This I Believe

Whitney - Cypress, Texas
Entered on December 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

A very wise Japanese proverb states “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” I believe in the power of perseverance. Giving up should never be an option. When David faced Goliath the giant, the Philistine soldiers mocked him, but he never backed down and it resulted in his triumph. When the Challenger space shuttle exploded, NASA didn’t throw in the towel and say “It’s just too hard.” They kept pushing the limits to achieve what we have accomplished today. When I am faced with struggles, I know I can’t break down. All I can do is try even harder and devote myself to overcoming my issue. When I was six, I learned of my Dad’s addiction to alcohol. I didn’t quite understand the whole meaning behind it, but I knew it was a problem when my Mom actually cried in front of me. I felt as if life as I knew it had been thrown into a blender and turned on high. He stayed sober for about 5 years before relapsing back into the power of alcohol. This time I was old enough to understand the severity of his actions, and it hurt immensely. I discovered my Dad would be battling alcoholism until he dies, and so would I. However, I also learned that desertion is not the answer, nor is guilt forced upon the alcoholic. I knew I had to find a way to balance my happiness, and support him throughout everything. It was very challenging for me to accept that I could not change him. I couldn’t edit his genes to make my world better; I simply had to rise above it. My father endured several rehabilitation centers, and I stuck by him as much as possible through it all. Even though I was crushed and felt betrayed, I was patient. Although I cannot say I was never close to giving in. I would get angry and think “Why can’t he just love me enough to stop?” It took me several years to get to the point where I am now and understand that it is merely something I cannot change. I have relayed all the incidents where my father simply walked out on me to quench his insatiable need for alcohol, but in the end, I still need him to simply be my Dad. I will continue to fight this disease forever for him, and I know I can do it through the power I contain within myself. If anything, these struggles will only make me stronger in the end. I have fallen numerous times, and I will keep standing up for as long as I live.