My story

  • Thread starter blade123
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Hey PF, just thought I'd post a story. Kind of long, sorry.

I'm 19 next week, and a freshman at a community college.

Long story short, up until this semester my school effort has been hit and miss. I'd do great sometimes, then terrible at others. Until senior year, I just stopped caring. For various reasons, right before/after graduation I got REAL heavy into drugs (it progressed fast, I started mixing high doses of heavy things pretty fast. ER visit. Used needles). I pretty much gave up all hope of having a good/normal life. Last semester, I took easy as **** classes and didn't really try. Honestly, I was close to dropping out.

Now some real heavy **** happened that made me think about the path I was going down. I decided to get my **** in gear, and I really have enjoyed the sciences/math. So this semester I decided to step it up, and take some real classes to figure out what I liked.

I'm taking precalc, physics 1, abnormal psych (gen ed), international relations (gen ed).

I've been taking physics with a teacher who is regarded as one of the hardest physics teacher on campus, and honestly I'm loving it. It's hard as ****, but I LOVE physics. I've started to study calculus on my own, and I've been doing great in all my classes. I just started spring break, and I had midterms last week. I have a few more weeks left in the semester, and I'm doing great. 2 solid As in the gen eds, and a B in math, and a current B, but it might go to an A because of the last exam which I beasted on, in physics. I only had one part of one problem I was a little unsure of, but I gave it a solid, logical effort so I should at least get half credit.

In a few days, I register for summer courses, I'm taking Calculus 1 and philosophy (gen ed) over the summer. That will prepare me to fill out the TAG form for UC Davis in 5 months, which means I'm on the path to being a junior physics major at UC Davis Fall 2012.

I'm also putting together my Fall schedule. Calculus 2, Discrete Math, Physics for Engineering A: Wave Motion, and Critical Thinking (a gen ed). I register for that in a little less than a month.

So I'm just sitting here, not much homework to do over break, semester almost over, just looking back at how much I've grown in just ONE semester. I sobered up, and was clean for 2 months straight. I started to drink/smoke again, but nowhere NEAR what I used to. I also started to eat a lot better. I also stopped hanging out with the freaks I was, they were doing nothing but hurting me.

I feel so accomplished. And I know precalc and non-calc based physics 1 really isn't that difficult or that amazing of a feat, but Jesus...6 months ago I was using needles and getting in trouble with the law all the time. Now I spend my free time studying something that I really enjoy, and something that will actually make my life better...dig?

If you take nothing else from this post...no matter how bad you're doing, you CAN pull yourself up. I'm not saying it's easy. Actually, the first few weeks of this semester were absolute HELL. I went from getting ****ed up and partying and enjoying life to being sober and not having ANY friends and having to deal with a heavy course-load. I was extremely lonely, bored, depressed, anxious. I felt like total ****, honestly.

I'm not saying it's easy, but it's doable.

I'm just looking back at how much I've grown. I'm also looking forward to the coming semesters and getting deeper into physics, and applying calculus to it. Because after studying some calc by myself, a lot of physics makes a hell of a lot more sense.


Also, if you or someone you know is in a situation where you're using a lot, hanging out with the wrong people, going down the wrong path, don't be down on yourself. Honestly, some people just need to go through that. I know I did. I NEEDED to go through a period of insanity to make me appreciate a straight life of studying and occasional hanging with friends who ACTUALLY care about me. The only thing is once you cross a certain point, you can't come back. You can change how you live if you know how else to live, you know?
 

chiro

Science Advisor
4,783
127
Hey PF, just thought I'd post a story. Kind of long, sorry.

I'm 19 next week, and a freshman at a community college.

Long story short, up until this semester my school effort has been hit and miss. I'd do great sometimes, then terrible at others. Until senior year, I just stopped caring. For various reasons, right before/after graduation I got REAL heavy into drugs (it progressed fast, I started mixing high doses of heavy things pretty fast. ER visit. Used needles). I pretty much gave up all hope of having a good/normal life. Last semester, I took easy as **** classes and didn't really try. Honestly, I was close to dropping out.

Now some real heavy **** happened that made me think about the path I was going down. I decided to get my **** in gear, and I really have enjoyed the sciences/math. So this semester I decided to step it up, and take some real classes to figure out what I liked.

I'm taking precalc, physics 1, abnormal psych (gen ed), international relations (gen ed).

I've been taking physics with a teacher who is regarded as one of the hardest physics teacher on campus, and honestly I'm loving it. It's hard as ****, but I LOVE physics. I've started to study calculus on my own, and I've been doing great in all my classes. I just started spring break, and I had midterms last week. I have a few more weeks left in the semester, and I'm doing great. 2 solid As in the gen eds, and a B in math, and a current B, but it might go to an A because of the last exam which I beasted on, in physics. I only had one part of one problem I was a little unsure of, but I gave it a solid, logical effort so I should at least get half credit.

In a few days, I register for summer courses, I'm taking Calculus 1 and philosophy (gen ed) over the summer. That will prepare me to fill out the TAG form for UC Davis in 5 months, which means I'm on the path to being a junior physics major at UC Davis Fall 2012.

I'm also putting together my Fall schedule. Calculus 2, Discrete Math, Physics for Engineering A: Wave Motion, and Critical Thinking (a gen ed). I register for that in a little less than a month.

So I'm just sitting here, not much homework to do over break, semester almost over, just looking back at how much I've grown in just ONE semester. I sobered up, and was clean for 2 months straight. I started to drink/smoke again, but nowhere NEAR what I used to. I also started to eat a lot better. I also stopped hanging out with the freaks I was, they were doing nothing but hurting me.

I feel so accomplished. And I know precalc and non-calc based physics 1 really isn't that difficult or that amazing of a feat, but Jesus...6 months ago I was using needles and getting in trouble with the law all the time. Now I spend my free time studying something that I really enjoy, and something that will actually make my life better...dig?

If you take nothing else from this post...no matter how bad you're doing, you CAN pull yourself up. I'm not saying it's easy. Actually, the first few weeks of this semester were absolute HELL. I went from getting ****ed up and partying and enjoying life to being sober and not having ANY friends and having to deal with a heavy course-load. I was extremely lonely, bored, depressed, anxious. I felt like total ****, honestly.

I'm not saying it's easy, but it's doable.

I'm just looking back at how much I've grown. I'm also looking forward to the coming semesters and getting deeper into physics, and applying calculus to it. Because after studying some calc by myself, a lot of physics makes a hell of a lot more sense.


Also, if you or someone you know is in a situation where you're using a lot, hanging out with the wrong people, going down the wrong path, don't be down on yourself. Honestly, some people just need to go through that. I know I did. I NEEDED to go through a period of insanity to make me appreciate a straight life of studying and occasional hanging with friends who ACTUALLY care about me. The only thing is once you cross a certain point, you can't come back. You can change how you live if you know how else to live, you know?
Hey blade123 and welcome to the forums.

Some of my past has been "colorful" so in some ways I can relate to some of things you say.

You know what though, things like this can really help you put things in perspective. You've not only seen those things, but experienced them first hand and it can motivate you to want to have something better, and is a great life lesson.

It makes you stronger as well. If you get to a point that's low where you can't go much lower and you survive that, genuinely want to change yourself and do so, its a great form of personal development. In some ways it makes you even more motivated than the average person because you're aware of what its like to be in that situation and a simple reminder of your past helps you stay focused, not complain, and in some ways be thankful for what you have right now: at least that's what happened to me, even though sometimes I do forget and take the present for granted.

The way I see it, you made a mistake, but most importantly you learned from it. Life is all about making mistakes, but if you never take anything away from that experience, then you've missed the point. Also another thing (that is almost as equally bad) is if you live a life where you make no mistakes and are too conservative. I think that scenario is a very boring life because you only grow and personally develop when you learn from your screw-ups.

Good story blade and I wish you the best of luck for you and your future.
 

lisab

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,832
616
Hi blade! Welcome to PF :smile:. Nice post!

If you had known me when I was a young teen you'd never think that I'd be a scientist as an adult. I was on a different path at that age, headed straight to hell, but I straightened things out before I was too far gone. Yes, people can change their lives for the better. It's hard, and unfortunately rare, but possible.

But I want to warn you - you're at a precarious time now, because the life you just left is not that far behind you. You have a good state of mind, but do you have some sort of support system to help you keep from going back, if (when) life gets bumpy?
 
30
0
Hey blade123 and welcome to the forums.

Some of my past has been "colorful" so in some ways I can relate to some of things you say.

You know what though, things like this can really help you put things in perspective. You've not only seen those things, but experienced them first hand and it can motivate you to want to have something better, and is a great life lesson.

It makes you stronger as well. If you get to a point that's low where you can't go much lower and you survive that, genuinely want to change yourself and do so, its a great form of personal development. In some ways it makes you even more motivated than the average person because you're aware of what its like to be in that situation and a simple reminder of your past helps you stay focused, not complain, and in some ways be thankful for what you have right now: at least that's what happened to me, even though sometimes I do forget and take the present for granted.

The way I see it, you made a mistake, but most importantly you learned from it. Life is all about making mistakes, but if you never take anything away from that experience, then you've missed the point. Also another thing (that is almost as equally bad) is if you live a life where you make no mistakes and are too conservative. I think that scenario is a very boring life because you only grow and personally develop when you learn from your screw-ups.

Good story blade and I wish you the best of luck for you and your future.
Thanks! And I see it the same way you do. I actually AM glad I lived that life for a bit. It was something I needed to go through, for sure. And yeah, whenever I have the thought of "screw doing this work", I look back to how I was living. It's weird...I'm kind of stuck in the life I'm in now. I CAN'T not do work, because I know exactly where I'd end up.

Hi blade! Welcome to PF :smile:. Nice post!

If you had known me when I was a young teen you'd never think that I'd be a scientist as an adult. I was on a different path at that age, headed straight to hell, but I straightened things out before I was too far gone. Yes, people can change their lives for the better. It's hard, and unfortunately rare, but possible.

But I want to warn you - you're at a precarious time now, because the life you just left is not that far behind you. You have a good state of mind, but do you have some sort of support system to help you keep from going back, if (when) life gets bumpy?
Thanks! And for the last part, I'm more than aware of this. I have been depressed my entire life. Last summer, after ending up in the ER, I was sent to a shrink. (In a way, doing that was a blessing) It took a LOT, but I did get out of a oh god...7+ year depression. It was hard as hell. However, I did get out of it and I was on the right path, and genuinely happy.

What broke my sobriety was my old friends starting up some BS drama that started dragging me back into hell. I hated it because I fell back a little in school...I caught up, but still. Long story short, a friend tried to "fix" me and a friend of hers by setting us up. She was WAY too screwed up to start something like that. More or less homeless, has no income or school, been raped many times, I recently found out she's pregnant and wants to keep it (not mine, I'm having a feeling it was one of her rapist's). It just left me feeling beat and used. This was once a very close friend of mine. And it just started a slew of drama around it, real immature BS.

It did start me feeling like crap again. I realized that I started slipping back, so I did start going back to my shrink and I've been talking to supportive friends. I've also been dealing with it myself. So I'm more than aware that my happiness/right path is fragile. Not only do I have to deal with a heavy course load, I have to deal with maintaining my happiness. Neither of which are easy.

Anyway, thanks for the support! I lurk a lot on here, and take in what I can. By the summer or Fall semester, I should be able to post a bit more.
 
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2
That's a wonderful story, blade123! I wholeheartedly agree with chiro and lisab.
 
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Hi blade! Welcome to PF :smile:. Nice post!

If you had known me when I was a young teen you'd never think that I'd be a scientist as an adult. I was on a different path at that age, headed straight to hell, but I straightened things out before I was too far gone. Yes, people can change their lives for the better. It's hard, and unfortunately rare, but possible.

But I want to warn you - you're at a precarious time now, because the life you just left is not that far behind you. You have a good state of mind, but do you have some sort of support system to help you keep from going back, if (when) life gets bumpy?
wow, nice to know that

u have given me some kind of inspiration here

thanks :)
 
Best wishes, blade!

Try to make friends in school. I think it helps to be with people who are interested in scholarly activities, that way you'd get a sort of peer pressure into studying.
 

Lichdar

I won't go into my history or my experience. I will say this - you need to strongly reassociate your peer group and severely reevaulate just how you deal with life. I know the following might sound harsh, but in my opinion, it is what truly helped me and may help you.

You need to take full responsibility of your life, and that includes your unhappiness and how you deal with life.

I would have approved of your progress, but some of the things you write, you're still blaming others for 'breaking your sobriety' or in general, feeling sorry for yourself. Its a depressive action, and as cruel as it might sound, it is a fairly selfish action. Millions of people go through worse without adding to their abasement - the better question is what you should have done that was better.

The thing is, life is going to suck. Life is going to have its great moments, but it will also suck; your pet dog is going to get run over, your best friend is going to backstab you and the only person you happen to trust more than anyone else in the world is going to ignore you for a frivilous fling and never remember you existed again. You can't really control that; you can try, you /should/ try, but you need to buffer yourself too.

Just like you should keep some savings in case of emergencies, you should also keep a certain framework, socially, mentally, morally that will allow you to deal when you get into those life emergencies. I've seen so many people who feel like they've gotten better and then fall into old habits again at the first sign of weakness. Don't be like that.

Like others said: change your friends - that is an important part. But also, setup a method so that if you /do/ get depressed again(and you will), you will be able to get sane, useful help. And reframe your entire mind, so that you will have a healthier and more effective way of dealing with both your goals and your perils.

Philosophy has helped for me, personally. Alcoholic Anonymous mentions religion because it does work, although personally, its role was supplemented by a deep study and gradual adherence toward Bushido - it helped that it was also part of my family ancestry. I was able to draw under the realization that my ancestors never particularly concerned themselves with what made them 'happy' as much as what was right, and the entire tenet of bushido was simply to do something worthwhile and die.

When I began to ask myself what I was doing was worthwhile, what was worth the ultimately short span of my life, I think it rapidly made the usual considerations of happiness moot in many ways.

I commend your journey, but continue with courage and do not be misled into celebrating too early.
 
30
0
I won't go into my history or my experience. I will say this - you need to strongly reassociate your peer group and severely reevaulate just how you deal with life. I know the following might sound harsh, but in my opinion, it is what truly helped me and may help you.

You need to take full responsibility of your life, and that includes your unhappiness and how you deal with life.

I would have approved of your progress, but some of the things you write, you're still blaming others for 'breaking your sobriety' or in general, feeling sorry for yourself. Its a depressive action, and as cruel as it might sound, it is a fairly selfish action. Millions of people go through worse without adding to their abasement - the better question is what you should have done that was better.

The thing is, life is going to suck. Life is going to have its great moments, but it will also suck; your pet dog is going to get run over, your best friend is going to backstab you and the only person you happen to trust more than anyone else in the world is going to ignore you for a frivilous fling and never remember you existed again. You can't really control that; you can try, you /should/ try, but you need to buffer yourself too.

Just like you should keep some savings in case of emergencies, you should also keep a certain framework, socially, mentally, morally that will allow you to deal when you get into those life emergencies. I've seen so many people who feel like they've gotten better and then fall into old habits again at the first sign of weakness. Don't be like that.

Like others said: change your friends - that is an important part. But also, setup a method so that if you /do/ get depressed again(and you will), you will be able to get sane, useful help. And reframe your entire mind, so that you will have a healthier and more effective way of dealing with both your goals and your perils.

Philosophy has helped for me, personally. Alcoholic Anonymous mentions religion because it does work, although personally, its role was supplemented by a deep study and gradual adherence toward Bushido - it helped that it was also part of my family ancestry. I was able to draw under the realization that my ancestors never particularly concerned themselves with what made them 'happy' as much as what was right, and the entire tenet of bushido was simply to do something worthwhile and die.

When I began to ask myself what I was doing was worthwhile, what was worth the ultimately short span of my life, I think it rapidly made the usual considerations of happiness moot in many ways.

I commend your journey, but continue with courage and do not be misled into celebrating too early.
I'm not blaming them. I chose to go back to drinking/using of my own free will, I was just explaining WHY.

And actually, I'm happy with where my life is. I don't want to change a single thing. I'm happy where I am. I'm happy about the path I'm going down. I HAVE good ways of dealing with things (yeah, I know I went back to using a little bit, but I really do have many other ways of dealing with things, which I use frequently).

I don't want to change a single thing about how I think, how I act, where I'm going, what I'm going to do. I'm HAPPY. Yes, I do have times where I feel down. Yes, I do go back to how I was thinking at times. I know that, and know how to deal with it.
 

Lichdar

I've heard that before and I can't say that it doesn't feel like more excuse-making; every single addict ultimately says that they can control it, and that it is fully within their power. Unfortunately, the issue is usually systematic rather than volitional, and willpower is a bit like treating the symptoms of an illness without addressing the fundamental source(whatever it is).

I also personally dislike the notion of "I am happy!" Generally, I find that it is an excuse for complacency rather than anything else. But it may be that it works for you, and if it does, all the better. At any rate, I wish you the best of luck.
 
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Thanks!

And believe me, I am not complacent. I do a LOT. I spend a lot of time studying. I spend a lot of time trying to take care of myself. I noticed myself starting to go back down to where I was, so I decided to see my old shrink to keep my head on straight.

I've been creating new friendships/breaking old ones. I mean I can't really do much more now. I'm preparing for my future, I'm taking care of my current needs.

And also, I'm not indiscriminately happy. I do have moods. I get happy, I get sad, I get angry, I get anxious, I have just about every emotion under the sun. And I LIKE that. A big change in thought that helped me is figuring out what depression is. I define depression as LACK of emotion. You only feel sadness. That's what depression is like for me, anyway. I felt nothing but sadness. To get OUT of depression, I had to start embracing more emotions. It took a lot, but now I'm much more apt to embrace all my emotions, even the negative ones. So I'm "happy" in the sense that I'm not depressed, but not in the sense that I pretend I only feel happiness regardless of what's going on around me.
 
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1
Dude if you're not feeling depressed for the first time in a long time ENJOY IT...no use in analyzing the semantics of happiness :biggrin:
 

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