I am twenty-years-old. Not quite sure how I got this far nor what I am doing in my life. Currently, I am unemployed and not attending school at the moment. I’m not exactly sure how much I can say about myself but to be truly honest I’m not even sure who I am these days.

I live at home with my parents. My life has turned into a mess in some ways. I guess you can say I’ve been living on the ‘edge’ a little bit. I’ve been trying to figure out for the past three years or so what the hell I’m doing here. Since junior year in high school, I have been struggling with problems from self-image, self-injury, addiction, depression, anxiety and everything in between and have dealt with a majority of consequences due to these things.

Before I was 18, my parents attempted to help by sending me off to a behavioral health hospital in the area called Alexian Brothers, to try and ‘help me’. When I was 17, I had been admitted to an outpatient/IOP type drug rehab program. When I was there, I had learned a lot about addiction and the drugs I had been abusing, and overall ways to change that and stop depending on substances that could potentially make my life a lot worse. I have been admitted for Marijuana, Pills, and alcohol.

I was smoking a few days out of the week. Never really had interest or way to buy my own weed then and the drinking and pills as well I really did not look at it as a problem and just kept denying the fact that I have dependency on these things. I’d rather call it a ‘phase’ in my life that would soon pass and be a blimp when I look back on the high school days. I’ll never forget how everything started to go downhill in the begginning.

It was halloween time, about October 2009. My uncle was staying with me at my parent’s house for a few days because my parents were going on a long weekend vacation and I was currently attending rehab at the time and even before then, they really didn’t and still don’t have much trust in me so I guess that’s understandable. I had taken some pills and smoked a lot of pot that whole weekend. When my parents came home, they found out. And with that, and me relapsing once a week or not ever really getting sober or having any interest, they later decided that I had recently turned 18 and they wanted me out of their house.

I had nowhere to go. No true friends at the time for what I thought, no way to contact anyone, no transportation. I ended up getting in touch with a homeless shelter in the area, because that was literally my only option or sleeping on the streets. Either way, I knew things had changed. I was living in a homeless shelter for about two weeks. Then, I decided enough was enough. I had got in contact using a pay phone with a family friend who eventually helped me to set up a meeting with a counselor at a halfway house in Oak Park where I soon got admitted and started living there. Halfway house meant I had to be sober.

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