What Lies Behind Us
October 25, 2016
When I look back on my life before coming to DSYTC, it was a mess. I was oblivious, but it was a complete, F@*#ing mess. Homeless, hopeless and strung out, I had shown up on my mom’s doorstep looking for sympathy. I hadn’t been home, hadn’t seen her, hadn’t called, in over a year. I hadn’t even really wanted to come home, but my addiction had gotten so out of control that I had nowhere left to go. All my bridges were burned – since getting out of a really unhealthy relationship, everyone who had taken me in was lied to, stolen from, or used in whatever way by me. I couldn’t go back to prostituting because I’d even burned that bridge. I remember being so absolutely exhausted and coming to my mom, begging to come home – and it wasn’t that I actually wanted to be there, it was just my last option.
She told me I would only be allowed to come home on one condition: I had to go to treatment. My first instinct was shock. Treatment? I didn’t need treatment, over the past month I’d gotten a handle on things; I’d gained ten pounds, I wasn’t smoking crack anymore, I was only doing coke or speed every second day… no way did I have a problem. I felt that familiar rage grip me and suddenly I was screaming and spitting in her face, the woman who I’d already hurt so much. I left, but it only took another night on my own to end up back there wallowing in self-pity and self-loathing, placating her with hollow apologies and promises, and she took me back. A whole year of me out partying, prostituting, wasting away after taking off without notice – and even before that, when I was at home, treating her, her husband and my half sister like filth – all that, and she took me back just like that. It was still conditional, though. I had to get some help and go to treatment first.
So that’s how I ended up coming to Dave Smith. I remember coming in for my tour and somehow believing it wasn’t real, that it all wasn’t really happening. And then it did. I got in within a week of applying, packed my bags and came. It all happened fast, and I guess looking back I’m happy it did, because if I’d had more time to consider, I might not have come at all. I’d been to treatment before, for eleven months, so I figured three months here would be no big deal.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. As I write this, I’m two days away from my graduation, but I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to get here. My time at Dave Smith has been the hardest, most draining but at the same time empowering journey I have ever been on. It took a while but with my therapist and even with some of the amazing staff, I’ve been able to work through feelings and trauma I’ve carried with me since I was a child. They were there for me every step of the way and there are no words I could use to properly thank them.
Before I came here I was bitter, angry and broken, a miserable shell of who I used to be. I’d given up on life. Now I’m rediscovering everything that used to make my world spin. I have hobbies, interests, passions. Three months ago I had no one, and now I have my entire family back supporting me, not to mention all the great girls I met here that have become more than friends, almost family as well.
I’m going to get my high school diploma, and go to university to study nursing, which is something I never thought possible. I have so much now, all because of the work I did here and the help I got. I see so much more of who I used to be, who I genuinely am, and who I am becoming, and I love all of it. That’s the thing I’m most grateful for – I’m becoming happy again.
Of course I have my struggles, but everyone does. Having flaws and downfalls is an inevitable part of life, it’s how you use them to your advantage and for growth, that matters. This is all really unbelievable for me; in 2016 alone I’ve had three really serious overdoses, one where I had a blacked out and had a seizure,and another where I went into cardiac arrest. I shouldn’t be sitting here, writing this today. I danced with fire for a long time and I came close, but I never got burned to the point where I couldn’t go on. A lot of circumstances have been obstacles in my path, which I never thought I’d be able, let alone have the courage, to overcome. I’ve struggled with eating disorders, a separated family, morality and spirituality issues, drug addiction, and for whatever reason, I was subjected to a long period of sexual and emotional abuse and all this has left a void in me that I’ve tried to fill with everything from drugs to men to money, but until now it’s never been filled. I’m finally at a point where I don’t feel the need to fill it anymore – I can just let it go. That’s what I’m doing: I’m letting go of the past, letting go of all the hate and shame I’ve dealt with for so long. I don’t need to be controlled by substances, people, or anything.
My life is infinitely better now that I’m more than ninety days sober and can actually appreciate everything I have, and everything I still have to experience. I’m going to take what I learned and gained here at the DSYTC and go make a difference out in the world. You’ve seen my descent, now watch my rising.