When the Judge Sentenced Me to an Inpatient Substance Abuse Facility

Hands fisted tightly, as if to strike something or someone, I felt only anger when the judge sentenced me to an inpatient substance abuse facility. In my mind, the punishment of living was enough. Knowing what was coming, I floundered aimlessly in self-pity, for I was soon going to be without my friends, my family, and more importantly, my dope. I had to find a way out of this court appointed dissection of my mind and spirit unscathed. Rehabilitation was not something I was looking forward to.

At first, I was overwhelmed with the need to be left alone. I felt as if I didn’t belong in a place with others whose addictions were so severe that they had to be placed in a controlled environment – people with no strength and no willpower – losers.

“I’m not like them”, I thought. ” I’ll just play along enough to get the courts off my back. I use drugs, but only casually. I don’t need to be in a place like this. I can handle my addiction. I’ll do it my way!”

I’m sure that my addiction was trying to protect itself, telling me that I would rather do thirty days in the hole than thirty days inpatient; for the Jackal knows that virtue needs only a challenge to be awakened from dormancy on its slow trek to rediscovery.

But, for what usually follows the enactment of human improbability, believe it or not, it was my attorney who convinced me to lash my horse and ride furiously through the enemies’ front line. He was tired of representing me in these matters only to see me again in a few months. “Go ahead and do the thirty days inpatient or lose my phone number,” he said. “I’m not in the habit of representing repeat offenders…especially when they refuse to help them selves.”

There was so much baggage in my head. I was as top-heavy as a hat stand, and in a world of my own distorted design. Slowly I realized I was desolate. But far worse was the intolerable dawning that while I’d been trying and failing to bring about a change in myself on my own, the Jackal was still gnawing on my mind. The seriousness of my addiction was about to descend upon me with a most uncertain future.

Much to my surprise, my visit to the inpatient facility was just what the recovery doctor ordered. In the weeks prior to the clinic, my life had been deep with ice, cold, and freezing with pain – it was time for a thaw.

As the days passed, I began to listen to the other patients describe and share their problems. With that act, my problems at last gave way to a spring thaw. I gravitated to a new frame of mind.

StevenCopyright 2008 by Steven White, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.authorsden.com/stevenwhite

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