Before Phoenix House, I was always out doing my own thing and getting high. My mind was clouded with drugs, and it never really hit me that my mom was sick. She had terminal cancer and her leg was amputated— but for some reason I never accepted or acknowledged any of this. I just ran off and got high…I guess it was easier that way.
When I first came to the Phoenix House Academy, I felt out of place and confused. I didn’t want to have anything to do with this place. But over the course of treatment, I really feel like I reinvented myself. Sobering up made me think about things, decide to do things differently and make positive changes. I noticed drastic transformations in myself and eventually in my relationships—especially my relationship with my mother. My mom always did everything she could with the tools she was given. The least I could have done was to show her some support and love—but drugs always got in the way. I’m better than that now.
One of the things Phoenix House has taught me is that we all make mistakes, and that nobody is perfect. But it’s what we learn from those mistakes that defines us. I’ve learned a lot at Phoenix House, and I’m looking forward to the future now; I plan to get my AA after high school and continue on towards a business degree so that I can open my own bicycle shop someday. I know I can never repay my mother for all the things she has done for me, but at least I can show her how I’ve changed for the better. At least now she knows that I will always be there for her.