Living Proof

One day my parents told me I had a doctor’s appointment. It was Sunday, so I knew then that they were sending me to rehab. I went into detox and a couple of weeks later entered a long-term treatment center. I spent 3 months there. I went to a rehab school, and I got probation for my burglary case. I finished my junior year in high school. Everyone thought I was sober, but I wasn’t. I had learned how to time getting high with my drug testing. I celebrated getting a year clean, and my parents bought me a car. My probation officer let me off probation. My plan was to just smoke weed and lay off the hard stuff—that lasted about a week. Then I found heroin. A friend told me it was just like Oxy, and I was interested. So now I was 17, doing heroin, off probation, selling pills, and spiraling out of control. Things just got really chaotic. I got kicked out of school again. Life wasn’t fun. It was becoming hard, and I couldn’t get the feeling I wanted out of my use. Instead, it got gross and dirty and disgusting. I started using drugs with a needle, shooting heroin and cocaine. At the beginning of 2005, I crashed my car into a tree. I got arrested for felonies and misdemeanors, but I wasn’t hurt. My parents put their house up for sale to bail me out of jail. So, then I was back in treatment, but all I wanted to do was get high. This time in treatment I learned about AA, and I thought I was ready because my life was such a disaster, and I was so lost. I had started out using drugs and alcohol because they were fun, but when they started causing problems, I used them to deal with my problems. What I got instead was pain, shame, and isolation. The drugs still got me high, but they couldn’t stop what was going on in my head. I thought I was ready to do what it took to get sober, but when they let me out of treatment, I relapsed. My parents asked me to leave, so I moved into a vacant apartment building. I lived there for a couple of months until I went to court for my felonies. They told me I could go to drug court. They said if I completed the program, they would erase my felony record. I went to my senior prom dry, right out of jail. I was so uncomfortable that I couldn’t look people in the eye. I didn’t know who I was, and I felt entirely empty. The only options I could see were to kill myself or get high, so I got high.

Drug court gave me a choice between treatment or prison. I told the representatives I had done treatment 6 times, so I chose prison. I got high for the last time on July 5, 2005, in a jail cell. My sobriety date is July 6, 2005.

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