To The Recovering Addict On Their 2-Year Drug-Free Anniversary, I Am So Proud To Know The Real You Again

To The Recovering Addict On Their 2-Year Drug-Free Anniversary, I Am So Proud To Know The Real You Again

I know everyday is a battle, but I am proud to call you my brother and you are an inspiration to us all.

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Two years ago you hit a wall. A cold, dead, jail wall.

People thought it would be the destruction of your existence. Your children had been taken away from you, it seemed like your family had given up on you, and after ten years of all different kinds of drugs, you finally had to feel a sober moment.

So many people thought you weren't going to be able to do it. So many people were hoping you weren't going to be able to do it.

For ten years I watched you tear your life apart.

I watched you go through withdrawals time after time. I watched you become a father. I stood there as my brother called me every name in the book while four minutes later acting like it didn't happen. I stood there as your words and actions pierced in some of the worst wounds I thought I would ever experience.

I watched my brother turn into a stranger.

The same man that used to let me play Barbies and Army men turned into the man I would dread seeing at family functions. That was even if he showed up. I watched the same man that stood out in the yard with me from sun up to sun down making sure I got the perfect spiral of a football down, turn into the man that I didn't even recognize in photos.

I no longer had a big brother.

I thought I would never meet that same kid again. I thought I would never see life in his eyes again. I never thought I would actually be able to claim him as my brother again.

I thought that I would be attending my big brothers funeral before I even had the chance to graduate high school.

But then two years ago, I got the same call I had got time and time again, "An inmate, Preston, from Aiken County detention center is trying to reach you. Press 1 if you accept the charges." I sat there and just thought, "wow, he's actually alive, how about that?!" Of course, I accepted the charges, and you just sat there silent on the other side. I asked what happened and if you were OK. You said like you always said, "I'll be fine, I just need to get out of here Constance."

After everything, I still told you I would do what I could to see if I could get you out. But I knew at that moment, that wasn't going to be much. Hell, I was only 18 with a part-time job, what the hell was I going to do? But I knew what I wasn't going to do.

I wasn't going to allow you to just jump right out of jail and go right back to everything you were in. But I also knew I wasn't going to allow you to rot in there and just leave you to fend for yourself. If there was anything I was going to do, it was learn from yours and everyone else's mistakes.

I lost count of which time this was in jail but I felt determined to make it your last.

After everything you, our family, and even your own family had been through, there needed to be a change. And I knew I wasn't going to be able to do anything unless you made the commitment yourself to change. But I also knew if you were in jail, at least I would know if you were alive or dead. After I finally heard the breaking in your voice and saw the weight gain and improvement, I knew you weren't going to be the same person you had been for the past ten years.

I had to take the leap of faith that you had changed. You needed to know that someone was still rooting for you to win. You needed to know that even though your kids were being taken of at that moment, they still needed their daddy and you owed it to them to be their father.

After four months, and countless hours on the phone with our lawyer, I finally got to see the same sober man that I knew ten years ago.

Your daughters finally got the chance to see their father as their actual father. Our mother had her son again. I had a brother again.

You knew it wasn't going to be easy, but you knew it had to be done. You knew that no matter what, you were going to do it.

With the constant (and maybe a little helicopter) support from your family, you've made it two years and counting going strong. With the facing the constant battle with the demons inside of you, you've made it two years strong.

You have officially made it 730 days drug-free. And I know you are going to make it a lifetime.

It won't be easy, it's not easy, but you can do it. I can't pretend I know the pain and war you are feeling, because I don't. But I do know that you are the strongest one to handle it and you have come so far and you are going to make it so much further. You have the support system of your entire family, counseling, fiancé, job, and so many more that are here for you. That know you are struggling but also know that has made you the strongest you have ever been, but it is not the strongest you will ever be.

You can do this. And we are here for you. Keep going.

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Doing Drugs Isn't Cool, Period

This so-called "cool" epidemic needs to stop, especially in the college atmosphere.

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Adderall, Ritalin, LSD, Ecstasy, Xanax, Valium, Alcohol; the list can go on and on. The point is, they all can be addictive and they all are promoted in college. No matter what university you attend, you will likely come across someone using at least one of these or overhearing a conversation about them.

For you frat party-goers, you are blind. You are risking yourself to eventually use at least one addictive drug. You may think that you'll never get into drugs, but that's what they all say when they're presenting their story to a crowd of millennials while being handcuffed to a chair.

Be honest with yourself.

If you're questioning if something is safe or not, most of the time, it's not. Studies have shown that college students involved in sororities, fraternities, and athletic organizations are at higher risk of abusing dangerous substances. That doesn't mean don't join these clubs, but it's more of a warning to what could happen if you aren't making smart decisions.

It has been reported that 80% of U.S. college students have abused alcohol.

Your weekly Thursday Instagram post captioned "Thirsty Thursday" while holding a White Claw isn't cool. Please ditch the trend of taking pictures in front of a tapestry in the basement of a frat house. I hate to break it to you, but it really doesn't go with your feed, Brittany. Just because it is Thursday, doesn't mean it's an excuse to feed your alcohol addiction and whatever else you may be doing at frat parties.

Attending weekly parties held by frats is increasing your risk of using addictive substances. Picture this: you had a really tough day of classes on Thursday. Your "Thirsty Thursday girls club" group chat just texted you and said they are going to multiple frat parties tonight. They plan on pre-gaming in your dorm room then walking to the frat party nearby.

If that party is lame, they plan on walking to another one down the street. You immediately express how tough your day was and that you're excited for the later hours of the night. You plan your best outfit, do your makeup and hair, and they come over.

You're having fun during the pre-game, so you invite some more people. You now have close to 10 people in your 130-square-foot dorm room. Someone reported a noise complaint to your RA. Your RA knocks on the door and you scatter to hide all the alcohol and be quiet. They say to keep the noise down because someone made a complaint.

After that, it's time to head out.

You're walking, or shall I say stumbling, to the first party. You get stopped by campus police and they write everyone a ticket for being intoxicated in public and underage drinking. You brush it off and still go to the party. You get blacked out drunk and there's a group of guys pestering you to try LSD. They explained it to be "another world".

You buy a single pill and try it. You convince your friends to try it and you all love the feeling of "tripping". You buy more and take it back to your dorm with you.

As you're walking to your dorm, you collapse. A cop happens to ride by and see you on the ground, and they take you to the hospital. You wake up having no idea where you are and your parents standing next to you. You are presented with multiple tickets and now you're being interrogated so the police can figure out who has possession of the drugs.

Approximately 110,000 students between ages 18 and 24 are arrested every year for an alcohol-related violation, such as public drunkenness or driving under the influence.

Yes, that may seem extreme, but doing drugs because someone convinced you to is not cool! It can lead to addiction, legal issues, hospitalization, and even death. Don't make decisions based on people's ability to convince you. Although that was a made up story, it happens in real life!

If you're prescribed Adderall for ADHD purposes, use it wisely. Don't tell people you have a prescription. Don't sell it.

My point is, be smart and don't do drugs to seem cool to others or to fit in with the crowd.

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