I Found a New Path to a Bright Future with No Regret
I was born in New Brunswick New Jersey. My parents were grad students at Rutgers. I was raised in the suburbs of New York City in Westchester County. My life was pretty idealistic, I grew up 45 minutes from Manhattan, so I had the benefits of living next to one of the coolest cities in the world. We lived on a small farm, we had horses, sheep, goats, chickens and wood-burning stoves. We tapped our maple trees and made our own maple syrup, so I had the best of both worlds living near a great city and having a great country life.
There were so many great moments in my life before I started using drugs and drinking just because I had a blessed life. I think being out in nature is probably when I feel the happiest. I used to canoe Moose Head Lake Maine as a little kid. I also learned how to ski when I was fourteen, those are some of the best memories I had before drinking and drugs.
I grew up in the New York City area in the 80s and if you have seen movies about the height of Wall Street drug abuse in those times you can imagine that was my high school experience. I started drinking alcohol and doing cocaine when I was 14 years old.
Drugs severely impacted my relationships with family AND with myself. I sunk into a depression, I remember being very depressed and started feeling the effects of my mostly weekend binges at the time. I sunk into depression pretty easily at that time. I felt very disconnected from my classmates. I had a few close friends, but I felt disconnected from people as a whole and I started fighting a lot with my family. The fighting happened daily between me and my mom and I was very disconnected from my sisters as well. I have two sisters and I did a lot of damage at that time, and I am working to repair the damage.
I experienced my first treatment program in the winter of 2010, but I was not a serious student. I was more focused on being a social creature. I think I’m a little shy, so for me interacting with a large group of people kept me in that party mindset. I couldn’t get rid of the party mindset. I didn't take my program seriously.
My mom originally found Narconon. I definitely needed help and she researched about the program. My mom is very smart, she has a PhD., she read the reviews and decided on Narconon. Somehow she knew it would be a great program. My mom and I both decided I should come to Narconon Arrowhead.
When I arrived the staff was amazing, everybody is very dedicated and obviously very knowledgeable about what they are doing. There are some people that have been there for over 20 years so there is a lot of commitment there, and that pours over into the classroom and into withdrawal. This is the first time I felt really good in any withdrawal unit. The scenery is beautiful! It was a very comforting place for me to be. The withdrawal staff was very comforting and not overbearing, they weren’t pushy, and I actually had a really great withdrawal experience.
The biggest wins I had were that I was able to fully take responsibility for everywhere I’ve gotten in life, I used to play the blame game a lot. I was able to take responsibility for the situation I had gotten myself in and the predicaments in my life that always came up. To be able to face that and kind the kind of thing was huge and to be able to unravel the storyline behind it all and ultimately let go of it! I feel freer than I have in a long time. I started exercising again. I started reading again. It was really a mind, body, and spirit process. I feel excited about life again and I just feel in control of my emotions. I feel like I’m at the helm of my life. Of all the things in my life, one of my other great wins is I realized that isolation was the part of me that was damaging me the most and connecting to things outside of just being ‘a worker’ is important. My connection to other human beings is important. I am much better and being productive and actually having a solid plan is a huge win for me. Having responsibilities other than just getting through rehab and having a greater appreciation for humanity as a whole are some things that I am very excited about.
My perceptions have changed. I can fully let go of the past and not live in regret or resentment, and I can be in the present time. I can be right here, where I am now and not have regrets.
“I can see that MOM is now full of life too, and that is really cool!”
Graduation was great, I noticed I was able to speak in front of people because I am more comfortable with myself. There are a lot of things I’m looking forward to. I’m definitely looking forward to volunteering for the Portland recovery center to help other addicts. My graduation and having my sobriety is one of the proudest moments of my life. My relationship with my family is really good. Before I came here, my mom would talk about how what I’m doing to myself was killing her too! Now when I talk to my mom, she says things like, “maybe in about 10 years” and I can see that MOM is now full of life too, and that is really cool! I have a passion for life again, not just a body that’s going through the motions.
You’re never beyond repair and there is always hope. It’s never too late to ask for help and to get the right help!