Giving Me My Life Back
When I first arrived at Narconon my life was a disaster. My life had become a good run of bad decisions and marks on my soul and with no drive to pursue anything in life, I threw away opportunities with my scholastic and athletic career. I had very low confidence and self-esteem and no respect for anyone, especially myself, and ended up destroying relationships with my family and peers.
I had no direction or purpose for my life. I was going nowhere fast and throwing this life away.
When I went to treatment I thought, what have I gotten myself into? I was terrified to go to a new place so far from home and like most people, I was uncomfortable and homesick.
The first couple of days were particularly rough since I celebrated Christmas at Narconon. While the staff did everything they could to make me feel more at home, I was still scared and didn’t start to settle down until after 4-5 days in the withdrawal unit. With the help of the staff, I realized that when I stop and focus my mind, attention, and energy on the present task at hand, I can accomplish more at a more efficient rate. The whole purpose of the objective exercises is to pull you out of your own head so your mind can focus 100% on whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. This realization was huge for me because it worked—it made sense. I understood the purpose of the exercises because I was the result. By the end of withdrawal, I had made small but significant progress. I would later discover this was just the beginning.
I moved onto the sauna portion of the program which gave me my energy and health back. I am a firm believer in the mind, body, and spirt having a direct impact on a person’s existence. The sauna focused on the body aspect, getting it to run and function properly, like a machine. I noticed throughout sauna my body was changing for the better. I had more energy, could sleep better and more comfortably, and my body no longer hurt like it used to when all I fed it drugs and junk food.
I was properly hydrating and taking care of my body in order to achieve the maximum amount of success. The sauna detoxification is designed to sweat and secrete all the unwanted toxins and drugs out of your body. These drugs in the body is why most drug users can still feel the effect of a drug even after a good amount of time being clean or taking a break from using. They store in the fatty cells of your body, still causing harm to a person’s health, mental state, and thought processes. By the end of sauna, I got another success under my belt and that was a healthy body. This boosted my confidence and gave me incentive to keep pushing through the program.
I started objectives found that was a whole new beast to tame! The drills and exercises are meant to pull a person out of the past and in the present, getting them more connected with their environment. Throughout objectives, I had more realizations than I can count but there were a handful that stuck and that I will incorporate for the rest of my life.
A realization is a moment of clarity or that AH-HA moment where that piece you were missing has been found and the puzzle can be seen clearly. I cannot stress how important this step of the program is. When a person spends all their time focused on regrets or what if’s, they cannot make a proper assessment or judgment on the situation in front of them.
This is where I would fail; I never had the confidence to say screw this, I’m going to take a leap of faith or try something new. I let my actions and decisions become dictated by my past or preconceived opinions. Like I said, I had some monumental realizations but these two are going to have a huge impact on my life.
The other realization I had was: since I have the control and power to waste the objects in the room, I can also waste the poor decision making, the suppressive friends, the negative influences, the lying and manipulating, and all the things that caused me more harm than good. I can waste.
A person continues the same path of destruction and regret because of ignorance. But hindsight is 20-20 and it all starts with a person’s thinking process. When I decided enough was enough and that I have lived this destructive life for too long, I was able to assess the problem, make a change, and stick with it. After many hours and sessions, I was able to move on from objectives feeling confident that my body and mind were back in sync.
The next and final step for me was life skills. Ethics is defined as the study of right and wrong behavior and of the specific choices a person makes in living his life or dealing with others. In a sense, it is seen as a person’s moral code or set of personal rules they abide by. To be an ethical person means your actions of honesty, responsibility, integrity and anything good about you, will assist the people around you and your own life.
This is a crucial part of the program because it is designed to take you back to the past and tackle the underlying problem as to why you started to abuse drugs or alcohol. Throughout my whole life, I have lacked a sense of responsibility for my actions. I was a pathological liar and had gotten so good at manipulating people and cheating the system. Ironically though, I was only cheating myself.
However, my problem was not drug abuse. My problem was the emotional and mental barriers that I allowed to dictate my life. In other words, I needed to grow up, big time. When I was able to address and handle my true set of problems, I started to make tremendous progress not only through the program but on a personal level.
I now value and understand how important respect is. I can now see the honest life is the way to live. When a person can look in the mirror and accept what they see, they can either take responsibility for it and change or keep letting the image in the mirror grow uglier and harder to look at. I now have my confidence and drive that I thought was lost for good. I am ecstatic to see where my fresh paved road will take me.
Thank you to every staff member who pushed and put in more than asked, just to see me have a better life. Thank you to my family who never stopped believing in me and standing in my corner. If it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be able to stand here in front of you all and say this. I am confident and I know without a doubt in my mind, I am ready to grab this bull by the horns and run with life. Thank you all for giving me my life back and giving me a purpose to be the real Julian.