I Am Patient X: An Adolescent's Story
Here is one of our adolescent patient’s story. The names have been changed to ensure privacy.
My name is Patient X.
I was born in South Florida, 1996.
I grew up in a family that deeply believed in God. My family never really had a problem with money, so it was always easy for me to get. When I was a little girl, my mom and dad would take me to my grandparents’ house in Palm Beach and would have me stay with them for about a month or two, and then they would bring me back and I was always switching back and forth between them. When I was about 3 years old until I was 10, I would go to the beach or go fishing with my family and do a lot of fun activities with them. Between the ages of 11 through 15 I had lost interest in the things they were doing and I had more interest in what my friends were doing. So from then on I had started getting around older groups of people and finding out other ways to have fun. I had met the boy Jimmy, that had turned into my boyfriend for about a year and his mom introduced him to weed and he started doing it around me and he had pressured me into smoking with him in front of his friends, and I felt that if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t fit in and at that point in my life that’s all I wanted, was to fit in. So I started off with just smoking weed, and when me and Jimmy had broken up, I went to the next guy that had what I wanted which was drugs, but not the type I was already doing.
I started dating Truman, the boy I am dating recently, who introduced me to Spice and Xanax, and I started to do them on a daily basis. I would take 3 Xanax a day at the most. Everything my boyfriend bought or sold, he would give me some for free, so I always had something. After a few months into the relationship I started getting really bad with the pills and Spice. I went to my first treatment center July 2011, and worked my recovery and was very serious about working the steps and getting clean, but once I had been discharged September 2011, I had went right back to my old ways and my old friends. I didn’t go back to my boyfriend because while I was in rehab he was out doing well and getting clean. He reached about 5 months sober and relapsed on Spice while I was in my second treatment center in November 2011. It was the same thing all over again, I worked it, but not to the fullest.
This time when I got out January 2012, I got out and went to meetings every day for 2 weeks straight, had a sponsor for a while, but once I started going back downhill, I stopped calling her. I went back to my boyfriend and started using Spice with him every day, but his mom had warned us that if we keep smoking Spice he was going to a program, so he stopped but I kept going of course. He got really depressed after he stopped using and only got happy when he got to see me. I got Baker Acted February 2012, for getting into a physical fight with my dad. So I pretty much detoxed from Xanax in there with no medicine or anything. I got out a few days later, went home and smoked some spice. Went to bed that night and was woken up the next morning by my mom, dad, aunt and uncle all standing over me in my room, telling me to get into the car. I cried the whole ride from Largo to Wellington (5 hours).
When I got to Wellington Retreat, I saw two other girls I was in treatment with before and was relieved that I wasn’t the only one and that I knew someone. My first three weeks here were great but I felt horrible, I felt like I hadn’t slept for days. My cravings on a 1-10, ten being the worse, were at about a 10. I was depressed, very emotional, confused and not sure what I was supposed to be doing. Today is Tuesday, March 2012, and my cravings at this point are at a 4; I’m doing everything different than I was doing before. I’m expressing my needs and concerns, I’m saying how I really feel, telling the truth, and taking care of myself, taking leadership and responsibility for my actions.
I’ve done some horrible things; rob stores and steal from people. I’ve done things that could end me up in jail for a while. I stole drugs and alcohol. I’ve slept out on park benches and abandoned houses. I’ve watched people beat people so bad to the point their put into the hospital on life support.
Right now is right now; I’m not living in the past anymore. I’m doing whats best for me right now, no matter how much I don’t want to. I’m coming clean about what I’ve done because I know if I don’t, I’m always going to have to live with it sitting there on my shoulder 24/7 and it will lead to me using. I am Patient X.