After my near fatal overdose with barbiturates, I was faced with a choice. Either get myself out of the deep hole that I dug myself into. Or continue going farther down the path, continue stealing and taking more. The latter choice I realized didn’t kill me then. But next time, I wouldn’t be as lucky.
How I Started My Journey Of Sobriety
“You are so damn lucky to be alive, son.”
The words the doctor spoke couldn’t be more exact. I was lucky. Lucky enough to be alive. I was near death. And the experience alone was enough to scare me. When the doctor left the room, I started to cry. I was scared. Afraid of what my parents would say when they would see me. I was also ashamed of the pain I inflicted upon them.
A minute later, they appeared in my room. My mom asked me how I was doing. I told her I was scared. “What matters most is your alive,” my father replied. An hour later, we were met by a substance abuse counselor who outlined my options for treatment. One of them was to join my local Narcotics Anonymous (NA) group. The group met once a week at a church located just a block from my parent’s house, where I moved in shortly after leaving the hospital. I knew I had a long, hard battle ahead of me. So I decided to attend the meetings.
“Hello, I’m Nick. And I’m An Addict”
The entire room said it in unison after I introduced myself. It was my first every NA meeting. When I walked in, a feeling of weight was being lifted off of me. I felt like I was in the right place. I was in a room of like-minded people who all wanted the same thing: to live a sober life and be proud of it.
I told them my story. I told them I was ready to travel down the path to being completely drug-free. At NA, I learned about the 12 steps and the 12 Traditions. While originally created by Alcoholics Anonymous, I learned that the same applied in other 12 step programs. That night, I studied the 12 steps and Traditions. I read them over and over again until I had a better understanding of how it all worked.
I had already admitted that I was dealing with a problem. I had admitted that the power of barbiturates had taken control of me. I also accepted the fact that I was ready to submit to a power much higher than my addiction. A power that would guide myself and my fellow group members in the right direction. I had begun repairing relationships with my friends and my family. There were times when I would try to come up with the words of apology for a friend who I have abandoned. Only to break down in sobs. It was enough for him to understand that I was sorry for destroying a friendship that lasted a long time.