I had finally managed to leave the rehab for good. I had worked my way almost the whole way through the program in record time and I was about to be released when I messed up. It was about 6 months in and they were allowing me to attend art school with the plan in mind to be released after several weeks of successful attendance. Unfortunately I blew that notion a few weeks in when a pretty girl at school offered me a Quaalude, I took the drugs, didn't get the girl and went on a two week binge before returning to the program. Thus I had to start over and go through the whole process again. I was just about through the levels when my year term had come to an end. A few weeks prior to that I managed to get a painting and remodeling job with a pretty solid firm in town and I found a small third floor efficiency apartment to rent.
Things went pretty good for the first few weeks, my employer was keeping me busy and I was staying away from the old crowd. It was easier because I was a whole city away and I really didn't know anybody except for the people at work and a girl I met who was an outpatient and attending the rehab for night counseling. (we'll call her sally)
Sally and I hit it off good and we started to date. Of course her dad didn't like this because he knew my background and was trying everything in his powers to keep us apart. He was running for mayor of a small town and didn't need his daughter associating with a guy like me. I managed also to bump into a local kid who I met in rehab who had recently got out too and the first thing he did when we bumped into each other was to hand me a bong. At first I declined but it didn't take much urging from my new friend to get me to cave in.
That was kind of the beginning of the end of the sobriety. I was now smoking pot again with the new kid, Sally's dad was making it hard for me to spend any time with her, so I started to travel back to my old hometown on the weekends to see who I could meet up with and what I could get myself in to.
Well the bible says, seek and you shall find and sure enough another truth from that little black book that so many of us run and hide from. The weekend trips turned into weeknight trips too and before you knew it I was missing work, late on my rent and getting stoned all the time. (I think they mentioned something at rehab about staying away from the old crowd) obviously they were right again.
From that point things are kind of sketchy in the old memory banks. My old girlfriend had ditched me so I was pretty much partying with the guys and always on the hunt. We did a lot of drinking and party hopping, I had to be around 19 or 20 at the time and I had finally landed a real job as a salesperson at a local motorcycle shop. I had hooked up with a new crowd of old friends that would eventually lead to my heavy use of cocaine and more jail time. Life was a party and we were living it large, it was a time of anything goes and living for the buzz.