30 Years Drug Free
I was sitting down today at my computer and could feel something niggling away at me. I couldn’t work out why the date of the lockdown was so significant and at the same time I was thinking about how comfortable I am with the lockdown and the isolation. Then it hit me. On the 21st of March 1990, I entered recovery. It was the first drug free day that I had experienced from around the age of 15. That was 30 years ago and fortunately I have been abstinent since then.
I don’t want to talk about how I managed to get drug free, except to say that I entered a rehab in April of the following year. What I would like to say here is what I learnt on the journey.
Where I feel I was lucky was that from the very beginning I acknowledged that I don’t hate drugs, I actually love the feeling they give me. But what I realized is that I could never ever have a casual relationship with them because my greed for drugs was higher than the average person. This meant that if drugs were in my life, I would have to retreat away from the real world. With that in mind, I entered my war with a full understanding of the rules of engagement.
I knew that no one expected me to make it and deep down those who knew me were waiting for me to fail, not because they were being malicious, but because to them drug using was my nature.
When I completed rehab, I knew that the only way I could maintain my abstinence was to get a job that would not allow me to use. I was fortunate to get a job in a drug residential rehabilitation centre. This kept me in touch with a world that I understood and one that I felt that I could thrive in, as well as allowing me to manage my transition from being a rehab resident into civilian life.
I have been in this field for 29 years and now run my own company. What my new life has given me is a completely different perception of what life can be. I really value my freedom because now I clearly understand what freedom means, and really try to put myself in a position where I do not give my power away. I realise now that I really like connection, and this does not have to be a physical connection.
I’ve also realized that I am not always ok and that’s ok. I acknowledge that I still carry a lot of scars from my past world, but unlike before, I don’t allow them to make me into a passenger in the world that I live in today. Even with the scars, I can be the driver if I choose. I’ve found out that it is ok to have weaknesses, but that I don’t have to dwell on them and allow them to override my strengths. I’ve decided that existing or surviving is out of the question. Now I want to live.
I have now stopped comparing myself to others, because when I did I could never win. I’ve realized my ex-drug use didn’t make me any less of a person than anyone else, but I had an investment in believing that it did.
This book is dedicated to anyone who is either in recovery, or is struggling with their relationship with drugs. I hope you all find what it is you’re looking for, and what you deserve, and remember, you are the one that’s in control if you choose to believe it.