Stories of Addiction Recovery

Narconon Colorado Graduate: Austin

When I arrived at Narconon Colorado I was a lost young man. I was so comfortable with living in a cloud of regret. There wasn’t anything anyone could say to help. There was nothing worth living for. I looked in the mirror and what I saw was scary. What I saw was a hardheaded, temperamental, and sick young man who really needed help.

I thought to myself, “What made me this way?” I thought long and hard and decided that the answer was me. I made me this way. I was on a path of destruction. My parents presented me with the opportunity to better myself and I thought “I guess I’ll give it a shot.” My guess was that I needed to change my ways of living and thinking. “Change” was a word I was unfamiliar with.

I had always seen people asking me to change as an attack on me rather than me looking at it as a chance to better myself. This time was different; having it from myself put me on a path to success. Letting myself change and grow allowed me to see the things that I truly am about—family, friendship, and most importantly, God!

“I can honestly say that I really like the person
staring back at me in the mirror.”

I had finally recovered the things that I had lost. I recognized who was looking back at me in the mirror. I realized that I care, and it makes me who I am. I am very proud of the person I have become in the past months. I can honestly say that I really like the person staring back at me in the mirror.

—Narconon Colorado Graduate: Austin

Woman Writing in a Journal

When I first started the recovery process I was dull—my body, skin, eyes and my mind. Even my life and the world around me appeared dull. There was no feeling until I healed. I was completely numbed out.

During my journey of getting clean, I started by withdrawing from drugs and, at first, I said to myself, “This is easy, that’ll be fine, I’m just going to do this whole rehab thing and then I’ll keep using.” After my husband’s death and intense trauma, I cried on my bed, whispering to myself how I had completely ruined myself. How could I ever go back once I had already poisoned my brain? All seemed hopeless. I was convinced that I could never find myself not only feeling okay, but actually content and happy without drugs.

“My skin had a glow to it, my eyes had light in them, my body felt healthy and I started to feel alive again…”

A week or so into withdrawal I started feeling the drugs leave my system. I spent my days and nights sleeping. When I was finished with withdrawal and started sauna I felt hopeless, paranoid and just plain exhausted. Midway through sauna detox, something dramatically changed for me. My skin had a glow to it, my eyes had light in them, my body felt healthy and I started to feel alive again. I thought I was recovered completely right then and there.

A couple of weeks later I started the course. The physical side of things had been revived, but now I had to withdraw mentally from my past emotions and thoughts and re-enter the present. I had to “detox” my brain from my old self and unload all of my toxic behaviors and experiences. I realized things about my life and had memories I didn’t know were still there. This part of recovery was more exhausting and painful than the physical side of things!

About two weeks before I reached the graduation of my program, just like the physical switch of relief I felt in the sauna, I hit a point in the course and felt my mind heal.

This program wasn’t easy and there were so many days where I wanted to leave. But by finishing and completing every step I realize that it has brought me into a place of stability. It really worked for me.

My mindset has changed, I don’t feel hopeless anymore. I communicate in a healthy way and I can have more control over my thoughts and emotions. I know I have everything I need inside of me to thrive and succeed.

Narconon Colorado Graduate: Hanna



Certified Addiction Counselor and Staff Member at Narconon Colorado.