Onto Bigger and Better Things

F.L., Narconon Graduate
F.L., Narconon Graduate

Agreeing to come to Narconon took me for a loop, to say the least. When I first arrived, I was still under the impression I didn’t have an actual problem.

My first night in withdrawal was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life. After my drunkenness wore off and I realized where I was, I had a full-blown panic attack. My mind began racing with thoughts like, “I cannot believe I messed up so badly that I actually landed myself in rehab, AND I’m going to be stuck here for three months!” My brain could not comprehend it, and before I knew it, the staff sprung into action to relieve my mental anguish. I thought I’d never get out of there, but after a day or two, with the help of the staff, I got into a routine and finally began to feel comfortable.

The next thing I knew, I was out of withdrawal and walking around campus. I had accomplished something for myself and was proud of myself for the first time in a long while. At this point in my program, I was still craving drugs and alcohol, especially since it was my daily routine for the better part of a year. Again the staff helped me through this by keeping my attention on the world around me and not myself.

My next step in the program was sauna. I heard around campus that sauna was a lot of the students’ favorite part of the program, and it was my time to start the new life sauna detox. I really gained physical benefits from sauna and could notice a difference in how I felt.

Then I started Objectives. Oddly enough, the word around campus was that Objectives too was the favorite part of the program, and it was at this moment I stopped listening to the word on the street! Before actually running Objectives, my twin and I did the training drills to prepare us for the Objectives themselves. The training routines were actually a lot of fun, although, in the beginning, it was quite a challenge for me. From uncomfortable laughter to crippling frustration and everything in between, I experienced it. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed this challenge. It was the first time in my program I had to overcome mental anguish, and when I overcame it, I was proud of myself.

When we actually started running Objectives, I was on a high and thought everything would be smooth sailing. Sadly I was mistaken. I experienced a wide spectrum of emotional highs and lows during Objectives. The times that stand out most to me are when I was being run on the first Objective. Then before I knew I was sobbing hysterically, but I knew I had to keep running the Objective. Again, while running the second one, the exact same thing happened. The difference this time was I didn’t feel as if I could go on. I talked with one of the staff members, and he said, “the only way out is through.” When I continued, I had a realization about the control I had over my body, and since my mind is a part of my body, I had control over that too. With that in mind, I was able to come out of that low place and complete the Objective.

At the start of Objectives, all of my mistakes were the main thoughts that flooded my mind. All I wanted was to do whatever I needed to do to complete my program as quickly as possible and get my life back. I didn’t think I had a big problem, so I didn’t intend to actually work on myself. However, Objectives changed me completely. The realizations I had about my way of living and regaining a multitude of abilities showed me that I had lost control yet held onto everything and lived in the past while wishing for a better future. I knew that I needed to slow down and start putting my all into my program. That was the only way for me to grow and get better.

The next and final step of the program was Life Skills. Don’t get me wrong, just because this is the final step of the program, I still had quite a ways to go before my graduation. The start of Life Skills included a lot of reading and learning more, not only about myself but also the people in my life. For the past twenty-four years, I have had an incredibly rocky relationship with my family, and I could never get a grasp on it. I thought I had done everything to fix the relationship, and it wasn’t until getting my studies in Life Skills I realized since I thought my family would never accept me, I changed for them and resented them because of it. When in actuality, I never truly loved or accepted myself. I avoided my problems in life and dramatized them in my relationships. I manipulated my friends and was extremely selfish. I blamed everyone else for my problems.

“I saw myself and my life change before my eyes. My parents accepted me, my sisters forgave me, and I gained an entirely
new outlook on my life.”

Right then, I made the decision to be myself and love myself. I chose to confront and handle my problems. I started uplifting those around me and being selfless. It was time for me to start being accountable and taking responsibility for my actions. I realized that all I have control over is my actions and reactions, so there is no point in putting my emotional energy into the things I couldn’t control. I saw myself and my life change before my eyes. My parents accepted me, my sisters forgave me, and I gained an entirely new outlook on my life.

All of the staff at Narconon aided in my rebirth and growth, but I can confidently say I did it myself. I put in the work and had the determination to build a better me. Someone who does not depend on drugs or alcohol. Someone who sees better and will be better. Someone who is open and honest. Someone who loves their family. Someone who can let go. Someone who has a clear body and clear mind. Someone who is inspired and excited for a new life.

I am proud of the progress I have made and where I am going in my life. I am beyond grateful for Narconon and the guidance and support it has given me. I am forever changed, for the better, because of it. My plan now is to go home and enroll in culinary school to begin a new era of my life!

—F.L., Narconon Graduate



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.