Why Going to Extended Care was Important for My Recovery

If it weren’t for the physical rehabilitation I acquired in primary treatment I wouldn’t be where I am today. The 30 days I spent in rehab were a great reprieve from the tribulations of daily drug use. It was like being on vacation; 30 days of healthy meals, exercise and ample free time to indulge in books, music, television and any other form of distraction I could get my hands on. It allowed me to get enough time away from drugs to know that the lifestyle of an addict is an unhappy, unhealthy existence.

This being said and giving credit where credit is due, treatment alone was not enough. I’ve been through the experience of going through a treatment center, coming to terms that I was addicted to heroin and relapsing within 2 weeks of being home. The self knowledge that treatment granted me wasn’t enough. I had to come to terms with the fact that I suffer from a disease that doesn’t die with the removal of drugs and that the only way I could possibly stay sober is through a daily reprieve. Now this begs the question, how do I go about getting this “daily reprieve”? Obviously it can’t be perfected overnight and I can’t learn it on my own. I needed a teacher and some time to sort things out. That’s why I needed extended care.

What extended care at New Life House granted me was a period of time completely dedicated to learning and practicing the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps opened my eyes to the fact that drugs weren’t the problem. I was the problem, and that in order for me to stay sober and lead a happy and productive life, I needed to change everything about myself that caused harm and discord between me and the world. This realization embarked me on a journey of self discovery, contrary action and amends that ultimately have lead me to a place where drugs are no longer a relevant topic in my life. Today I am more concerned with how my presence affects the world around me and the maintenance of my own sanity. All I ever wanted was some peace of mind, and drugs gave me that. I had to learn how to achieve serenity without relying on some form of escape.

Treatment did a good job of fattening me up, but it didn’t provide the time or the resources necessary for me to undergo a psychic change that allows me to live a happy, sober and productive life. With all this being said I know still that there is much work to be done, there’s more to be revealed, more kinks to be ironed out and more growth to be made. The gift I have been given is the ability to see a path upon which I can trudge in the name of growth, for that I am grateful.

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