For this post, I am letting freelance writer Constance Ray tell illustrated stories of recovery, the stories of a few people who kicked the drug habit. Sadly, this issue has become ‘front and center’ on the national scene, with many troubled victims!
If you are in need of help right now, SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Illustrated Stories of Recovery
By Constance Ray
Illustrations by Kevin Sprouls
Drug Rehabilitation: Recovering Addicts Share How They Overcame Treatment Anxiety and Found Sobriety
When substance abuse has been your way of life for months or even years, it’s difficult to imagine that you’ll ever be able to live differently.
Even when you’ve made the decision to enter addiction treatment, it’s easy to be skeptical about whether or not it will work. We spoke to a few recovering addicts who told us that although they entered rehabilitation with their share of reservations, ultimately, they were able to overcome them and make the most of their stay.
Illustrated Stories of Recovery: Cody conquered his fear to make the most of his rehabilitation
“When I first got here I was scared. I was shaking — I was scared to death,” Cody told us of his time in treatment. Fortunately, he had a secret weapon that gave him the confidence boost he needed: music.
“I grabbed my guitar, and there was a concert going on: everybody’s eyes were all on me, and it changed my whole perspective,” he said.
He didn’t just find solace in sharing his greatest passion — he felt inspired to take back his life and find sobriety.
“It’s probably the first time I ever actually played sober, and it felt magnificent. It gave me hope. I wrote more songs in the time that I’ve been here than I have in my entire life,” he explained.
Illustrated Stories of Recovery: Tiffany was reluctant from the start, but her counselors helped her see the light
Many people enter treatment feeling skeptical, but Tiffany was so unconvinced it would work that she was ready to walk out the door.
“At first I didn’t like coming here. I didn’t like the idea of it, and when I got here, I tried to run. I did leave,” Tiffany recalled.
But before she made it very far, the compassion of one of her counselors convinced her to give rehab a real shot.
“A great man that cared more about me than I cared for myself told me, ‘Let me help you.’ And I believed him,” she said.
Tiffany added that spending time in treatment helped her see that everyone needs help sometimes. It’s just a matter of asking for it, and sometimes that’s the toughest part.
“No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, what kind of walks of life you’ve lived, if there comes the point where it’s unmanageable, then you need help. And you know what? The biggest step you could take in life is actually to take that step,” she said.
Illustrated Stories of Recovery: Breanna embraced the challenge
Perhaps the secret is to accept that recovery is an arduous journey, and the only way to get through it is to tackle it head-on. And according to Breanna, there’s a kind of beauty in that:
“I’m not going to lie: this process of recovery isn’t easy, and it never will be for any one of us. It’s a lifelong battle. But nobody said life was going to be easy. They just promised that it would be worth it — and now I know that.
Life is a beautiful struggle, and it is what you make it. You’ve got to be that change you wish to see in the world.”