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My Battle: A Former Drug User, Comes Clean

May 27, 2008
I wasn't always an addict. Let me put it another way. My addictive tendencies were not always in a state of actualization. I remember a childhood of experimentation, which eventually led to the first time I inhaled marijuana. My friends were from childhood in those days. We were a sorted group of "clowns and geniuses" that were neither popular or bored. Our restlessness brought us to new arenas of entertainment and excitement. By the time I had reached college and my childhood friends and I were preparing to ultimately split, we had experimented with hallucinogens, cocaine, and ecstasy.

When I reached college my drug use expanded. Other addictions increased as well. I became a porn addict and my addiction to sex, hidden underneath the false sense of short lived monogamous relationships, increased exponentially. By the time my senior year rolled around I felt like I was heading to a train wreck. Women in our circle of friends had long since ignored my advances, knowing full well I could never commit and my drug use had reached epic proportions. It was clear to all I needed a change.

Salvation in a Blink of An Eye

One day, after a night of long partying, I heard a knock on my fraternity room door. Without thinking I returned in an affirmative for the person to enter. I was surprised to see a childhood friend enter in. We had grown up together, he being a part of my high school friends that had introduced me to many narcotics. "I heard you had hit a rut," he said. "What do you mean?" I answered, "Just look at me, I look great don't I?" I finished with a smile. That day my friend brought me to detox center and later I started attending 12 Step programs. I struggled for a while, realizing that there was a beast inside of me, fearful that it was getting cornered. There were times where the beast would win and I would fall back to my former self abusive days, yet as time when on the beast became weaker and the real me, the inner me that had been buried deep inside began to surface.

My 12 Step meetings offered me a source of comfort and friendship. The Big Book of AA provided a rock to lean on. After a while I began to pray to G-d and ask forgiveness from those that I had hurt. The road was hard and still is hard. One of the hardest things is facing yourself...your true self. After all we come into this world with so much potential and then to waste it on momentary happiness is perhaps the most depressing part of being addicted. Our inner being is who we are, but it is the beast of addiction that consumes an addict. Forever fighting and forever battling, the addict can neither afford to rest nor to relax, because the moment there is any pause in one's fortitude, the beast will win.

Giving Not Receiving

Now that I have checked my beast, I have realized that the best role I can play in this painful, yet at the same time beautiful world is to be that guy who walks through the door of another's room, plucking them from the depths of addiction. In that sense I can be a giver and not a receiver.
About the Author
Sammy Bickmen is a recent graduate who speaks often on drug and sex addiction in high schools and colleges. More information on Teen Addiction
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