The Early Warning
Reckless, relentless and rebellious. Those are the three words that best describe me when it came to my drug addiction and alcoholism. I smoked my first joint, snorted my first line of cocaine and got drunk for the first time at the age of 14. I remember my dad had some pills that he was given to help him stay awake on the way to work in the mornings. It was Phentermine, a prescription weight loss and diet pill. My dad told me it was essentially a mild form of speed. Needless to say curiosity got the best of me. I would start taking it before school in the morning because I loved the feeling. It put me in a good mood and made me hyper to the point to where I was a class clown. I was also a heavy pot smoker and drinker in my high school years. I probably should’ve taken all of this as early warning signs of addiction and alcoholism. This was only the beginning of what would lay ahead for years to come.
The World Is My Playground
Fast forward to the age of 21. My family decided to move us out from Georgia to Nevada. It was a fresh start and a new beginning. I got a good job at a restaurant and was going to school for criminal justice. I was making good grades. Eventually my drinking would cost me my job and I dropped out of school. I soon discovered heroin and meth. I exhausted my entire bank account. I started lying, stealing, manipulating, pawning anything I could get my hands on just to get my next high. I became friends with the wrong crowd of people. I had a network of over twenty people who were addicts with drug connections. I suppose part of the reason I had this addiction was because I just wanted to be accepted and fit in.
The world was my playground and I found myself on the merry-go-round that is addiction and alcoholism. My addiction eventually led me to buying and selling. I was associating myself with dangerous people in a dangerous game. I didn’t care. I had a live fast, die young mentality. My parents knew something was going on. They didn’t approve of the people I was associating with but they were too scared of me and my friends to step in. They knew I was going to do whatever I wanted to do against their advice. I pushed my family away for my own selfish addiction and need to indulge myself in drugs and alcohol, regardless of the consequences. To this day, I don’t know how I managed to escape this time period of my life. Looking back, I know I should’ve gotten help at that point in time but the reality is I was too reckless, stubborn, delusional and careless to want it. I found myself moving back to the south almost five years later. It was supposed to be yet another chapter and a new beginning in my life. However, the world became my playground and I eventually found myself back on the merry-go-round of addiction and alcoholism. Ultimately, it was an idling and eventually failed relationship, a struggle with suicidal thoughts and depression that would lead me to going back to using any drug I could get my hands on along with heavy drinking. I didn’t just want to step off the merry-go-round, I wanted to get out of the playground as a whole – meaning death.
Stepping Off the Merry-Go-Round: Recovery
My drinking and drug use had cost me yet another chance to live and love a better life. Everyone around me was watching me self-destruct and drown in my own misery and sorrow. I always wanted to kick all these habits that were my downfall but never could. People who aren’t addicts and alcoholics will never know what the disease is like. We’re incapable of seeing that our drinking and drug use is a problem. It turns us into people that we’re not. I always said and did what I wanted without thinking about the consequences. Everyone was afraid of getting in my way when it came to my drinking and drug use – family, friends and significant others. I was a real-life Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it came to drugs and alcohol. They changed me into an immature, unpredictable, moody, raging, belligerent, egotistical, arrogant, reckless and careless monster. I always went against people’s advice when they tried to tell me what would be best for me. I was at the point to where I wanted to die doing what I thought I did best – drinking and doing drugs. My drinking and drug use had already ruined half my life, why not just let it ruin me for good? I decided I had to step off the merry-go-round for good. I had to do it for the sake of my family, myself and the few I had left who stood by me even in my darkest days. I had to prove to everyone – most importantly myself – that I’m stronger than this. I can do better than this lie I’ve been living for so long. I can learn from my mistakes, accept them and use my life experiences to change into the person I was always meant to be. It was time for me to enter a drug and alcohol treatment center and get the help I desperately needed even at a young age. What kept me going was the notion that I had already seen and been through enough as it is. I was somehow miraculously alive and still breathing through all of it. I had to stop asking the question and start seeking the answer.
Staying Off the Merry-Go-Round: Resurrection
After leaving treatment and going into recovery, I felt human again for the first time in a long time. I learned a lot about myself. I was oblivious and ignorant to just how much my drinking and drug use cost me. Drugs and alcohol changed me as a person physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It caused me to push family, friends and significant others away without understanding how or why. I didn’t realize how my drinking and drug use affected others. I loved drinking and drugs more than anyone or anything, including myself. I thought life was a lot more fun and entertaining while high and intoxicated. I truly was living a lie. My life has been better sober. I can live, laugh and love again without needing drugs and alcohol. My bond with my family that I pushed away for years is now stronger than ever. I discovered the errors of my ways and why my actions led to certain consequences. I was finally able to shed my ego, accept my mistakes, learn from them and make the changes I should have a long time ago. I feel like drugs and alcohol did kill me in a sense…but I escaped my reckless ways only to be resurrected into the strongest version of me I’ve ever known. I got off the merry-go-round of addiction and alcoholism for good. Believe me – if I was able to do it, anyone can.
Photos are pixabay creative commons
Guest Author Bio
Kevin Repass is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He is a writer for Your First Step, a south Florida-based company dedicated to providing resources and information to all those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.