Going to multiple different rehabs is never a person’s ultimate goal. However, sometimes it is what needs to happen in order for a person to succeed in achieving sobriety. This was the case with Aubrey, who shares her story of her road to recovery with us below.
Five Different Rehabs Later, I’m Sober
My name is Aubrey, and I am a recovering drug addict. I’ve been saying that nearly daily in the NA and AA meetings I attend everywhere I go for the past 6 years. After over a decade of drug abuse, it is hard to believe that I now have the better half of a decade spent sober behind me! I like to share my story with people because my journey was a tough one. It is an example that no matter how far down-and-out you are, there is hope.
It took me five different rehabs to get sober. The first time I went was a desperate effort from my parents, siblings, and friends who desperately wanted me to get sober. I was young – only 16 – and honestly too immature to realize exactly the kind of damage I was causing. To me, my prescription drug, weed, and alcohol habit was just me having fun, and no-one seemed to understand. I wasn’t even remotely close to ready to take things seriously.
By 18 I had just barely finished high school when I went to rehab for the second time, this time mandated by the court because I had multiple run-ins with the law due to my drug abuse and drinking. I was realizing things were serious, but still figured I could blame everything on being a teen. I went out and got blackout wasted the day I left my second tour of rehab.
Fast forward to 23. I was in a lot of trouble and I think my wake-up call was realizing that my old friends were moving on, getting help, and I was still homeless and doing anything – and I mean anything – I could to get more drugs. It was an ugly lifestyle that left me scared, depressed, alone, and hurting. I actually asked for help for the first time and checked myself into a detox facility. At their direction, I entered a rehab program for 30 days after my detox.
This experience wasn’t bad, although nothing seemed to sink in. I understood what my doctors and therapists were telling me, but my takeaway was next to nothing. I didn’t really see how what they were saying could be applied to my regular, day-to-day life. So, I started tuning out and as a result, I didn’t open up nearly as much as I should. I sincerely believe that my doctors at that facility thought I was doing much better than I was simply because I put up a good front.
I left that rehab and stayed sober for a week. I went to one NA meeting. The following Thursday I mentally relapsed by telling myself I could just go out, hang out and feel “normal” on Saturday. I ended up in the hospital and almost died. After over a month of sobriety, my body had gotten rid of all the drugs in its system and simply could not handle everything I put back into it. I went back to detox, and this time only stayed in a facility for ten days. That was rehab number four.
As you can imagine, by this point I was completely alienated from my old friends and family. No one thought I would make it. They had given up, and I don’t blame them. They had to do something to protect themselves from the heartache of loving someone with an addiction problem. They couldn’t enable me. After I left rehab for the fourth time I called my sister who cried, yelled, and blamed me for a lot of her pain. She asked me to please give rehab one more try. To my surprise, she had done some research and found a women’s only facility that she thought may work for me. I agreed to go.
I promised myself to go to this treatment center with a fresh perspective. I was as determined as I had ever been to remain sober. On my first day, I did something I hadn’t done before – I completely opened up to my therapist. I cried, I shook, I even threw up as I relayed some of the memories. She cried with me and assured me we could get through it. I told her about my likes and interests, like how I loved to draw. That became a part of my treatment plan, and do this day I set a half an hour aside almost every day to draw and clear my mind. It was the most unique situation I had been in during all my different rehabs. And it worked.
What I learned about all my different rehabs is that there are a few things that are extremely and fundamentally important. First, timing has to be right. For me, that was in my mid-twenties. Second, it is important to work with a team that tailors the program to you and doesn’t just try to fit you into a mold with every other addict. I am so glad I kept trying because today I can truly say I am a success story.
To learn more about how you can get help for recovery, give Willow Place for Women a call at 561-512-1605.