My Life Is Forever Changed and I Am So Grateful!

TD Narconon Graduate

I am a Narconon graduate. This is my success story. In all honesty, I am almost reluctant to express my relief, because I am one who got lucky out of so many who don’t. My heart weighs heavy for the suffering addict. It’s truly a prison of the mind and ultimately of the body. I feel like addicts are so misunderstood. I often hear people refer to them as immature, selfish, or diseased. But that’s not what it is. To the addict, the drugs become nourishment, like water. It’s necessary for survival because withdrawal is excruciating and crippling. The young, naive, and kind are very susceptible to its corruption and it doesn’t take long to seize control.

Of course, this is all based upon my experiences, but I know that my opinions are sound. They are proved by the testimonies of those who seek help, but never find it. “A slow boat to nowhere” someone said to me.

I experimented with drugs. I had never experienced and didn’t understand physical dependency. I thought that kind of thing was only a lack of self-control. Then at the age of 21 I was quite literally cut down in my prime. I was at work and caused an accident. The shattered glass from a large glass table top lacerated my wrist. There was a lot of blood and in the ambulance a fear of death crossed my mind. Upon my arrival at the hospital, a nurse in owl scrubs applied pressure to the wound a bit differently than the paramedic and it felt as if my flesh was being torn.

I cried out in agony. I heard the pain in my voice and so did another nurse. She gave me an injection of dilaudid. What I perceived to be relief spread throughout my body. I could ignore the pain in my wrist and even conversed with the nurse squeezing my wound about how the owls on her scrubs had a glow in their dark eyes.

Four days later I underwent surgery. On the drive home the meds from surgery wore off—an excruciating experience, relieved by the knowledge that the vicodin I had left at home would make it stop. I just had to endure and then I could have my relief in the form of a drug. The following three months are a blur of pain, grief, and heavy doses of opiates. I became dependent on them. My doctor (a very skilled surgeon with good intentions) refused to refill the drugs. He didn’t want me to walk the path he did not know I had already chosen. At this point I had already experienced withdrawal symptoms whenever the pills would run out. I didn’t know it though, because the feeling of sickness was diluted by the pain in my wrist.

The doc wouldn’t budge, so I turned to the street. Pills were very expensive. I decided to economize by smoking heroin, which was cheaper and stronger. (By the way, heroin and painkillers are essentially the same thing, in case you didn’t know!) While my wound healed, my life deteriorated. I got caught up in the legal machine. My possessions were in ill repair. I couldn’t sustain regular employment. I influenced some people I really care about to destroy themselves like I was doing. I caused my mother SO MUCH heartache and distress. All for one thing, and it wasn’t heroin anymore. It was a feeling of relief, no matter how fleeting and unrealistic. Anything that had held any meaning whatsoever before addiction’s descent lost all value. My sole purpose was doing whatever it took to escape the sickness.

The thing about withdrawal is that it’s very personalized. My special symptom was shortness of breath. I felt like I wasn’t getting oxygen. No matter how deep and calm my respiration, I always ended up gasping for air, incapacitated by heroin withdrawal’s effect on one of my most basic functions. The ensuing panic caused occasional loss of consciousness which was not very safe! In addition to that, I felt extreme bodily discomfort, insomnia, inability to focus, sensations caused by the nerve damage in my wrist, temperature fluctuation, and a hatred for my existence—utter and seemingly endless despair. The pain I experienced during my injury and recovery was an annoyance compared to being dope-sick.

I am so grateful for my mother. When I told her everything, she saw my suffering and endured my destructive actions, all while seeking a solution. In the end, she saved my life. I wanted out of the addiction, so my mom provided every opportunity to try. She supported me and financed a medical detox, psychiatry, counseling, suboxone treatment, and independent attempts to abstain. She saw me at my most deprived, dark, and degraded and stuck with me and didn’t give up.

My mother was the one who discovered Narconon LA. I remember the feeling I had at the time. It was was like going all in, with the odds against me. My hand didn’t matter though. This was my last shot.

I arrived at a beautiful place. There is an energy there and it’s manifested by the true relief of so many people’s burdens. The staff. WOW! I loved them. They are people just like you and me. They made me feel accepted, wanted, and even valued as a necessary contributor to society! They genuinely CARED about me. That’s what is so rare and yet most, MOST important in helping an individual find purpose and solve unnoticed, yet crippling misconceptions established very early on in life and present throughout. You’re referred to as a “student” and not a “patient”. That was huge to me. They made withdrawal bearable! They revealed how temporary the sickness is and inspired enough faith in my solidarity to finish it for good.

The program is perfect. Repairs were made to my body, mind, and spirit in a specific sequence. Each completed step offered its own benefits while also enabling me to effectively take the next. My peers were my brothers and sisters. They helped me see my qualities and I shared the truth about their unique perfection with them. It’s amazing how important my fellow beings became to me. I guess I realized that throughout life all we really have is each other. Love is the greatest reward—whether receiving or giving. Our successes are fundamentally determined by our ability to communicate. To communicate freely I have to be honest about everything. I learned that the truth really does set me free.

I learned who I am, why I was the way I was, and what I’m capable of, both destructively and constructively. I learned my weaknesses and strengths. I learned not to be afraid and to have my integrity. I developed confidence in myself! I found interests and skills and honed them!

Narconon LA is an amazing and one of a kind place. I mean, really. The hope in that place is moving. My life is forever changed and I am so grateful! What a wonderfully profound experience.

My life is beautiful and every day is a reason to be happy. I’ve been clean for almost ten months and not only do I see the truth about drugs, I no longer desire them. That came as a surprise to me. That is invaluable.

Thank you mom and all of my benefactors! Thank you Narconon staff! Each and every one of you hold a place in my heart and I’m not likely to forget any of you. In my opinion you do one of the most beautiful things that can be done! Thank you so much.

—TD Narconon Graduate