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I may have never met the real me

One of our esteemed staff members, John, recounts the life he once lived and how the Narconon program set him on the path to ultimate success!

Here is his story:


staff successFlash back, its 2012 and here we go again. Every day was the same… Wake up, smoke a cigarette, take a shower and get ready for the day. For me, my day started much later than most. Usually around one or two in the afternoon. I would wake up, usually hung over from whatever I had put into my body the night before, usually wearing whatever clothes I passed out in on whatever couch I fell down on. I was a drug addict and from a small coal mining town of 8,000 people in Southwestern Pennsylvania that no one has ever heard of, although you could probably find it on a map if you looked hard enough.

When I was growing up, drugs weren’t a thing. No one I was around wanted to do them, knew much about them or really knew anyone that could even get them for you, even if you wanted to try them. That was when I was 15. By the time I was 16 all that had changed. Everywhere I would look, I could find whatever drug I wanted in whatever amount I wanted. By this time, I had my first job, my first car and was a good student in high school. All of a sudden, I found myself hanging out with an older crowd of friends. They were the type of friends that you only hear about in country songs. People that were from a small town and knew more about you than you did. Most of them were into drugs and drinking. Before I knew it, I had taken my first OxyContin and was off to the races. I quickly decided that I liked the lifestyle. Work hard, play harder! Spend your money on whatever you wanted. I mean, I wasn’t hurting anyone. Right?

Jump forward to age 18. Its 2009 moving into 2010 and I am a senior in High School. I am also a full-blown drug addict. My life was spiraling out of control and honestly, I didn’t care. I was way too busy partying and worrying about how much money I was going to make in tips that night after school at the local pizza shop to buy my dope. By this time I had become so good at lying and manipulating that it was like a favorite past time of mine. The people I went to school with were going off to college and some were getting good jobs in the oilfield or the coal mines of Greene County. I was going off to college too. Youngstown State University was where I was headed. I was going to major in Music Education. I quickly failed out and returned home to a town now completely impoverished and riddled with drugs and drug addicts. All of the industry that was there just a year and a half earlier was now gone. New EPA Regulations on coal and oilfield jobs outsourced to guys from Texas had killed the economy. I fit right in. After a bout with college and joining a fraternity I was now a full blown alcoholic as well.

I made it a year before I knew I needed to do something. I went to rehab near Pittsburgh. It was based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous. It was the only method of drug and alcohol rehab that I had ever heard of. I hated it. I had to convince myself every day that I was weak and absolutely powerless over my addiction. It seemed to me that I would have to live the rest of my life in fear of even going to a restaurant that served alcohol. As a matter of fact, I was told that I shouldn’t do that for the first year of my “recovery”. I felt like I didn’t have any other choice but to conform or I was just going to go off and die in a hole in the ground some place! I went home from that rehabilitation center and relapsed that night. The cycle started over again… immediately.

I used for another year. It’s now 2013. This time, I fell out and almost died. I was in the bathroom that I shared with my dad in my family’s house. I shot up and don’t remember anything but waking up on the floor in a pool of my vomit. I got up, cleaned off my face and made sure I didn’t leave a mess. All I could think about was how mad my dad was going to be if I left a mess in that bathroom and wondered if I had any dope left. I left the house, got high again in the driveway and went to work. It was a wake-up call for me. I had destroyed my relationships with everyone. I was getting into fights and throwing tantrums. My parents didn’t like me very much. I mean, who would?

I stole almost everything they owned and sold everything I did. I had a friend that I was staying with; he and I used together off and on for years. He told me he was going to go to treatment again. He went to Narconon Suncoast in Florida. He completed the program and really got his life together. I decided that it was time for a change. I talked to my parents and they agreed to help me and invest in my future one last time.

I came to Narconon Suncoast on July 3rd, 2013. I was beaten, broken and had given up on every aspect of my life. Narconon helped me change that. They didn’t want to make me feel weak. They wanted to make me feel strong and empower me to life my life drug-free. Narconon did that for me. They helped me repair the problems I had with my family and with authority. They helped me get organized. For the first time in years I was finally able to be in complete control of myself and my actions. This was very different from the impulsiveness that used to control my life.

After all of this time, I will never forget that small town. That town, those people and that life of work hard and play harder helped shaped my drug addiction. But, if it weren’t for Narconon…I may have never met the real me.

John L.

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