Before I arrived at The Door my life was in shambles. I was going nowhere fast and it was continuously getting worse. I was fifteen years old and I was already dying. I was dropping out of high school, being kicked out of my house, losing friends, losing my mind, and losing myself. I didn’t feel a connection with anyone, not my family, not my friends, not even myself. The best way to sum up how I felt in my addiction is to say that I never smiled. It had been that way for most of my life. I didn’t like to smile because I was not happy. I was stuck in a depressed state and I used drugs to try and escape, but it was only made worse. As my life fell apart, my parents scrambled to find a solution. They experienced the powerlessness more severely than I did in my sedated state. Eventually they came upon The Last Door, and they got me a bed.
When I first arrived at the Youth Door I felt something that I had never felt before. I felt compassion and empathy from the other clients there, I felt welcomed and understood, I felt like maybe, just maybe, if I put the effort in I could become like these people and be happy. It was not an easy road and it did not happen all at once, but eventually my horizons started to expand. I started to feel a part of rather than apart from. I got involved in the energy and was able to contribute. I made friends and I made connections. The other guys in the house became my support group, I became close with them as well as the staff. I felt like, if I continued to do recovery and stay clean, I could do anything that I wanted with my life. The Door didn’t just get me clean and give me the tools to stay clean, it gave me opportunity. It gave me the ability to make my own decisions, to have control over my life. Because of what the Door gave me, I am able to do anything that I want with my life.
Just over four years later my life is unrecognizable. I smile all of the time, I am a happy person. I surround myself with a large group of friends that are also happy and in recovery. I am still a part of the energy, and I come by as much as I can. I am still involved in meetings and I practice recovery every day. Right now I am working to put myself through school. Just recently I started working on my undergraduate degree, hoping to eventually go to medical school. I’m paying for all the schooling myself, through work and student loans. I’m doing school with my friends, continuing to include others in my life. If it were not for The Door I would have never had the opportunity, the drive, or even the ambition to go to school, let alone discover that I love to learn and push myself. When I’m working, the people that I work with tell me that I am a pleasure to work with, that they have never met someone my age that is so responsible. Now that I’m in school, my teachers tell me that I am a pleasure to have in class. These were not things people used to say about me. The Door gave me the tools to stay clean and practice recovery, and because I do that I am able to accomplish anything that I set my mind on.
Cory M , clean date – March 28th 2012