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Too Young To Die

triumphant with outstretched arms to the sky

Ever since I got clean, I've thought a lot about determinism, free will, and whether or not there was such a thing as fate. On one hand, if I would have believed in fate when I was doing cocaine, I would have totally given up trying to even fight my addiction and said that fate wanted me to die. On the other hand, it didn't seem like anything but fate could have gotten me to stop. My cocaine habit started when I was just shy of 23. It was a period in my life in which I loved and cared for nothing and welcomed each new adventure no matter how reckless or idiotic. Cocaine knocked on my door one night. I let it in and we were best friends for about five years.

I say five years, but it felt more like two. I was completely out of it and couldn't be bothered to do things like have lasting relationships, hold down a job, or be a decent human being. I was drifting through what I was convinced would be a short life, and that was completely OK with me. The only difficulty I had with the whole experience was withdrawal - which started to get less and less tolerable - but I always just kept myself high enough not to notice. It wasn't my intention to hurt anyone through my actions, but if I did…oh well.
 
As I got older, my friends started dropping like flies and the reality of death and its finality set in - to say nothing of the fact that my parents had given up on me and believed literally nothing I told them anymore. I wanted to start to live a normal life, but coke wouldn't have it. I divided my week between 2 to 3 sober days and the rest high out of my head. I would just sit in my room, do lines and fall asleep; toward the end, it felt like each line could be my last. I was paranoid that I was going to die, but coke made me even more paranoid. My life became a living nightmare.
 
After finding me on my floor, apparently mumbling fatalistic and suicidal thoughts to myself, my parents arranged for me to enter a Florida inpatient drug rehab that they found on the web. When I thought about what I had done and what had brought me to this point, I made a commitment to myself to give their program a chance to change my life.
 
After finishing my treatment at this residential rehab, I returned home to a new life filled with purpose. I do have the occasional brush with relapse from time to time. But I have the tools now to be able to remove myself from the situation until the temptation subsides. I'm happy and proud to say that I haven't done a single line since entering treatment. Amazingly, I wouldn't even know where to get cocaine anymore.
 
Peter L.
Westbrook, ME
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