This I Believe

Kristen - Russellville, Arkansas
Entered on December 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in pushing through the hard times. This is the only advice I’ve ever actually listened to, it’s from my dad. My Mom has a very progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis and I, as the youngest couldn’t handle it. We had been told that she had two years left, I was terrified. I couldn’t, and still can’t, imagine a life without Mom. I’ve been on anti-depressants since she got sick 5 years ago. After the drugs stopped working, I tried my luck with illegal drugs. By this time, I had been kicked out of my house for being too difficult to handle. I already had a strong relationship built with Marijuana. I rarely saw my family, mainly because I was always high. I was broke because I bought weed every other day. By the time I was allowed to move back into my parent’s I had a large amount of credit card debt trailing behind me.

I realized the reason I had been asked to leave in the first place: the way I wanted to live my life and the way my parents wanted me to live it were too different. They did not approve of my habit of staying out until 6:30 in the morning. They still wanted me to follow the same rules as before and I just wanted to keep doing my thing: hanging out late, and being fucked up. One morning when I got home I didn’t realize my friends had left alcohol bottles in my car. While I was asleep my dad searched my car, finding not only alcohol bottles and cigarettes, but my bag-o-illegal goodies. After being the center of an intervention my parents decided the best thing would be to take away my keys and to keep me home for the next 28 days: 28 days to break a habit. One night I got really out of control. I began crying hysterically. I was so lonely and in need of something. I couldn’t handle being alone, being without, and seeing my mom be so sick. My Dad tried his best to calm me down. I told him the anti-depressants weren’t working and drugs were the only thing that could help. He told me that other people had gone through it before and made it.

The best advice he gave me was when he told me I just had to push through it. I had to make it through because I was just making the whole situation worse. He told me if I pressed through it, it would end eventually. That’s what I had been afraid of the whole time. I didn’t want my Mom’s battle to be over, because that would mean my time with her would be over.

In the end I did push through it. I got clean and I got my family back. I pushed through and I prevailed. Now, 4 years later, my Mom is still here, she is still pushing through. I believe the things that are hardest to push through tend to have the sweetest rewards. The life I live now versus the life I had been living are completely different. The life I live now is happy and loved. It knows right from wrong, and it knows that pushing, really pushing through the bad, will always lead to something wonderful.