Thanksgiving Facebook status: “This is what a clean and sober Sloane looks like. Today I finished my program at CSU. I am fully detoxed from alcohol and drugs and can honestly say I have no desire to drink or use. What a miracle! In addition, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have started a medication regiment for that. I feel fantastic. Of course it will take lots of work on my end—staying active in recovery, taking my medicine, and staying away from bad influences. But I am one strong woman and I know I can do this. Thanks for all the support. Love to you all.”
Such a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Not only am I free from the bondage of chemical dependency but I have a better understanding of the way my brain works. Being bipolar explains so much….things occurring long before I ever picked up an illicit substance now make sense. I feel tremendous relief knowing there is an official diagnosis, a legitimate medical condition, because it is a form of validation. Best of all it can be managed with medication. Hallelujah!
“My name is Pax Prentiss and I used to be an addict. But now I’m not.” Surely I can’t be the only one who wants to jump through the television and smack him. You don’t just snap your fingers overnight and become ‘cured.’ Well, maybe at his $50,783,123 treatment center you do. But the vast majority of us can’t afford to receive daily massages and ride horses on the beach at Promises Malibu. Which is why I am so grateful for CSU. I do not have health insurance. Paying for treatment out of pocket [even at a place far from luxurious] produces astronomical costs. Did I mention I’m broke? CSU saves lives– and is often the only hope for the uninsured and destitute.
Don’t assume I’m floating around on some pink cloud confident in the knowledge that this chapter of my life has ended. I’m scared shitless– but it’s a healthy fear. Something would be very wrong if I wasn’t terrified. Temptation lurks everywhere. I know what to do. It’s just a matter of doing it. And really doing it this time, 110%. You won’t see me trying to convert you or becoming a Big Book thumper. All I want is a LIFE: a fulfilling job; a car; my own place; providing for my children; traveling; paying my own bills….you know, adulting. If I decide I want to pick up a drink I always have that option tomorrow. But today I won’t.
This is my truth. I am not ashamed or afraid to share it. It’s certainly not easy to put it out there in such a public way but it is necessary. If even one person sees this and feels less alone, reaches out to someone, or seeks help then it was all worth it.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,