Anonymous Alumni Story
I grew up in a loving middle class suburban family. In my youth, I tried very hard to be liked. Too hard. I started smoking pot at 14. Cigarettes and alcohol soon followed that same year. I can remember asking people outside the store to buy liquor for me and my friends. It wasn’t long before I found a gas station in the ghetto that would save me the step and just sell it to me. My friends and I would drink on weekends at the beach. Often one of us would drink so much to become violently ill. Before long, I was drinking at lunch time. I would go hone and fill my water bottle up with vodka and keep it in my locker. There was no reason for this; I just wanted to ‘feel better’. I also started drinking after school on school nights. I would sneak out my window and go the local night club on Thursdays for ‘rave night’
After high school, I enrolled in community college. I had no interest in going. I would go through all the motions…get dressed, pack my books, drive to the school and pass it to go to the beach to get high. After getting kicked out of school the second year I had to get 3 crappy demeaning part time jobs to pay for an apartment and my drugs of choice. I used more because I was so unhappy and the cycle of destruction continued. I was arrested twice. My mom thought I was going to end up dead so she came to my apartment and said I can come home only if I live by their rules. Which meant no outside contact with anyone, give my paycheck straight to them and ONLY go to work. This lasted for a year and I couldn’t take it. I left while they were out. Things settled down for me –relatively speaking. I got a reception job in a hotel, met a role model in the hotel business and started to do well in the field. The ‘role model’ introduced me to my next drug of choice-coke. It was recreational at first, sharing what was in the house I lived in, then I had to have my own at parties, then I started using alone and during the day. More and more was never enough. I would disappear for days. I experimented with MDNA, meth, ketamine, GHB. Those came and went but the coke was ‘my ole friend’ my life was punctuated with what should have been good events that I ruined with usage. No one around me knew how much and how often I was using. I was a master at deception. Getting away with it only made me feel worse, I was suffering alone. Overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame. It consumed me. I could barely sleep. I would steal from close friends, disappear, drive while using, and many other things. I had been warned my relationship would end if I continued. I didn’t care. I left my house even after having to beg just to stay there. I was so blinded; I was willing to sacrifice my home, my relationship for another night of wasteful & selfish behavior. I only wanted more and had stolen money and just needed to meet someone downstairs. I was locked out, had nowhere to go.
I had found myself wandering the streets in a zombie like state I walked til my legs cramped. I knew I couldn’t just walk back in my house and act like nothing had happened, I knew I had crossed the line for the last time. So I went to the roof of my garage and stood on the ledge for 6 hours. I honestly thought I’d be better off dead. I was too weak to even follow through. It was only 6 floors so I wasn’t sure if it would do the job I needed it to do. I wanted so badly to be caught by someone up there, ANYONE, a security guard, a neighbor, the police, the fireman. ANYONE?!? No one came and the sun was high in the sky, so I came down. I called my mom. I knew she would have the answer, she told me to go to the hospital and tell them where I had been. I was baker acted and sent to a detox. I thought for sure I would better in there. I was released. I was told to go to a rehab. I said I’d call, and I did, didn’t get an answer so I figured it wasn’t MY fault I could get help (crazy)
I would always say I would slow down but never hold to it. Every time was always the last time. I couldn’t get the smallest foundation to build off of to even try to experience a normal existence, for I had no idea what that was. I fell hard again and found Recovery First. I was leery at first but I loved hearing stories of people who are just like me. I was building a foundation of clean time that I would build off of. This gave me hope. I never had any clean time at all to build off of so this is all new. I came completely honest with myself. I was prescribed Ativan in detox and was told to surrender them to RFI. I did but kept 5 for myself. Then like fate a graduate told a relapse story of how she left clean needles ‘just in case’ she used again. She knew they were there so she relapsed. I knew those pills I had saved were my next relapse. I was honest and told Recovery First. We had a ceremonious flushing down the toilet for those five pills. It felt great to finally practice honesty. I was leery about going to meetings and getting a sponsor. Now I find it absolutely necessary. It reminds me daily that this takes work. Talking about it daily keeps it fresh in my mind. I am starting to relax now. I was watching a TV show that was showing someone in the morgue. I had a conscious thought of ‘I’m glad I’m not there’ after that thought, I was surprised. I had never ‘wanted to be alive until now and it is all thanks to Recovery First.