The Drug Class Blog

Dec 02




When I was younger, I made promises to myself. I promised myself that I would always put school first and would always be a straight A student, I would never hurt anyone, especially my family, and I would never drink or do drugs. By the time I was thirteen, I was doing horrible in school, I was destroying all of my relationships with family and friends, and I was drinking and popping pills every single day. I had my first drink when I was nine years old. I had grown up around alcohol, and had seen how it transformed adults who were constantly stressed out and complaining about their lives into happy and carefree, falling over and laughing when nothing was funny. At that time, I had been depressed to the point of cutting and starving myself and wasn’t going to say no to a transformation… I was beginning to realize that life wasn’t fair after seeing the horrible things that people went through… my reading buddy from elementary school, who taught me how to play basketball, how to write poems, and many other lessons that have helped me through life had a pretty bad problem with drugs. He attempted suicide one night, sustaining a severe brain injury which left him in different hospitals for two years. I couldn’t figure out how life could be so unfair to someone so amazing and would think about it until I was blue in the face… When my sister started hanging out with new friends who always had alcohol and weed, they asked me if I wanted a shot and when they pulled out the exact bottle I had seen so many times before, without thinking I said “give me some.” I loved the feeling it produced, most people say they hate the burn that alcohol gives you but I loved it. I didn’t get drunk that night, but I had drank enough to make me feel different, which was all I wanted. I was able to smile and laugh without feeling guilty afterwards, which is something I hadn’t been able to do for what was probably months… After that night, I jumped at any opportunity I could get to drink more, I would usually run into my sister’s bedroom when she went to the bathroom and her friends would have a glass ready for me, which I would take back to my room and drink. When I was eleven, my sister got a new boyfriend who was always having parties at his house. This was when I actually started getting drunk. I had no idea how much alcohol my body could handle, but I knew that I wanted to just keep on drinking. Everyone else would usually just have a few drinks, but one was never enough, and neither was a few. I knew this was not normal as I was always the drunkest in the room, and even if I was lying in my own puke, unable to move I would still want to drink more. I also knew that nothing about me was normal, and hadn’t been for a few years now so I didn’t have a problem with it. Even though the nights usually ended up bad, and the next morning I would be so hungover I couldn’t even get out of bed, I would block out the bad parts of the night and force myself to only remember the drinking, the laughing and the happiness. My parents had figured out that I was drinking and they immediately wanted me to stop. I told them that I was rarely drinking, and when I was I usually only drank a cooler and nothing more, and then would change the subject. I was really good at lying and manipulating my parents into letting me do things or convincing them that I was still their angelic, innocent daughter that was long gone…

I got alcohol poisoning for the first time when I was eleven. I don’t remember much about that night, and when I ask the people who were there they tell me they don’t want to talk about it. What I do remember is the cops slowly driving back and forth by the house I was at, aware that there was a party but unable to do anything about it unless someone went outside, so we all had to run upstairs and hide. There was thirty people crammed into a very small bathroom, high anxiety had been a problem for me since I was younger and being drunk didn’t help, with everyone freaking out with paranoia I was getting stressed, so I snuck downstairs and found a full 26 of vodka sitting on the counter and I chugged more than half of it, after already drinking four coolers and half a mickey. The last thing I remember is lying in the back of a car with my head in a garbage bag, screaming and crying, unaware where I was or who I was with. I spent the next three days lying in bed, my parents wouldn’t talk to me and my sister wouldn’t even look at me. I was an embarrassment to them and I felt really guilty about it, but when Friday came and I got a call to come over and drink, I said yes. I didn’t like feeling guilty and depressed over my actions the previous weekend, so I thought drinking was the perfect solution… My drinking only got worse within the next two years. I was constantly getting grounded for drinking and doing stupid things while I was drunk, but I would tell my parents if they didn’t unground me and let me go out that weekend I would kill myself, and out of fear they would agree. As this continued, I was changing more and more… when I looked in the mirror, I barely recognized myself. I had gained weight and my face was pale and gaunt, I didn’t like who was looking back at me. I was cutting more than ever, but instead of starving myself I was now drinking and eating away my problems. Grade 8 is when my life really got out of control. I was still making promises to myself, but these ones were much different than the ones I made when I was younger. I was now promising myself that I would always have alcohol on me, that I would do this and that while I was drunk, and that I would be dead by the time I turned 20. The only reason I was really alive then was so that I could drink, but suicidal thoughts still filled my head every single day. The kids at my school started drinking too, which meant there would be more parties and therefore more opportunities to get drunk, which of course made me happy. This is when I truly stopped drinking to have fun and began drinking to get rid of my feelings and to forget how crappy my life was. This is also when my drinking stopped being a weekend thing and became a daily occurrence… I saw no reason why I couldn’t drink during the week if I was just going to get drunk on the weekend. My life was stuck in a vicious cycle. I would drink whenever I felt something remotely negative, which was happening more and more often. I was constantly spending my money on alcohol and was putting myself in very dangerous situations to get alcohol. I began to carry a water bottle of alcohol with me wherever I went, at school we would all hide in the trees and drink and some of the kids would smoke a joint and then at lunch we would go to someone’s house and steal some of their parent’s liquor. If you asked me then what the point of life was, I would have smiled and told you to get drunk. I was on a constant search for happiness, but no matter how hard I tried I could never seem to find it. I convinced myself that drinking alcohol made me happy, yet when I was drunk I would still feel depressed and suicidal and was constantly having to drink more to try and hide those feelings.

In the middle of that year, I got a new addiction to prescription pills. One of my friend’s told me that her brother popped pills to make him high, and I remembered my sister had pills from a surgery she had a few months ago that made her say and do stupid things when she took them. That day, I ran home and found the bottle of Tylenol 3’s and took them into my room, I took three or four with a few shots of vodka, and after awhile threw up. For about a week, whenever I took them I would just throw up right after, but then I began to feel the effects of them. This was the first time I had ever been high, I was against using drugs and thought drinking would always be good enough for me, but by this time I was already going against all my morals, values and beliefs and was willing to do anything to alter my mind and my mood. My tolerance to the pills went up quickly and soon enough, I was taking five or six at a time along with alcohol. Once the bottle ran out, I began getting connections from high schools with drug dealers, and began to steal money from my family to support my alcohol and pill addiction. No one around me knew the chaos that my life had become because I had mastered hiding behind a mask. Until I sat my parents down a few years later and told them all the details of my life and my addiction, they had absolutely no idea what I was doing. That year I experienced a few nights of alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses, but these ones were spent alone in my room. I had decided that drinking alone would be best for me because no one could keep up with me and I always embarrassed myself around other people, I hadn’t considered quitting drinking, though; I was still convincing myself that it was helping me. I would lie in my room shaking, sweating and throwing up, then I would clean up and go to school the next morning and no one ever knew. I knew that there was something wrong with me, but I didn’t care and found it pointless to do anything about it. I had long since decided that I was going to die before I became an adult and would need to start a career and a family, because I didn’t want to wreck my future but I didn’t want to give up alcohol, so I decided that I would die young and die what I loved doing. Needless to say, alcohol was taking over my life. Everything I did revolved around alcohol, I was either drunk or getting alcohol so I could get drunk. If I didn’t have alcohol, I would have a panic attack for hours on end until I found a pull and when I did get alcohol I would jump up and down with excitement. It wouldn’t take long without alcohol before I started going through withdrawals, so I always needed to have alcohol on me in case I started coming down. I was a stranger to myself and to everyone around me; my parents still didn’t know the extent my addiction had come to but they knew that something was wrong with me and spent hours on end trying to figure out what it was, constantly worrying about me. I had tried killing myself several times without them ever knowing, I began to realize that alcohol was no longer making me happy, and neither were the pills but I couldn’t seem to stop taking them. Just the thought of going a day without them would make me shiver and make my stomach turn. I didn’t know who I was, and didn’t like who I was becoming, but I couldn’t escape the Hell I had gotten myself into. At the partying , depression and sickness, I was excited for high school. My new group of friends and I had made a pact that we would get drunk every weekend and have the craziest drunken adventures that everyone would talk about and be jealous of. Two weeks into the year, after two weeks of chaotic binge-drinking and one of the worst nights of my life, I finally decided that I couldn’t do this anymore and made the decision to quit drinking. I was scared of who I was becoming, and being in high school.  made me realize that it was time to get serious or else I might as well drop out, something I wasn’t willing to do. Somehow through all of this, I had managed to keep my conscience, which was always beating me up for the things I was doing but I was drinking the guilt away until then. I realized just how much I had screwed up my life… Either I had given up all my true friends because they weren’t good enough drinkers, or they gave up on me because all I ever wanted to do was drink. My family no longer knew who I was, and they were waiting for me to die. My health was bad, and so were my grades. Although I was no longer cutting, my depression was worse than ever and I often dreamt about killing myself, fantasizing about how I would do it, what my suicide note would say, even what I would wear. I do not know how I am alive today after the four years I had spent on this path to destruction. I began attending AA meetings, but I was not doing any of the work people told me to do. Once again, I was hiding behind a mask and telling everyone I was doing okay, when really I was crying for help inside. I did not want to take a look at my life, I did not want to own up to all the chaos I had caused… My life had become such a mess and I was completely miserable, the last thing I wanted to do was think about it. I didn’t want to go back to drinking though, so when I was 5 months sober I decided to go to rehab. This was when I got my first glimpse of hope for sobriety, I felt safer than ever in that month and somehow felt like I could talk about everything I had done because no one else was judging me. I learned so much about myself, my past, and best of all I learned that I had potential for a really good future… I would highly recommend Calder for any youth that are WILLING to give sobriety a try. The difference between me and the majority of the other kids there was that I had fought to get in there and everyone else was court ordered or their parents forced them to go, and most of them ended up quitting or going right back to drinking and drugging once they were out. Once I got out, I was truly happy for the first time in years, and I finally felt like my life meant something again. This lasted about a month until a friend of mine who I had lost contact with hung herself when she was high. This brought back all the emotions that I had drunk away when I was nine years old, and I was not prepared at all to deal with it in sobriety. I spent the next few months sober, but once again just barely hanging on until a few days before my one year sober, I drank again. I immediately went back to AA, but would always drink a few months later; once again I was in a cycle. No matter how depressed I was, no matter what happened, there was always a voice in my head that told me to call someone and to go to a meeting as soon as I could, which I consider to be a huge blessing today. Most people do not get all of the second chances that I did, I do not know why I got them but I thank God for all of them. Today I am 11 months sober from alcohol and am recently clean from a new addiction which I was luckily able to catch before it consumed me the way alcohol did. Some days I do not know how I was sober… I have lost seven friends in the last 2 years, all of them alcohol and/or drug related deaths, the most recent was my friend *** in June, 2010, just two weeks before his graduation. All of these incidents have only reminded me that if I were to ever go back to drinking, I would most likely die, either from drinking and driving or suicide… For the first time in my life, I can say that I am happy and that I am grateful to be alive today. I still suffer from depression off-and-on, but I do not have to drink away these feelings. Any challenge that is thrown my away, I just deal with it and then figure out what I can learn from it… Being able to look at the positive side of things was something I was never able to do, but ever since I started life has been A LOT easier!! I now always say that everything will be ok in the end – if it’s not okay, it’s not the end, and I am learning to live life one day at a time. Rand, Drug Class, and my 12 step programs have taught me how to live my life, how to be grateful, and how to have fun without drinking, which was my biggest challenge in the beginning. I still have good days and bad days. Some days I find myself thinking “Man, my life sucks,” but I haven’t even considered or craved a drink for probably six or seven months. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I would never trade my best day drinking for my worst day sober, because sobriety has given me a life I never could have imagined I would get. I have been blessed with the chance to make relationships with my family better, to get my marks back up, to get the majority of my health back to normal with a few exceptions, and best of all to share my story and help other young people in sobriety. If you think you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you need to know that you are not alone. I thought I was the only one who had ever struggled with drinking, who had ever numbed myself with drugs because I was hurting, I thought I was the only one that ever felt the way I was feeling. I learned that I was wrong, that everywhere I go there is at least one other person who has felt the way I have at least once before. There is help for you, or if you have someone who you feel has a problem, there is help for them too. You can never lose hope, because without hope, trying is impossible. Sobriety is not the easiest thing in the world, but you will only get as much out of it as you put into it. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, or what your story is – recovery is possible. I share my story with others because it helps me to realize just how messed up I used to be and how grateful I should be now for my second chance at life. Today, I make meaningful promises to myself. I have promised myself that my grades will always come first. I will never hurt anyone, especially my family, and although I cannot promise that I will never drink or do drugs again, I have no intention to use again because I want a future and I want a family, and that is not possible if I am using.

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