to be free

IN THE 1970S, when I was in my mid-20s, it hadn't even occurred to me that I could be free of my enslavement to prescription drugs. My addiction felt so real that I couldn't imagine life without it—that is, until I found God through Christian Science.

My addiction began when I was 13 years old, when a family doctor prescribed amphetamines to suppress my appetite. Lonely and insecure, I'd imagined that losing weight would result in popularity and happiness. Yet the anticipated popularity and happiness didn't happen.

Still, I discovered that diet pills had, what seemed at the time, a positive side effect. For about two hours after taking a pill, I would feel self-confident and able to concentrate intensely on my schoolwork—even on subjects I feared and disliked such as math. After the euphoria would come a few hours of mild depression and restlessness, which I learned to tolerate until it was time to take the next pill. Eventually, however, even though I knew I was intelligent, I felt totally incapable of studying without the stimulation of amphetamines to motivate and focus my thinking.

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Because nations do not thrive by laws alone
October 29, 2007

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