We’re starting to see it more and more now: the natural decline of New Year’s resolutions. It always amazes me how adamant people are to start fresh in the New Year; like they’re trying to outrun their mistakes and make themselves born all over again. When you spend as many years as I did abusing pills, the years start to just run together and no holiday, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve, means what it used to mean anymore. Until one day, you look around and you realize that you’ve had enough and that you ache all over for a fresh start.
They came without warning. They were these little, blue, chalky bits of euphoria that made me feel like everything was right with the world. They were oxycodone tablets and I was introduced to them by a friend in high school. It started off with sporadic use at parties and on weekends. Pretty soon, I was living my life 30 milligrams at a time and would go nuts when I had to live without these pills even for a day or two. I would punch holes in the walls, curse out my parents, beat up my car and just go completely insane toward everything and everyone.
Eventually my friends, who had all given up pills by graduation, were tired of me and essentially cut me out of their lives. We all thought that we’d give them up at some point; I guess some of us just had an easier time than others and some of us couldn’t let go at all. I couldn’t concentrate long enough to take, or even study for, any college entrance exam and I barely got out of high school. My life was going nowhere and my parents were starting to have enough of the sleepless nights and the worrying all the time.
Last year, after realizing that my life was going nowhere and that it would be cut short if I didn’t act, I made a New Year’s Resolution: get help at Florida drug rehab. I needed to go somewhere where I wasn’t going to be tempted to slink back into my old life. Florida was the right choice for me because it was far enough away from my state to get the fresh start that I needed. I chose one of the leading programs in the state and began my journey of recovery. So far I can report that it has been one of the hardest and most rewarding years of my life.
I’ve acquired a superstitious, “good-luck” strength in attributing my sobriety to my New Year’s resolution and am determined to keep the streak going, whatever it takes. I’ve been going to meetings and working all the steps. At my meetings, I talk to certain people who are convinced that recovery isn’t sustainable and that sooner or later, they’re going to relapse. I can only answer them with: “If you think you’re going to relapse then you probably will.” For those who believe they can recover, life is open to them.