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Young and Free: John's Story of Recovery From Drug Addiction

by John G
(Ridgefield, CT, USA)

My name is John and I am an alcoholic and a raging drug addict. I'm seventeen years old and only used for about 2 and a half years, but that was more than enough for my life to fall to pieces because of my addiction.


When I was fourteen I got a little drunk for the first time. I hated the way the alcohol tasted, and I hated how it made me so sick. The effects were nice, but I wished that I could get them without having the unpleasant side effects.
I found a solution to this problem at age 15 with marijuana ...

Within my a few months of my first time smoking, I was getting high multiple times every single day. My friends were changing rapidly because the ones who really cared didn't approve of my heavy usage. I responded to this by getting new friends.

Around this time I also became addicted to stealing, in order to support my addiction and also in order to look cool by having a lot of money. My friends and I would get high and drunk and then go out at night and steal hundreds and hundreds of dollars from people's unlocked cars.

I began selling pot at age 16. My usage increased heavily and I began using other drugs as well. I slowly began trying all the things I said I would never do, and before long, my life was absolutely governed by cocaine, alcohol, prescription medications, and lots and lots of pot.

Of course I also began getting into trouble with the law. February 16, 2009, I was arrested for the first time but let off with a possession charge. June 16 I was arrested again, this time with three felonies and a misdeameanor. I was expelled from my school and sent to a mental ward for saying I wanted to kill myself, and straight to a treatment center from there.

A few days after getting out of treatment, I was using again. I remember feeling like an empty shell - I would stay up for days at a time, stealing, lying, and using people to get my drugs and liquor. My family thought I was sober at this point, and I began at a character-based boarding school in August.

I brought a lot of pot with me and resisted everything the school was trying to offer me. Once the pot ran out, I began huffing up to 2 cans of computer duster every day, along with a daily dosage of booze and a whole lot of cough medicine.

My family had just about given up at this point. They had sent me to many different therapists, substance abuse consuelors, programs, but nothing had worked. Whenever I resolved to be sober, I was being sincere, but I was usually coked up within a week or two, with a joint in one hand and a beer in the other, asking myself what had happened. It was just so painful to be inside my own skin.

I hit bottom on November 16, 2009. I wish I could tell you that something incredible brought on a "white light moment" for me, but honestly, it wasn't like that. I was sitting in a substance abuse group at my school. One second I really wanted to go back to my dorm and take a bunch of pills, and then the next I decided that it was a bad idea.

And coming to that realization felt good; so good, in fact, that I went back to my dorm and flushed the pills down the toilet. As far as I'm concerned, that's the most important day of my life - that was the day I finally decided I had had enough. I called up my mother, crying and saying I was really done this time, but she didn't believe me (who could blame her). So I then called up an old friend who I knew was heavily involved in a 12-step group. This man is my sponsor today. We work our program together, and maintain daily contact.

At a little 90 over days sober, I can honestly say I have never been so grateful and serene in my entire life. If you're reading this and you can relate to my story, please know that there is a way out of the twisted insanity that is drug addiction and alcoholism. If you have the disease, the bad will always outweigh the good.

Getting sober was the best and hardest thing I ever did. Words can't express how gratifying it was for me to pick up my ninety day chip, or how nice it is to know that I have a sponsor who would do anything for me. I should be dead right now, but I'm still here - as far as I'm concerned, that's proof enough for me to believe in a loving Higher Power. As long as I remember to help other addicts, talk to my sponsor, work my 12 step program, and remain honest, I don't have to drink and drug today. And to me, this is a miracle.

Comments for Young and Free: John's Story of Recovery From Drug Addiction

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Jun 27, 2011
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update again
by: John G

hey, not sure if anyone's read this in a looong time haha, but for anyone interested, i have stayed sober and am coming up on 20 months. god bless recovery and the wonderful people who have found it.

Apr 18, 2010
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Update
by: John G

Hey guys, just wanted to give you an update and say that I am blessed to tell you I celebrated 5 months sober on the 16th. Hope anyone reading this who is still active can hit their bottom soon without too much pain and damage, addiction ran my life for too long and I've amazed to still be here, breathing.

Live today the best way you can, because its all we have.

Mar 09, 2010
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i believe in you :-)
by: Anonymous

congrats johnny! keep it up, so proud.

Feb 28, 2010
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It's amazing...
by: Erin McCluskey

John,
It's amazing how much you've grown in such a short time. I remember going through High School with you and being so worried about your daily usage and when you got kicked out, I remember feeling so scared for you and worried that I'd never see you again. I'm so proud of the progress you've made and I hope you stick with it your whole life. We are all behind you here at home and you are in our thoughts and prayers. Endless love!

Feb 19, 2010
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congratulations
by: Deb K

Like I said to you earlier, what an inspiration you are to others. Nothing feels better than that. Keep it up, and always keep reaching out -- Mrs. K

Feb 19, 2010
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You Are God's Best John
by: Terry Budlong

I'm so proud of you, John. You've always been like a second son to me. I know you have so much to give as you share your journey with others. Reach out, stay involved with your program and be confident God will bless you mightily.
Very Lovingly,
Mrs. B

Feb 16, 2010
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by: the fat kid

good shit garv, keep it up

Feb 16, 2010
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Proud of You
by: Anonymous

John,

Congratulations on the chip and may there be many, many, many more, to go next to the first one. It won't be easy, but you already know that. You will be challenged, be strong. If I can be of any help anytime, please let me know. What you are doing is awesome, I'm very psyched and proud of you. Love, Uncle Tom

Feb 15, 2010
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Proud
by: Anonymous

Life changing. Don't stop believing in yourself.

Feb 15, 2010
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proud of you
by: Kevin

John,
I'm proud of you, not only for what you've done, but for speaking out so that you might be able to help others, and it seems that you indeed have. I hope that you feel a strong sense of pride right now.

Feb 15, 2010
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So Proud
by: Erica Hollar

John, I'm so proud of you. You have been a close friend for a long time and it's so amazing to hear how much you have improved. You have always been a great friend to me and I cannot wait until you come back to Ridgefield. We all miss you and love you. You're my Johnny and you always will be. Please call me soon. xo

Feb 15, 2010
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Inspirational
by: C-P

Excellent and inspirational story John. Your story highlight beautifully that recovery is not about age, but all about attitude. Once one is ready to do what it takes, all those excuses that keep one in a life of addiction, disappear. Congrats on your milestone and keep on doing what you're doing.

Feb 15, 2010
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You Helped Me Today
by: Anonymous

What an incredible story! Hang in there, John. Your life can be everything you want it to be IF you stay sober--one day at a time. Thank you for helping ME to stay sober today.

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