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Happy Clean Day to Me on New Years Day

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Happy Clean Day to Me on New Years Day

I have been clean for years now, I'm 50. Growing up in the 60's as a mixed race child was difficult for me and made me feel out of place and uneasy in my skin. I always believed people were talking about me when they looked at me. My first experience with drugs was when I was 8 years old and it was with cigarettes. My disease of addiction progressed, at 13 it was marijuana, at 14 it was alcohol, at 17 it was sex, at 18 it was snorting cocaine, at 20 it was crack cocaine. By the time I was 21 I was a full blown addict and had no control over my behavior. What does this mean? It means I stole from my money from my mom and went as far as selling my body to get drugs. I attempted suicide twice, fell out of a 3rd story window once and was in several abusive relationships as well. I was hanging out with people most people only see in movies. It started out as just a little weed with friends. It made me feel comfortable in my own skin then over the years new drugs came into play and the good feelings turned into an addiction before I knew what was happening.

I went into recovery when I was 28 years old, went to meetings and got a sponsor. Life was good. I was starting to feel better about myself. I had addressed a lot of my issues. Then I met a man who looked very good to me. So, I decided he was a better than meetings and my sponsor. To make this story shorter, I stayed clean for 2 years then relapsed. I stayed in the relationship that was mentally abusive for the next 6 years. I was able to get a few years abstinence, but inevitably I would relapse. After the last relapse, I decided that I would continue to relapse if I stayed in that relationship. I left and started attending meetings again and connected with my sponsor.

My clean day is New Year"s Day. The reason it's New Year"s Day is because I passed out before midnight. LOL. Otherwise it would have been January 2nd. Once I left the relationship I began to work on myself again and this is when I realized I had a sex addiction. What that mean for me is, I thought having sex with someone was a way of being loved. I have now learned to love myself enough to realize I am enough.

Life is not always easy but I will tell you this much. I have never had to lie, steal, manipulate, sell my body, or feel worthless, to go to a meeting or a clean dance or event. The only thing required of me to participate in these activities is the desire to be clean. That"s it!

I have heard people say they respect the disease of addiction. Well I don't! I refuse to respect something that makes me behave the way drugs have done. So, I say, I am afraid of my addiction, this way I can stay away from the things that have caused me to relapse in the past. Fear of relapse is motivation for me.

There is so much more I could tell you but if I write a book you may not finish it. Life without drugs is better than I could have ever imagined. I am happy with who I am regardless of what others think. What others think is not my business. Saying this to myself has helped me so much over the years. I know I am not the only one who has had this problem and if you are one of them too, know that there is life after addiction, and it will be more than you can imagine.

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

Guest Book


1. J. R.
This is almost exactly what is happening to a good friend of mine. He has been smoking cigarettes and marijuana since he was about 13 years old. He will be turning 30 this year and has just been diagnosed with early stages of emphysema. We have always looked at this disease as affecting people in their later stages of life. However, it now seems that it can strike much earlier. The only solution is to quit the substances causing the problem. I think in both cases it is much more difficult to do than it sounds. It's a shame.