3 Thank-You’s I Owe to My Old Addiction

Here's a few positive things I learned from my struggle with addiction.

Life doesn’t always go as planned. Especially when you find yourself in a maximum-security state prison on your first-ever offense.

When Life Takes an Unexpected Detour

At 27 years old, I seemed to have everything in front of me: a promising future as an attorney and a serious boyfriend who I’d thought I’d marry. But one rash decision to get behind the wheel when I shouldn’t have changed all that – and suddenly, my days weren’t consumed with taking depositions or attending hearings anymore. Instead – for four years – they revolved around the canteen, who was dating who on the compound, and whether I was going to get access to the pay phone to call my family that night.

Undoubtedly, those days were the hardest times of my life, but taking a “time-out” from society really forced me to sit and think about my drinking and how it led me to where I was.

Developing a New Outlook

After years of being clean, I can now look back with a different perspective; one where I can appreciate how my substance abuse led me to the life I have today.

  • I’ve Realized Who My True Friends Are

    When you’re in prison, the highlight of your existence is receiving mail and getting visits – any contact from the outside world keeps you going. A good handful of people who I considered friends barely reached out to me or made the effort to keep in touch, whereas those who I hadn’t talked to in years really stepped up to the plate. You really learn who your true friends are when you hit rock-bottom, and I used this insight when I got out of prison to surround myself with people who had my best interests at heart.

  • I Ditched the Self-Pity

    Prior to my car crash, I always felt sorry for myself. Even though I had a great life, I focused on what everyone else had that I didn’t. The constant resentment and injustice I felt caused me to look for an escape through alcohol. Now, I can look back at the fallacy of my thinking and recognize all the great things I have going – and focus all my energy there instead.

  • I Have Gratitude for My Life

    For as long as I can remember, I took my life for granted. But after losing my freedom and almost killing myself and others, I realized how lucky I was to be alive. I began looking at life like I had a second chance – a second chance to do better and be a better person – and if it wasn’t for my old addiction I doubt I would have ever gotten this important change in perspective.

Image Source: iStock