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3 Thank-Yous I Owe to My Old 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 alcohol use 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.

How to Find Help for Alcohol or Drug Misuse

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance misuse, help is available and recovery is possible. Professional addiction treatment can help anyone battling a substance use problem start on the path to a healthier life. To learn more about treatment options, contact a caring admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers (AAC) for free at . You can also check your insurance coverage online now.

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