The Missing Link
Updated: May 13, 2020
I was that great disappointment of a son to my father. He is a proud and self-made man in the field of business and education who successfully motivated his offspring to achieve. In our community, he is accorded honor and respect for the principled lifestyle he has lived.
I am the stain in his unblemished record, the continuing failure that pains him no end. My mother suffers equally, in silence she grieves of a son that lost his way, always at a loss of the means to help me find my ground.
I am the quiet type, soft-spoken, and minds my own business. Growing up I pretty much led a normal life, nothing fancy, got good grades, never getting into trouble and by any measure, I am becoming a mold of what my father aspires all of us to be, bright, upright, capable children of his.
Well, until my first smoke at the young age of 14. At the time it was very easy to have access to shabu in our area, there was not much the police is doing to control drug trade and distribution. The poor man’s cocaine screwed up our barangay pretty much like the rest of the country circa 1999 President Arroyo time, a Cabalen.
Just like most addiction stories, as my use got deeper and deeper, I became behaviorally challenged manifesting deviant ways, stealing when I can not ask for money, I developed the art of manipulation, guilt driving my parents into giving in to my requests.
It is true when they say that if one family member suffers addiction, the whole family suffers. My family suffered big time. It was a blow that diminished my father so much. In the community where it is very much loved and respected, he fought hard to maintain a sense of indifference to gossip and rumor swirling around about a son of his being broken by drugs.
I was finally brought to Rehab after 9 years of tumultuous addiction at age 23. And again at age 25, and age 27. My family was not to give up on me despite my relapses, I feel their love and pain at the same time, but my helplessness was overpowering, to a great deal every after treatment I got out more clueless and broken the first time I was supposed to gain sobriety skills in the facility.
I sense the mounting exasperation, the desperation my family specially my father nearly drowning on, I was also on my wits end with sobriety eluding me, the consecutive unsuccessful treatments. Unbeknownst to me at that time, I was missing out on something, always drifting away, losing my balance, and embarrassing drugs anew.
Fast forward 2017, age 28, my graduation, fourth treatment, at TCI Treatment Facility. Where I spent 8 months immersing through the various stages of biopsychosocial therapy regimen emphasizing behavioral adaptation to bring about solid and positive habit change that leads one to better understand and deal with triggers, cravings, and addiction, and relapse prevention. These are both theoretically processed indoctrination hammered by actual therapeutic mirroring course in treatment.
In the latter part of my fourth and hopefully final treatment, my counselor Mr. Jun Tan who everyone fondly calls Kuya Jun focused on my after treatment activity. He gave an evaluation that unlike others, the standard regimen that provides enough platform for successful recovery among other residents does not fit me.
He convinced me and my family in planning my life to be around the community that helps others recover their addiction. That after treatment, I must not be left alone to fend for myself. Gradual phasing must be lined up for my recovery, get me stronger, better equipped to bypass my vulnerability to use again.
Now, nearly 4 years sober and working at TCI Village, I have an inspiring schedule training and running the facility as a recovering specialist. I am also part of the pickup team that brings those needing treatment to our facility.
Slowly but surely, gaining a strong foothold on my elusive recovery, I am now on my clear path to develop as a person my father aspires me to be. I owe so much to my family and my wife for their understanding and faith that one day I would find myself in their arms sober and strong.
Finally my gratitude to Kuya Jun for blessing me with an environment and life guidance I was not accorded in my other treatment experience. I have finally found my missing link to sobriety.
Lastly, my recovery will not be as sweet today without the sacrifices of my wife who to gain an understanding of my addiction went to rehab with me and experienced the program for 3 months in the house. My own family is whole now, and I thank God for surrounding me with those whose care is for me to find my bearings.