I Needed Help

I NEED HELP!! I never said these words before my stay at Chaitanya and that was where my life almost went wrong

. When I first started drinking more than I usually did, it didn’t bother me at first as I was trapped in my own house for the majority of time during lockdown. There was not much to do and the fact that I was living by myself only made it easier for me to continue my addictive behavior. Still at no point did I consider that I needed help.

Addiction is a word that carries with it a stigma that often scares people and after seven months of drinking on a regular basis, I had come to the realization that I was dependent on alcohol but I still didn’t consider myself an addict. And while I was in denial about my condition, my health deteriorated until I could no longer function without having alcohol in my system. Naturally I ended up in the hospital, where I stayed for close to a fortnight , tethering between life and death. I was discharged and within the week I came back to Nepal where I didn’t drink again for quite a while but still I didn’t consider myself an addict or in the current circumstance a recovering addict.

And after nine months of sobriety and being surrounded by my family, you would assume that the worst was behind me but it wasn’t. I “relapsed” and went on a week long binging episode, I somehow managed to drink constantly during this time, and I almost irrevocably ruined my relationship with my family and friends but I most definitely ruined my work relations and that was definite. Ths was the final straw and on a temperate night in November I was brought to Chaitanya Institute for Mental Health. At chaitanya I learnt that addiction is an illness, and like any illness, prevention is better than the cure. If I had realized the severity of my condition then I could have sought help sooner and avoided the unnecessary pain and suffering I went through and caused on others. I learnt that when it comes to health, having an ego or some misguided notion of individual freedom or choice is the worst thing to happen. We often are our worst enemy because of denial, fear and repercussions from society but it is this manner of thinking that is the problem. Help is there for people who want it but can only be provided to those who actively want to get better. You can’t force a cure or treatment on anyone until they realize it for themselves and for this I will always be grateful to the medical staff and experts at Chaitanya. Their patience with my condition and their help in making me see where I was going wrong is the reason that I have a second lease on life and this time around I will not squander it. And should the worst happen, where I am on the verge  of relapsing, I know that I can freely admit without any judgment or fear or retribution that I need help.

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