I found an old diary the other day from my childhood. I dreamed of going to New York City and becoming an attorney. I dreamed of being completely on my own, making a lot of money and marrying some rich guy. What I did was completely opposite. I became a homeless druggie and ended up dumped by my own drug dealer for girl after girl after girl.
I was on drugs for years. My family begged me to get help. Thankfully, I never had any kids or they would have been part of that nightmare. I could not believe how fast time flew. One day I was a teenager dreaming of graduating in two years, the next I was a drugged out high school dropout who did not care about anything but my next fix.
I finally got clean when I was in my 30s. I moved back to my home town from Sacramento where I was just losing it with one drug fix after another and took courses to help at a local drug rehab center that appreciated the fact that I had first hand experience and could offer a different type of help to the teens and local townspeople. I would run into people I knew and they would be shocked at my appearance. I looked older thanks to my drug use.
I found that old diary in the garage when I was cleaning it out for my mom. I sat and cried over what could have been. Then I remembered that now I am making a difference. Just the other day I took part in a graduation ceremony where a young girl thanked me for helping her through her detox and listened to her fears and dreams. She is only nineteen and has her whole life ahead of her. I just know she can do it.
I may not have become a great attorney in New York City and married some millionaire but I am richly blessed all the same. I am making a difference in my own community, with the kids of some of my past classmates, and I just started dating a wonderful man who is the brother of someone in my Narcotics Anonymous group.
My life did not go the way that sixteen year old girl dreamed in that diary over twenty years ago but I have been given a second chance and I appreciate it more than words can say. I made a success of myself after all.