Forgiving without Forgetting

I let fear and shame govern a good portion of my life. At times, fear of losing my dignity or being embarrassed was the only thing that allowed me to stand on my own two feet. For me, the worst thing in the world was to owe somebody or let them see me in a moment of weakness. I was an incredibly proud person, all around, and this made it extremely hard for me to ask for help once I became addicted to pain medication. After a while, however, pride ceased to be an option and addiction turned me into a desperate and manipulative person.

When you’re neck-deep in addiction recovery, you can’t help but relinquish your pride. Each time you try and make amends with someone for something foolish or hurtful you did to them during your addiction; each time you’re reminded that you have to start from the bottom, professionally because of your past mistakes; each time you see that your kids are hesitant to embrace you because they don’t know wish version of their father they’ll be hugging, it takes a little more pride away from you. The good news is, however, that if you commit to recovery, you can get it all back.

The best drug rehab centers heal the individual; not just the addict. I learned this the hard way after “flunking” out of two outpatient and one inpatient rehab program. Slowly but surely, I became the father whose kids didn’t recognize him anymore. What little savings I had, I was spending on pills and toward the end of my addiction, I found myself contemplating heroin use; this is when I knew it was time to get help, once and for all. I knew that the treatment center I chose this time around would be crucial, and was not interested in wasting any more of my time on false starts.

The whole tenor of my third facility was completely different from the ones I went to before. There was a genuine atmosphere of caring. My doctors actually wanted to find out what was wrong with me, as opposed to just temporarily relieving my symptoms and throwing me out on the street. I felt listened to, regarded and not at all pressured to heal within their timeframe. It was refreshing to be able to talk about my addiction and what it cost me without feeling shame or judgment. The fact that I could talk freely about what I had experienced helped to reform my outlook on the recovery process.

As I said at the beginning of this testimonial, it’s been incredibly hard to confront some of my lesser dignified moments of addiction; but treatment gave me the tools I needed to move forward while accepting the past. I don’t know if I will ever be 100% at peace with the things I did when I was addicted-I think the whole point of recovery is to not get to comfortable-but at least I can use those lessons to dictate my recovery and behavior going forward. 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Phillip G. 

Contact the National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) anytime toll-free at (800) 784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the leading drug and alcohol rehab centers for you or your loved one.