Girl looking in a broken mirror

Where did addiction take me? I could tell dark stories of addiction because believe me there are plenty. I could exploit the dark memories of using drugs: where I was, who I was with, etc. Things I vaguely remember and things that are etched into my mind forever.

If you talked to my family, they would tell horror stories of my use and how worried they were because I chose to take a walk with the devil.

Before I went into treatment, I was devastated with where my life was. I was scared, unsure and didn’t know who I was or what I wanted in life. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to get off drugs. I justified it by telling myself I didn’t have a problem. I was just young and enjoying every aspect of it.

The only thing was, I was denying my true feelings.

I expected my life to remain unchanged. I was living in Hawaii, using drugs and working some dead end job. My goals and aspirations didn’t really surpass anything more than I was doing at the time. I lived in the moment but not in a way that was conducive to going anywhere in life. But that was what drug addiction solved for me. I didn't have to plan for a future. I would get loaded on whatever substance was available that day and all my worries would be washed away for the duration of the high. I didn't have to have a plan or the stress that came with executing a plan and pushing through the inevitable barriers one would encounter when moving towards a goal. But I expected things to remain that way.

As I look back on those times and my perception of my life and compare it to now, I’m amazed. It took me losing everything to get to where I am today. I could have had an easier life filled with growing up in my hometown, being among my high school friends and then going to college. I guarantee it would have worked out a lot more smoothly than what I actually lived through. Instead, I created some difficult, really challenging obstacles for myself. Yet low and behold, I overcame them.

Addiction gave me haunting memories but also lead me to the life I now cherish. It allowed me to appreciate the small things in life and helped me develop relationships that will last. I have taken charge of my life and ultimately found my purpose in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish addiction wouldn’t have had to be my wake-up call or what got me going in the right direction. Although I had definite disadvantages due to my being an addict, I didn't dwell on the misfortune. I used it to my advantage. I took charge of my life and made it into something that I love and value. I attribute this to the form of treatment I received which caused me to look at my actions and my responsibility.

However, life didn’t magically get better after I went to a rehabilitation center. It took willpower and courage to confront my past and really make a difference in who I was. For those of you out there who are using, don’t give up. No matter how old you are or how long you have been using, there is something worth living for and that’s yourself, the “you” you have lost touch with but that is never gone. If you feel like you are at your lowest point, you don't have to go even lower. You do not have to be destined for failure. It is up to you and starts with your decision to seek help.

If you or a loved one need help, call us today.


Cori Kertis, CIT

Growing up in Nevada, she moved to Hawaii by herself at the age of 16. On a trip home to visit grandparents, she was offered a chance at residential treatment. Now over a year sober, Cori lives in Denham Springs and works at Narconon Louisiana helping other addicts who want a new life. LinkedIn: Cori Kertis Google+: Cori Kertis Twitter: @CoriKertis