When Believing In God Is Not Enough
Consecration of a non-addict assigned to a 60-day in-patient Alcohol & Drug Rehabilitation Center.
“What is your drug of choice?” Says the intake administrator. “I have no drug of choice, I was sent here to complete 300 hours of community service.” From her sneering smile and perplexed expression- I realize that she assumed that I was just another grieving addict in denial. I wanted to say with utmost cynicism and disgust “ look lady I detest the smell of cigarettes, especially on the breath of smokers–talk less of the addiction to nicotine, so why would I want to be a slave to any chemical substance that destroys my body, makes me feel numb and out of control!” “Dear God what have I gotten myself into.”
The “Surreal Life”
I stuck out like a sore thumb. I always felt like an infiltrator. Just imagine living with 30 recovering addicts of crack, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, pills and alcohol-that now have to settle with very strong nicotine addictions or legally prescribed narcotics. After a day or two, new clients were asking me the infamous question “Why are you here?” I would always reply with “how will my answer make your life better.” I never got a response. In those instances I was so thankful to God that I never desired drugs. Regardless, I felt like I was surrounded by insanity- (by choice).
The emotional outbursts at times made living with these recovering addicts akin to the thawing out of frozen food. Many of the women would share that they have been emotionally numb for so long- their feelings were practically anesthetized. As they began to defrost of un-experienced emotions, un-healed pain, and un-resolved issues –just like frozen food-there was an unevenness of area’s that were “melting” faster than others. There was definitely a lack of tact when certain emotions were provoked. Paradoxically, just when we think the food is completely thawed out-we always find an area deep in the center that’s still frozen solid.
Some of the clients would contemptuously insinuate that I hardly ever shared in-group. Well I had good reason, I was in shock
-albeit my reservations to share at all. I just could not identify with this disease they call addiction and why it had arrested their souls. I have never wanted, needed, nor desired out of carnality to use drugs to numb my feeling. I don’t like taking pain pills/aspirin, I am scared of needles; and my nose was created to excrete mucus and act as a first line of defense for my body. I don’t need to “Zone” out like a zombie.
It mystified me how some of the clients believe in God, quote the word of God; but in the face of adversity, pain, trouble, and sadness –the first place they run to is the dope man. He can’t solve their problems-neither can the high they got from the drugs. And although addicts can purchase legally prescribed narcotic drugs without a prescription from the dope man; it’s a medical fact that over time narcotic medical drugs have adverse affects on the body as well. Clients would become boisterous if they didn’t get a smoke break every hour. And if clients didn’t get one before breakfast (6:30am), unsettling would be an understatement. One day the monitor told everyone they had to shower and brush their teeth before getting a smoke…all hell broke loose that morning. I don’t even smoke!
At the helm of my realization that it was going to be a long 60days, most of my confusion and frustration lied with God. I knew that I was no better than any of these women, but why did I feel like an alien.
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