Doing It For Myself

I have been trying to get sober now for five years and until this time around I was never able to fully grasp recovery. I started using drugs when I was very young. I started out like many others, just smoking weed with my friends, but little did I know it would grow into so much more.

Since I started getting high at a young age, naturally I started getting in trouble at a young age. My parents caught me with drugs for the first time at the age of twelve. That was the start of a long road filled with drug therapists and rehabs. I started to see a drug therapist and since I only did it to please my parents, I did not take anything out of it and because of that I continued to use drugs and alcohol and my life and my relationships became more and more unmanageable. After countless attempts by my parents to stop my using on their own, they entered me in to an adolescent intensive outpatient program with the hope that it was what I needed to get my life back together. I stayed in the outpatient program for a few years but it did not have the effect on me that my parents had hoped for because once again, I was only there to please them.

This time around for me has been completely different than any other attempt at sobriety I have made. In the past I did not admit to myself that I was an alcoholic. I knew that I used drugs and drank more than most other people but I refused to see that it would create problems in my life. When I was eighteen years old I got arrested and faced charges for multiple felonies for selling drugs. This was the first time I got to see that I was not as invincible as I thought. This was the first time I ran into legal trouble, something that was very different from my other “attempts” at getting sober. Every other time it was just a cat and mouse game with my parents and the outpatient program I was in – I always thought I was smarter than the system and I was not going to be like those other people that went to jail. When I got put into handcuffs I had to see my life for what it really was. I had to see that I had become that person I never thought I would become.

As a condition of my sentencing I had to go into a recovery house. It was there that the change started to happen in me. Since I could no longer avoid the fact that my using led me to being a convicted felon and had greatly impacted my life, I started to take sobriety seriously. For the first time, I started to do it for myself. It has been a long road, and it has not been easy but I have gotten more out of the last nine months in New Life House than I did out of the last five years of rehabs and counseling. The main reason that this time around has been different than any other time I tried to get sober is that I am doing it for myself, because I know now where I will end up if I start using again. I am grateful today for the legal trouble I got into nine months ago because if it were not for that, I would not have gotten sober and have the life that I have today.

-Dustin T. New Life House member

 

1Comment
  • Sonja Corbin
    Posted at 15:15h, 06 November Reply

    Hi Dustin. Congratulations on both your life today and a well-written essay! Your thoughts are just one example of what I love about NLH. You guys become so self-aware and insightful re: your disease. The change in perspective that can happen so quickly is amazing. Thank you very much for sharing.

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