5 Things I Learned During Addiction Treatment
I remember walking into my first treatment center and being absolutely terrified. When I learned what people were detoxing from – I became overly concerned and thought that I didn’t belong there. I had never done heroin or meth or many of the illicit drugs that others were addicted to. However, the first night I was in treatment, I attended a meeting and I listened to a man who had been addicted to cocaine and ended up in prison for seven years. He was talking about his addiction in the same way I felt about my own. I had no idea that other people felt the same way I did about drugs. It allowed me to take comfort in the fact that other people hurt in the same way I did. It also provided me hope that if this man could recover, so could I.
During treatment, I participated in many group therapy sessions. The sessions varied from topics like relapse prevention to life skills. We would discuss the topic with each other and we would support each other by coming clean and telling our truths out loud. I had never said most of the things I said in treatment before. When I admitted to being terrified, when I talked about my mistakes and regrets, and when I opened up about my past – the community supported me. I was not alone.
Addiction is a disease. It is not a moral failing. For so long, I thought that my moral compass had failed me. I thought of myself as a disgusting person who didn’t deserve respect. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror because I was so upset with the person I had become.
When I was taught about the disease theory, I began to have more compassion for myself. I learned that overtime, I lost the ability to make rational decisions and using drugs was no longer a choice. I learned that my habitual use soon became an obsession in which I had no control over. I also learned that I deserved treatment for my addiction and that I couldn’t stop on my own.
Lara Frazier is a truth-teller, a sobriety warrior and a writer. She is a FIERCE believer in the power of owning our stories and is a strong advocate for addiction recovery. Lara shares a story of healing: in sobriety, through addiction, in life and love, and in all the other big huge moments of fear and magic that we rarely talk about, but we should. Find more of Lara’s work on her website at www.larafrazier.com or follow her on Instagram @sillylara.