“The last twenty-four hours before I got help were such a blur. I was tired of getting high and ruining my life, but I wanted to use one last time. A part of me just wanted to go to detox and get it over with, but at the same time I was so afraid of the unknown. I saw no future for myself and couldn’t picture my life being more than the vicious cycle of addiction. When I was actually on my way to detox, like in the car, I just kept thinking how pointless getting clean was. I kept thinking about turning around and not going at all…but I went, and it changed my life.”
Francesca, a former patient and now alumni coordinator at Fresh Start Recovery Center says she didn’t know if she really wanted recovery when she first got to treatment over sixteen months ago. Many people that suffer with substance abuse struggle with obsessive thoughts and post-acute withdrawals that can make long term recovery seem somewhat impossible. Francesca said that if it wasn’t for Fresh Start, she might have never believed she could stay clean. “When I got there and met the staff, and almost everyone was in long term recovery, it made things start to shift for me. I saw it work in their lives and I wanted it to work in mine.”
Francesca remembers how badly she wanted to make it to one year clean and how badly she wanted to change her life. “If I could get to a year, I knew I could keep going and it would get better,” Francesca said. As more time began to pass, she knew that she could only move forward- going back was no longer an option regardless of how hard things got. Creating a strong support system is an important part of staying clean. When you are in active addiction, many of your relationships are built around using drugs and alcohol. When you decide to get clean, you may lose some people you believed were your friends, however you can gain real relationships with people who only want to see you succeed. Francesca remembers when she was in active addiction, she had no real relationships. “Now I have real relationships. Not everyone is trying to get something from me. The relationships I have with people are genuine.” What’s it going to hurt to try to be sober? You can always go back, but you won’t know until you try. Nothing is more important than your life. At the end of the day people are dying because of addiction and it doesn’t have to be you. All those other excuses to not get help—if you lose something in the process then you can always gain something better.