I like to say recovery is like DNA; what works for me may not work for you. However, it’s essential to find the tools necessary to build a strong foundation of sobriety so that no matter what life brings, we can face life on life’s terms without having to go back to addiction being a solution to our problems today.
Building a toolbelt of sobriety and the journey to long-standing recovery often starts with admitting there is a problem, then being able to do the next right thing.
Entering a detoxification treatment program can be daunting. Many of our patients enter the process of withdrawal with trepidation, but withdrawal is necessary. It’s often in withdrawal that we begin to feel again. After days, weeks, months, or years of numbing out, taking away the crutch of illicit substances can bring about not only the metabolic, medical, and physiologic signs and symptoms but also the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of self. Patients begin to find their true selves, one minute at a time, then one hour a time, then one day at a time, recovering and uncovering parts of themselves that have been masked under the addiction. No one can do the withdrawal process for you. It’s a necessary rebirthing process of self.
What I love most about being a detox nurse is the moment when a patient and their loved ones arrive at our doors and are met in person by our staff with an immense amount of empathy, compassion, and kindness. We carry them over the threshold metaphorically of discovering themselves.
We are here to be with them in mind, body, and spirit through the process of withdrawal to make the experience one of comfort and dignity. Yes, medications help with the medical aspect, and I am grateful for those tools to aid the physical discomfort, but what we do goes beyond medical stabilization. Seeds of hope for long-standing recovery and a healthy future are beginning to be planted from day one until discharge.
After years in the field of substance use, I find that the patients that take this 1st step into detox, then continue the work, whether a 28-day program, long-term residential treatment, or an intensive outpatient program, have the best outcomes. These are patients that know detox is just one stop on the train of recovery and that there is much work to do; and are willing to put their recovery first, dedicate time and attention to the “why” of their usage history, and dig deep into their psyche to heal.
Although we do not often see the fruits of the seeds we plant in our detox centers, if we do our job well, our patients feel seen, heard, met, and handled with hope for the future. Then they do the next right thing. So, I go about my day like a seed spreader, planting seeds here and there, trusting those seeds will come to fruition.
One day at a time. Call today! 631-857-3800