We Are Fighting for Our Lives
Recently, I found out that someone I knew from rehab and sober living lost the battle with addiction. It wasn’t the first time. In fact, this was the fourth time this had happened within the last three years. It is quite a sobering truth. I think it is a truth that we sometimes do not want to acknowledge in addiction. As addicts, we all tend to think that we are all six feet tall and bulletproof. This could not be any further from the truth. We all need to be aware that the one last use could actually be that fatal last time.
When I first got out of treatment, I was lucky enough to have the finances to move into a sober living facility and continue in outpatient treatment. Any one that has been to rehab knows that thirty days is never enough time to be ready to face the world on your own with no support. Rehab got me clean for thirty days. Sober living showed me how to live in the world with a safety net and accountability.
I lived in a private residence with eleven other men in Palm Springs, California. I have to admit it was not roughing it. There was a communal kitchen and living room, complete with computer access, pool, and hot tub. We were also given bicycles to be able to access the Palm Springs community. There were requirements, such as meetings every day, outpatient treatment, chores, curfews, and mandatory drug tests. Overall, it was a safe haven that proved to be beneficial for me and help me maintain my sobriety on a daily basis in the outside world. Many hours were spent with the other guys talking about our problems, dreams, and daily victories. I treasured those times and I am thankful for the opportunity that sober living provided me.
The owner of the sober living facility was a no-nonsense kind of guy. He always held you accountable for your actions and never backed down. He was also helpful and provided me with this one sound piece of advice that has stayed with me till this day. Whenever he would end a personal conversation with me, he reminded me. “Remember, Bo, you are fighting for your life.” I remember thinking, ‘yeah right.’ In my mind, I was thinking, ‘I am fighting for 60 days, 90 days, and so on… but my life?’ As the years go by, I see that he was right. We are all fighting for our lives one day at a time.
We all know that addiction recovery is a life-long fight. It is resistant to treatment and prone to relapse. I am saddened by those friends that have lost their fight. It only makes me more determined to not be a statistic and to continue to fight. The last person that passed away was only 22. He was intelligent and had the world at his feet.
If you find yourself struggling with recovery, reach out. You would be surprised how many fellow addicts will extend a helping hand. Remember that you are fighting for your life!
If you would like to share your story with Heroes in Recovery you can email me at Bo@heroesinrecovery.com. Remember when you share your story you inspire others and help break the stigma associated with substance use and mental health disorders.