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Its May, give or take a month, the journey is blurred, the dates are fuzzy and even if I could share my experience of rehab, I’m forbid to share names besides that would be another story altogether. It was a great a day as any at Dara rehabilitation clinic Thailand. The sun was shining, insects humming, confident and sober, today I was to depart and head back to my home, china. Anxious to see my girlfriend and use my knew found assertiveness on any troubles ahead. It had taken seven weeks and Dara had deemed me well enough to leave and continue my sober existence back into society. I was however warned of the dangers of returning to china so soon. For all the things Dara can teach, they can’t offer any real world scenario or trigger factors, in fact Dara shelters one from the reality of addiction and perhaps rightfully so, else clients would be relapsing left, right and center. I paid the remainder of my bill with ease except for a slight disagreement with the fallout of steroids I had bought earlier that week. Placed my suitcase in the boot of the private car and started my long journey home in the company of another client who would later be the center of a series of arguments with my current girlfriend and so assuming playing a major part in my eventual relapse.

The airport and flight where to be as expected, and after leaving Rachel at check in also lonely. I avoided drinking before and on the flight as my intention was not only to keep myself clean of drugs but to continue my sobriety of all substances, alcohol included. I was welcomed with open arms at the airport by my girlfriend Yuki. Embracing her presence on the way home, we worked our way across the Hong Kong border to china. Entering our apartment I was pounced in by my beast of a dog, his paws digging into my chest, leaving traces of slobber all over, “yes I’m happy to see you too mojo” I said. To my surprise the apartment was filled with bluer and white balloons suspended from the ceiling. With my office clean and somewhat refurbished, it was clear Yuki had been very busy the past few days for my return.

I continued as normal, however now sober, not as normal as I was used too. But adjustment was particularly difficult. I continued work at a bar my cousin and I had setup and owned with the help of his father. Unfortunately it seemed a substantial amount of money couldn’t be accounted for while I was away. An argument followed, but before I took doing what I would usually do and make a call to my dealer and drink whilst I wait, I respectfully said “I’m not arguing, its too dangerous for me” and so went for a twenty minute walk. After calming down I returned to solve the problem as assertively as possible. “that’s not so difficult” I thought to myself, Dara it seemed had taught me some valuable skills. Over the following two months or so (as with any prolonged drug abuse, time, date and place becomes a merged mass of dribble), I frequently worked at the bar, drinking only juice or sodas, while turning down offers of alcoholic drinks from friends and customers. Those who knew my circumstances weren’t offended and those who didn’t where happy to save and have another drink for themselves. At home though Yuki and myself weren’t as happy. I’d been keeping in touch with two female clients from Dara, nothing more than friends but there was emotional attachment, as is common when your locked up with other people over a prolonged period of time. Some sort of relationship is bound to form. We had a few disagreaments and I tended to defend my new friends over Yuki. After all they had been by my side through my whole rehabilitation process, equally experiencing the smiles, tears and everything in between.

Yuki was offered to attend Dara with me for my last few weeks, but she felt it better to work and cover me in my bar shifts than work on us as a couple. Which is perhaps a fair assessment as I was after all, “THE ONE WITH A PROBLEM”. It hurt me none the less, at the time avoiding confrontation, choosing not to voice my true feelings on the matter. I would however bring it up in my difference in several arguments as too why I was defending my friends before my girlfriend. Yuki I believe hs since become to regret that decision with some passion. Eventually I put myself in her shoes. Could justifiably see her concerns and for the sake of a twelve year relationship and losing the woman I love, cut communication with them, and life went on as if nothing had happened.

The relapse came as not as much a surprise as one would think. In retrospect an emotional relapse (as Dara defines it), had happened weeks prior.

It was now the middle of 2014, again the dates evade reliable memory, as does the actual course of the relapse, but it was Yuki related, she was on the drink that much I’m certain of. The weeks of pressure had been building with every argument, every disagreement at work, being around friends who still used and a drunk wife, I was surprised it had lasted this long. A confrontation with Yuki over something trivial im sure had tipped me over the edge. I walked out of my bar and angrily paced home, stopping briefly at the front gate staring at the palm trees above. I argued with myself momentarily, evidently the devil won, it only took several minutes in and out of the 711 convinience store with a half bottle jack and a bottle of cola for the chaser. The liquid burnt all the way down, warming me to my belly, a taste well missed. Polishing off the bottle in record time I was in and out again with another and already pleasantly tipsy. There was great disappointment with myself but to my satisfaction that guilt was numbing fast. Wobbling my way back to the bar, I recall flashes of vomiting violently, my head down a toilet and brief moments of consciousness on the leather bar sofa. I awoke with little recollection of the night before, yuki was by my side, a couple of drunken idiots carrying one another home no doubt! The relapse had happened, I felt terrible both physically and mentally. I had broken that very important promise to myself, there was no going back and no reason to start sobriety over again as I was still ‘ketamine free’ I thought. Regular drinking at work had now become habbit, though not always to excess. I still kept strong ground when around drugs and to my surprise, my friends supported me. Several weeks on, I was out with yuki and some mutual friends, drunk and not thinking clearly I asked a mate who I knew was carrying if I could partake in a dabble. To my surprise he refused followed by a lecture about how my time in rehab would have been for nothing, and so I didn’t indulge that night. Two weeks later though with the same friend in a similar situation, drunk and not careing, he decided to share. The ineviatable had happened and I spent forty five minutes with my head yet again in a toilet. Disorientated and wretching violently, ketamine commonly has that effect with alcohol and or a lack of tolerance. I hated it, every minute of this mind bending drug that I wouldn’t even wish upon my worst enemies. With the haunting memories of my fragile mind being bend back on itself, blended from the inside out, I constantly reminded my self of that night to keep clean for several weeks following. But old habbits die hard and as my tollerence built that sweet, sickly substance had once again became my best friend, my mistress.

The latter of 2014. Now averaging three grams daily, with the odd day off to sleep and recuperate, I was back to hiding my use from yuki, back to believing my own lies, self loathing and all the rest. Over time other drugs made appearance. I took a liking to GBL, marketed as alloy cleaner to avade distribution laws in many countries world wide, once injested it quickly converts to its chemical cousin GHB, the ever so famous date rape drug. Cocaine and exstacy where used more often than not, using one to bring me up then the other to relieve me of the jitters and bring myself back down. An addicts life is anything but easy and I imagine my wife to be had it any easier carrying the burden of regret, resentment and disappointment.

January 7th 2015.

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