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Strength Through Hardship

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The recent story from Maycie Nielsen was something that hit home with me [“Orphaned by Addicts,” July 4, City Weekly]. I was touched by her message and agree with her sentiments.

I was a drug addict for several years, and I eventually found myself homeless and lost a beloved girlfriend to a drug overdose. Having gone through all of the things that come along with drug addiction and homelessness, I have no sympathy for either group anymore. I do, however, sympathize with Maycie, and I am glad that the people she loves haven’t destroyed her, but only made her stronger.

I would like to think that having had a child in my life would have straightened me up sooner than later but, after being sober for almost a year and seeing others not make it, I’ve come to realize that nobody you love or anyone who loves you can make the right choices for you. Your willingness to change has to come from a genuine desire to want a different life for yourself and not just the people who love you.

JAMES MERDINGER
Salt Lake City

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