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Today is what we will talk about tomorrow as yesterday. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. The only true gift we have is today. That’s why they call it “the present.” But if we keep on doing what we have always done, then we will keep on getting what we have always got. If you want to have something you have never had, you will have to do something you have never done. You will have to make up your mind, to go through it, over it, under it, whatever it takes to tackle the situation.

For instance, I don’t use drugs anymore, so I don’t hang around people who do. Some people say, “That is mean.” I say, “It is smart.”

Show me your friends, and I will show you, you. You may have heard this before, but the crazy part of the world of addiction is that “misery loves company.”

Let’s say I was getting high, but deep down inside I really wanted to get clean but also stay high at the same time. If I saw you being successful getting off drugs, every time I saw you, I would feel quiet about being high. But if the day ever came that you wanted to get high, I would be the first one to jump up and give it to you. Because now you being high, would make me feel a lot better about myself. It would help justify my addiction.

We have got to surround ourselves with true friends, people who will be a wind in our sail, instead of being an anchor in our tail, someone who pushes us forward, instead of dragging us back. A true friend understands our past, believes in our future, and is there to help us where we are. And if you don’t set the standard for what you will accept around you, you will find it easy to fall back into old behaviors for below what you deserve. I don’t know about you, but it is a life or death situation for me.

When drugs were a part of my life, all of my hopes and dreams went right out the window. I have to protect me from me.

For all of my life, I never accepted responsibility for anything. I always blamed everyone else for my problems which always left me empty-handed. The day I realized that the reasons for my problems were inside me was the very day I started turning my life around. Life is made of millions of moments, but we live our life one moment at a time. When we begin to change our moment, we begin to change our life!

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Johnny Ray Hutson is a writer incarcerated in California.