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When my Friend got out of Rehab

Discussion in 'Share Your Rehab Experience' started by RakeMind4, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. RakeMind4

    RakeMind4 Active Contributor

    Earlier today I made a thread talking about a friend of mine, who I'm calling Vinnie, who has been my first hand experience of hardcore drug addiction. I've known this guy since daycare, since before I can remember, and we went to highschool together, so it was a challenging experience to watch him, during that time, start to get more involved with the darker social circles of our peer network, and within that, to see him become more and more involved with cocaine and especially heroin. It was a mark of social status back then, you know, to be in those circles and have access to those drugs. Over the years, Vinnie went through rehab twice, and his crap parents even sent him to the military (LOL I'll never forget this one photo of him, awkwardly dressed in the overbearing uniform of marines, holding a sword, with this confused and disdainful, feigned smile plastered on his homely face. Needless to say the military didn't keep him away from the drug culture or rehab later in life). And in this post I'm talking about my interactions with him after he had gotten out of his first release.

    He was, of course, greatly helped by rehab. He was sober and had a clear purpose and focus in his new, sober life. But there were some other effects of this experience for him. At the time he was of a mentality where he believed he had unlocked the secrets to life, and in talking to me, he assumed a role where he wanted to take a managerial role over my life. Later, he was greatly embarrassed by this, but I can understand what that feels like, and this just goes to show what a complete and all encompassing influence this 'ride' has over an individual person. Because this 'clean and sober' Vinnie was really a new thing for him. In the years before, in highschool, he had been a really reckless and unscrupulous individual, as is characteristic of people who are into hard drugs, where he would shamelessly take advantage of me and other people in his life, and all he cared about was, yes, the drugs, but also, at that phase in his life, his 'drug personality.' Because, like I mentioned, his eventual, veritable possession by heroin began as does all social development for young people: you are indoctrinated into a particular clique, and the cultural and behavioral codes, and the 'unwritten rules' of that clique, become your heart and soul, become everything you care about. So that, even without drugs, it's extremely common for young people to all but denounce their families, because all that matters to them is this new, exciting identity that can be experienced in that social environment. So it's interesting how easily drugs, even the really hard stuff, just kind of naturally fit into this already existing dynamic among young people.

    During this time I was sensitive to the position he was at in his life, and I didn't take offense to the awkward, imposing, and almost cult-like disposition he had; I did realize that, for him, this was still a great thing. It was surprising to hear him willingly and full-heartedly take an interest in a 'normal life' of work and longterm life-planning. So while the hardcore drug rehab centers in the US are definitely a finely tuned machine that seem to know, in detail, the in's and out's, the nuances of drug addiction, there is that tendency for people to become overly headstrong about this undeniably great accomplishment that these institutions help them to achieve, in getting off the stuff. I would definitely recommend rehab for anybody that is struggling with drugs: they know what they're doing and they will give you all the help possible able to be had in these dire circumstances.
  2. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Hi RakeMind4,
    Thanks for sharing this. Just curious...did Vinnie stay clean? The behavior you're describing sounds more like characteristics of our disease that can continue even in recovery when they are not addressed and kept in check. The first that comes to mind is grandiosity: having an exaggerated belief in one’s importance, sometimes reaching delusional proportions, and occurring as a common symptom of mental illnesses, as manic disorder.

    Grandiose behavior is associated with many mental illnesses including narcissistic personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. So it can be caused by the addiction or a combination of addiction and mental illness (dual diagnosis).
  3. RakeMind4

    RakeMind4 Active Contributor

    Actually I have no idea. He was clean for maybe a couple years, but I stopped talking to him because he was an asshole. He had, since our early childhood together, unfortunately always been a short tempered, fair weather friend.

    And yea, the rest of what you're saying is right on the ball. You seem to have a textbook understanding of this stuff, although, in first person I wouldn't have made that connection, you know? Like, to me, it just seemed like something normal. Because I know I've been in that mode myself.

    You always imagine that the crazy people are, like, wayyy far out there, total freaks and weirdos. But those caricatures of mind disorders, like megalomania, aren't 'broken people,' per say. They are rather concentrated examples of what already exists in everyone. There's no way to avoid that connection, or rationalize it.
  4. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Definitely. I don't think it's unusual for recovering addicts to have delusions of grandeur. I dealt with it myself early in my recovery and continue to keep an eye out for it (among other behaviors that let me know my "work" is never "done"). It's just part of our disease. Identifying whether or not it's ONLY coming from our addiction (and not a co-existing mental illness) is what psychiatrists rock at.
  5. RakeMind4

    RakeMind4 Active Contributor

    If I can go off on a tangent here:

    Psychiatrists are disingenuous, charlatan pill-pushers.

    Earlier in the decade, the scientologists (yea, yea, I know) made a really good documentary (okay, it's a bit melodramatic, but still) about the psychiatric industry, its history, its relationship with Big Pharma, and the conflict of interest within that. Tom Cruise and his pre-teen harem utterly disemboweled the psychiatric scam.

    Basically, psychiatric "definitions" of mental disorders are just completely arbitrary, non-scientific assumptions that are fabricated for the purpose of making money and selling expensive, addictive drugs under the aegis of professionalism. Weird but true.

    In my personal experience with psychiatrists, this has held true, as well. Psychologists are generally better, but, by the same standard, you do get some who are really only in it for the money, and to blow smoke up your yahoo for as long as possible. But I don't see how anyone can be a practicing psychiatrist, and not, by buying into that hockey, also be a corrupt shill.

    That being said, yea. Like I mentioned, I can relate to that experience of, like, "being enlightened" or, you know, like "having unlocked the secrets to life," that comes from being in the absolute pits of life, and then being able to get yourself out of it. It must feel like all the problems that exist within the realm of the individual human are within your scope of influence. Like you're Jesus or something, you know?

    Hey, though. That's not to say that you don't actually learn a thing or two from that ride, right? That's not to say that you don't learn things about how people work that could help normies in the system.
  6. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Oh BOY.

    First, you are free to go off on as many tangents as you want here, RakeMind4. I am not the tangent police. :D
    I do form my opinions based on my own personal experiences, though. So here are some of my opinions in response to what you've said. Take them with a grain (or two, or three) of salt.

    1. Some psychiatrists may be disingenuous, charlatan pill-pushers. Until I've met all of them I have a hard time agreeing with you that all of them are.

    2. I admire your ability to watch and actually absorb information from any documentary made by the Church of Scientology. That would require a ton of self control on my part to avoid peeing my pants (an amount I normally just don't have). Despite my personal feelings about that religion and its own history, I'm sure some excellent points could have been made about the relationship between the field of psychiatry and Big Pharma, including an elephant-sized conflict of interest.

    3. Regarding the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - for me to call it "completely arbitrary, non-scientific assumptions that are fabricated for the purpose of making money and selling expensive, addictive drugs under the aegis of professionalism" would be to deny the fact that my quality of life was significantly improved by its use and of course, taking medications produced by Big Pharma. I think it's understandable for anyone in a different position to have a different opinion about it. That makes perfect sense.

    But here's what I know: There are pages in the book that describe me accurately. It was only when a psychiatrist used that information to diagnose and treat me that the quality of my life improved. In other words; I consider the chances of me being alive, happy, productive and several years into recovery from IV heroin addiction very slim had I not sought help for a mental illness at the same time.

    I don't care if the entire book was written disingenuously. I don't care about motives. I don't care about Big Pharma. I don't even care about the history of the mental health industry (which has more than enough negativity attached to it and rightfully so - just look at what we used to do to people in psychiatric hospitals a few decades ago).

    What I care about is my own experience, and I've gotta tell ya - it's a positive one.

    If your experiences with mental health professionals have been negative, I would suggest (if I may!) considering the possibility that you may have met the wrong ones - or ...I dunno...approached the situation in a jaded way from the jump.

    Sometimes I think I know everything. I'm not kidding. Occasionally I get the idea I am some kind of intuitive genius (this thread did start with delusions of grandeur, didn't it?). For me, the problem with an attitude like that is it almost always blocks my ability to view situations from different perspectives.

    If you believe all psychiatrists are disingenuous, charlatan pill-pushers - guess what? That's what every single one of them will always be to you.
  7. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Here are some of the distorted thinking patterns that led to and accelerated my addiction. It's not uncommon for me to fall back into one or more of these thinking patterns even in recovery. The difference now is whether or not I can identify it, recognize it's a problem and change my perspective.

    1) extreme black-or-white thinking patterns;
    Black-or-white thinking can also be referred to as all-or-nothing thinking. Thoughts become polarized as either-or; "always this" or "never that." Some examples of this type of thinking might be: "I never get anything right!" or, "If I am not brilliant, then I must stupid" or, "A woman can't have a career and be a stay-home mom" or, "If he does not love me, then he must hate me" or, "If I can't do this perfectly, then I won't do it at all!" You can see these kinds of thoughts leave no room for shades of gray and do not allow for compromise, or a consideration of multiple alternatives or possibilities. For instance, the conclusion, "If I am right, then you must be wrong" does not include the possibility that we could both be right, or both be wrong.

    2) patterns of idealizing then devaluing other people or themselves;
    3) patterns of distrustful, suspicious thoughts;
    4) patterns that frequently include unusual or odd beliefs that are contrary to cultural standards; or,
    5) patterns of thoughts that include perceptual distortions and bodily illusions.

    You can read more about it here.
  8. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    I feel for you especially since you wanted to see your friend who you have known all your life get better and move on. I never had friends growing up so I do not understand what it is like to have one that had drugs be his calling card all his life. I never knew how hard that is but then again anything drug related is difficult so I can feel sorry for the guy I mean his parents did not seem to have cared enough about him. Even the military was not even going to help him since the military just trains people to be soldiers and not drug rehabilitation.
  9. RakeMind4

    RakeMind4 Active Contributor

    I'm the headmate of a transsoul otherkin. Check your privilege please.

    Yea, hey, you know, it's not who is saying it, but what they are saying. Mao and Hitler had some really legitimate criticisms of capitalism, for example, and Jared Laughner was completely right about how the Federal Reserve is robbing the population. Who is wrong or right about everything, you know?

    Heyyyyyy an admirable argument mate. Nothing I can say to that.

    Where I'm coming from is that, when I was a kid, and I was fighting with my sis, Mom tossed me to this guy who didn't treat me right, and who charged my mom $10,000 for it over a couple years. I'm still mad about it.

  10. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Yikes. Ten grand?
  11. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Thanks for sharing your story, and it certainly does sound familiar to me, and I'm sure we've all encountered such people and probably is might have happened for us as well in varying degrees. I think this is most prominent in people who have recently just experienced a major positive change in their lives and it causes them to focus too much only on that thing instead of just seeing it as part of the bigger picture. Probably similar to new vegans or people who recently lost a large amount of weight. Some of them just carry on like normal but most of them can't stop talking about it as though it was the only thing worthy of focus in life.
  12. Determined2014

    Determined2014 Senior Contributor

    I am glad you were able to play the role of being a true friend during the good and the bad times of your friends life, it is not an easy thing to do , but you were able to stand by your friend through it all,it teaches us a lesson on true friendship, I do hope that your friend is still sober and will stay sober.
  13. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    My experience with rehab was a one time deal. I couldn't believe many things that I saw there. For one if you're not a drug addict when going in, the doctors will try and make you one. The other are the people there seeking or so called seeking treatment. I was in a total state of "what the hell!!!!" these people had no desire to get clean. I mean to tell you everyone one was talking about getting high or drunk or both when they were released. Rehab is for a lot just a get out of jail free card It's really sad. I went in one time these folks had been in and out of rehab many times. I decided that this happened for a reason, it was up to me to get sober. I celebrated my four year anniversary Saturday oct 18th. I did it I haven't drank a drop in four years. I didn't have a sponser or AA I didn't do any 12 step program. I just made my mind up I was tired of being a drunk and hurting my family. I wanted to live and enjoy life. I started by forgiving myself and asking for forgiveness. I let the burden of the past be lifted off my shoulders. I trusted in myself and my love of my family.I ask god to please help me do this. It wasn't easy, but it was well worth it sobriety is a beautiful thing.
  14. sillylucy

    sillylucy Community Champion

    My friends definitely experienced the whole "holier than thou" syndrome. They thought that everyone else was beneath them and they ostracized others in our group. As long as they are clean then I let their snooty behavior slide.
  15. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    For someone that has been reckless since school and has gone through rehab without checking out before they are clean.....Bravo and yes they do have a new purpose and meaning to life because their eyes have been closed for sometime. After treatment and becoming sober they see life as if it is brand new and they have clarity now.
    People who have been doing hardcore drugs like cocaine do tend to imagine that they can conquer the world as the drugs take over their lives.
    For someone to come out of rehab and think that they are high and be it because to overcome drug abuse is not easy and not everyone makes it but those that do will have opinions about your life and they will feel that they can give you advice because they have survived living in hell.
    Psychiatrists and psychologists go into studying not because of the money but because they genuinely want to help people who are in need.
    For me it was giving people a voice when they are to afraid to speak and lending an ear when there is no one else to listen, we do not give out medication for no reason and once someone is on a road to recovery, then it is up to them to want to return for more visits. We do however need them to return to check that they are okay because trauma or abuse of any kind doesn't just end after rehab, it is a long term plan that has to be worked on each and every day for the rest of their lives.
  16. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    It is always good to hear about a good ending. It is great that your friend actually agreed to go to a rehab. Life is very complicated; we could be very surprised when the lifestyle we think is the best for us turns out to be hell on earth. Taking one day at a time may sound so unadventurous for many people; it could be the answer to a more fulfilling life.
  17. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    Im certainly glad to hear that your friend had a positive experience in his choice rehab facility - but that is not always the case. Not all rehabs are created equal. Not all of them are as qualified to help with certain types of addictions as others. Always do your research before choosing which one to use.
  18. joshua minaya

    joshua minaya Active Contributor

    well that is quite an interesting tell i guess the knowledge of the lessons learn here would be quite useful
  19. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    Wow,what a story and what an ordeal your friend and of course you as well as those around him went through.
    I have to say I commend you for having kept by his side and well supported him the best way you could. I find that it is very hard to stand by someone addicted to hardcore drugs especially if they degrade you and just make your life a misery most of the time. However keeping strong for friends and family should really be something we invest in and apply because it makes a huge difference along with what the rehab facilities offer.
  20. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    I would warn him to be very cautious of his new found sobriety - not to be a debbie downer, or belittle him getting clean, but to not let his arrogance cause him to fall back into addiction again. I was rather cocky when I kicked a 4 year cocaine habbit, and I was using it pretty heavily several days a week - pretty much every other day and all weekend long. The problem that crept up on me years later though was my drinking, which had never been a problem before in the past. I always had it in the back of my mind that if I could kick cocaine I could kick something like booze if I ever started drinking too much. Unfortunately, I started getting to the point where I was drinking nearly an entire bottle a day.