This I Believe

Woulfe - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on September 27, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: addiction

I have many beliefs, but one that I feel most strongly about is that drugs are a negative way of trying to control one’s current problems. Just because life is not going the way everyone hopes it to be, does not mean that life is hopeless.

On October 15, 2004 my twenty-two year old cousin, Jill, passed away from a Heroin overdose. She had been taking Heroin since her early years of high school, and no one knew. Her older sister, Bridget, was also dealing with the same family problems and in the same manner as Jill was. At home, their mother and my Aunt, Lois, was a hard, full-time worker. Though her husband and girl’s dad, Rick, was not as diligent as my Aunt is. He is a very skilled craftsman and is skilled at two other things: cheating on Lois and excessive drinking. Uncle Rick would spend all of Lois’s hard earnings on alcohol and seeing another woman at the same time. The girls were exposed to this for quite some time, until Lois finally took Rick out of the picture.

How does a varsity swimmer and a class president end up doing drugs? Both girls had everything going for them; beauty, intelligence, friends, but no common sense. Now, Bridget lives each day without Jill. All of this could have been prevented if they were not exposed to such drama at home, and if they had made the choice not to do drugs. Bridget is currently in a rehabilitation center in Minnesota, and is entering her fourth month. She had her opportunity to come home, but she decided to stay longer so there would be no temptation, and I am so proud of her for it.

When I think of the difficulties this family has gone through, I realize that I have an amazing family, and life. I can not stop wondering why the girls would do that to themselves and their bodies. “How stupid,” I tell myself. Though when I put myself in their shoes, I could see why they could have gone past the “DO NOT ENTER” sign.

Having finally entered high school, there are lots of pressures and distractions that are constantly trying to screw up my life. I cancel them out, and think of other ways I can deal with them and the rollercoaster “up and down” days. I know that others are in the same position I am, but there is still the feeling of solitude. When I see other students outside of school, lighting up a cigarette or in La Grange doing some drug, I always wonder if life is that bad. Everyone has different ways of dealing with their own issues or problems, but choosing to mess up your body is not going to solve them any faster.

Whenever I look at my Aunt, I can see in her face of how she thinks that Jill’s death is her fault. My family and I know it is not, but the emotion still does not go away. Drugs do not solve problems, or boost you up, though it may feel good at first. In the end, the old emotion is back, and the rush is gone. I believe that drugs are not the answer to life’s issues, but the individuals who live those lives are.