Julie speaks of her son with a touch of wonder in her voice, “I still can’t believe how great Jack is doing!” Her son completed the program at Gulf Breeze Recovery almost three years ago. All his adult life, and most of his adolescence had been a struggle both for him and his parents.
image of woman facing camera for blog article entitled “Sky’s Story of addiction” for Gulf Breeze Recovery non 12 step holistic drug and alcohol treatment program
According to the Surgeon General’s Report published in 2016 “20.8 million people aged 12 or older in the United States had a substance use disorder. That number is similar to the number of people who suffer from diabetes and more than 1.5 times the annual prevalence of all cancers combined (14 million).”
Recovering from addiction isn’t easy, but it is possible, and it does happen – even after multiple relapses; individuals can and do find and maintain sobriety. To do so they need a facility that understands relapse and can help both the individual and the family understand relapse too.
I attended Gulf Breeze Recovery in 2016 after over a decade of failed attempts to get clean at 12-step drug treatment centers. I was an IV drug user, and I thought that if anyone truly understood how powerful my cravings were, then surely they would see why it was impossible for me to stay sober. That’s why one of the most valuable insights I gained during my time in Gulf Breeze was my relationship to cravings.
It was after one of those parties, in fact, where Ben hit what he calls his rock bottom. He apparently “made an ass of himself”, although he doesn’t remember it. After the party, he went home and fell down the stairs. He was pretty beat up, bloody, sore, bruised and lucky to have survived the fall.
Mary was a fun-loving girl. In college, she started drinking and experimenting with drugs, and it was part of the college adventure. She believed that she was in control and that everything was okay – until it wasn’t. “You are a functioning member of society,” she explains, “until one day you’re not!”
The struggle with addiction is difficult. Determination and effort are required to take the necessary steps to break free. Some people do it on their own, but most people can’t. They need effective interventions and professional care to make that important first step and follow through with the process to become substance free.
What can I do? It’s a tough question that faces almost everyone who has a loved one in the grips of addiction. You watch them change into a person that you feel you don’t even know anymore.
I learned we’re born with this innate happiness and joy and our natural state is to feel peaceful, just be being happy and content with right now. So I thought if this is how we’re born then it only gets covered up by these blocks in our thinking and with what we’re taught when we’re growing up. Once you take that away, you can find yourself, and it’s pretty amazing.