A Clear Alumni Shares His Experience, Strength, and Hope

Born in Sacramento, I grew up an only child to a loving and caring family who gave me everything I could have asked for in life.

To my family and friends, everything in my life appeared completely normal… I was very involved in sports and skateboarding growing up and I got along with everyone in school and even had a large group of friends! When I entered middle school I started to use drugs and alcohol simply because some of my friends were doing it and it sounded fun to me at the time. I kept using drugs and alcohol not knowing the severity of what my addiction would become years ahead of that time. My first two years of high school I saw it affect my grades and my last two years of high school my relationships. I isolated from my peers and slid deeper into heavier substance abuse. All my friends were going off to college while I was failing every class which resulted in me not graduating high school.

My first two years of high school my addiction slowly affected my grades and during the last two years, it bled my relationships. I was isolated from my peers and slid deeper into heavier substance abuse. All my friends were going off to college while I was failing every class which resulted in me not graduating high school. Eventually, I ended up getting my diploma, starting junior college, and working in a restaurant. My life took a sudden turn of events when I started to experiment with drugs that were not normal for anyone to be using at 18 years old. Within six months I was addicted to prescription painkillers and would do whatever I needed to, to get them. I stole from my family, hurt them emotionally, and ended up homeless at 19 years old. I spent the next 3 years using opiates which resulted in legal and medical consequences. Most importantly my family losing hope in me ever having a normal life or even having one again. I finally reached out for the help that my parents were giving me at 22 years old after 10 years of alcohol and drug abuse. Life seemed so frightening and I thought I could never be a normal member of society again but, that was not the case. I learned how to grow up sober as a young adult. To be

My life took a sudden turn of events when I started to experiment with drugs that were not normal for anyone to be using at 18 years old. Within six months I was addicted to prescription painkillers and would do whatever I needed to, to get them. I stole from my family, hurt them emotionally, and ended up homeless at 19 years old. I spent the next 3 years using opiates which resulted in legal consequences and health issues. Most importantly my family was losing hope in me ever having a normal life. I finally reached out for the help that my parents were giving me at 22 years old after 10 years of alcohol and drug abuse. Life seemed so frightening and I thought I could never be a normal member of society again but, that was not the case. I learned how to grow up sober as a young adult. To be

I finally reached out for the help that my parents were offering me at 22 years old, after 10 years of alcohol and drug abuse. Life seemed so frightening and I thought I could never be a normal member of society again but, that was not the case. I learned how to grow up sober as a young adult. To be self-supporting, conquer my fears, and use the tools that were given to me to stay alcohol and drug-free. I started to work on the relationship with my parents and be there for them in every way I could.

Today because of positive role models, working a 12 step program and learning how to have faith in a god of my understanding, I am a completely different person. I gained a personal freedom and sense of happiness that I never thought was possible without drugs and alcohol. I found those were the reasons I started to be dependent on drugs and alcohol in the first place and going back to that way of life is still something I never want again. I am employable, trusted by my family, and have career goals that I never thought I would have. I am in the process of finding a job where I can be financially secure enough to pay for my own apartment and purchase my own car. I have goals on finishing junior college and to someday become an underwater welder and I am working towards them currently. My life is full of laughter, love, and gratitude today.

I have come along way from the young adult who couldn’t handle even the most basic tasks in life and I am forever grateful for what I have today and the people I get to share my life with.

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