This I Believe

Jessica - Youngstown, Ohio
Entered on May 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Some People Change

I was twelve years old when I saw my dad lying in a hospital bed knocking on death’s door. He had a black eye, stitches in his hands and in his head. He also had brain damage. This was very scary being only twelve. My dad was like superman to me, he did not belong in a hospital bed barely able to move. That morning, I had been told that my father was in an accident, but my brother and I figured it was just a fender bender because we were still sent to school. Little did we know how bad he really was until we went to visit him in the hospital later that night. We were old enough to know that our father had a drinking problem, but living with my mom we did not get to see a lot of it. We saw him maybe one day a week since my parents were divorced.

My father is currently in AA five years after his accident, and has received his “5 year coin.” It is a coin that symbolizes the years of being sober. Preceding my father’s accident, he lost his license for a year, but that did not change his self destructive ways. Unfortunately, it took my father almost dying to help he decide to change. He fell asleep at the wheel, drifted across the road, bounced of a guard rail, flipped his jeep and was trapped inside. They had to use the Jaws of Life to get him out. He almost died. Sometimes it takes extreme measures, but I believe that people can change. When my father was in that accident it mad me feel angry, sad, and worried all at the same time. I look back now and consider his accident as a blessing in disguise. If my father had never been in that accident, he could still be drinking or worse; he could be dead.

People have to want to change for themselves. Sometimes it does not take something such as hitting rock bottom or almost dying to help them along in their decision, but sometimes it does. I do believe in people changing. I do not believe in sitting around and wasting life away waiting for somebody else to change. It is important that they know that they are not alone and that they are cared about. Trying to make that person change is probably next to impossible. Being around people that are going through the same thing, such as AA can make it easier. Everybody has the ability to change, but it is not an easy task and is easy to give up on. Keeping a goal in mind and working hard along with the help of others is how it is done successfully. Nobody is perfect, so there will be mistakes made along the way.

Even though a person does not drink anymore they are considered an alcoholic the rest of their lives. My father is now active in his church, and even though he has been sober for five years, he still attends AA meetings. I am proud of my father for everything he has overcome. My father is living proof that people can change.