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But You Don’t Understand, I Am Injured

Client TestimonialI am an addict and my name is Chuck {Real Name Withheld}. When I came to Recovery First, I was 46 years old.  I had been married for 23 years and had two beautiful teenage daughters.  I had a great house, cars, etc. From the outside, everything looked perfect. On the inside, however, my addiction had taken over my life.  Just a week before Christmas 2008, my youngest daughter called the police because I mentioned a gun (while I had my hands in my pocket in the shape of a gun) totally convinced I had a gun!  The next thing I know I had a visit from my local SWAT team and NO, I did not invite them to my house. They proceeded to take me to the hospital and then to jail. I don’t remember much of what happened or had taken place… All I knew was that I did not like where I was. Just before the New Year, my wife and sponsor came to the jail to see me. At that time, I had to ask my wife if the charges against me were actually true. I then had to ask for help. She searched for a recovery program and that is how I found Recovery First.

In January 2009 , I was released from jail and someone from Recovery First picked me up directly from the jail parking lot. After stopping and having the first real cup of coffee in over two weeks, he dropped me off at RES. There I went straight up to Animal House but due to my injuries, I did not stay there very long. That same morning while lying in bed with my head spinning, another caring employee moved me to A1 and then took me to my first group. This is where I shared, “they don’t understand, I am injured”. I proceeded to let everyone know that I had rods, pins, screws and a cage in my lower back and that I needed ALL the meds that the pain doctors had prescribed to me. I learned in group and with the help of my counselor, that I did not NEED the drugs but that I WANTED them. By doing the work in the two workbooks provide to me, I learned that it was my addiction that was telling me what I wanted but NOT necessarily what I needed.

With having my back injury, I had to work closely with the Nurse. I had to admit to her all the drugs that I had been taking for my injury. She was able to help me understand again, that this is what I wanted and not what I needed. She set up a program to help me gain weight and how to manage my pain with non-narcotic pain meds. For this, I am forever grateful.

During my stay, it was not all fun and games. I was the oldest guy there, so I thought I was the boss. I ended up getting into a confrontation with another client. I had one week to go and was still ready to kick someone’s ass. One of the Techs helped me realize that it was not the client that was the issue but it was my disease. Through her actions, I stayed in the program.

Many of the employees helped me feel a sense of calmness with their words of encouragement. They talked to me with such kindness and compassion. Even though they had no idea what my journey was to bring me, they made me feel as if I could do anything.

There were many life altering things that occurred while I was at Recovery First. One of those life altering experiences that has burned into my soul was  a kid I met  there, Steve {Real Name Withheld}. He went through the program with me. When he got out of the program, he went back to Jersey to get his stuff to move here to live his sober life with all his sober support.  While in NJ, he found dope in his safe – used it – and DIED.  That’s how I learned about impulse control. Still think about him today.

Today, four and a half years later and still clean, I am very involved in the Recovery Community. I attend at least 5 meetings a week and I LIVE the 12 steps even subconsciously!  I am still married and my daughters are still beautiful.  They are just a little older now.   My youngest  saved my life by calling the cops on me that day.  I am retired but have a full time job volunteering in the Recovery Community.  I am living a life beyond my wildest dreams.

Thank you to Recovery First, for showing me another way of life!

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