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I’ve regained my self-worth and self-respect

What brought me to Dianova was the intervention of loved ones, friends and family. Was I ready myself? At that point I was confused and anxious and I was not sure if I was ready. I felt more pushed into the program. September 18th was my first entry into the inpatient rehabilitation center, I remember being extremely nervous. This was something I was completely unfamiliar with. I floated through the days, not letting go of certain unfinished business I had left on the outside of the center. I dealt with anger and frustration for a good part of my first visit to Dianova. I finally got myself into such a rage, that I instinctively let my anger get the best of me and I left in fit a rage.

After approximately 10 days I realized that maybe I do need the help, not only with my addiction but my emotions as well. I then made the initiative to call back and ask if I could return. My gut feeling lead me to believe that there was no chance Dianova would accept me back into the program due to my anger, and the way I left. I was sure the answer would be “no, sorry, but we can refer you to other resources”. After an interview, I was surprisingly accepted back in. My program began as of October 2nd, it was a Monday. I knew I had a problem, but accepting help is a whole other thing all together.

My addiction consists of alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and crack cocaine, of which I was using very heavy amounts of daily for approximately a 6-8 months period. I say approximately because it’s all just one big blur. Part of me was already dead, the other part wanted to die. I was somewhat hoping that the drugs would eventually kill me ending my torturous lifestyle without having to actually commit the cowardly act of suicide. The one thing that did however keep me afloat was my grandmother. She raised me and I consider her as a mother, part of me knew I had to stay alive to help take care of her when the time came, considering, she had done so much for me. I owe her my life. I was depressed, angry, lonely, and an emotional wreck. I was a mess, a complete disaster of a human being. I neglected my basic needs, my “job”, my bills, my dog, my friends, my family, etc... The list goes on. All I wanted to do was forget about it all, ignore the problems and live in a bubble.

During my second stay at Dianova everything changed. I came in with the right mentality, an open mind, acknowledging in more depth that I have a severe addiction problem along with immense emotional issues: borderline/Antisocial Personality Disorder. With the help of Melinda, my counsellor at Dianova as well as my own personal research I soon discovered and understood that my sobriety was directly linked to my emotions. I have a much better understanding of emotions now. Anger is a secondary emotion meaning that before you get angry there is another or multiple emotions involved beforehand. I’m learning to let these primary emotions stay within me longer, it’s a work in progress. Over the years the wall I had built covering these emotions up reached its peak, resulting in me using more and more as the days went on, resulting in my “rock bottom”.

Through the workshops provided by Dianova and help from my counsellor I gained much knowledge, from basic needs to relapse prevention. Many hours spent in group discussing the various topics, with every subject as important as the next in order to live a balanced lifestyle, a life worth living, a happy one. I didn’t realize how many emotions you go through in a day until I started writing them down daily and it’s alarming as well as extremely fascinating. Emotions are such a massive part of human life on a daily basis, from politics to songs played on the radio. I’ve created a “Plan A-B-C” in order to deal with my emotions, which includes walking away, calming down whether it may be through listening to relaxing music or focusing on my breathing, but at the same time remembering to come back to resolve the conflict, whether it be mental or with another person. Never leave a conflict unresolved.

It’s been an uphill, downhill battle. I have a prevention plan. If I feel myself starting to slip emotionally considering my triggers are mainly emotional I will call a “soon to be” sponsor or one of the many great people I have in my support group. These people I am very thankful and grateful for, along with the help I’ve received from, multiple counsellors and residents at Dianova, a few friends, my mother and my grandmother. This is a strong plan that I will follow through with.

I’ve regained my self-worth and self-respect

When I leave Dianova I will be taking courses and find a job. When I receive that job I will no longer be relying on welfare. I will volunteer at two different missions a week in order to gain some experience, with good references and experience, everything should work out. I feel that with all I’ve gone through from a child up until this very moment of my writing this letter I’ll be able to relate to many people in need of help. I’ve been given a second chance and I will use it to do good. I want to make a difference in the lives of others for the better, the opposite of what I was doing. As for my healthy I will continue to eat properly, watching my diet and exercising regularly. I will be very busy, but I will remember to allow time for fun and activities that interest me as that is also an important part in living a balanced lifestyle.

I’m changing, and this is only the beginning of my adventure, my path, my road to a happy life. I’ve accomplished a lot, I’m strong, courageous, I’m a fighter, a “go-getter”, I’m honest and loyal as well as smart and capable, I believe in myself. I’ve regained my self-worth and self-respect. I have a lot to offer, and I will put every ounce of what’s in me into remaining sober, managing my emotions, my life and achieving my goals. “There’s always a solution”.

I had no solution before Dianova and sobriety, I had no solution to life or any will in finding one, but now I do.

I will succeed.

Nicholas