Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.
A New Year. A New You. It’s Time To Get Clean And Sober.
— Remember that promise you made to yourself and your family? The one that went something like this: “If I can’t stop on my own, I’ll get help.” But instead of getting help, your habit has gotten worse. Now you’re stock-piling enough drugs or alcohol to keep you from getting sick. You’re pushing everyone who loves you away. When your family says they’re worried about you, you get mad at them. You don’t like being told how much you’ve changed or that you’re hurting people. You already know that. You know things are getting bad. You don’t feel good. You don’t look good. Your body aches. You’re exhausted all the time. You’re ashamed of yourself. You can’t look in the mirror. You lie about how much you’re using. You avoid people and you can’t remember the last time you felt good about anything. Hurting your family hurts you. You’ve tried to quit before. This isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve done everything you can think of to minimise the consequences of using. You tried controlling your habit. You switched drugs, limited the cash you carried, and left your wallet at home. But no matter how many times you try to stop, you end up using and ultimately, hurting yourself and the people who love you. [lorelie-callout] In spite of your good intentions, your way isn’t working. In fact, things are getting worse for you. A lot worse. You’re confused by this. It’s impossible to think you can’t control the outcome. But every time you pick up, you can’t predict what might happen. You might come home, you might not. You might spend your entire paycheck, you might not. You might get drugs with fentanyl in them, you might not. Your life is turning into one big game of Russian roulette. And still, you think you have time. But time is not your friend. You might believe overdose won’t happen to you. Many people suffering from addiction don’t. Addiction operates in denial and delusion. The people who are the sickest, often believe they’re not. You’re probably scared. I know I was. I couldn’t imagine my life without drugs or alcohol. I couldn’t function without being high. Drugs got me out of bed in the morning. They gave me confidence and soothed my anxiety. They took away my worries. They made life easier. At least that’s what I believed at the time. My life was falling apart and I thought drugs helped me cope. But addiction is a greedy mistress and she wanted everything I loved: my family, my friends, my job, my home – my life. Ingesting the drugs made the dope-sickness go away but it was killing me and hurting everyone who loved me. Unless you’ve known the demoralizing shame that exists on the other side of being high, it would be hard to relate. Most can’t understand why addicted persons can’t just quit. I myself was utterly baffled by it. I tried so hard. I just wanted to use like everyone else. I didn’t know my brain was wired differently than non-addicts. Or that addiction had hijacked the area of my brain responsible for reasoning and impulse control. All I knew was the more I tried to control my addiction, the more it controlled me. Eventually, I gave up trying to control how much I used. I became apathetic and stopped caring. Many addicted persons don’t live long after this point. But I was lucky. In spite of not wanting to go to treatment, or believing I could get well, the impossible happened. One day at a time, with lots of help and support, I began to heal. The climb out of hell is amazing. With the flames to your back and hope to your front, it’s an exhilarating experience. The New Year brings ample opportunity with it. It’s time to rewrite your story. Your life doesn’t have to be one of tragedy, hopelessness and despair. Write a new chapter. One that reads courage, inspiration, good health and strength. According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there are 144 drug overdose deaths per day. The dead speak for the living and every single one of them said… overdose won’t happen to me. Addiction lies in the scariest voice of all- your own. It’s the worst kind of thief. It robs you of time. Imagine a homicidal maniac breaking into your house and threatening you. You’d go to any lengths to save yourself and your family. Except with addiction. It sneaks into your mind and changes the way you think, feel and behave. It’s a deadly thief intent on taking your life, only it doesn’t have to break in, you open the front door for it and then stand by idly while it destroys everything you love and value. But there is hope. Once you realize you can’t trust your thinking, it will be easier to reach out for help. There’s no shame in getting well. Don’t sacrifice your life and freedom to stay prisoner to addiction. You can do this! Getting clean and sober is much easier than you think. Your withdrawal will be made comfortable. Your family will be able to sleep at night knowing you’re safe. And you’ll get the help you so desperately need and deserve. Start this year on the right track. Pick up the phone and call the number below. Your new life is calling you. I hear 2018 is going to be a great year! If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance. 844-451-0263.