When I started here at “Child Wise” I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought, would I hate these people because they remind me of my father? Would I be able to help anyone if I made this a career choice? How can I help people overcome addictions if I have not ever been addicted to any substance? After being here for all this time, I now know all of the gifts I have to offer to people. I may not have an addiction to drinking or drugs myself, but I have personal experience with addiction in the family, and despite all the pain I have been through with my dad and my older brother, I still love them, and I will never give up on them.
Never giving up on an addict is both beautiful and incredibly painful because the truth is, not every addict wants to be sober—or even to be a good person. I can’t say where my dad or my brother will be in years to come—or if they even be around by then. What I do know is, I have met many different people coming in and out of “Child Wise”, and a lot of these people did not have anyone believing in them. These same people have left the facility and have remained sober. We love getting thank you letters from patients and their family and hearing about the success stories of people getting their jobs back and rebuilding their families.
Even those people who have hit rock bottom can climb all the way back to the top with a little help. I wish more people would open their hearts to treatment and see all the different kinds of people that end up in here. All people who were dealt different cards in life and had different or very similar obstacles thrown their way. Treatment centers are not just for the “incredibly addicted” patients, they are for anyone who knows they are making bad choices in life and chooses drinking and or drugs to cope.
I will never regret the day I signed up to volunteer at “Child Wise” because I would never have known the tips and tricks addicts can use to mend their past traumas and I would have never been able to cope with my dad and my brother’s antics without knowing the root causes. The only thing I would change about addiction centers is the stigma that surrounds being admitted into one. The amount of lives these places save is exponential and as long as alcohol and drugs are on the streets and in our homes, these places will always be there to pick up the pieces.
My tips to overcome addiction: block out toxic people, seek treatment, be open to help and change, know that life without substance abuse is possible, happiness is achievable after addiction and the mind and body are made of incredible cells and matter—damage can be undone, and it must start somewhere.