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Essay on Drug Abuse

After I left the process of studying for the priesthood, and eventually left the Catholic Church, I went through great struggles. As I said in an earlier paper, I did not know who I was or who I was supposed to be. I no longer had anyone providing me with structure. I had not developed a sense of my own identity in terms of either vocation or relationship. I felt like a failure. I felt that since I had failed at celibacy, I might as well indulge myself in other ways. I began to experiment - this was a different type of active experimentation than the kind in the Kolb model. This was the kind of experimentation in which a person is lost and desperate, trying anything and everything in order to find a sense of peace and belonging.

As a consequence, I began to get myself into trouble. I tried different kinds of drugs, and alcohol was a constant in my life. I visited wild clubs with wild people, and did not have a good sense of who my friends are or what I needed in terms of relationships. My old friends, those who had been in the priesthood, that process, or were either in the Catholic or Baptist church, no longer seemed available to me. I felt betrayed and abandoned. My new friends seemed unlikely to abandon me, since they were as desperate as I was myself. They were people who were lost, much like myself, rather than ordinary social drinkers. For some, the experiments did not result in a lifestyle that included substance abuse. They did not become addicted, but turned back toward what was rewarding and satisfying. Others, like me, found ourselves increasingly dependent upon substances to keep us going, fuel our relationships, and provide us with a sense of connection and meaning. Although I think I knew it in some part of me, for the most part I denied that I was an alcoholic. I thought I was just fun-loving and making up for lost time.

People are so familiar with the concept of denial, that it is almost a jok...

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