Giving It The Old College Try One More Time

Lots of recovering addicts have fond reminiscences about the days before they became addicted-I’m not among them. My descent and decline first into alcohol, then drugs started in my late teens. From outward appearances, I should never have ended up a druggie. Considered by many around me as “good looking”, I was a studios loner, who preferred the company of books or movies to people and massively multiplayer online game to parties and get-togethers and my obsessively neat room was my citadel.

My hard-working immigrant parents believed if you were working, you were happy and as long as I kept up my A+ average they were content to leave me be. That changed when it was time to pick a college.  They’d saved their whole lives so their only child could have his pick of the best schools. The thought of having a roommate terrified me and even more frightening was the idea of leaving the sanctity of my room. I let them know outright that I was only willing to commute to the local community college.

After several bitter arguments, my tearful and disappointed father relented. With that all behind me, and feeling terrified, I began my first semester of community college.

My high school was small and I’d known most of the students from my elementary school days. That gave me a buffer that I didn’t bring with me to college. Entering the college main building for the first time surrounded by the sea of humanity that made up the student body my heart pounded and I began shaking. Then, I had to run to the men’s room because of the onset of diarrhea. This was not for me.

While my parents were working, I’d sneak back home and stay in my room and drink, a habit I recently picked up. When I drank, not only was the world different, I was different too. I could be superman or anybody, but mostly I didn’t have to be me, the person I hated the most in life.

Then one afternoon, unknown to me my father, who had a doctor’s appointment, came home and found me sleeping off the vodka I’d consumed that afternoon. One thing led to another and all hell broke loose when he’d found out I hadn’t been attending my classes.  He gave me an ultimatum: go to rehab and get clean or get out and get a job.

Of course I choose rehab, and while I was in rehab I got help for dual diagnosis treatment, which I never even knew that I had.

After I successfully finished rehab and returned home the first thing I did was apologize to my dad. My dad was the one who picked up the tab for my rehab and I am working to make amends to him and mom for all the heartache and trouble I caused them before going to rehab. I have been attending a four-year college and doing well in my studies and feeling optimistic about my future for the first time.

Tony A.
Westfield, NJ