The High Took Me So Low

Desperate man sitting in the tunnel.
Photo by baona/

I was adopted from Russia at eleven months old. Growing up, my relationship with my family was good and bad. Overall, the relationship was okay, but I always found something to complain about, and so did they. I was extremely close with my family, even when we had fights or disagreements. I had a pleasant childhood in upstate New York, but I always seemed to get in trouble. I spent every day in school suspension because I was acting out and being the class clown.

My parents never seemed to be home, and I always felt sort of alone. I have a sister, and we used to be close when I was younger, but she fell into the wrong crowd and didn’t want to hang out with her brother anymore. Later on, in life, my sister and I bonded over the same topic, which was drugs. So, moving forward, I was alone, troubled, and getting into lots of trouble. I moved out when I was fourteen. I lived with several family members and burned many bridges with them.

I started using drugs when I was fourteen. My first drug of choice was marijuana which made me super paranoid and hungry. What could be the harm in that I thought to myself?

My second drug of choice was cocaine. I found it while I was working at a restaurant. I lied to a group of people and told them I had done it before and ended up doing a lot the first time. Cocaine made me stay awake, and at the time, I worked a lot, so I thought it was a good thing. I didn’t realize how strong the bond to this addiction would be, but I ended up doing Cocaine every day for multiple years. I stole from my family and grew very distant. I would contact them only when I needed more money to support my drug habit.

I then found methamphetamine, which was the worst of all, in my opinion. Before I found methamphetamine, I still had a relationship with my family. Even though I had stolen from them and had been using drugs secretly, throughout all the secrets and lies and betrayal, they still would contact me whenever I tried to do better myself. I would always call them whenever I got a job, and they would congratulate me, and that would be the end.

I lived with the illusion that my parents kicked me out “because I was gay.” I was in a different reality than them. Little did I know that wasn’t the case at all. I was so hurt, so I kept digging deeper holes and was soon buried in the dirt.

I started to believe they hated me or didn’t want me anymore. Every person was out to get me and wanted me to fail on my head. So, I started to get very hostile, secretive, and distant from my family. But, my family just wanted me to do good things, be successful in life and be happy.

Drugs warped my perception of reality, and I saw life through such a negative glass.

I eventually damaged the relationship with my family severely, and they wanted nothing to do with me. They locked their doors, blocked my number, and emotionally detached themselves. They disowned me because I wasn’t myself, and they knew that. My addiction turned me into a monster, and soon everyone knew what was going on. You see, when you think that no one knows about what you are doing or going through if they are your family or love you and or care for you, they can see right through you even if you can’t see yourself.

I eventually met a man who sold drugs and “fell in love.” I lost all of my friends, and my family was the enemy because my partner said they were no good for me. Drugs were the only thing keeping me alive; I thought I needed them to survive.

I eventually became an IV user when I was seventeen years old. I had no self-worth. I had no one around me because I had managed to push every single person away from me. All I had in life was a dead-end job, an abusive partner, and whatever kind of drug or drink there was that night. I felt like a piece of trash about to be thrown out.

I have been to several rehabs since I was eighteen years old. Every time I got sober, my family got their hopes up, and I eventually let them down every time. I was hurting them more and more every time they got close to me.

My family eventually told me that they subconsciously buried their son. That broke my heart to hear, but I continued to use drugs, trying to block out all the feelings in my head.

I became empty, tired, and hopeless.

My mom stopped talking to me because it made her sad every time she received a call from me in the hospital. My dad got to the point where he would say, “how much money are you asking for this time?” before I even said a word. My sister got sober and has multiple years of recovery, and she wouldn’t talk to me in fear that I would trigger her if she saw me drunk. I even had my best friend buy me drugs because I had no more money, and I knew she wouldn’t say no. Of course, I hated doing that, but it happened multiple times, and I never felt enough remorse to stop.

Each time I found myself in another predicament, I would call my parents begging for their help, or would lie and try to get money because “I was held up” or “A drug dealer needed it.” Always some lie, or some excuse. After ten years of doing the same thing over and over again, I began to grow distant from everyone that would come close to me or try to come close to me. I would go on month-long binges and expect everyone to be there for me when I returned. Eventually, they tired of watching me destroy my life and, ultimately, me. I got cut off and no one would talk to me unless I chose to get treatment.

The most tragic thing was I realized two whole years had passed since I was last sober. Then I realized I hadn’t seen my family in six years, which crushed me. Drugs completely took me away, and I let them because they tricked me into thinking they would always be there for me. I thought drugs were my friends, but they were my enemies all along.

“I can see my family has always loved me even through the hard times. They never gave up on me, even when I had completely
given up on myself.”

I am sitting here now with such a clearer mindset than I have ever had in my entire life. I can see my family has always loved me even through the hard times. They never gave up on me, even when I had completely given up on myself. I always thought my family was the enemy and all the “friends” I had were the only people I needed in my life. I can tell you from experience your family is the building block that will keep your structure together. Never lose that brick because sometimes it’s hard to pick it back up again or even find it when you do.

O.B. Narconon Graduate


Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.