People Deserve Second Chances

Tracy - USA
Entered on December 20, 2006

I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. My cousin Steven is a drug addict. We grew up having very good lives. We were also both close in age being about a year apart. We did everything together. We were like two peas in a pod. Since he only lived upstairs from me, we were together every day. He was like my best friend who I talked to about everything.

Childhood was great. However, when high school began we started hanging out with other people. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd and started doing a little bit of drugs for a while. Things started to go down hill from there. I started making some really bad decisions. I skipped class to go get high, I wasn’t getting good grades anymore, and I also started selling pot to make extra money. At the rate I was going, I was starting to jeopardize my graduation. My family was starting to look down on me, like I was a screw up. They would give me looks like they were thinking, “Is this really my daughter? Did I do something wrong in raising her?”

My cousin was starting to realize how bad things were getting and told me that I had to get my act together. He said, “Tracy, don’t do drugs. They kill.” Then he told me some horror stories about the things that could happen to me if I became addicted. He told me how I could lose everything I had. I would lose my family, friends, job, and eventually be a junkie that lived on the streets. I realized that he was right, that I should stop doing drugs. We always had these long talks about it. So I stopped for me and my future.

A year has passed and I really got my life back together. I got my grades back up, stopped skipping class, stopped selling pot, and graduated high school. Now here I am in college doing my best. I even started to hang out with my old friends who were not into drugs. My cousin really helped me get a second chance before things got out of control. However, It seemed like my cousin needed to start taking his own advice.

I remember someone telling me that my cousin was doing drugs, but I brushed it off my shoulders. Then I really started hearing things. I heard that he was getting into trouble. He was stealing from his family to support his drug habit, had drinking and driving charges, and had a lot of run ins with the cops. He had to go to court many times, and was facing a few years of jail time.

At first I thought it was a dream, but then I realized it wasn’t. My family really needed to do something about this and get him some help as soon as possible. After a few months went by, things were getting so out of control that every one started to give up on him. No one knew what to do anymore. Talking just wasn’t helping. I didn’t even want to see him any more because I was ashamed of him, and was very disappointed. I couldn’t believe that my own cousin would do something like steal from me and do drugs. Not only did I look down on him, but so did the rest of my family. It got me thinking about how that made me feel when my family looked at me that way. I couldn’t just let him ruin his life like this. At the rate he was going, he was going to die if he did anymore drugs.

This one night he called me for a ride home because he was stranded at a friend’s house. At first I thought nothing of it, so I went to pick him up. However, I thought he sounded a little weird on the phone. I wanted to ask if everything was alright but he had been so short tempered with me lately that I didn’t want to annoy him. When I finally got there, he got in the car and I would tell that he was really high off of some drugs. I started to get really scared because he was really spaced out and I thought he was going to lose consciousness and die. His face was kind of pale, he could barley function, and he had a black eye. I got really scared and wanted to take him to the hospital but he refused. I felt like I should have taken him anyways ,but like I said before, he had been short-tempered lately so I didn’t want him to get mad at me and hurt the relationship we had.

The next day when he was sober, I went over to his house to talk to him. He had been so messed up the night before that he didn’t even remember what happened, that I’d had to pick him up. And he didn’t remember why he had a black eye. I reminded him that he told me the night before that he got in a fight with someone, but he didn’t say who. I knew it had to be a drug dealer or something, because his favorite necklace was missing too. I knew he had to have sold it for drugs. So when I was talking to him, I was thinking about what he told me when I was getting into drugs, how he changed my life by putting me on the right track. Now I thought it was my turn to help him in the same way. I didn’t want him to become a junkie who lost everything. I remember saying to him “Remember what you said to me? You need to do the same thing. You need to trust me please.”

At first my cousin said he wouldn’t go to a detox. It took a lot of convincing, but after all the talking from my family and me, he realized it was the right thing to do. He also realized that he almost died that night I picked him up, and he didn’t want that to ever happen again. He knows that our family is always there for him and that we only wanted to see him succeed and have a good life.

My family put him into a detox to get some help for a while. He spent six months in a detox and rehab and now he is out. He has been sober for eight months now and is doing great. He is now working and going to school to get his bachelors degree in criminal justice. I knew I could always believe in my cousin and now I look up to him in many more ways. I think Steven is a good example for why it is important to give people a second chance, because you never know how people can turn around their lives with a helping hand. You never think anything like this could happen to anyone. Though when it does, you have to realize that you have to stick with that person threw the bad times. This is why you shouldn’t give up on people on the first try.