This one will be unusual. I'm a recovering addict, and would love some thoughts as to my DS. Thanks in advance!
A racking cough snapped me into focus. I tried to ignore the source, tried not to stare at the man doubled over in front of me. However, a momentary glance revealed his condition; his hair was oily and waxen. He was dangerously thin. Papery skin stretched taught over exposed ribs, clung tightly to stick legs. While one of his hands planted itself on the wall, hoping for support, the other clutched something to his chest, hanging onto whatever it was more fervently than he gripped at the wall. The coughing fit was so forceful that I thought it would knock him over; his knobbly, unsteady knees couldn’t possibly support the violence he expelled. But they did. He stopped. He straightened, and our eyes locked.
His gaze, empty and ravenous, seemed ready to devour me. His hand moved from his chest, extending toward me. I recoiled, frightened. He offered it, palm open. In it was a little blue pill, displaying an “R” and a “215”. 30mg of Roxicodone. My favorite. Crying, he watched as I tilted my hand, letting the pill fall into the sink. My other hand stretched outward, closing the gap, and turned on our faucets. We watched the water carry the two blue dots down the drain, out of sight. Looking back into the mirror, we whispered two words: “No more.”
On May 22nd, 2006, I began my recovery. I am proud and humbled to say that I have remained clean ever since. The struggle, especially in the first weeks and months, was excruciating. I did not use methadone or suboxone; I did something known as white-knuckling my recovery. I passed through withdrawal accompanied by nothing but an IV bag, the love and support of my mom, and sheer force of will. I wanted to remember what it felt like, breaking the addiction. I faced down my darkness, coming to know my shadow, my monster, intimately. I examined every link in the chain that bound me to its service in volunteered slavery. I thought back, and continue to think back, to how I forged this chain. How did I make it strong? How can I fight it effectively?
As a recovering addict, I move through the world extremely aware of my limitations, of the dangers of temptation. I have felt utter, complete dependence on a monster of my own creation. I have lived with the knowledge of its mastery. The thought of resistance seemed absurd; my defeat was inevitable. But I climbed into the ring anyway. I realized mid-fight that, ultimately, I was my own monster, my own master. At best, I was shadow boxing. I decided to stand still. I decided to stop fighting. I decided to accept.
Addiction is omnipresent. As such, so are addicts. And where there are addicts there are chains clinking softly in their wake. These chains bear many names: alcohol, drugs, wealth, recognition, and status, just to name a few. No one turns to addiction through contentment or self-actualization. Addicts are formed when individuals are compelled to hide from their monster. I know what it is to look in the mirror, see a monster, study it, and embrace it. I have learned how to commune with monsters, to listen to their fears and reveal their humanity. Instead of locking that part of myself away, I’ve endeavored to accept and love it. Indeed, it has indelibly instilled in me forgiveness, patience and acceptance. Incisive compassion is particularly important in a service profession such as law. Because of my experience with addiction, I know that the fist is much less powerful, much less poignant, than the outstretched hand. I believe this to be especially necessary when dealing with oneself. I believe that these experiences and perspectives will add something unique to discussions of law and bring an uncommon viewpoint to disputes. Finally, I believe that the study and practice of law will help me extend my hand to counsel, to grow, and to serve freely.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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