Starting off from a young age I always felt disconnected from everyone around me and life seemed like a burden.I felt different because I grew up with a single mom. I thought everyone with two parents had life easier. I would distract myself with electronics, sports and attention but nothing was ever enough until I had my first drink. It was the answer to all my life’s problems. it made me feel confident and that I can do or be whomever I want without feeling awkward or shy. I finally felt as though I was able to accomplish anything. I didn’t try to stop because I saw no reason too. It was my biggest comfort and joy.
Soon after I started getting consequences in school such as suspension. My friends were getting fed up with me, so I decided to quit and I put my mind to it. Things got out of hand one night and my therapist advised that I go to my first outpatient treatment center. I was told to stop drinking or I wouldn’t be able to go to Israel for the year. I believed that would finally help me get back on track and give me the purpose in my life I was looking for. So, I managed to quit for 8 weeks and graduated.I moved on and went to study abroad. I stayed sober for 4 months and was unhappy, trying to fill myself up with religion. I ended up practicing more halochot, attended Yeshiva University, in hopes of living a successful life. However, I never felt connected to what I was doing. I was doing these actions to make myself happy and get my life together, but structure and religion was not enough. I couldn’t stop drinking or abusing pills. I ended up getting kicked out of the college dorms, leading me to my first inpatient rehab facility in California.
I was convinced I would go for 30 days then I would be able to return to school. That was not the case. I ended up being in their for 90 days. I relapsed while I was in treatment. All everyone was doing was talking about getting high and leaving with other clients. I ended up going to an outpatient center, sober living and another inpatient facility. I was sent to the hospital twice for drinking too much, and was eventually kicked out for using.
I went home to N.Y. I was attending A.A meetings, I had a sober companion, and went to multiple outpatient treatment centers. I would get just about 2 weeks clean but then end up in the hospital over and over again. It got so bad that I was asked to stay away from my nephews and not be apart of a simcha in my family. I would cause so much havoc with my usage and overall attitude. I ended up deciding to go to a long term treatment center in Mississippi where I believed I was going to stop for good. I managed to get ten months clean, but within that time I totally left Judaism, and was completely assimilated into secular society. I was trying to fit in with everyone in the sober environment so as to stay clean and feel accepted. I became more lost as time went on. One day I went to work, nothing was different about this day than any others but the thought occurred to me that I can take a sip of the drink I was making behind the bar. Once I drank it I was confused. Why would I mess up all I have worked for?
From there I fell into using IV drugs. Something I never believed I would do. Then, I was sentenced to 30 days in jail. I was put on probation, violated the probation and the. was sent to yet another inpatient facility in Houston. It ended up being the same as everywhere else. I was treated like a statistic. I was given a treatment plan and I was seeing therapists. Around me everyone was sneaking out and no one was staying clean. I was kicked out of where I was living and was in and out of motels not knowing where to go.I made a call to my mom asking for her help. She agreed to help on the condition that I would go back to rehab.
I was completely uninterested. I tried so many treatment centers and meetings. Whatever they told me to do I did but, the end result was continuous relapses, using harder drugs and more confusion as to why I was so miserable and not getting better. All this made me want to give up.
It wasn’t until I came to Torah and the Twelve steps where the first thing I realized was that they seem to have a sincere desire to help and show me how they got to live happier lives. The first thing the group helped me to see was that I was going back to using even though I had all the reasons in the world to stop. This encouraged me to look into my drug history where it was broken down for me to see that no matter how much I want to stop I never managed to. For example, the timeI had 10 months clean. I believed I was going to stay clean for the rest of my life yet I drank like I didn’t care about any of the consequences. Right after the fact I was upset at myself that I had relapsed. I saw during those times I’m not thinking of going to a meeting or calling a sponsor because I believe it’s a good idea. Seeing times like these play out over and over again I knew I needed help. I remember walking into my room and I was observing my roommate packing for a trip home. The fact that she is an addict like I am and is able to come and go without a relapse is miraculous. Knowing she is an addict as well there is only one way that it was possible for her to be living a normal life. That is with the power of God.
I was directed by the group to look into the unmanageability of my life. It was first pointed out that I was selfish. I didn’t care until the group asked me have I ever been happy? I realized there has been a time where I believed I got everything I ever wanted, a car, a boyfriend and a new job. The moment I got all of those things I was more miserable. From then on it changed from a need to a want to be connected to God. But the question that was brought to my attention next was why would God do this for me? Big deal I want him doesn’t mean he will do it for me. One of my group members told me to look around and see why he was doing it for everyone else. I went home that night and was thinking about how they are helping spread the message that God saves addicts, but what makes me so sure that I will want to do that? I started looking back to all the previous treatment centers I’ve been too and how I swore I would never go back because they did not work. Yet I ended up in a place where people are getting better. Seeing that God has been working in my life of course He will do this for me as long as I make it a priority to reach out to the people who are suffering like I was. Thinking about that led me into making my third step decision, to completely abandon myself to His will which is to help others see that God is the only power that saves people from addiction.