“One of the problems with using for a long time is the memory loss. And one of the worst parts of that is how selective it is. I don't remember my 22nd, 23rd, or 24th birthdays. I don't remember most of the days in between either. I don't remember who I slept with; I don't remember anything special happening. I do remember party after party, my mother telling me I smelled like shit when she picked me up in the morning, and feeling profoundly alone.

I remember waking up on the floor of my bathroom, with vomit dried on my face, knowing that I had mixed one hell of a combination the night before, and being mildly surprised that I woke up at all. That wasn't my first overdose, but it was the first from oxycontin.

I have remembered every birthday since 2015. I take a lot of pictures now. Not because I think I'll forget - although age does things to a body - but because I don't just want to remember things, I want to live in them. I want to point to a photo and share the reasons for the smiles with another human. I keep a photo board in the Recovery Space at work. It is absolutely covered with pictures of me and the students I have worked with. There are smiles, and laughter, and goofy behavior, and it makes my heart sing. I don't forget anymore, and I'm proud of that.”