(Toledo, OH) I was heartened to hear that you have checked yourself into an inpatient facility for your addiction. I am not sure if you have Internet privileges in this stage of your treatment, so I do not know if you will read this.
We have not spoken since I learned that you were falling into the pit of addiction. Some might see this as selfish, or as turning my back on a friend, but I have other reasons for my reluctance to associate with hard partiers - I simply cannot afford to let myself get caught up in a world of inebriation, deception, and self-destruction.
You have a lot of hard work ahead of you; the process of sobering up is only a small part of recovery. The difficult part is getting your thinking straightened out, because years of addiction have created changes in your brain.
I am not referring to the physical damage in terms of depleted brain cells, or the wholesale disordering of the neurotransmitters that normally regulate brain activity.
I am instead referring to what might be called "junkie-think," or the self-deception in which addicts engage. You know - thoughts like "I can quit at any time," or "I control the drug," or "It's only one little hit," or "I'm just hanging out with my (drug-using) friends - it's no problem, I won't go back out."
That sort of thing.
It takes months, and even years, to retrain your brain to how to think normally again. There will come a point in your recovery, perhaps around three months of clean living, when you may try to convince yourself that you are "cured."
Nothing could be further from the truth.
If I have learned anything in this life, it is that people prone to addiction never become "cured." They can maintain sobriety, they can lead healthy and happy lives, and they can become pillars of the community, but they are never "cured."
The minute you begin to believe the lie of being "cured," you are doomed to repeat the cycle of addiction. Don't go there.
I wish you good luck in your recovery, and I will visit soon.