Although I do, at times, find myself peeking back into the sheer insanity that lay behind me as the history of my life, I am in reality free of those bonds. Before I came to Acadia’s Narcotic Treatment Program I can honestly say that what of life I did have was defined by madness. An insanity that swirled constantly in a never ending cyclone of bleak suicidal depressions, soaring drug induced manias, violent, at times, dangerous rages, punctuated by frequent overdose, accidents and other near death incidents. These were nearly always followed by either hospital, jail, or prison stays. Those few situations that did not end in those places found me standing beside a grave of yet another of my peers wracked with both inhuman guilt and soul rending sorrow. While I can not, in any way, claim my life today is an exercise in perfection, I can honestly say I would trade it for no other.
I came to Acadia’s Narcotic Treatment Program over seven years ago. Before I entered NTP there was no methadone program offered north of Winslow. I tried what was offered by that program, but through a combination of unwillingness, distance, and a program that offered little more than daily medication, I failed there as I had everywhere else. I had tried just about every treatment model available over my twenty years of use. Inpatient, outpatient, long term inpatient, 12 step groups, Rational Recovery, inpatient psych. (my choice and blue paper), and even the therapeutic community, none worked long for me. I literally traveled the country between detox, rehab, jail and prison. But no matter how bad it got or what I lost I could not stay sober.
By the time I came here I had lost all but my physical life. I was divorced, I had made and twice lost everything you can have, my family of origin had long since given up on ever seeing me sober, I could not see my son, and I had finally given up hope of surviving much longer. In fact I really didn’t care much if I lived at all. The only reason I allowed myself to be talked in to trying this program when it’s doors opened is that I thought I owed one last honest attempt to my son. By some miracle and the tolerance of those who worked here at NTP I stayed long enough to find some hope for myself.
I sit now writing, thinking back on the last seven and a half years. These years are a gift. A gift given not only to me but to my family, to my son, and now to the family I would never have had. I would call what has happened in my life a miracle except it has only been made possible by the sometimes kind, sometimes necessarily hard assed, and always consistent treatment I have received at this clinic. What has been offered to me here is a far from simply medicate and monitor as it can be. I have not made it easy for those who run and staff this place. But through their hard dedicated work, their tolerance and through the same by my son, my wife, and step children, I lead today a life that can only be called a gift. A gift that can only be called freedom.