“I Could Actually Have Hope”

By Amanda

As a child, I had no idea what was wrong with me. I grew up in a loving family who supported me in every way possible. And yet I felt disconnected.

I had friends, but I always wanted to be alone. And I had an out-of-control competitive streak. I felt like I had to be the best in everything—get the best grades, be the best in soccer, do everything better than everyone else.

When I couldn’t be the best, I’d make myself sick and stay home from school. I’d do self-injurious behavior such as punching myself in the face or banging my head against the wall. Once, I even tried to jump out of a moving car.

I became addicted to everything. Sugar. Sports. School. Boys. And alcohol and drugs. I didn’t know the meaning of the word “moderation.” Everything was to the max.

When I was in the ninth grade, I lost three people who were really close to me. One was shot and killed over a drug deal, another died in a car accident, and another died by suicide. It was too much for me to handle, and I went through some pretty dark trauma.

Alcohol and weed became my best friends. I was eventually kicked out of high school because I couldn’t make the grades, and I was often blacked-out drunk. I switched to an alternative school, and barely graduated.

Everyone at DLC was so kind

I kept up like this for a few years. At 21, I went on a 17-day bender, ingesting as many drugs and as much alcohol as possible. When the drugs stopped working, I stopped cold turkey, and flushed all the drugs and booze down the toilet and went into a self-imposed detox.

It was horrible. I felt like I was having a mental breakdown, like my brain had broken in half. I was banging my head on the wall, wanting to pass out. I think I wanted to die.

When I missed a few days of work, people got worried. My boss called to check up on me, and my parents came to my place. When they found me in that condition, they took me straight to David Lawrence Centers to get help.

I don’t remember much about my short time at DLC except this: Everyone there was so kind. Everyone wanted to help me. I never knew that people could care about someone they didn’t know.

They convinced me that I had a life that I could go back to. They convinced me that I could actually have hope.

I wish I could say my life completely turned around at that point. It didn’t. I ended up relapsing and going to another rehab facility. Over the next couple of years, it was two steps forward, one step back.

But my time at DLC really did make a difference. They gave me the confidence that I could beat my addictions. They made me understand the importance of 12-step meetings. And, after diagnosing me with bipolar disorder, they convinced me of the need to take the right prescription medications, so I could be of sound mind.

Today, I’ve been sober for a several years. I’m teaching yoga classes full-time, and I love my new life in recovery. I’m active in the recovery community, sharing my story with others. I want to help people avoid the mistakes I’ve made, and to keep them from going down the hard roads I’ve been down.

My life is wonderful now, and that all started because of the kindness, support, and help I received at David Lawrence Centers . And I’m so grateful.

Supporters like you make success stories like Amanda’s possible. Thank you for your support!

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