Journal of A Recovered Teenage Addict


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Anonymous, Contributed

Note:  This article may trigger some sensitive readers.  It is important to know that the author of this entry has been receiving professional help and support.

Being a homeless addict at 17 definitely impacts you in a way that you can’t forget. I didn’t have a difficult childhood, per se. The worst thing that ever happened to me up until I was 16-17 years old was my mom passing away when I was younger, but my dad remarried quickly afterwards, so I always technically had two parents.

But last year my life changed dramatically.  I was extremely depressed and desperately looking for someone that wanted me or somewhere to fit it. So when I ran away and found a free-thinking-society-hating community downtown Kelowna I had finally found somewhere I could feel comfortable.

Although, that’s not quite how smoothly the next few months went. In fact, those months consisted of the most brutal and terrible days of my life. Well, at least up until now. Long story short, I got extremely unhealthy, developed an addiction to extremely harmful street drugs and was sleeping on old rooftops, in bushes and homeless shelters. I destroyed every healthy relationship I had, whether that was friends or family.  I was completely lost. I was taken advantage of and I lost every bit of self-confidence I had. I thought escaping reality would make me happier but I only ended up losing myself. I tried getting clean and away from the toxic lifestyle many times but I was never doing it for myself. I wanted to fix my relationship with my parents. I wanted to go back to school to graduate. I wanted to be someone that was valued. It wasn’t until I realized that no matter how hard I tried to change for the people I loved or for more convenient situations, I would never be able to change if I didn’t want it for myself.

It took me a while to get there but last October I got into a treatment center in Vancouver and spent three  months focusing on my goals for the future, healthy coping mechanisms, communication skills and how to stay clean in a world so messy and confusing. I completed the program a few days before Christmas and had five  months of clean time (drug free) under my belt and I was ready to conquer the world. Leaving my treatment safety bubble and stepping back into the world was a sudden, startling slap in the face. I had to take a few dozen steps back and remember that no matter how many months clean I was I will always be an addict. I had to start from zero. New relationship with my parents. New friendships. New school. New me.

These experiences will haunt me for the rest of my life.  If I could turn back time and go back I wouldn’t change a minute. Everything I’ve been through has made me who I am today and I couldn’t be prouder of the person I am becoming. I’ve always loved the saying “everything happens for a reason”. I still remind myself all the time that, although I will never be able to explain why somethings happen in life, I can rest assured that even if a rainbow does not appear afterwards, a storm really can’t last forever.