After my intervention for growing and smoking bountiful amounts of cannabis, I have been to three treatment centers all over the United States and finally ended up, just two weeks ago, in a sober living in Los Angeles. Compared to four and a half months of treatment, the freedom of my sober living was a welcome shock. No 7:00am groggy morning groups, no sixteen day wilderness treks, no chopping wood on the weekends, no peeling ten foot logs as punishment – I thought I was in heaven, or at least out of hell and into purgatory. The reality of my situation soon set in, however. Before the intervention and treatment, I had been highly dependent on my mother for financial support; she paid for college, cell phone bills, my drugs and grow lights (though I did not tell her what that money was for!), gas, in fact, she paid for everything and I completely manipulated her into doing so, losing her trust in the process. So I get out of primary treatment and into sober living and I’m like “Hell yeah, let’s get my Iphone reactivated, let’s get my car down here, send me all my stuff, etc.” In short, I thought I was going to be compensated in some way for being sober just four and half months. Just for today? I think not!
So I was a little freaked out when I realized that life was not just going to return to normal at the snap of my fingers, that I was going to have to work to support myself and attend community college and get good grades to prove to my parents that I am indeed “a good investment”. I thought that my life was over – for a while. But then I realized that I am getting a chance at a new one. It may not be the life I wanted (and how well was that really working out, anyways), but it is a chance that I plan to jump at. Now I am employed part time and pay my own cell phone bills, I am going to take classes at the local community college – and that’s actually more than I ever did high. And I’m sure that if, in a little while, I say “Look, I’m responsible, I work and go to school and I need my car to get around, especially here in LA” my parents will agree.
The thing really is there are no rewards for this. I will eventually get just what I deserve, and it may not be what I want but it will be what I need. And there’s no looking back, because the past belongs to the dead, but the future belongs to the living.