I was a shy creative kid who lived in my own world. I was plagued with depression and anxiety and as a result I had very few friends. When the friends I had started to experiment with drugs, naturally I followed suite. Marijuana and alcohol gave me something I was always searching for – a feeling of intense spirituality. Alcohol and drugs made me feel like everything was going to be ok.

Eventually Marijuana and alcohol were not enough to kill my emotional pain so I turned to pills, particularly opiates. Over time my addiction had pushed away everything important in my life, even my creativity. My constant pursuit of drugs was fueled by the terrifying thought of having to sit with myself and feel the horrible feelings.

I was fortunate enough to be sent to a detox center and an inpatient treatment facility. Since then I have been given the tools necessary to abstain from drugs and alcohol and start to heal. I was taught how to form strong emotional connections with other people by being honest with them and allowing them to help me. This has not only allowed me to stay sober but it has also given me the opportunity to address my mental illness as opposed to self medicating it.

I have been clean and sober for over 6 years. I have many supports and friends and I enjoy the life I live today. I have my creativity back and my artistic goals I was too sick to pursue are now being checked off the list. Not everyday is perfect but knowing there is a solution gives me hope and the feeling that everything is going to be ok.