Changing Up

Heather - jacksonville, Florida
Entered on November 30, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: addiction, change

Changing up

Growing up was tough for me and my two brothers. Our Mother and Father were Alcoholics/Addicts. Our childhood memories are full of fear, loneliness, and instability. Looking back, I think that each of us has dealt with life on the best terms that we know how. Today, at age 36 I am rebuilding my life and recovering from nearly ten years of hard addiction to opiates (mainly heroin/morphine), Xanax and Cocaine. I celebrate four years of clean time in December 2008. My brothers did not go down the same road that I did because they were not I.V. drug users like I was. We each had troubles with law enforcement from juveniles on into adulthood, and we have answered and were punished for the mistakes that we’ve made (though nothing super, major bad). There is no changing the past, though we learn and grow so that we may create a brighter and healthier future for ourselves and for the world. My mother is currently struggling with mental illness, drugs/alcohol and legal issues. By the sweet grace of God, my Father celebrated his one year clean and sober over four months ago. My father has dedicated his life to God and is living in a ministry program. I am very proud of him and I have faith that my father can change his life around and break the cycle of madness which can perpetuate itself in a family. I have a vision of my parents learning to love themselves. I know that this is a process in self-discovery, and that in loving themselves they might (in turn) love me.

I am a firm believer that people can change. I have known those who were the “outcast” in society. I was the outcast myself. I was wandering the streets in strange cities tired, barefoot and hungry for more drugs. Living the way that I have lived has taught me some valuable lessons in humility, in self awareness and in learning to love myself (despite my shortcomings, faults and sins). I can admit that I am human. I can reflect and recall that I have lived a complicated life and that I have learned a great deal in the process of rebuilding, rehabilitating, and reorganizing my life to be one that I am most proud of. I am in college now. I am the first in my family to go to college and it is a big deal to me. I want to learn more than just what I have lived. Everyone, no matter who you are, deserves a chance and an opportunity to live and learn and to take what you have learned to grow and perhaps even recreate a better life for yourself, your family and for the good of mankind. Some will live for the chance to change their lives and some won’t even know that it’s really all up to them to take the first step and make it happen.