Road to Redemption: My Journey From Drug Addiction To Sobriety
by Jacob Prater.
(West Union OH, 45693)
By the time I was fifteen years of age, I was a drug addict. My life has been a series of ups and downs since the very beginning. The knowing of drugs and alcohol came about at a young age ...
Seeing family members go through the hell of drugs and alcohol was a very confusing and misunderstanding stage of my adolescence. Being pressured at a young age to do things, such as drinking, was a blow below the belt to say the least. My name is Jacob Prater and I'm a drug addict.
My first experience with drugs was a scary one. I was but twelve years young and my innocence was being tested. Still a child, I was curious to what the green leaves that were rolled in a cigarette paper were and what it would do to me ...
I wanted to feel the rush I had heard about. Already being a frequent cigarette smoker, I took a puff of the 'joint.' I've always been the type to try new things. I was more intelligent to know I shouldn't have done it but I did anyways because of my daring instinct, so to speak. I never thought that one moment would lead up to where I am today.
When I was young I was bound for greatness. My intelligence was shining bright as ever. I felt indestructible like nothing in the world could stop me or slow me down. I was just a foolish innocent kid taken under the wing of a drug addicted brother.
I didn't know at the time but I was on a road of self-destruction. Always looking up to my big brother, I thought it was cool to be such a person. Being someone with all the right answers I thought I could never be wrong. I've never been so wrong in my life.
As the addiction started kicking in, I was doing poor in school, stealing from friends and family, and basically being a 'bum'. I was losing the trust and respect I worked so hard for over the years: not only from my peers but my family as well. I started lying, cheating, stealing and even begging and pleading to support my habit.
The environment I was in was 'low-level' to say the least. The people I was surrounding myself with at the time were, as I thought, my friends. Yet another mistake I made without realizing it. My personality changed dramatically which was a huge downfall of my own will to control myself.
The drugs clouded my reality in such a way that I was a completely different person overall. In my mind I was struggling everyday with the addiction. I felt that I needed to get the 'high' just to make it through the day. I was doing things that weren't what my character was about.
I lost all my connections with everyone in my life that made me the great person I once was. The only thing I had left was my addiction. What I failed to realize was that it was slowly killing me mentally and physically. I would do anything to get the 'high' just one last time before my body couldn't take it anymore.
I've huffed, sniffed, smoked, injected; you name it, I've done it.
The addiction took me over and got to the point where my body was shutting down on me. I was on the verge of death ...
I was hospitalized twice within a week before my life changed for the better. I've overdosed four times that I know of. The last time changed my perspective on everything. I was ordered to go into a rehabilitation center. I had already been feeling the urge and need to go to a rehab center for months now. It was a relief in some ways but at the same time it felt like hell.
I was so messed up on drugs that I thought that no one in my life was real. My brain was in such a psychotic state that in my mind I thought no one was real. I thought that I wasn't real and everyone and everything was all made up in my mind. I was living a sleepless nightmare. For the next five days I was in my own personal hell.
While in rehab I spent eight days with some of the most amazing and caring people I had ever met. We all had our own individual problems and needs. I made friends with fellow peers from ten to seventeen years old. We were there for each other. To help each other realize how great we truly were.
I learned not to judge a book by its cover. Everyone has their own special qualities that make them great. No matter what has happened in someone's past you can't judge them for what they have done. Only for what they will do; 'Judge me not by what I say but what I do.'
The drug withdrawals were worse than ever before. I found myself writing all over my arms with markers to remember the important things that would get me through all the bad times. I wrote the bad things in my life on my left arm and the good things on my right arm.
Slowly every day the words would wear off. When the words on my left arm wore off I felt completely anew. I could still see some of what was left on my right arm. I felt as if I had rid the bad things from life by doing such. I thought of the biggest problem in my past that had gotten me down the most besides the drugs and I wrote it on the bottom of my shoe, then I simply walked it off.
I had gone color-blind, lost my memory, sense of smell, taste, and touch. The first days were the worst of my life but as I started getting everything back I was feeling like I was on top of the world! My last days there were the greatest of my life. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I read the Bible for the first time and found God and let him in my life and realized that everything was going to be okay. I saw the light.
The time I spent at The Ridge Rehabilitation center changed my life forever. Now, after all is said and done, I'm proud to say that I am finally clean and sober and completely happy with my life. My name is Jacob Prater and I'm officially drug-free.