There Is Hope

It officially started one day in December when I was thirteen, but the seeds had been planted quite a bit before I made the decision to ramp up my rebellion to the next level. I harbored a lot of anger and frustration, with most of it directed at the adults in my life who had the authority to decide what my life was to be (especially teachers and administrators who reversed decisions to give me what I needed in school multiple times and allowed bullying and physical abuse--more of that can be found under my post in the "I'm profoundly gifted" experience). I desperately wanted something that would alert someone to the direty of my situation--depression, anger, and frustration to the point that I wanted to run away or end my life--and using seemed like a good way to do such.  Unfortunately, most of my teachers and the administrators with whom I dealt saw the new "me-on-drugs" as an improvement over my usual fractious demeanor and rage to learn. No one, including my family, realized the problem until I had descended into addiction. Thus began my nightmare.

I saw many counselors over the next six years, and I bounced in and out of recovery twenty times during that period. I would manage to be sober for a few weeks or months. Invariably, something would happen (usually at school or a fight at home over school), and I would relapse, sinking further and further into an abyss from which I knew no escape. There were times of probation for my athletic teams, times that I would run away, some scrapes with the law, injuries, and overdoses. I watched myself hurt my family, and I watched my promising career fade away with every high. The worst was when I ran away and overdosed the day of my cousin's funeral. The most painful was when I wrecked my knee doing a keg stand before my team's sectional finals. I could lose weeks at a time drinking and using painkillers or heroin, only to awake to a bigger nightmare than I had left.

Then, homeless, cold, and about to drop out of school, I heard someone singing "Amazing Grace" in a church and stumbled in. Recovery slowly and painfully began to take hold. Relapses became less extensive, and recovery accumulated. I worked the Steps, found and embraced spirituality, worked on serving others in treatment, and pieced together a streak of sobriety. I did nothing else for months but take tiny steps toward recovery. A funny thing happened. I liked myself sober, and I started having fun again. Nights eating pizza and playing cribbage with my grandparents were better than I could have dreamt, and there was no where else I wanted to be.

I have been sober for four years and ten months, and, although my life is not always easy or fun, I am happy that I can experience it and show up for my family and friends when it counts. So much healing and restoration has taken place in my life since I found recovery. I have friendships that I would not trade for the world, and I have a warm relationship with loved ones. I rekindled my passion for academia and pursued several areas of study. I will start medical school at my first-choice school on a full scholarship this fall, grateful to have this opportunity and grateful for the young people in recovery that I have met in this new area of the country. I cannot wait to see what awaits me on this miracle journey. Nothing is impossible.
LilMick LilMick
22-25
Jul 19, 2010