I found myself trying harder substances. I remember not loving the feelings I got from opiates. I never wanted to be like family members I had seen struggle with addiction. My life became very unmanageable, even while using only marijuana and alcohol. Because of my own poor choices, I lost my job and my apprenticeship. I started to hang out with this man I met who sold marijuana. I was immediately infatuated with him. I offered to drive him around for money, and eventually we started dating. Around the same time, one of my friends lost her job. She asked me if I would try exotic dancing. At 18 years of age, I found myself occasionally dancing, downing a bottle of alcohol with that same friend. Because I had a choice whether I wanted to go or not, these things were all still fun at that age. I could choose who I wanted to engage with, and it wouldn’t matter whether I made a certain amount of money. I didn’t have a lot of bills, and I worked at a family-owned restaurant in order to “cover up” my other income.