23rd July 2020

Addiction treatment journey – week 16

This is the 14th instalment of a series of blogs following a client’s journey in treatment and at this point they have spent four months in treatment. In addition to a significant event form at this stage clients are required to complete a daily journal entry too. It’s a method used so that clients can reflect on the day and express their feelings daily in a non-verbal manner and allows us to monitor wellbeing. Our anonymous client’s journal entries and significant event thoughts throughout their 16th week in treatment for drug addiction are shown below.

Their journal entries and significant event forms show that they are experiencing lots of negative and positive emotions, it appears to be a turbulent week which is absolutely normal to experience. Broadway Lodge is sometimes referred to by staff as the ‘feelings factory’ and the week for this client shows why! Every day, so many feelings and emotions will surface and the state of mind can change hour to hour but it’s all part of the process as they get honest with themselves and others and prepare for their next stage of life after leaving.

 

Monday

Journal Entry

“Had a good gender group/damage letter/feedback/talking about the impact of alcoholism/addiction on our children. It really hurt and hit home what my addiction has robbed me and my children of!! It’s pretty hard to take to be honest when all excuses are stripped away and looking at the facts, clean and sober. To understand what my children must have felt like makes me feel sick. As I know how good I am with children, they love me and I love them when I’m well. But when I’m not I cannot consider their feelings. It dawned on me that no child deserves to have an addict parent. So today it’s bitter-sweet as I’m hoping I’m no longer impacting their security but the truth is I’m hurting and want to cuddle them, squeeze them, tell them I love them and will be there for them in any way I can – unconditionally.”

Today I’m grateful for: “Being clean and sober. Actually starting to feel things, to be more rational, responsible. I always thought my intelligence and knowledge made me a better person, truth is, it doesn’t. It makes you arrogant. So I’m grateful to Broadway Lodge helping me develop into a kind, warm, humble person. I am to be a similar version of Big John. I feel his love and I respect him. I want that respect too!”

 

Significant Event Form

The most significant event today was: “We had a group discussion on leaving treatment/moving on. About the fears and insecurities we feel. What lies at the heart of those feelings.”

Why was it important to me? “I was really engaged and I love exploring what generates these feelings. It became apparent to me that it’s choice. In active addiction we had no choice. That we have to be accountable and responsible. And although we know where our drug using took us it sometimes tricks us and looks appealing when forced with uncertainty. Broadway is safe and familiar. It’s comfortable. Addicts like to be comfortable with no responsibility. So I know what lies at the heart of it and what I need to work on and do. Knowledge is empowering if we use it.”

 

Tuesday

Journal Entry

“So I’ve been doing good lately. Just basking in the here and now after coming through from where I was – hell. I have been engaging and have gained confidence and self-respect, also gaining the respect of my peers and counsellors (hopefully). So I went into the max workshop feeling like I was wearing some kind of armour. That I was no longer in that painful emotional place. Well I was wrong! It actually was the reminder/lecture I needed. I was broken after and during it so so sad and painful, stirring up real deep uncomfortable emotions.  To know what this disease means and that we can NOT be cured is a sobering thought in itself. It also proved that this is an ongoing life-long process as every time I visit these deep emotions I feel different. I’m so appreciative to be able to explore these feelings in a safe environment with peers and counsellors to learn and not to have to use. Because that’s the basis of the programme as I understand it – life will happen, people will die, some friends will never make it to rehab but learning the tools through Broadway Lodge and Narcotics Anonymous will help us deal with it without picking up. Learning to deal with emotions and talking.”

Today I am grateful for: “I am so so grateful to CGL/Broadway Lodge to see past my arrogance, ignorance and outright fear to have it in their heart to persevere when I could not do it for myself. To myself – today I can recognise and accept that I have willpower – every sinuse of my being told to run, to be violent and aggressive but I fought it and it was the biggest fight of my life. Now, to have the opportunity to change my thinking. To be feeling my way through treatment. To feel sanguine about this process.”

 

Significant Event Form

The most significant event of today was: “Max workshop. Showing him in active addiction then some recovery. Remain focused and vigilant. The music from him was so emotional, that personality, voice, feeling coming through was powerful. But what really brought it home was seeing him happy with his girlfriend recording that duet. All that talent and life.”

Why was it important to me? “What a tragedy! Then we were asked to write names of friends/family we’ve lost on the board and I was broken. The reality of what our disease does. Just facts and feelings in the cold light of day. Don’t get cocky, don’t forget, don’t get false pride. Remember how desperate you were to get here and do the suggested things for life. Beneficial lecture/workshop.”

 

Wednesday

Journal entry

“Sleeping isn’t good at the moment. Sexual dreams constantly which is worrying yet welcome. Proves my sex drive is coming back but interestingly I’ve become interested in some female sexual banter which could be a problem. I would love a sexual encounter but I know it’s just that, sex. Not fair on anyone especially me. So I’ll be mindful and challenge them not to talk about their sexual fantasies/preferences which brings me neatly to the topical group about banter, which I tried to make a wider point about sexual banter without exposing my own interest in it. Anyway it was a  really good group and I realised a peer was unhappy about banter but it shows that if you give it out sometimes people don’t know when you’re joking anymore.”

Today I am grateful for: “Feeling good. 90 days clean. Sex drive coming back. Becoming Deputy House Leader at the right time. My peers. Broadway Lodge and staff. Safe and warm. Learning and growing every day.”

 

Thursday

Significant event form

The most significant event of today was: “Not feeling it today. Feel that barrier between myself and others. It pisses me off. I piss myself off.”

Why was it important to me? “Thought I’d sort of stabilised but had a rubbish day really. Finding it difficult to be positive, motivated. Maybe it’s just too hot? Maybe it’s my meds? Dangerous feeling like this, unsure and uncertain again. Then again it’s just a day, and I’ve had really good days too. I’ll wake tomorrow and do the suggested things. Keep it in the day.”

 

Friday

Significant event form

The most significant event of today was: “Woke up feeling terrible but after lunch and nasa group I felt better.”

Why was it important to me? “Quite enjoyed the group and it’s a relief to feel better. Definitely the meds – I won’t touch them again.”

 

Saturday

Significant event form

The most significant event of today was: “Group therapy. Though only 5 peers opted for it. Big John’s main share from London convention.”

Why was it important to me? “When I’m feeling mentally clear I really like group therapy. Good to hear that doing this stuff a day at a time changes people’s lives no matter where you’ve come from or what’s happened.”

 

Sunday

Journal entry

“Group therapy this morning was really good. Had a much better day today but I’m sweating like mad – I know something isn’t quite right still. Have a feeling I’m going to have mental and physical health issues for life – maybe I’m expecting too much too quickly? Either way I need to get on with my Step work because getting stable for me is taking a long time. No doubt I’m doing well but I do get frustrated. People say I look well but honestly I’m so self-conscious. I feel uncomfortable most of the time. Especially talking to strangers. Anyway, need to start doing Step work.”

Today I am grateful for: “New clothes. It’s important to me how I look. Getting some self-worth and respect back. To be feeling better that I’m at Broadway Lodge with people loving and caring for me and each other.”

 

Significant event form

The most significant event of today was: “My peer’s SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and medallion”

Why was it important to me? “Helping a good peer realise his strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Seeing them off after treatment. Wishing them all the best.”