Adjustment part – 3

The purpose of hospital healing of addiction is also that you get used to daily routine. Because of that all activities are planned. We had to stick to the schedule. We woke up at 6.30, at 7.00 we had morning exercise and at 7.30 breakfast. Till 8.00 we had to make our beds and take care of personal hygiene, i.e. showering and shaving. Then they checked if our rooms are clean and gave us grades. At the start this daily routine looked pointless to me. For me personal hygiene was something normal. After a while I realized that in many ways different addictions are very similar and affect people in the same way. One difference is, that alcoholics had more damaged body. I couldn’t believe that somebody does not shower and does not change their clothes. Even under the pressure of medical staff, they had troubles with that. The fact is, that addicts before disease development, look and behave totally different. Addiction changes you and you don’t even notice that. Benefit of healing in presence of people equal to you is that there are no judgements. We all know that we did not choose a life like this. No one did choose addiction. I did many things that were destroying and damaging me and I didn’t even notice. Other patients are in a way like a mirror to you. In them you can see your mistakes. It is easier to see it on others than on yourself. One of the main activities on this department is work in therapeutic groups for four times a week. I was very happy that we had this activity but on the other side I was the most afraid of it. We were devided in three groups with few patients and medical staff. They put me in a second group. Inside of a group there is different atmosphere and relationship. I had to introduce myself to them, I told them my path and I had to do work that is predicted in this program of healing. At this point I had to say, that this was my first healing and I really hope also the last one. I was surprised how many patients come back again. I read somewhere that only 15% of patients get healed. That is shocking! I think that I finished treatment successfully and that I really got deep in my thoughts. The fact that I was visiting psychotherapists for one year, helped me a lot. There I learned how to tell more about me. Even the things that I didn’t want to tell. This was three years before my hospital treatment. At that time I told my psychotherapist almost everything. But I wasn´t brave enough to tell him all my secrets. Now the situation was different. I collapsed and I was willing to tell everything. I wanted to face the truth. It was not easy. I had to tell my darkest thoughts, my secrets, my doubts and worries. I wanted to face with them. Experiences like this make strong connections with people that talk about it with you. It is important, that you don’t get judged.

In afternoons we had working therapy, learning lessons, choir and recitation lessons on schedule. We also had to introduce our hobbies and professions, what we do for a living. The main point of this program is that you are always active and that you stick to the schedule. First week I did not talk much to other patients. I just observed and tried to realize who I can trust to and who not. I realized that many people are here, because they were forced (job, partner or family). For those was much harder to confess that they are addicted. They don’t see it. They just wanted to get through the program and get back to their normal routine. Just to satisfy others. I was aware of my addiction. There was no doubt that I wasn´t able to control my gambling and I knew it. I knew I had to change my life. I wanted to discover the reason of my addiction. Why does it always pull me back. Why cannot I resist to it? There is no simple answer to this.

I noticed another difference between me and alcoholics. Unlike others, I stayed by myself and I read a lot. I always had a coffee alone. I was used to being by myself. I was avoiding talking to others and being in company. I liked it that way. There is nothing wrong with this, but I didn’t know anymore how to talk to people. In last few years I learned how to always be by myself and avoiding everyone. I didn’t pick up my phone, I didn’t call back. Everything I had to do, I did it quickly so I had a lot of free time for gambling.

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