From the September 2007 magazine.

Life, Unlimited

A teenager reaps rewards of sobriety

For most teenagers, navigating the social and emotional nightmare of high school is hard enough, but doing it as a newcomer to sobriety seemed impossible. My solution to high school while I was drinking was simple: Don't go. So I didn't.

School seemed stupid. There was always something way more interesting to do. After a while, I couldn't sit in a class even when I wanted to. The school and my mom kept trying to get me to show up, but I just couldn't stay. I would be at school and that itch would come. I needed to get out of there. I would tell myself that I would come back for my next class, but I was always too loaded to go back. It was easier to just drop out. Of course, no one else (including my mom) was on board with my decision, so I had to run away from home to continue the lifestyle I wanted. I spent the next year or so running wild. I finally hit bottom and sobered up (with a little help from the juvenile justice system) two weeks after my sixteenth birthday.

-- Diana C.

Oceanside, California

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