Growing up, my father was abusive, and when I was thirteen, my mother filed for divorce. My life was chaotic and I felt lost in my own skin. By fourteen, I started smoking marijuana and skipping school. I soon started using daily and drinking. I was on probation by the time I was a junior in high school, but that didn’t stop me from using ecstasy and coke. At that point, I didn’t care what happened to me.
I continually betrayed my family’s trust by breaking into their homes to steal alcohol and pain medications. I was depressed, hating my life and everyone I knew. I even despised my close “friends” at the time, but I felt they were all I had, so I stayed with them and continued to use.
I entered Phoenix Academy in Austin, Texas on October 21, 2007, broken and out of touch with reality.
At first, I was terrified and didn’t trust anyone. But I was immediately met with the support of the staff and others in the program. When I was caught using Xanax in treatment, I was shocked that the counselors showed me even more compassion and help. I realized that these people genuinely cared about my life. I finally felt like I had a family who loved me.
I graduated from Phoenix Academy on July 7, 2008.
Phoenix House showed me how to accept life on life’s terms and to realize that nothing is constant but change. It was up to me to decide what those changes would be. I became a leader in my community and graduated from high school, things I previously thought I would never do. Everyone in my family is proud of me, which I haven’t felt from them in the longest time.
If it weren’t for the people at Phoenix House, I would not be the person I am today. I was so amazed by my counselors and staff, that when I left, I had a strong desire to help others who were going through similar experiences. I am hoping to pursue that interest and become a counselor myself. I am a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous, helping others as a sponsor. I have been sober for over two years, and I love my life today.