I never thought my bad experiences would save my life
I started using drugs early on in high school. I did it because I wasn't one of the cool kids. I was a little geeky girl who got bullied mercilessly. I started hanging out with the other "outcasts" because I thought it was safer than going it on my own and getting picked on. My outcast friends all did drugs and drank. Sometimes we had access to harder stuff, but that was infrequent. We partied to forget we were outcasts. Strength in numbers, you know.
My mom started getting high about that time, as well. She and my stepdad had lots of issues. He drank to forget. She got high to escape. As a suburban housewife, though, she wouldn't have some of the frightening experiences that caused me to get clean.
Before I graduated, I lost a couple friends to drug-related car accidents. Another to suicide. Found another friend in her livingroom floor after she OD'd on painkillers. Lost another friend to AIDS from a dirty needle. All that death and trauma in the span of just a few months literally scared me clean. I didn't want to die... not the way I saw my friends die.
I was fortunate to get scared into going clean. My mom wasn't so fortunate. She started with pot... and it was that crazy gateway drug scenario. She went from pot to painkillers, to muscle relaxers, to the psych meds, and the benzos. After a five year struggle, she would ultimately die of a prescpription drug overdose.
I never thought I would say that I was lucky to have had the bad experiences I did... but I think that if my mom had seen the things I had, she might not have gone down the road that led to her death.