I had no choice. Unless I wanted to die, which I did not, I had to figure out why I drank and how to cope with the feelings that I numbed with alcohol: happy, sad, excited, bored, love, fear.
I was in a rehab twice, once for about 7 days, and another for 30.
My first step both times was to go through detox, which consisted of taking medication to control my rapid heartbeat and the shakes, constant testing to control my blood pressure, medication to calm my cramping, clutching, painful stomach. Along with the worst headache ever, my body had to sweat out all the toxins that I had put into it. It was a grueling process that at the time I promised myself that I would never put myself through again. My body was so exhausted and weak that getting up for any reason was a chore.
I didn’t return home the first time with any plan for self-care. So I never went to “meetings” or saw a therapist or talked to others in recovery. I simply refused to accept the truth of my life and told myself that I was not an alcoholic and I was out to prove that I could do this on my own.
That lasted for about 21 days.
I started having a drink only when I went out. Then I was able to control “one” at dinner; so, nice, I can have two the next time, right? No. Within days I was buying fifths, hiding them, hiding my drinking, starting the shaking and vomiting. All within a month of returning home from rehab.
I tried sobering up at home, getting meds to help with the shakes. I’d get clean for a week or two, start drinking again, sober up, start drinking, until I couldn’t help myself anymore. It took me 5 months to admit that I needed to go back into rehab. This time I literally fell to the ground with exhaustion and shame and basically was carried to a plane that took me to my next rehab destination – this time for 30 days.
My body quickly reminded me of the pain and suffering of detox. But this time something within me changed. I don’t know when or how, but I faced the fact that I needed to learn how to live without drinking. I had no choice. Unless I wanted to die, which I did not, I had to figure out why I drank and how to cope with the feelings that I numbed with alcohol: happy, sad, excited, bored, love, fear.
After those 30 days I had such fear and anxiety as I stepped out the doors of the rehab and into the real world. So much had changed inside of me, yet I wasn’t sure how to deal with all the new emotions. I was excited to be going home, but a part of me wanted to stay holed up inside the safe walls, surrounded by others whose thoughts and actions where like mine.
Now I was walking and living in a foreign world. My words, thoughts, feelings and actions were all new. I felt the eyes of everyone watching my every move. I felt investigated. I felt like I had to prove to myself to everyone. I was asked “Where are you going, what are you going to be doing, who will you be with?” I felt untrusted, alone and scared.
Our horses and I offer you a supportive and safe place to land in your recovery.
We will listen, accept and understand what you are going through. We will offer guidance through your days and nights. Whether you are new in recovery or need a boost, you don’t have to do it alone. The horses listen to your heart and offer insight, trust and healing that is so powerful. Talking through life situations in their presence and processing what’s true in your heart is an important step to healing and letting it go.