4th day on my 365
I had a chance to visit my uncle today in rehab. I didn’t get to take pictures, apparently electronic devices are not allowed within the premises. It was a first for me. It is true that you only get to really understand the reality of something until you experience it first hand .
I’ve known my uncle to use illegal drugs since i was little. From the moment I could understand what it was I’ve known it. To say my whole life would be exact in a sense. But it was just recently that my extended family, his brothers, my mom and grandmother decided he needs to finally be admitted. It wasn’t so much as us not believing that he needed help it was more of the financial and emotional commitment we need as a family especially my grandma to finally come up with a plan for him. Unless a person addicted to something admits to himself that he needs help I’ve always believed that there will always be a possibility of relapse at some point. I haven’t seen him since June. He was hospitalized for a couple of weeks before he was admitted. And relatives are not allowed to visit before Christmas
It’s been 7 months since then and honestly I didn’t know what to expect when we got there. I guess it was more of us being in a room with him or something I really don’t have any idea. But we get to a big basketball court with hundreds of people each seeing loved ones after the new year. It was the last day of what they call the open house where most family members can visit apart from immediate family members. It was like a picnic within the compound. They were wearing white tucked in their shorts without pockets.
Finally seeing him looking so alive and well kind of tugged my heart. He looked so bright and cheerful. Not the person I’ve known so clouded and Incoherent. He was counting the days left before he gets to go home. And it probably be the true battle of his life once he gets home when all rules are off and it’s all him in the real world.
I saw young kids, teenagers, old men. I was so struck by how young the age group is. Apparently my uncle was actually one of the oldest in the group he’s in his 50s. But looking at the faces of these people I cannot fathom the severity of the situation. Teenagers below 15 years old get to be admitted. When I saw my uncle he confirmed that they also have kids as young as 7 years old with them. Imagine the monstrosity?! It’s freakishly unacceptable but reality right Infront of me tells me otherwise.
I’ve had my share of trying some and enjoying it bit it was more out of curiosity when I was younger. Then you get over it as quickly as you grow older. But in reality not all of us can detach ourselves so easily. Some do it to forget but for kids to be there? It’s just too heartbreaking for me. Add in the families they have left behind, some of which have wives and new born babies visiting them every other week.
I am speechless. I have no words for them. This is how the world really is, it’s not all flowers and sunshines. No unicorns and not all have their happy endings to write about. Some after this stint may even go back to their old lives. I don’t know why I’m writing this. I don’t even know what I’m driving at. It’s just that today, reality knocked on my door. And somehow it reminded me that we need these kinds of experiences to see the bigger picture.