From The Eyes of An Addict: I Went to Rehab in Florida
I never thought I would have to go to rehab. My life was always easy, things naturally came my way and I was successful in most of my endeavors. One thing persisted; my love affair with alcohol and drugs. My first drink was at the age of 13, and my first drug was at 14. While I didn’t immediately develop a problem, I liked the feeling it gave me from day 1. It was going to come back and bite me later in my life until I finally went to rehab in Florida.
How My Alcohol and Drug Use Evolved into Addiction
High school passed without too much of a glitch, except for the few times I can remember my friends and I drinking on the way to school in the morning. Much later on in life, when I went to rehab in Florida, I came to realize that kind of behavior was already indicating my future addiction. College was filled with parties, keg stands, and jello shots – all of which I thought was the norm.
The parties carried right on into my twenties when I worked as a Public Relations Executive in Manhattan. There was no shortage of parties, alcohol, and my newfound friend – cocaine. The partying was non-stop, sometimes even starting at lunch, because I worked with a boss who was a big fan of liquid lunches. There were a few too many times that I woke up with barely a clue what I did the night before; my heart still racing from cocaine. I considered asking my parents for help but was afraid of their reaction.
I Finally Went to Rehab in Florida
As I grew into my later twenties, friends started settling down but my partying was picking up. I’d find whatever new friend I could make acquaintances with and drag them to the nearest bar for shots and heavy drinking. I began dating a guy who had an extremely bad cocaine habit and a lot of money to waste on it, which only made me spiral down worse.
I got smacked by a reality check one day when I woke up with one of my ankles shattered and had absolutely no clue how it happened. It was destroyed – requiring pins and multiple surgeries. No matter how hard I racked my brain I couldn’t figure out what had happened. Scarier yet, the pain hadn’t even registered with me when it did happen because I was so messed up.
I finally broke down to my closest friends and parents and decided to go to rehab. I chose to go to rehab in Florida because it was far away from my native New York City. It felt like a fresh start, and I had always loved the sunshine and palm trees. I booked a flight the next morning and went on my way.
My Rehab Experience
I was terrified on the flight down to Florida and on the way to rehab. I had no idea how things were going to stay afloat in my personal life while I was locked away for 42 days. Thinking about it felt overwhelming. I couldn’t believe things had gotten to this point in my otherwise flawless life.
My first day at rehab was filled with lots of questions from the sweet technician who handed me a tissue while I cried about my situation. I’m sure she sees that every day. I was drug tested and even got a medical evaluation. I was put on medication to help me through my severe detox. That first day is a complete blur.
As I detoxed, my mind began to clear. I began attending the group therapy sessions and individual sessions that took up the majority of my days. I gave in and embraced it. I realized I was among peers and that I had the monumental support of numerous doctors and therapists. Things were going to be ok.
Rehab allowed me to soul-search in a way I never thought was possible. The detachment from the “real” world allows you to focus completely on the present moment and why your addiction got to where it did. As emotions inevitably come up, there is always someone present to talk to you about it and help you work through your issues. Rehab was a safe place for me to heal.
If You Are Struggling With Addiction, Go To Rehab
The number one thing I would tell someone who is struggling with addiction is to cut any chord that is keeping you at home and go to rehab. I wish I would have gone when I first thought about it. It took me eight long, blurry, scary years to actually get there. Addiction wouldn’t be such a problem if it were easy to cure, so getting help is a necessity.
Going to rehab saved my life. If only more addicts could get the help they need, they would be able to see the bright, sunny, sober side of life that I’m able to see today.