The first time I went to rehab, I was only 16. It was right after my birthday, and many of my current friends still don’t buy the story when I tell them. But if you knew me back then, you wouldn’t have been surprised in any way.
I was unable to deal with my life, fitting the description of the rebellion of adolescence (the worst kind, unfortunately). I was expelled from school, looking for trouble with the law, sleeping around, and using drugs. I was sober only now and then, as compulsion was way stronger than my will. Funny enough, I wasn’t addicted to something in particular. Some would say that I was addicted to having an addiction. Even though alcohol and cannabis made my day, I traveled far until ending up with them, sort to speak as there were many things that I would do as an addict.
I was making the life of everyone around me unbearable, especially with my parents. Nobody teaches you how to parent your adolescent, but it wasn’t my parent’s fault for not knowing how to handle me or my addictions. Funny enough, the year I stopped taking my medication for my Attention Deficit Disorder was the year I discovered cannabis and alcohol. And, no matter how much or how often I’d use, I was never able to make the pain disappear from my life (I think any addict feels that way).
The medication wasn’t going to do it. Medicine, on the other hand…
I think everyone going to rehab for the first time feels ashamed (once the drugs are out of your system, that is). Obviously, it doesn’t take long until you also start feeling the pain. And I think you’re lucky if you come to realize that the only way to escape suffering is to overcome it.
It was the moment I realized that doing things only my way isn’t going to save me. I needed a higher power, and it came from both my counselor and probably a force in the universe.
Many addicts will find out in rehab that dependence is the issue and not the effect of things not going the way you want in your life. It was in rehab when I learned about addiction is a genetic disease, so it wasn’t me causing it in the first place. Looking back, I know that only some of that is true, but I can be grateful for the things I’ve learned in rehab.
Nobody has told me until then, and trauma can lead to what they call “addictive pattern.” I had no idea about trauma or its effects in time either- I was blaming myself most of the time, anyway. But once I realized that it wasn’t up to me, but to my trauma and my genes, things got clearer.
It’s rather easy for me right now to talk about it, as it happened so many years ago. Unfortunately, nobody told me that it was a trauma that made me disconnect from myself. I simply didn’t know that, at the end of the day, my addiction was, in fact, a sign and not a cause.
It doesn’t surprise me anymore that I went through every method convenient (and probably successful at the time). Learning about healthy food, change my behavior, exercise, nutrition, individual and group therapy- you name it! Truth be told, holistic drug rehabs were a dream at the time, and sure I wasn’t the one to think of them- I was only a teenager!
And yes, I was able to stay clean and didn’t relapse, just like I was supposed to. But, seven years down the road, and I wasn’t feeling healed in any way. Something was still missing, and I knew that coming back to abusing was still in the back of my mind.
Conventional rehab put me back on track. But did it heal me?
It’s weird how one can feel healthy on the outside, but doesn’t feel cured on the inside. Once I got out of rehab, some things were working, but I was still unable to trust myself around substances. Soon enough, I turned to coffee, smoking, video games, and sex- I was replacing my old “drugs” with new and socially accepted ones.
Some say that the number of vices never changes, and I can relate. Video gaming cost me the love relationship at the time, for instance. I went to the gym too often, but it was a lousy attempt to run away from my emotional problems (I end up crying at the gym once- talk about feelings building up!).
Smoking didn’t do me any services, either. Thank God it didn’t give me cancer, but it did give me bronchitis over and over again. Asthma was waiting around the corner, so to speak.
And no, coffee wasn’t the right “drug” either as it gave me an ulcer after some time.
At the end of it all, I had no addiction, but rather common addictions were taking over my life.
Healing – in and out
I don’t know how I found my inner strength to get better health, to engage in a healthier relationship- it was probably in me always, but I didn’t see it. I looked into yoga, float therapy, and God knows what other natural ways to heal my mind and spirit (along with my body).
I tried a couple of times to talk to other addicts, and it did me right. Soon enough, I would go and counsel other people as it was healing for them and for me too. It’s only fair to say that I was searching for healing and a deep reconnection with myself for quite some time.
Jumping a couple of years into my story, it took me almost a decade to run into holistic medicine. Every principle I was reading about, every story about miraculous and long-time healing was drawing me in. It was something that obsessed me, and I knew I had to try it to see if it’s going to heal me for good or not.
Ayahuasca- the name to mention in my prayers
For anyone familiar with holistic medicine and alternative therapies for drug addiction, Ayahuasca is no secret. You can very well go online and learn for yourself about the tremendous results and facts.
One thing that you’ll also discover though is that you should never take it on your own, at home, without having another person watching over yourself. Some refer to DMT (Ayahuasca’s active ingredient) as the Spirit Molecule, and you can only understand by trying it.
I should also mention that you don’t just buy an Ayahuasca pill (simply because there isn’t any that I know of). You get to participate in a ceremony. And once you do, you’re going to become part of an experience that words are unable to describe.
Throughout the ceremony, I felt like someone would wash my inner self. Finally, I was healing, but it was the healing that no regular rehab program or behavioral therapy would ever be able to give. Everything was happening at the source-code level of my consciousness. Do you know how you feel when you get back home after being away for a month? It was just the same for me; only this time, I could literally feel how my heart was soothed for the very first time in years (probably for the first time in life).
All the ultimate love, fantastic sense of fulfillment, or acceptance of your mind and body that you read about – I was able to feel all that! I never honestly thought nor want about connecting to the universe, but it all happens during that ceremony! And yes, I got to see how Ayahuasca can heal every wound of your mind and spirit. I was once lost, but now I’m found, and it’s the most fantastic feeling!