Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Date: July 13, 2009 11:59PM
hi everyone. I hope my experience can help someone. Hi BW213, Branwynne, if you are who I think you are. I'm Eirik, from Norway (Eirik the red). I arrived at Choices october 1999 and left january 2000. Don't know if you remember me. (I also came back for 5 weeks next xmas.) I went to London to another treament centre to continue getting help, as I needed it!
I had a lot of help from Choices, and I am unsure that I would be clean without them, knowing exactly the kind of heroin addict I was. On the flip side, my recovery would have frozen up in shame and self-doubt if I had stayed on. I guess I was lucky that I was "forced" to leave due to my tourist visa expired. Arriving in London I thought for YEARS that my recovery was shit and that everybody else's recovery was shit also, not exactly great for a newcomer like myself to have the bar set so high and that I would always fall short. It was a merry-go-around of beating myself up. And I couldn't shake it. Not until I did some massive work in therapy around my childhood. What has become crystal clear to me now is that a lot of the "help" at Choices is very shame based and is basically just projections of people's shame onto eachother, and that my shame hooked onto it all and held on to it. It's very addictive.
Also I got really hung up in their sex addiction recovery, which I have found to be damaging or at least questionable. But SA has some of that blame to take (read: ridgid), as I think the SA book is very questionable. I went down the route of SAA instead and it has been the love and tolerance that has healed this addict. Not confrontations and consequences on top of my own self-loathing when I've done something I didn't really want to.
I want to be careful not to see my experience at Choices as black and white, as all I''m really doing then is to be confrontational, but initially I went through rage when I started to understand what was going on in me as a result of believing every word they said about everything. Now I feel free. I have almost 10 years of cleantime from substances, I am in a loving caring relationship (now THAT did take a while) and I got my finances under control after throwing myself into DA. My default still is to sit on the sofa and watch crap TV, play too much computer games and look at attractive girls, but I don't feel ashamed, and my tolerance towards these things gets less and less (actually I hardly watch much TV and after 5 minutes of online gaming I'm bored and attractive girls are... well they are just attractive) It means I have a pretty normal life, I work, I play, I see friends and family, I have moments of true happiness and moments of "what's the point anyway". This again means I'm a human being and I love myself for it. It just couldn't get any better coming from where I come from.
I have no contact with the community after I discovered my rage 5 years back. I don't feel at the moment I want to either. It's just a life I can't really relate to over there, a tad too "cultish" for my taste. Hell man, I think AA/NA is too cultish! Haha.