Growth Ceremony Speech

Treatment team,

I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my time at Ironwood so far, my progress and what I still have left to work on. Something I have learned about myself is that my ability to uphold boundaries, as well as set them, is subpar. Especially with my family. I also learned about the cause of my overdose as well as that part of my substance use is caused by me not wanting to be in control of my own life. Something more positive that I have learned about myself is that I have the potential to successfully complete this program, given that I apply myself and put in full effort. I have also learned that while difficult at times, life is easier to enjoy when I am accountable and honest, especially when I’m struggling.

I have also discovered that my capabilities are not determined by other peoples’ opinions of me, and their ability to get along with me. I have gotten through this with radical acceptance and taking a deep breath when I start to get frustrated. I accept that I have no control over my peers, but I can choose to let my resentments go and live a life that I want to live without putting my emotions and struggles on other people. This brings me back to being accountable, because as I reflected, I realized I treated my parents the same way after my overdose, and that I never fully apologized.

Another difficulty I have had at Ironwood is school. I struggle a lot with focusing in school, especially in situations where I can’t be fully engaged with the classroom. I got over this partly by avoiding procrastination as much as possible, and partly by accepting that the school here is not my learning style so I just need to do what I can because in a handful of months (given I put full effort here) I will be in a better school environment that will suit my needs/learning style a lot more. 

I would like to continue to work on building healthy, stable relationships with my peers because that tends to make my experience more enjoyable. I also want to continue working the steps in AA and also rid myself of my character defects using the steps. Also, I want to in therapy work on leaving no stone unturned with the root causes of my substance use. I also want to work on boundaries with peers and family as well as working on my thinking errors, especially when I get frustrated or upset. I am going to also work on my self-esteem and try to find out why it is as low as it is so I can get it to a normal range.

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