Here’s Burnell’s story about addiction and recovery…
It doesn’t matter how many times it takes to get rehab to stick … as long as it eventually does.
For Burrell B., it was at the age of 44 that he entered a drug treatment program for another round of rehab after going through the process a couple times before.
“I relapsed on Good Friday of (2013),” he said. “Those three days picked up right where my addiction left off. The day after Easter, I was in a psychiatric hospital after I had tried to commit suicide.
“It got that much worse, that much faster.”
Burnell’s addiction began when a friend of his was losing a lot of weight. He had battled his weight and felt he had tried everything.
“I’m like, ‘Okay, we’ve tried exercise, we’ve tried all kinds of stuff – what are you doing?’” he recalled. “And she told me that she was smoking crack.
“Well, I tried it, and I lost a lot of weight really, really fast.”
Burnell lost weight initially but didn’t stop. He also couldn’t stop using crack and he had gone through all of his money.
“I was taking things from my family to support my habit,” He said. “I was hurtin’ a lot of people. I came to rehab broke.”
As do many people who go through treatment, Burnell went on to relapse on Good Friday of this year.
“Those three days picked up right where my addiction left off,” he said. “The day after Easter, I was in a psychiatric hospital after I had tried to commit suicide. It got that much worse that much faster.”
Burnell went on to fall into a vicious cycle.
“I’d be up, I’d be down. I’d be successful, I’d not be successful. I’d be on drugs, off drugs.
“It just got really, really old.”
On the day of his graduation that took place not long after the relapse that led him to a suicide attempt, Burnell declared that this time, rehab was going to stick.
“This is my last time at the rodeo,” he said. “I’m going to come out a winner this time. I’ve dealt with my God – all of the issues I can think of. I had lost all self-respect. I had a whole bunch of self-loathing going on.
“Today, I deserve more out of life.”
For most of his life, says Burnell, everything was given to him. Now, however, he has to work for what he has.
“Now I have more confidence in myself,” he said.
“I feel light as a feather, I feel like a new person. I don’t have any secrets. They’re dealt with, they’re flattened.
“Nothing’s going to hold me back this time.”