The Secret Of My Success
My name is Joe, and I was a drug addict.
In the beginning I wouldn’t have said this. I would have just said that drugs were a way to relax, to help relieve stress or just to make things more fun. In Reality, I was lost – unwilling to face and deal with my life, I just couldn’t see it.
I once had goals and ambitions, a supportive family, and open doors. Drugs started as a “solution” for me. I just knew they made me feel better. What I didn’t know is that I’d walked into a trap.
I used drugs for twelve years. It escalated quickly and before I knew it, I had dropped out of college, lost several jobs, and, instead of starting my life I was going nowhere fast.
When my addiction was at its worst, I found myself doing things that any sane person would consider idiotic. I refused to look at the consequences of my actions. Without drugs I couldn’t face the destruction I had caused in my life, so I would do anything to obtain them and make my existence tolerable. I would forge prescriptions and pass them off at any pharmacy that would accept them. I was eventually arrested for this, and I honestly wasn’t surprised.
After being released from jail, nothing had changed—except that my problems in life were now bigger. Drugs—my solution and escape—were still there. It wasn’t long before I succumbed again. The worst part was that I was okay with this.
Over the course of those twelve years I went to five different drug and alcohol rehabs and could never stay clean. I would go in with the best intentions and after one or two or three months (depending on the program) I would leave feeling like a shaken and empty shell. It was as if my only coping mechanism in life was gone and I just couldn’t deal with things. I got arrested several more times going to extreme lengths to get drugs, and was homeless for periods, living at shelters or in abandoned vehicles. At one point I had accepted death, and decided I was okay with that because it would be easier.
Needless to say my family never really gave up on me. At 27 years old, I went to them and said that although I didn’t believe rehab could work for me, and I felt incapable of being helped, I wanted to try one last time before making the decision to give up. After careful thought, my mom told me she would help me get into one last program, but that if it didn’t work, that she didn’t want to hear from me again. She couldn’t take the heartache. The last twelve years had really killed her.
I did some research, and I chose Narconon Louisiana. I could have gone to any rehab in the world, but something about Narconon’s approached clicked with me and made sense. I can’t even compare the effectiveness to the other programs I had done. They didn’t even scratch the surface.
As I went through the program I was blown away. At first, when completing the sauna program, I felt physically better than I have since before using drugs. At every step I felt like I’d achieved something major, and that even if it didn’t get any better from here, that I’d be okay. And then, it would get better. By the end I wasn’t just me again. I was a better me than I had ever been and I knew for a fact that I would make it in life without drugs.
This isn’t to say that it was easy. There were trying times when I was really getting down to the core issues I faced in myself and in life. But the Narconon staff got me through these times amazingly and I was truly changed on the other side.
I handled everything from the physical aspects of my addiction to the ideas and mental behaviors I couldn’t get through on my own. I learned why I behaved like I did, and I faced and handled the things that I ran into in life that I thought I needed drugs to solve or escape. I saw how I was the one who caused things to be the way that they were in my life—not a victim of it. And I learned how to stay at cause because of the essential life skills I learned on the program.
One of the biggest gains I achieved as a result of the program was to have a real relationship with my family. I realized I had always taken and never given. When I was using drugs, I thought that they were against me. They were always trying to bring back the person that I was trying to escape—Myself. It was true when I used to tell them that I wasn’t trying to hurt them—I wasn’t. But what I couldn’t see was that my life was comprised of more than just myself. My actions truly hurt others, regardless of my intentions.
My relationships began to improve throughout the program. I attribute this directly to the valuable skills I learned there. I gained so much from the communication course Narconon offered, and I used this to rebuild communication with my family. They helped me and guided me through this. I can truly say that I am the one that makes things happen. I control my life. I am no longer dependent on anyone or anything. I can now do what drugs once did for me—face life.
Today I have been sober over 3 years. I have a career, a great relationship with my family, and am happier than I have ever been. I owe a lot to the Narconon program and Staff, and I am eternally grateful. They saved my life.
—Joe Narconon Graduate