I believe people can change

vickie - cahokia, Illinois
Entered on May 5, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that people can change. The reason I know people can change is that I experienced it. I am an African American woman who made some poor decisions early on in my life. I began by experimenting with drugs and alcohol and convinced myself that school was unimportant. I thought hanging out late and having fun was cool. I became a dropout with no structure or goals in life. Drinking and drugging was the center of my world. Little did I know, this was the beginning of a nightmare? Because of my inability to stop using drugs and alcohol, I became selfish, dishonest, irresponsible, and unreliable. I could not get a job, nor did I have a desire to work. Life was one big party for me.

I did not want to stop using, though everybody else thought I should. I could not see any harm in what I was doing. Everybody I knew used something. In a moment of clarity, I believed that there had to be something more to life than alcohol and drugs. At first it was hard because being on some kind of mood altering substance was all I had known. Drugs and alcohol had been a crutch to me for so long that I could not imagine my life without being under the influence. I went through some hard trails trying to get clean and sober.

I am the mother of four children; three beautiful daughters and a wonderful son. As my addiction progressed my children suffered the most. I could not stand to see the hurt and disappointment in their eyes any longer. I did not know how to stop using but I knew something had to change. On April.22, 2001 I was introduced to a twelve-step program that changed my way of thinking. I became willing to do some things differently and to follow a few suggestions. I committed myself to a simple program, and one day at a time my whole world changed. I have found a new way to live. I have learned how to be an unselfish, honest, responsible, reliable adult again.

Now my children and I have a loving relationship; they can see a change in me, too. I am not that same person I used to be. Through this process, I went back to school and received my GED. I am a full- time employee and a part-time college student majoring in nursing. I believe that people can change. How do I know? Because it happened to me, I am a recovering addict clean and serene. Finally for me “the big old lie once an addict always an addict” is false. I believe that people can change. I did, and for that I am truly grateful.