When I was addicted to alcohol and drugs, I felt more trapped, like I didn’t want to die but I didn’t want to live. Kind of like caught in the middle. Where I started from kind of like in a glimpse, started in the poor neighborhood, I’ve been homeless with my family, I’ve been raped, I’ve been molested, shit’s happened to me. I’ve lost people, I’ve gained people. I raised myself for a couple of years when my mom had cancer, and my mom was working all the time. I just had to be strong from an early age, just kind of how I was built. From the point of 10 years old, my childhood was over. Every time there was a situation, I just bolted… I just felt ok, gone. I’m not here anymore, I can start over, fresh slate. I moved around so many times, it’s ridiculous. I’m almost 22, I moved around 21 times. That’s almost once every year I lived. A lot of moving had been part of my using, at the brink of it, between 18 – 21 that’s where a lot of the moving was. Just me being everywhere, trying to stay off the street. I was kind of like in a cell, thinking my life was over and as my rock bottom for me, I realized through the drugs and alcohol and people I hung out with led me here. If I’m going to keep drinking and using the drugs, if I’m going to be doing that I’m going to be around those people and those situations. I just never want to feel that way again. I never want to feel that fear that I felt those days.
I first came here for addiction treatment, not really knowing why I came here. Kind of just put here. I guess how Ventura Recovery Center helped me, there’s actually people that are genuine, people that actually care. I’ve never seen that. I’ve never met people like that, it’s a little weird for me right now, but it takes some getting used to, it’s a strange feeling. Just a lot better brand of people than I’ve been around. In my drug abuse, in my drinking just throughout my whole life, just like the attitudes of the people wasn’t [you’re going to do as we say] it was more like if you have the willingness to do this, if you don’t want to be in that dark place, if you want to come out have new freedom, have this peace that you’ve never experienced, that’s up to you. It’s not like it got shoved down my throat. That would’ve turned me off right away. I’ve stopped running, because everywhere you go it’s going to be there. Everywhere you go it’s going to be the same thing. The best thing you can do is turn around and face it. It’s not easier, it’s harder but it’s worth it. I feel a lot free, I don’t feel trapped. I don’t feel like I have to do the drugs in order to get by.
I don’t have those fears that I had when I was drinking. It’s kind of been like taken from me, I have a new freedom, and it’s a hell of a lot better than anything that has happened in my life. I’m one of those people who say [oh I’ve faced my problems] but looking back I just ran, when I start to get uncomfortable I run. But, this time I didn’t run, and I’m glad I didn’t.