The Exhausting Cycle of Drug Abuse
I started doing drugs at age 15. Who knew smoking a joint with a friend would lead to five years of addiction and abusive relationships? My quality of life was poor, to say the least. I was no longer alive and could no longer experience life.
I turned to drugs, so I wouldn’t have to deal with anything. I thought that if I couldn’t think or form a sentence then I couldn’t hurt so bad. I started lying, stealing, and cheating everyone around me, as my drug use spiraled out of control. I started to isolate myself until one day I found myself living in a weekly hotel with my ex-boyfriend.
Day after day, it was a constant cycle of looking for drugs and doing whatever was needed to buy drugs. One day, I decided that I was done, and I was too tired of how my life was going. I did the only thing I could think of and called my mom.
That call to my mother was hard. I didn’t know how it would go, all I knew was that I needed her to help me. Even after everything I had put her through, I didn’t know if she would still help me. The phone call wasn’t good. At all. I managed to convince her to let me come home. A week later, I arrived at her house at around 11pm and was not welcomed with open arms. My mom and I ended up getting into a huge argument, which resulted in her dropping me off at a psych ward.
I was at the hospital for about a week, where they tried to diagnose me with all sorts of mental problems like bipolar disorder. I hated every minute of being there and while I was there, my family came to visit me and told me they had a solution to all of our problems and that solution was Narconon Suncoast.
On August 21st, 2017 I made the decision to change my life. That was also the last day I put harmful chemicals into my body. I arrived at Narconon on August 22ndand it was the first time I hadn’t taken drugs in five years. I remember feeling out-of-touch with the world around me for the first couple of days. Thanks to the high level of care I got from the Withdrawal staff, I managed to get through my detox as comfortably as possible. During the Sauna Detox is when I started feeling normal again. I started to feel alive, my vision seemed clearer, my energy levels were replenished, and I couldn’t remember the last time I felt that good. With each passing day, I started to feel like my old self again.
After the Sauna detox, the next part of the program really helped me to deal with the past and let me move forward, finally. The Life Skills section gave me the opportunity to mend my broken relationships with my family and I was able to take full responsibility for all I had done. I got to learn that no matter what condition I find my life in, I have the power to change it. I learned that I was not helpless and that I had all I needed.
Once I finished the program, the staff organized a graduation ceremony to acknowledge all the hard work I had done, and I was able to share my wins and gains from the program with everyone in attendance. Finishing the program gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and instilled a drive within me to help others get through the struggle I was able to get through.
I decided to stay at Narconon Suncoast because I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help others and show them that life doesn’t have to be hard and that they have the power to get sober. I learned all the tools used to help students get through their programs and lead drug-free lives. The time flew by and it felt good knowing that, at some point, I helped someone, my words comforted another person, and that filled me with a huge sense of purpose and joy.
I was eventually offered a full-time position on staff and I jumped at that chance immediately. I remember thinking to myself that I have to be a part of this movement, that I want to be that relatable person who shows others that it’s possible to get clean.
On June 8th, 2018 I became a fully-vetted staff member. Once I was accepted onto the staff my emotions hit me so hard, that I started to cry, and I had the biggest smile on my face at the same time. Basically, I was absolutely floored. All my hard work had paid off!
Since then, my family has had nothing but uplifting words and praise for my dedication to leading a clean and sober life and my relationship with them has completely changed for the better.
I have now been a staff member for 4 months, and as of August 22nd, I have been 1 year and 2 months in sobriety!
Every day that I come to work, I help others get through their programs. I now have a completely new outlook on life and I have truly found my purpose.
Z. R.—Narconon Suncoast Graduate