This I Believe

Mandi - USA
Entered on February 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: addiction, family

I believe that my family saved my life. Today, I am seventeen years old. I am graduating in May, which is right on time. This is a miracle. When I was fourteen I was addicted to cocaine and I was an alcoholic. I dropped out when I was fifteen, and started smoking cigarettes right before that. My dad decided that I was moving back to Wyoming when he found out I quit school. At that point, I was living with my boyfriend and not doing anything but drugs. I didn’t even have a job.

I thought it would be hell. I thought that because I had to quit drugs and go back to school, I thought I would never do it. For a little while, it was awful. I couldn’t get along with my dad and moved in with another boyfriend. He wouldn’t work and I could only get a part-time job. He stole my money and spent it on drugs, and our water froze and our heat went out in the first week of October ‘05. No one ever fixed it.

After the New Year, I was going to lose it. I was losing it. My boyfriend was going to prison and I didn’t have anywhere to live. I hadn’t eaten for days. I wanted to take a hot bath and sleep on a mattress. Finally, I broke down and moved in with my grandmother. I got back in touch with my dad, and my aunt and cousin were always around. These four people have been my driving force for the last year. They are the reason I am graduating and getting out of Kemmerer. They are the reason I have stayed away from cocaine for almost a year now.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My family is far from perfect. My grandmother drinks too much whiskey every night and loses things that are really important. She can say some really mean things when she’s drinking, too. My aunt and my cousin both have drug problems of their own, and my dad and I both work so much we hardly have time to see each other. When he does have time, he oftentimes neglects to call. But that’s OK.

What I really believe is this…

Just because it seems like your family is a deadbeat family, and like they don’t care about you because of things they say and things they do, that doesn’t mean they won’t be there for you when you REALLY need something. Sometimes it takes a lot to get their attention, but don’t give up on your family, because they won’t give up on you.