Growth Ceremony Speech


I have been an Ironwood resident for about 3ish months now and I am learning and trying new things daily. Before I came to Ironwood – I would admit this now, but never before – I was a complete mess. I was very selfish and disrespectful and mainly I only focused on the negative part of everything.

A lot of things took me downhill to bring me here. You see, I had been doing good in school and had been accepted back into my public school. At the time, I was 14 years old and I went to a private school and knew an individual who was a stoner and we somehow became friends. Long story short, I became a heavy drug user as if my life depended on it and I would do illegal things every day and continuously disrespect my parents. The drug use got so out of hand that I sent threats to a random girl from my public school while impaired; I thought I was being funny but I was high and doing stupid things.

The next day at school, it was a pretty decent day until the end of the day when I was about to leave school. They sat me down and they said my public school said that I wouldn’t be coming back after I had just gotten accepted back in. They also said I was no longer allowed to bring my phone to the private school. Shortly after, I went on the bus and went home and when I walked off the bus, there were 5 police cars in my driveway who searched my house and they wanted to arrest me, but my dad somehow saved me from the law, but I had to hand in my phone to the cops. I left soon after. (my private school) and wasn’t going to be going to my public school. My drug use spiraled after the death of my grandfather along with hopelessness and depression.

My parents acknowledged my drug use and what I had been doing. Soon, I was sent to a rehab near me in Connecticut. I stayed there for a few weeks, and I had therapy, but I heard I was getting sent to a therapeutic boarding school and that I wouldn’t come back home. I ran away a bunch of times continuously from my rehab and got sent to the hospital, but the therapist at the hospital evaluated me and let me go home under the condition that I wouldn’t smoke and hang around bad influences.

Me, being a rebellious, selfish, adolescent teenager, I did exactly what the therapist at the hospital had asked me not to do. I was back home for about 2-3 weeks, sneaking out and slowly becoming more disrespectful. 

One morning, a few people showed up at my door to take me to Ironwood. I was in the car acting like everything was “A-ok!” but deep down I was hiding myself, I was scared and overwhelmed. Soon, I arrived at Ironwood.

To say the least, I didn’t want to be here, but I was surprisingly very compliant. While at Ironwood, I wanted to run away during the first few weeks I was here, but I was very reflective and thought a lot and I quickly realized I am in the middle of nowhere and my actions and carelessness led me here.

I am so appreciative for what I have learned in this environment and can’t wait to experience more in my program. I am also extremely thankful for the staff because without them, I couldn’t have made it this far. I am proud to say that I am now 81 days sober, the longest I have been sober, and that I have more willingness, openness, and confidence in myself and others and I hope to continue to grow in my program and with myself.

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