Busting out of the ‘pressure cooker’
Last week you heard firsthand from my son, Bryan, about what it takes for a person with a drug addiction to decide to change their lives. Once he reached his ’emotional bottom’, he had to break out of what he called the ‘pressure cooker’ and overcome incredible hurdles, both internal and outside. Once again, this is from Bryan…
I think one of the mistakes people make about getting clean is that they think everything will work out once we’re off the drugs. That’s so not true. It takes a total life change and to show you how big it is; here’s a short version of what my life was like for years before I was ready to do this.
Losing my Dad was tough. I lived at a homeless shelter while doing heroin. Then I found a job that I had for three years. There were multiple leaves of absences and rehabs. The last facility before Covid hit I was in a psych ward.
I got sober for three months and was living with mom – and started using marijuana. I fell back into “relapse behaviors” by hiding the extent of my marijuana usage. Then with Covid, I started back up on heroin since I was already “successfully hiding” the extent of my marijuana usage and had lost accountability across the board.
I wanted out. But in order to break away from addiction, I had to change everything. For myself this time around, it meant the friends I ran with, my job, and even my residency. One of the difficulties to overcome all this is how I felt about myself. And if you’ll pardon my language…I felt like shit.
I’d been to numerous institutions and psyche wards. I went to the hospital thinking I was overdosing on methamphetamines. But I finally had to realize I was creating and participating in my own insanity.
I had to face the question…
“What am I not doing that’s suggested?”
It’s difficult to change everything. One is the friends (who usually are fiends in disguise) that you don’t want to lose. Another is having to start fresh. Yet another is your family finally enforcing boundaries and eliminating their enabling behaviors. All this makes it all the more difficult. It’s so much more than meets the eye.
As I mentioned above, I had been in institutions and attempted the 12-step program more than once. I am lucky to have my family. What I needed to do was to decide who my real friends were.
Next I’ll talk about a program and a job change that along with the support of my family, has changed the ‘old Bryan’ into the person you’re hearing from now.