope. Heroin gave me the thrust to the euphoric world. As the months flew tirelessly, I became more ‘acceptor’ of heroin kick and waved goodbye to my good health.
On a fine sunny day, after my dose of heroin, I strolled through the market road. Gradually the sounds of the vehicles, the chatter of the people in the market and the hot sun above me started bothering me. I feel like a bazooka bombarded in my head. Exhaled heavily and my mouth dried up, my legs ceased to walk, I collapsed on the roadside overwhelmed by my condition.
When I woke up I found myself in an emergency ward of the hospital with my parents by my side. Their faces had turned blue out of concern, I didn’t know how to handle it. Eventually, without a choice, I was moved to a de-addiction (rehabilitation) centre. Without heroin inside my body, the withdrawal symptoms began to haunt me terribly. I felt like an experimental rat in a laboratory. I was in a desperate need for that drug. This was the beginning of my detox journey and my deaddiction story.
Initially, I made my counselor’s life hell by not cooperating for the counseling, I was the undesired one in the group therapies. Later, as my withdrawal symptoms started reducing, the direction of my life changed. For a change, this urged me to focus on myself rather than the drug. I spotted the rise in confidence and mettle inside of me. While I went through this, I want to share with you how each program in the rehab was weaved together for the overall improvement of my condition.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT),
I would like to call it talk therapy. The psychologist talks to me about what I think of and how I feel about things and later evaluate it and re-channelizes it. It helped work on my thoughts and my actions. Gradually, I witnessed a shift in my behaviours. I learnt that CBT is one of the most effective treatments for the addiction-related issues.
MET (Motivational Enhancement Therapy)
was the other interventional program that enhanced and intensified my internal motivation. To produce the best treatment it was coupled with CBT and 12 steps treatments. After this treatment, I was able to overcome my high-risk triggers.
later became one of my favourite activities at the rehab. Here is where I made a few buddies for life. It helped me feel like I was not alone in this journey, and there are many people who have had similar life stories like mine. We share our issues, weaknesses and personal stories and help each other understand and find solutions of how to cope with life better. In the beginning, I was very shy and demure to speak in the crowd. With the help of others and the counselor, I began to speak and let all my hurdles vanish. I learnt the do’s and don’t by the stories of others.
was my second favourite. Everything that I first resisted, became my favourites later. Things that I was hesitant to talk openly in group therapies, my counselor made me comfortable to open up and discuss it personally. While group therapy helped me learn from others, individual therapy helped me further reflect on my own life. It helped me amplify my skills and boost my self-confidence to deal with leading a drug-free life.
After 90 days, the day had arrived. My training was complete, and I was back on the battlefield. I was out of the rehab center. The familiar eyes around my nest heed me with the Hawkeyes and saw me like a stranger. The familiar voices around chewed my name as a gum. These things allowed me to think about old school habit again. But thanks to what I learnt and understood at the rehab, helped me cope with the triggers and helped me handle the high-risk situations better.
Shakespeare was right! There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. Recovery is never too late to try. Without the mistakes, there are no lessons!
The sprinkling showers stopped, the thunders muted, landscape withered and the grey clouds have passed. All I see is a bright sunny day and colourful rainbows in my sky. What about you?