“Stories of Recovery: Matt” – Patient Testimonial – Rehab Testimonial – Addiction Stories

“Stories of Recovery: Matt” – Patient Testimonial – Rehab Testimonial – Addiction Stories


– My name’s Matt Ward. I’m from Syracuse, New York. It’s upstate, but I’ve lived in Florida
for about 12 years now, so. I couldn’t tell the truth at all. Like you know normally when you lie, there’s a motive behind lying. But I was just lying to lie. And I would start believing
my own lies, you know. People would call that insanity. And that’s pretty much what it was. I was, you know, burning all the bridges with my family, with friends. I was stealing things. Pawning anything I could. I couldn’t keep a dollar
in my bank account. You know, always calling out of work. So it was like the absence of serenity. I think just the pain got great enough where, you know, my family was distancing
themselves from me. And we’d always been, you know, like a really close, tight knit family. And so, you know, seeing that separation happen, you know, it was kind of like
I just like snapped out of it for a second. Because, you know, when
you’re in active addiction, you really don’t have a moral code or anything like that. I think it was for me, I was just like backed in a corner, and I was just like this is no way, no way to live. I mean it’s a death sentence, essentially is what it is. There’s no quality of life there. And you know, suicide was starting to look really good. And I had attempted it before, and so, you know, I wanted to live. Yeah, I wanted to live like normal people. I’m super blessed in the aspect that my mom like works with addicts and alcoholics. And so she’s in the addiction field. And so I know a lot of people, you know, their families don’t understand like why are you doing this? And they think it’s
like a willpower thing. And you know, you were such a good kid. What happened to you? But my mom, you know, she understands it because she’s studied it. And my father was actually
an addict and alcoholic. And so, she understood it 100%. So she, you know, we immediately started
calling treatment centers and everything. And so she heard really good things, you know, about this one. And so, I got on the phone. I remember I spoke with this guy Mike. And I was talking with him, and so eventually, I just got in. Like think it was like a few days later. One would be like the organization and like structure, routine. Cause normal people, like they wake up and they make their bed. And you know, they go about their day. And they have like a structure where when I was using, there was no structure whatsoever. There wasn’t I’m gonna do this, and do this. There was no planning. So they helped me with
the planning aspect. Also, one of the huge things was to deal with my emotions, or even to recognize them. Because you know, when
you’re in active addiction, I mean I started drinking
when I was like 15. And so emotionally, I was stunted. And the therapist here
were really, really good. And they helped me to like, start to deal with some of those emotions because I didn’t know how to. I would just shut down. I couldn’t express to
you in a healthy manner how I felt, because I would just get angry and then not talk to you. But that’s pretty much it. Or I would just walk away. I wouldn’t even want to deal with it. And so it was really tough but it was good to finally deal with some of the things that I hadn’t dealt with for my entire life. You know, they’d just always been in the back of my mind. And so, you know, like I said it wasn’t, it wasn’t easy, but they definitely helped me with that. I think that’s a lifelong thing is to learn how to deal with. You know, everyone loses
it once in a while. But you know, now, I think they kind of nurtured that seed. And now you know, it’s starting to grow where I can actually
tell people how I feel. Probably repairing the relationships that I once had. And I think in recovery, you really realize what’s valuable in life because, you know, I was one of those people where I didn’t realize the value of it until I didn’t have it. You know, you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. And so now I have much more
of like an appreciation for those things with my
relationship with my family and my friends. And so, I think I’m most proud of sticking with the basics because I think that’s really important, the basic things that
they teach you initially. That’s like building a foundation. You know, a house is only as
good as it’s foundation, so. I think most probably
just sticking with that because I’d always been the type of person to, you know, let me try this one thing for a little bit, and then give it up. And then try this one
thing for a little bit and give it up. And I knew I didn’t want to do that. You know, I didn’t want to, you know, this time because my life was really
actually depending on it. That it’s not going to be as
scary as you thought it was. You know, I was super,
super nervous coming in. You know, first of all,
I kind of felt like a new kid on the block. And all this emotion stuff is happening, and you know, you’re in this like daze. And so, one of the cool
things that I noticed is like three days after I’d been here I felt like I knew the people, like the patients for
like a really long time. I think it’s cause we shared these core struggles. And we can relate on
like a different level. And it’s something that I’d never, like a comradery I’d
never experienced before. So I wish someone had told me, you know, that it’s not going to be as bad as you think. And I think I went into with like the right mind set. So, I think that helped out a lot. You know, I wish someone had told me, that at times it is tough. You know, it’s not always easy. I wish everything was, you know, as easy as it would be in my mind. But, some days are tough. But I have like the tools
and the people to help me through life. And I think you know, people that use these tools, they can have like a
happier and healthier life than most people. That all boils down to like, you know, dealing with my emotions and dealing with whatever
life throws at me. If someone had told me that it might have made me feel
a little bit more calm. Cause I just didn’t know what to expect. This was my first shot at this. So I had no, no experience in this, in this whatsoever. It was just kind of rolling
with the punches I guess. Well for someone that’s struggling, I would advise them to seek
help, you know, immediately because you never know when
it’s going to be too late. And I was one of those people that was always like I didn’t realize it until it was too late. Like the other, the other day I stopped to wish my
friend a happy birthday. It was like my best friend, right. And it at a cemetery. And he didn’t see 26. And so you know, it’s, it’s like little things like that that like hit you how serious this disease is. I mean it’s life threatening. But what I would tell someone
that’s coming into treatment is to do it for yourself because this is one time in life where it’s okay to be selfish. You need to do this for you. You can’t do it for just like, you know, a husband, a wife, a friend, you know, your family to get
your family off your back. And I get that. But it’s in my opinion, it’s just not going to stick as much. You need to do this for you because your life depends on it. You know, if you go, you always have another relapse in you but you don’t always
have another recovery. And so I think people really
need to be aware of that. And you know, if you go back out, and you might last years, or you might last a day. You just don’t know. And so, you just need to do it for you because you want to live a life, not a death sentence. And, you know, everyone’s
life if valuable, whether they see it or not. Cause I’ve been in the mindset where you don’t think your
life is worth anything, but it is. It is.

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