Re-Posted from December, 2021.
The following was copied from my column. I write for a treatment newsletter in Colorado.
Close your eyes and allow your mind to scroll back to the past, back to the world of drugs and crime. Whether last month or last year, let’s journey back to the inescapable emptiness of getting high.
Do you have such memories? I’m not speaking of the so-called good times. As with nearly everything else, the euphoria slipped your grasp years ago; crept out the window while you were distracted by pain. I’m talking about the lies, deceit, fraud, deception, betrayal, and utter chaos you exchanged for your family and friends. You walked away from your loved ones. What did you get in trade? A world of backstabbing snakes.
Now that you’ve traveled back to the past, let’s add a few details. Maybe you were homeless? If you were sleeping on someone’s couch or in their garage, that’s still homeless. If you had to live in your car, you were homeless. Even if you weren’t on the street, the odds were good; you had to depend upon someone else for shelter. Now, how many jobs did you lose because of drugs or alcohol? Did you cheat on your partner? What about the endless lies and deceit? Do you remember all of the horror associated with scoring drugs? How much time did you invest in getting high? Remember the 24/7 drug copping world you created? How many people betrayed you? Were you a thief as well? Possibly a master of boosting and returning. Have you sold drugs? Maybe you’ve traded sex for drugs or turned to prostitution in desperation. Such a thing is more common than most people could possibly imagine.
Now ask; what do you want for yourself? What do you want for your future? Are you simply taking a break from getting high? Are you lying to your family and yourself? If so, I have some news. The drug world is waiting for you; still hoping to end your life. The ugliness will always be there if you choose to return.
If slipping back into darkness is the plan, I have a solution. An idea that’s already been proven successful. Sneak in a few days of drugs and then pretend you have Covid-19. Who’s going to force you to show up for a drug test while you’re quarantined? Maybe you can even find someone with the virus willing to take the Covid test for you? Hey, it’s not that different from cheating on a urine test. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Nothing can stop you from relapsing. Except you, of course.
At some point, you’ve agreed to acquiesce to treatment and recovery. Now you must decide your fate. Will you choose love and life, or will you return to pain and death? For those who would like to remain alive and out of custody, there will never be a more significant opportunity to repair your life or build a new one.
How do I know all of this? Many of us have already graduated and continued with our sober lives. Fourteen months after graduating, I’m closing in on three years of sobriety, still working on my recovery program, going to meetings, and living within the boundaries I established during treatment. Please don’t misunderstand, I still have my share of stress and struggle, but I haven’t self-medicated even once.
This program is highly challenging and, at the same time, only as complicated as you want it to be. This may sound like horse shit, but it’s absolutely true. The secret isn’t a secret. All you have to do is be honest. Be honest with yourself and everyone else. Yes, that’s right, be especially honest with your probation officer.