Drug Addiction to Wasted Opportunities
TJ’s drug addiction began around the age of 15.; before his addiction transpired, he talks about not fitting in. Growing up, TJ felt as if there was a bubble surrounding him that kept him separate from everyone else.
On a snowboarding trip with friends from school, TJ was introduced to Ecstasy. This was TJ’s first time doing drugs and he was immediately hooked.
He continued to use Ecstasy throughout the next two years of high school. Shortly afterward, TJ began to drink Alcohol. “When I drank it’s like that bubble just popped, it went away.”
After barely graduating from high school, TJ went to college at the University of Arizona. Choosing to get high, drink and party instead of attending class, he was academically disqualified during his sophomore year.
Planting the Seed of Recovery
People came into TJ’s life and told him that he needed to change—that he might be an addict or an alcoholic. TJ explains that was when the seed was planted, and when he knew recovery was possible. There was help available and if he wanted it, he could have it.
TJ understood that he didn’t have to continue living his life this way; however, at the time in his life, he wasn’t yet ready to live a life without drugs and Alcohol. TJ was sent to a halfway house—the first of many times being in a recovery-based community.
Living at the halfway house, it took him less than a week before he started getting high again. This time he tried Heroin and it began a dark turning point for TJ’s addiction. One evening, he left the halfway house to get drugs with another resident, only to wake up in the hospital at 3:30 am.
Police had found TJ dead from a drug overdose on the side of the road. Fortunately, his overdose was reversed after two shots of Narcan. But this wasn’t the end of his journey, TJ continued to get high for three years after that night.
Consequences of Heroin
The legal consequences of drug use, landed TJ with probation. Violating his probation, he was sent to jail. Getting out of jail, TJ went back home to live with his mom. Soon after getting out of jail, he had high hopes to clean up his life.
After moving back in with his mom, TJ met a girl. One day he caught her doing Heroin and was right back to where he left off before he went to jail.
Together, they managed to get into an apartment. Living together, TJ and his girlfriend regularly committed breaking and entering crimes, stealing from people’s home.
Facing the unpleasant consequences of this behavior, the sheriffs raided their apartment and he was sent to jail. Getting out of jail this time, TJ’s probation officer told him to go to a halfway house. Yet again, he did not follow directions and was right back to abusing drugs.
One Real Attempt at Sobriety
Giving sobriety another shot, TJ went to a halfway house. This time he was open-minded to what other people were saying, as he experienced yet again a “pitiful, incomprehensible demoralization.”
He found the people that had the things he wanted, saying, “I wanted to be like them.” The people he surrounded himself with were not only sober and happy but had relationships with their families and friends.
TJ tells us that he has only had one real attempt at recovery and getting sober. He also mentions hearing about relapse as if it is a mandatory part of recovery, stating, “that is not the case.’
Realizing that the next drink or drug is always right there in front of him, he has adopted certain tools to help him see the end of each day sober. With the help of treatment and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, TJ lives a sober, happy and spiritual life today.
If you’re someone who is suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction and want to talk to someone who understands, call (866)578-7471. There is a way out of addiction and there is a better life waiting for you.