Can you just imagine yourself living in a place where you are surrounded by Addicts? It’s just too difficult to imagine, right? Now what if you are actually living in that community where everyone is an addict? Can you survive that?

Well, let me tell you my experience. It’s been months that I am now living inside a Rehabilitation facility.  Yes, you read it right! REHABILITATION FACILITY FOR ADDICTS! Now isn’t it scary?

Can you just imagine how my mind was blown by this? But since I was assured that no one will be able to harm me, I embraced the idea of staying. Besides, the facility itself was really awesome. It wasn’t the same as the “usual” rehabilitation facility here in the Philippines. The look and feel seems like you’re just in a resort because of all the amenities and recreational areas it has plus the staff are all pretty much friendly.

The first 2 weeks of my stay, was a little bit nerve breaking but I managed to just play it cool. But it seems that I can’t help myself to panic when I am left all alone. I would rush to my room and make sure it’s always lock. I even ask a friend of mine to stay with me as I still have fear sleeping on my own in that place. Most of the people around me are really scary-looking dudes — as in literally and figuratively! It seems that they are imagining that they’re peeling you alive in their head, and most of them really look like they have killed someone with all these tattoos printed in their bodies. I am just praying that nothing bad would really happen to me!

But then, as weeks go by, I can see some changes. And NO it isn’t the way they look that changed if that is what you are thinking. The changes I was referring to was something else. It was unexpected but it was amazing.  I was once invited to join their group session so I can observe and write something about the program of our facility. I sat down with the addicts to observe. I thought it was just going to be just the usual boring stuff but I can’t believe myself left with teary eyes and heavy heart with a mix of guilt after the session.  Yeah, that’s how I would describe “me” that moment. So how did I become like that? It was their real-life stories of struggle and survival that moved me. Yes, they are people like us, but with special need of love and affection. Some of their stories are just too tragic, too devastating. I just can’t imagine myself being put in that same place as I know I couldn’t bear it. And hearing also the success stories of those who have continued their walk to recovery is just so amazing. It is a testimony of God’s great love for all men, regardless of your past.

So going back to the change I mentioned earlier, it was ME. I started seeing the good around me when I changed – my thoughts, my judgment, my attitude. I just realized that the root of my fear wasn’t really because of these addicts but because of my thoughts about them. I have already closed my mind thinking that these people are different from me not understanding that they too are just like me with feelings, emotions and is in need of respect, compassion and love.

So how was my experience? I would say it is amazing! Being in a community of addicts and witnessing their breakthrough in life — ending the vicious cycle of addiction is a blessing! Their lives have served as living testimonies of God’s grace and abundance of love for mankind. And I would say their lives have changed me too in every good way!

Try it? You’ll be amazed!

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