(PRWEB) August 25, 2004
"I was sitting on the couch trying to decide whether I would shoot up enough to give myself that high I loved or enough to just end everythingÂ it was a tough decision to make, but I decided to pick up the phone instead." For me, substance use was something of a family hobby. There was plenty of alcohol around all the time. My mother would usually have a cocktail in the car with her friends, and I grew up thinking this was normal. After all, alcohol use can seem glamorous when it is used out by the pool or on the country club lawn. I mean, I didnÂt start using because I thought it would make me look like a movie star. I just thought it would help me fit in better with the people around me. See, I was always the odd man out; I always felt I was different and strange, and growing up in a small town in the middle of Tennessee doesnÂt give much room to anyone to go down a different path.
I used to travel from my boarding school in Gainesville to spend the weekends with my sister and her boyfriend in Atlanta. These two always made my weekends fun. They even helped me start shooting up speedball (cocaine and heroin). Funniest thing, I never thought I would be able to put the needle in my own arm but after a while, it turned out I was quite capable of injecting myself.
My drug use can be documented as follows:
Age15: I had started smoking pot
Age16: marked my first experience drunk
Age17: my Dad died and I started using marijuana everyday
Age19: I was shooting up speed daily
Around the time I turned 20, my family confronted me about what I was doing. They gave me a choice- clean up or get cut off. I figured I didnÂt really have a choice and so I proceeded to spend some time at a drug rehab center in Tucson, AR. But I had my family fooled. I had decided before I even got to the center that I was not going to change what I was doing. After all, why should I? According to what I was being told, stopping drug use would mean giving up not only the drugs, but my friendsÂ my whole way of life- I couldnÂt do that. And even after I revealed the sister who had been giving me dope at a family therapy session, she was still the only one that understood. She understood so well, that she would sneak in speed for me while I was at the center.
Things were ok for a while. I settled down in Atlanta and was bartending at a local bar. I was able to work here and smoke out. In fact, many times I would go to work high or just get high on the job. Everyone was really laid back and relaxed about all this stuff and I made some really good friends. Still, there seemed to be something missing. I had a series of relationships; three were major ones and neither one ended up being what I can realistically call healthy. Probably because these guys needed to help themselves, and I couldnÂt provide that for them while taking care of myself.
For about five years, I continued working as a bartender and simultaneously took care of a coupleÂs children. I loved taking care of these kids and given that I had already had two abortions, being around them was making me realize just how much I wanted children myself. This want, however, did not stop my drug use. The parents of these kids would allow me to smoke out; they even let me in on where they kept their own bong and just said Ânot in front of the kidsÂ. This went on for a while until they found out that I was still shooting up. So, after this and a little stealing stint that took place when I was working at their restaurant, I wasnÂt too surprised when I was asked to leave.
And there I was, after having lost lots of inherited money from my mother, friends, as well as my self-respect, sitting on my couch trying to figure out what I was going to do. I knew I had to make a choice; it was either I found some kind of job, maybe even selling my body, to keep supporting myself, or I might just shoot up enough to end it all. I was seriously considering the latter. After a little while I decided that neither seemed like a good idea and I called my mother instead. I told her I needed help and thatÂs when I ended up at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Center.
This week marks 70 days of being clean for me. I know this may not seem like a big deal, but it is when youÂre 30 years old and 70 days is the longest youÂve been clean since your 15th birthday. So, what makes me think IÂll stay clean this time? For starters, I went to a great program. At Holistic, I was able to get treatment and therapy in a realistic and real-world setting. I was able to build up my self-esteem, which is probably one of the reasons I ended up where I was to begin with. Perhaps the other thing is that for the first time in 15 years, I really wanted to be clean, and it worked.
Based on a true story.
More information about this drug and alcohol rehab program can be found at
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