Drug Court Graduate: ‘The Real Test is To Keep Rising’

A new piece of artwork at the Kitsap County Juvenile Department particularly struck me. Its creator is a graduate of the Individualized Treatment Court, which I was at the complex to write about. I wanted to share it, along with its artist’s commentary. The teen behind it shall remain nameless, unless he ever chooses to reveal himself.

Here’s his commentary, which is a powerful portrait of recovery:

“This is Not a drawing.

This is a Representation of how I rose from the ashes. How I walked away from a destructive path I led. I caused pain not only to myself but to my loved ones. A Phoenix rises again as I did and represents my fiery passion to change; to become anew. The Rising flames represent my metamorphosis; my becoming the Phoenix. Of equal importance to becoming the Phoenix is the past I left: the past I look back to learn from is nothing more than ashes in the wake. In the ashes you’ll see a car door and a muffler representing my near-death experience from being negligent while in control of a vehicle. I survived but my truck did not follow the same fate. The razor blade represents my experiences with cocaine as does the pope represent my experiences with pot. The Handcuffs represent the obvious arrests and being incarcerated in and out of jail over a good portion of my life.

Individualized Treatment Court really helped me deal with some serious issues I had in my life. I did not see my problems or how unhealthy I was and had much to learn. Just because I have risen from where I once was does not mean I am done; in reality it has just begun. It took my a long time to get where I am and so easily it can all be taken away due to something of my influence or course of action. The real test is not to rise from the ashes or stay risen. The real test is to keep rising and keep growing and eventually teach others what lessons I have learned. That is the true gift of knowledge.”

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