2 Years Since Coming to Narconon Suncoast, 2 Years Drug-Free!
Before coming to Narconon Suncoast, my longest stint of ‘sobriety’ was 6 months. Previous efforts to get clean involved going to treatment without ever handling anything about my addiction or why I chose to use drugs in the first place. This kept me in an endless cycle of simply trying to get through the day without using. Coming to Narconon was different, it taught me how to be able to experience anything in life without the need to create further damage to myself and others and also how to live with the damage that I had already created in my life and still move forward.
After graduating my program, I was still met head on with plenty of challenges, such as the fear of the unknown as well as my insecurities, but I was able to handle everything that came my way by applying the tools I learned throughout my program. Little by little, I began regaining all the confidence in myself that I had lost throughout my addiction. I began seeing the results of making good decisions, realizing these decisions were good for my life and the relationships with the people in my life. This solidified the importance of using good judgement and the impact it had on my life.
“After graduating my program, I was still met head on with plenty of challenges, such as the fear of the unknown as well as my insecurities, but I was able to handle everything that came my way by applying
the tools I learned throughout my program.
Little by little, I began regaining all the confidence in myself
that I had lost throughout my addiction.”
With a confidence in myself and my abilities now established and no longer feeling like I needed a crutch to survive, I began using this to improve the relationships with my family and others. About 6 months into my journey of a drug-free life my father took me out fishing for my 30th birthday. We had a really good talk, something that really stood out to me considering this was the first good talk I could take to heart and remember over the last 18 years since it was the first one we had since my addiction ended. The most impactful moment of this trip came when my dad handed me $40 for gas money. It was the first sign that I had begun to regain my dad’s trust, as he had not given me money for years due to my addiction. I got some good advice and was actually in a place mentally where I could accept advice and use it. Previously, I thought I knew everything and did not want to feel weak or ignorant. Those social stigmas for every man growing up were finally visualized and no longer affected me in negative ways. He told me to involve my parents more in my decisions, even if I chose not to take their advice but to show them that I do hold value to their opinions enough to ask them and hear them out. This was a big step in helping my parents realize I had gotten over that viewpoint of thinking I knew everything. The next challenge was regaining my mother’s trust, something that would prove to be the most difficult obstacle yet. Women NEVER forget.
With all that and weekly phone calls and visits over the last 2 years, a rebuilt relationship felt achievable and I finally had a plan that extended further out than just a month or two. I have always been reliant on my parents for help, whether for financial or moral support, they were always there in some way. In the first year of my sobriety, the only financial support my parents provided was for my treatment. While in treatment, I realized just how much I relied and depended on them for certain things. In truth, I did call my mom a few times during my first year of sobriety for a good vent session on the stresses at work. She would simply say I know you can handle it, and after letting me vent for 5-10 minutes I would feel better. After about a year and a half into my drug-free life, I realized something. I had not called my mom to vent for about 6 months as I had begun seeing things more clearly and as they are, able to control the situation and myself, helping me realize that I am stable and confidently in control of my life.
Reaching the 2-year mark, I am seeing my plans and goals realized, checking boxes, and completing tasks. The only thing I can remember about my 18 years as an addict is how long the days felt living in constant guilt and shame. It reminds me of that old saying “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is no greater joy in life than being able to actually feel all the highs and lows in life, or helping people escape the same trap that I was once stuck in myself. In the 2 short years since coming to Narconon Suncoast, I have gone from an addict lost to addiction to reaping the rewards of living a drug-free life!
John M.-Narconon Suncoast Graduate