Shattered This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I had found what I was searching for my whole life. In a simple handful of pills, I found completion. I no longer felt as if everyone belonged except for myself, as if I was so completely lost and I didn't even know what direction to start heading in. It was like I found the missing piece. I became comfortable in my own skin and didn't feel so empty. That was the part that I had always been trying to resolve, the fact that I was so goddamn empty. The void in my chest had been filled with drugs and I was in love with the euphoria and apathy that had consumed me immediately. All it took to escape myself and everyone else were a few little pills, and I was always looking to escape. I slowly began to abandon the things and people in my life that had always been there. I chose drugs over them time and time again; they didn't stand a chance against my love of being high. Drugs became an all consuming lifestyle and escalated from a hobby to an uncontrollable habit in a matter of months. I drifted in and out of treatment centers and AA, none of it sticking with me. I started using everything and anything I could and was even more infatuated with the next drug I took than I was with the last. Drinking became a daily routine that began early in the morning. It trumped every priority in my life. I stopped showing up to school and work, stopped seeing my family, stopped coming home. All I wanted to do was drink and get high, and that's what I did. I was getting alcohol poisoning and blacking out on a regular basis but still didn't want to stop. The more I blacked out, the more I loved it. Finally, things had gone too far and my mother found out what had been going on and sent me to residential treatment. I went and hated it at first. I hated the people, I hated the staff that told me I'd find happiness in sobriety, I flat out hated sobriety. But I didn't have any other choice, so I began to open my mind to AA, the 12 steps, and all the other pieces that come along with recovery and sobriety. When I was discharged, my confidence in myself and my ability to stay clean was shaky and I didn't trust myself, rightfully so, because I relapsed two weeks out of treatment. From here on, I used extreme amounts of pills and alcohol and hallucinogens for months. Everything I had learned in treatment was engraved in my head and I felt horribly guilty for going back to drugs, but not guilty enough to stop. Toward the end, it all became a blur. I used anything and everything I could and began mainlining heroin, which I welcomed into my veins and into my life so willingly. I saw no point in anything anymore, not even getting high. I wanted help. There was absolutely no way I could go on living the way I was. Asking for help and admitting what had been going on was one of the most humbling things I have ever experienced, but if I hadn't done it, I could only imagine what would've happened. I was put back into residential at the same treatment center as before and was emotionally, spiritually, and physically drained. I had no fight left in me and was ready to surrender; ready to listen and take the suggestions that I was told were going to save my life. I was willing to go to any lengths to stay sober; not only because there was nothing good left for me in drugs, but because I was done feeling so lost. I was done being just alive enough to wish I was dead. I accepted the help that was very much needed and began to turn my life around.

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