PASAGE

Saint John

What could happen

Stories From Those Who Have Been There

“Say No … Say It Proudly”

“Why are you hanging out with that crowd? They are nothing but trouble.” “I am just saying this because I love you and I am worried about you.” How bad does that drive us crazy, hearing our parents nagging on us, for no reason in our eyes? It is a major pain in the butt, trust me, I know. I went through it and I thought that they were wrong and crazy. Then, when I was left with nothing, I wished I had listened to my mother when she was being crazy and saying all those silly things to me. This is my story of pain, hardship and of me not listening to the people who actually loved me for me!

I had the best life. Just my mom and me. I was doing well in school, had a lot of friends, and I was doing what I loved most: dancing. I was 11 when I got introduced to my first boyfriend and when I smoked my first joint. I didn’t know much about anything bad, especially pot. I had my first boyfriend and I wanted to fit in with his crowd, so I started smoking pot. After I smoked my first joint I felt a little funny, but I thought I could handle it. I slowly started to smoke more and more pot and I started smoking cigarettes as well because I wanted that feeling of acceptance from my boyfriend and his “cool” friends. I got just that in following and doing what they did. The first time I got caught was by my mom. I couldn’t tell her the truth, so that’s when the lying started. Time went on and I was smoking pot everyday. I started to skip classes and went to dance class less and less and the lying got worse. Now I had to lie to get money so I could get my drug fix and cigarettes for the day. After smoking pot everyday I wasn’t getting the high I used to. I got mad because my mom stopped giving me money because she was catching on. I had to lie and steal to get high, and even that wasn’t working. I thought to myself that it was time to go higher on the chain of drugs.

I got introduced to LSD (Acid), Ecstasy (E), Mushrooms (Shrooms) and Percocet (Perks). I thought that it couldn’t get any better. I was living in my own little world and I felt like nothing could go wrong. Buy, was I wrong. My boyfriend, of a little over 4 years, started abusing me mentally and emotionally. Every now and then he would push me around because I was not getting money from family members because they did not want to feed my drug addiction. So I left him and moved on to my next crowd of druggies. That’s when I met another crew of people and my new boyfriend who was so much better, I thought. I was 16 and living “the high life”. I was partying all the time and getting so high I couldn’t see straight or even walk and talk properly. Drugs were taking over my life and I let it happen. I no longer had any of my family or old friends anymore. They were tired of the choices I was making and they did not want to talk to me anymore. I did not care about school or dancing , all I cared about was when I was going to get my next fix so I could stay high 24/7. I did that for about 5 years of my teenage life. I was living a life of crime and addiction. You think the friends you have really care about you. In reality, all they care about is the same thing you do, someone to get high with or to do your drugs when they don’t have any of their own. To top everything off, I was 16 when I found out I was pregnant! Yeah that’s right, 16 and going to have a baby. I was too high all the time to worry about a baby. So I continued on with my habit and kept doing drugs. One day my best friend came to me in tears. She told me that she was 3 and a half months pregnant and had a miscarriage. Her doctors told her it was due to the amount of drugs she was putting into her system. I was speechless and I did not know what to do or what to think. I sat for 2 hours and did nothing, took one last long haul off a joint, stood up and walked out the door without saying a word. I kept walking for 3 hours. It was time for me to do something and now.

I decided to keep my baby and to continue with the pregnancy. I went back to school and completed my GED. I delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl. All of this was possible because I dropped drugs and the losers that came along with them on the ride I was on for 5 years of my life. I could not handle it anymore. I was sick and tired of spending my money on a high that only lasted for a couple of minutes. I was tired of waking up and not knowing where I was. And I was tired of feeling like shit because I had not eaten because I was too worried about getting high. The thing I was tired of most was realizing how much I hurt my family in making them watch what I was doing to myself and fighting with my mom over who was wrong and right. All they were doing was looking out for me because I was not able to do it myself. I chose to be addicted to drugs, it did not happen by itself. It is not something that just happens, you make it happen by picking up that first pill, joint, pipe, etc… So, take my past experience and soak it in and please don’t pick it up. It is not a life you want to live. It is a life of pain, lying, hardship, and hurting the people that love you the most. So the next time that your mom or dad does not want you to go somewhere or has something to say, take a second and think to yourself. Are they driving you crazy or are they just doing their job and looking out for you? 99.9 % of the time they are looking out for the person they love the most.

Sincerely, Someone who did it…So can you!!!

“Walk Away … Keep Walking … Don’t Look Back”

I started to use pot when I was eight years old. When I started to use, it was because I wanted to be accepted by my older sister. After time went on I wasn’t getting high from pot anymore. This made me use higher drugs such as — E, Mushrooms, Coke and so on and so forth. When I was on pot it would make me act stupid. I was always hungry & I was always lazy. I spent all of my money on drugs and started to sell off all of my stuff. After I ran out of stuff to sell and my parents stopped giving me money, I started to steal. I started to loose my family and burned their trust for me. I was moving in and out of my house and ran away a lot. The first time I ran away I was thirteen years old, no one knew where I was and I thought that no one cared. When I went back to where I was living before I had ran away everyone was so happy to see me and never wanted me to do anything like that ever again. I think it was then I realized how much I was hurting my family. After awhile I would use drugs because I had so much hurt inside of me that I didn’t want to deal with it. I was always picked on a school and at home. I was abused my whole life and didn’t ever think about all of that stuff. I used drugs to escape my reality. The more I used the worse I got, I am sixteen years old and have been in an out of jail since I was young and now I have a criminal record and I am now in rehab.

Don’t say “Well I only smoke pot”, that’s what I said at first and look where I’m at now.

My second chance …

Last year I was given an opportunity through the courts to be rehabilitated. If I had not, I would have spent many long months in jail and that really didn’t appeal to me much. I accepted the offer with a pessimistic attitude only because it would clear my criminal record (not for myself). I arrived at Portage on November 18th 2009. The program was very complex and difficult to adapt to but, in contrast it gave me many opportunities to reevaluate my approach to many things . At first imagining myself 4-6 months down the road (the usual length of the program) was extremely difficult for me to do. Now, prior to this new experience, The things I would value and, incorporate persistence and determination with, were ultimately what got me facing charges. Immediately upon arrival I was perceived as a judgmental and aggressive individual to the staff there but, I seemed to fit right in with the guys. Now portage may brag about there success rate but it’s ultimately up to the addict to change they’re ways. I often felt manipulated by the staff there and my defensive personality was frequently challenged. I just couldn’t adapt to this therapeutic community run by addicts. I had to find my place. So I had to now learn how to take all my street smarts and combine them with the skills and values that fund our society. Now your probably questioning yourself as you read this; What is it really like to be rehabilitated? and for some people it’s very difficult to comprehend. It took an enormous amount of determination to complete that program and, it took me 9 months! (I had a few set backs). How I viewed myself 1 year ago, influenced me to change my ways. Its very humbling to make a self-inventory of your short-comings and, its extremely rewarding to rise above it all. I was blindly, going in the wrong direction and was inconsiderately dragging others down with me. The old me, has made me much more aware of where I was going and who I would have become. I had such a persuasive effect on those around me and it evidently, affected those I would corrupt. The main thing some addicts need to be aware of is that they’re actions may affect others and, They’re are long-term consequences to these actions. I speak with integrity when I elaborate on this topic and I I feel extremely grateful and fortunate to have been given an opportunity like this but, I’ve really only got myself to thank, for it was my choice in the beginning, right?