This is the 13th instalment of a series of blogs following an anonymous client’s journey through treatment at Broadway Lodge for drug addiction. Now that the client has moved into what we call ‘extended treatment’ following 12 weeks in the main treatment programme, they are asked to complete a journal entry as well as a significant event form each day. Below are a number of journal entries and significant event thoughts throughout their 15th week at Broadway Lodge, giving you an insight into the ups and downs and emotions that can be felt whilst embarking on a transformational journey into recovery.
By reading the below instalments it’s clear that this client is having a really good week and is feeling the love, thinking clearly and experiencing highs, connection and positivity. They state that they’re getting their ‘mental, physical and spiritual health back’ which is amazing. They have realised that you can experience fun in recovery and how powerful it is when you can connect with peers and show support for each other. This is felt particularly on Saturday where the group clearly support each other as a therapeutic family.
“So today, despite reducing my meds, I’ve felt my mood is OK though I do not feel comfortable in my own skin and my sleep was disturbed. Then I was involved in an altercation, and this person is feisty, reactive and sensitive, much like myself, which fuelled the situation. I have a strong sense when I’m correct. But I always pride myself on considering what others have going on and my anger overrode that this time and it does worry me because I know how mental I can go. I need to work on remaining calm and allowing my brain to control my reactions rather than be controlled by my fight or flight response. My experience teaches me I choose fight and hurt to others including myself. Anyway I begrudgingly apologised, nearly choking on the word ‘sorry’ – it did not want to come out. But it did and then we spoke at washup and made up, an then I thought, does it really matter who was right or wrong? It was hurting both of us. I need to learn to address things ASAP no matter the response. Show some humility. Let go of my deep-seated sense of justice.”
Today I am grateful for: “Making up with my peer, I feel better and they told me they went upstairs and cried, and I do not want that on my conscience and I’m grateful it now isn’t. I can sleep better. Chrissy’s workshop on gossip. That I can recognise the hurt it can cause. Listening to the Zoom share then feeling the need to share, let go of self-obsession. That I’m no longer dying. That I’m 90 days clean for the first time in 26 years. I’m not one day clean which I never achieved but 90!! Super grateful. I now feel like I might have a future, a girlfriend etc.”
“Today I am prepared to state that I’m feeling good. That it’s not a fleeting feeling. I feel stable – dare I say it. No-one’s telling me how I’m going to feel. I’m feeling it myself, living it. It’s an amazing feeling though, I’m thinking I wish I’d done this years ago. I’m beginning to feel like I’ve wasted so much of my life. I never thought it possible to feel this positive and happy without a chemical. I’m getting my mental, physical, spiritual health back. Doing exercise and enjoying it, feeling the benefit.”
Today I am grateful for: “To be alive.”
Significant Event Form
The most significant event of today was: “I woke up slightly happy. And I actually wanted to get up and get on with the day. I wanted to talk to people. I wanted to exercise. I wanted to help people. I wanted to help myself. I think I am starting to feel normal?! Which is so nice considering where I’ve been at for too long.”
Why was it important to me? “It’s impossible to overstate the importance to me. It’s allowing me to get closer to people. I always thought people were faking being nice. For 14 weeks I’ve been thinking if this is clean living then I’m out. Not no more! I want to live and I’m beginning to be excited about recovery and the possibilities that lay ahead. Life is worth living today.”
Significant event form
The most significant event of today was: “Groups today”
Why was it important to me? “I caught myself today, sat there confident, engaged, thinking clearly, giving feedback and trying to help others. I thought back to when I came in – even a couple of weeks ago and it hit me just how far I’ve come. The progress I’ve made. Such a positive feeling and I’m amazed at the person I’m becoming. I’m beginning to love recovery.”
Significant event form
The most significant event of today was: “Don’t know what’s happening but a peer received a damage letter and he was intent on going home and to his ex. As a group we managed to get through, make him consider/change his thoughts, possibly change his life. Connected. A few of us played ping pong at the end of the night.”
Why was it important to me? “It’s just a powerful affirming thing when you see how a small group of people love so much about each other. Something exists as a community group that you can not get one to one. I totally get and feel it and the feeling you get helping another addict is so life affirming, It’s all about the love. To have such fun without drugs is amazing, proves this place works. Love it.”
“Music group. Jess Glynn brought it home to me how insecure people can be. Treat a prostitute as a prostitute when really she was someone’s daughter/sister/loved one and when she played that song it broke my heart. Listening to it today clean and sober, I realise how not OK it was. How she didn’t want to sell her body, to smoke crack to make her forget. She just wanted to wake up and not feel insecure. And feel that she didn’t have to wear make-up on Thursday’s because who she was, she was enough. Also the words to Thursday apply to me and probably most addicts (apart from the make-up) but men wear other masks. I still want to wake up and not feel insecure, feel that who I am is enough. Lots of work to do.”
Today I am grateful for: “Clean and sober. That I’m able to be sensitive (compassionate/empathetic). That I have, through Broadway Lodge, the choice to never treat anyone like that again.
Significant Event Form
The most significant event of today was: “Music workshop. I was beginning to feel more stable and less emotional. I was wrong, I’m stable but those deep emotions are still there.”
Why was it important to me? “Played Jess Gynn ‘Thursday’. And listening to the lyrics and thinking of the girl who played that to me and it broke me and it shows me that all people hurt and it’s not okay to be selfish. Then Paloma Faith came on (Only Love Can Hurt Like This), that was my friend’s song and it hit me how she felt losing me to addiction. And it hurts. Never again.”