I was 32 when I started using and my daughter was 10. My addiction started with abusing pain medication and continued by me using other drugs, like heroin, for 20 years. Out of necessity I became a criminal. The last time I relapsed I called my daughter to tell her I just couldn’t take this anymore, and I was ready to go. I wasn’t afraid of dying; I was afraid of continuing to live my life that way. My daughter sent me the song “She Used to be Mine” by Sarah Bareilles, reminding me that during my fight with addiction the one thing I lost during this battle was myself, a long time ago. This song grew a mustard seed of healing within me. I have been in and out of a countless number of rehab programs before, but I had two close friends who worked at CAT and these friends contacted CAT on my behalf at just the right time. The very next day CAT called me, and that’s the day I stopped using.
Of all the treatment centers I’ve been to, I’ve never been able to look at the deeper core issues of my addiction and I couldn’t understand why I kept relapsing. This was not the case at CAT—they treated my all around health causing me to realize addiction is not the only part of me that needed to be treated. The intake process gave me an instant feeling of complete peace and relief that this fight was over and I was safe. I internally knew this was the place I needed to be. There wasn’t one person who works at CAT—from the kitchen staff, to the nurses, custodial, secretaries, or any other department—that didn’t make me feel secure and cared for. I stayed in CAT’s Short-term Residential Treatment the full 28 days, and not in one moment did I want to leave.
While at CAT, I met an amazing counselor who is truly God-given. She allowed me to open some scary doors that were needed to understand my condition, while also allowing me to move at my own pace to feel safe and comfortable. I have never been to a treatment center that does the things CAT does for you in 28 days.
After the residential program, I willingly continued at CAT with the After Care programs (like AA, NA, and the Continuing Care Groups). The counselors who lead these groups truly understand our feelings and struggles. One leader in the group always says, “The light in me is the light in you.” I have also taken Peer Mentor classes and I am now a Peer Mentor, along with being an alum.
It’s vital to always remember you are not a bad person; you are a sick person. You cannot just come to the CAT House and then stop taking care of yourself after treatment; you have to keep it moving and work at it to truly reach recovery. Recovery is a very personal and ground-breaking journey, and everyone has their own “bottom.” You must completely surrender and do what you need to do to be able to deal with all the other parts of addiction and trauma. Remember: self-honesty is crucial to recovery. The CAT House has been my spiritual stronghold and I highly recommend anyone struggling with any addiction to contact CAT to reach recovery safely.