/  Jaywalker   /   Taking Suggestions

nate 2Taking suggestions has always been something that I have never done. In every treatment, detox, psychiatric ward, and 12 step meeting that I have been in, suggestions have been a prominent issue for me. And every time that I chose to not take suggestions, I failed. When I stood back and looked at the wreckage that my latest attempt to “successfully” use had caused, I was shocked. But I shouldn’t have been.  I was given a suggestion and I threw that out and did my own thing.

So this time I came to treatment with the exact opposite view. I started in detox where I was on a mental health hold, and instead of leaving after the mandatory 72 hours, I stayed, per suggestions. They highly suggested treatment. My parents had been through this before, and weren’t exactly receptive. I had my chances to learn and use the tools of 12 step recovery, and I chose not to. So this time I did the leg work, I found a treatment that would accept my health insurance, and I signed up. I was out of detox for one day in between that and primary I used again. And off to primary I went, not knowing a four month detox was ahead of me. During the first two months I despised sobriety and my life but stuck with it. Instead of doing the usual, treatment and then straight home, I chose extended care at Jaywalker Lodge. I had to beg and plead with my parents to send me, convincing them this time would be different. I showed up at Jaywalker in sad shape. I didn’t want to be clean and I spent all five nights in the landing program crying, wishing I was not alive.

I turned it around, I took the suggestion to get a sponsor, and work the steps. I heard about Jaywalker Solutions Program, and it came highly recommended by a few alumni and counselors. So I took my counselor’s advice and went to Solutions, with approval from my parents. They are investing in me yet again, but life is starting to get better. I have just about completed the Solutions program, and instead of going home, I took yet another suggestion and signed up for Jaywalker U. The “U” is a program where I can learn how to live alone and go to college at the same time. Now I can honestly say I am a grateful addict and I am happy that I am this way.  I now have a chance for a better life. I just had a rough emotional family program with my mother, but I am still clean and sober by choice. I won’t pretend that it’s not difficult but I’m using the tools to get through it. I am facing a heavy legal situation and could serve anywhere from 18 months to 12 years in prison. I know that would a rough time, but I can do it, one day at a time.

Nathan F.

Recovering alcoholic/addict