“Addiction is shame-based,” he said. “That's why it's such a hard disease to treat.”
Coin says he's starting to let some of those things go now. He's also letting go of any resentment, which Shaw says addicts feel when they realize they can't drink or use drugs without losing control.
“At this moment, I have let go of that resentment,” Coin said. “That's step four.”
Relapse, which is a part of the recovery process, is a fear for Coin.
Every time an addict relapses, he said, “It does get worse.”
“It's a daily fight, and I'm working every day on preventing relapse,” Coin said. “But I think if it does happen, now, yes, I think I have the tools to do something about it.”
As for the future, it's the old saying you'll hear a lot in the world of recovery and addiction:
“Life happens a day at a time,” Coin said. “I have high hopes for the future and I want to be a productive member of society. But it's a challenge, where I'm at right now, just to get through the day.”
Shaw said successful patients are those who get into a routine that involves a heavy dose of “meetings,” such as Alcoholics Anonymous groups, and working the program.
“You have to be able to look at yourself and accept who you are,” Shaw said. “The meetings ... your sponsor ... are there to help you through the rough times.”
Coin, who says he gets some kind of drug counseling nearly every day, believes he'll need help well into the future.
“I was dreaming about it a lot, at first, but the urges have subsided dramatically,” he said.
“I have new friends, new supporters and just a whole new network of people.
“But even having all that, I think I'll probably have to do this for the rest of my life.”