The first time I used I was fifteen and then I started using regularly at eight-teen. By the time I was twenty-one I was in treatment. I don’t have a crazy story filled with fancy cars, beautiful supermodels, or penthouse parties. If I did I would most likely be still using. On the other side I didn’t end up homeless, jobless, in jail or the hospital. My reality is this…. Every time I used I was slowly killing myself. Every time I used I was slowly destroying my family, and every time I used I was drifting farther and farther away from the person my parents raised me to be.
I was stuck in this viscous cycle where I hated myself; I was depressed, and always felt alone. I would use but the truth was every time I used I would hate myself even more, felt more depressed, and felt even more alone. Yet I continued to use because I told myself that it would get better. I was givin all sorts of opportunities by my parent’s trips, school, a great job yet I didn’t appreciate them and took them for granted. I remember when I got honest about my using and told my parents I was going to stop. But just not using wasn’t that easy for me, I need more than just not using. I told my parents I need help and I ended up at the Last Door.
I had no idea what to expect when I decided I needed treatment. I was scared but I knew that something needed to change because I couldn’t keep living the way I was living. What I found in The Last Door was a home, a place where I could grow, I could learn, and I felt safe. I remember the first time I walked through the front door. There was an energy in the room that I couldn’t explain but I knew that if I stayed everything would be ok. What really stood out for me was that people looked happy. It had been a long time since I had been happy.
If I were to tell you I got it right away, or that I had seen the light after my first month I would be lying. It took me about ninety days to really start believing in the program, the steps, and myself. I remember the exact moment; I was at Kenny S’s cake. It was a Thursday night, Winners and the light went on for me. That’s not saying that after Kenny’s cake it was a walk in the park for me. I still had my struggles but with every day I didn’t use, my life got better. Through the twelve steps of NA I learned that drugs weren’t my problem, Tyler was my problem. While learning about my defects and patterns I was being taught how to live life and take responsibility for my life and my choices, by not only the counsellors at the Last Door but also my roommates and other clients. I learned how to be a friend, a son, a brother, and a partner. I learned that now I was clean and working recovery in my life that I had a choice and that my actions have a direct result in how my life unfolds. The most important thing I learned while at Last Door was that I could still live my life and have fun while being clean.
I’m so grateful I found Last Door and recovery at such I young age. I couldn’t imagine suffering for the next ten, fifteen, twenty years. The life skills I learned paired with the knowledge I gain through the twelve steps have had a positive effect on me, my family, and anyone I encounter on a daily basis. Today my life is simple. I spend my time working and going to school. I don’t see a limit on what I can accomplish and have confidence in myself. I have built friendships that have had positive impacts on not only my live but my family’s lives as well. Today I have desires and goals in my life and can see a positive future for myself. It’s all thanks to the Last Door, on my own I am just a hopeless drug addict but with the strength and support I have received from the Last Door I am able to live my life free from active addiction. The most important thing is that I feel I am a part of my family again. That’s not to say life has been a cake walk since I have been clean, but I know that if I continue to work the steps in my live, go to meetings, and continue to give back to Last Door and NA things will always work out.