A using friend of mine thought I should hide my plan to enter drug rehab, implying that I should feel ashamed about reaching out for help to kick my addiction. Why, I wonder? She failed to understand. Failed to understand my desperation and my utter indifference to the opinions of others. I had left myself no choice, painted myself into a corner. I faced homelessness because I spent all of my rent money on drugs.
This time, no one could or would rescue me from myself. I had finally met my rock bottom. As I wallowed in it, I felt both fright and relief at the same time. You mean I have to leave Vancouver? You mean I will have to move to Abbotsford?
Going to rehab embodied one of the most difficult choices I’ve made. I felt uneasy leaving Vancouver, my stomping ground. I had to give up all my belongings (except for what I could pack in three suitcases); basically just walk away from it all. After putting the keys in the mailbox, I turned around and walked away from my life. Suddenly, I had reduced myself to three suitcases.
A Vancouver outreach worker drove me from Vancouver to Abbotsford. She could scarcely believe how quickly after first speaking with her I decided to go to rehab. Perhaps she did not understand that I had no little choice — rehab in Abbotsford or homelessness in Vancouver. As we entered the rehab house, I tried hard to hide my fear and apprehension. I told myself that after the program’s 12 weeks, I could and would return to my former life in Vancouver. I really had no idea that going to rehab meant giving up doing drugs forever, including weed. And I did not believe I had a problem with alcohol. Not me.
For the first few days I felt strangely emotional, almost contrite for letting myself get to this point. Also, I had not prepared myself for 21 days without contacting the outside world; 21 days without calling my mum? No internet? No laptop? No more dysfunctional text messaging to and from dysfunctional people? No daytime television? No more late, late night soirees with myself, Sir David Attenborough and The Life of Birds on Knowledge Network? No more sleeping in til noon? What do you mean, a wake-up time of 7 am? AYFKM? What do you mean I have to share a room? What do you mean I have to live in this house, with 10 to 15 other addicted women?
Looking back, it all seems like a monumental adjustment to make, moving into such a house. Strangely, at the time it did not feel that way. I felt grateful, so grateful, to have found a clean place to live, in a town where I had no idea how to get drugs. I told myself, it’s only just begun. Indeed, it had.
Guest Author Bio
Seven months ago I moved from Vancouver to Abbotsford, British Columbia to get clean and sober. I lived in a rehab house in Abbotsford for five months and now live in a transition house with four other women in early addiction recovery. I am clean and sober today, and have been for the past eight months. I write because I cannot help it, because I find it therapeutic. The words I write flow straight from my heart. I believe in love, I believe in forgiveness and most of all, I believe in second chances.
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