This I Believe
I believe that if people want to achieve something and work hard at it, accomplishing that goal can be done. A barrier that can get in the way of achieving that goal is alcoholism. Drugs and alcohol are being introduced to younger kids every day and it is very easy to get addicted. Some people use alcohol, weed, and pills as something that helps them to feel more comfortable around others and to feel numb or dizzy so they don’t have to think about their emotions. This is when addiction can come in. From experience, I know now that the use of drugs and booze can be very dangerous at any age. I used to have a huge problem in this area. It all started off with one drink over the weekend to drinking as much as I could. I would drink and use at school, at home, at the movies, friend’s houses, practically everywhere I could. If I was in a situation where I couldn’t, I would get depressed, anxious, paranoid, and unhappy. I lost many friends because all I wanted to do all the time was drink. I started running away from home and ditching from school every day. I ran away one night and got alcohol poisoning and I have been to court for an MIP. I have also had a couple trips to the hospital. It was like I was a complete different person. I was two faced like Jekyll and Hyde. One day I’d seem ok and the next I’d be a complete mess. At one point my parents were fed up and scared, so they sent me to rehab. I am an alcoholic and an addict. I know what drugs and alcohol do for me and I don’t want it. Once I start, I can’t stop. I strongly believe that people need to be aware, including teens, because I never thought I would become an alcoholic and I did. I am 16 and I am an alcoholic. When I got sent to rehab, the first week was blindfolding. I didn’t really know what was going on and I certainly didn’t want to believe I was an alcoholic. After one week passed I decided to make a plan with this girl named Cat to runaway. We decided to make a run for it one night at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting when the two techs that were keeping track of us turned around. We walked, ran, and hid on the streets of California and San Diego for a couple of days. It was a very scary experience for me. I had no idea where I was going or who I was with. We had no money, no food, no clothes, no shower, we had absolutely nothing. We hitch hiked, slept over at stranger’s houses and got people to give us free bus tickets. Those were the worst days of my life. I knew from that day what it would be like if I kept going on like this. I guess I was searching for something, searching for answers. When I got arrested and got sent back to rehab it was like my blindfold came off. I started to realize that maybe I do have a problem. I was angry and confused. I thought to myself, “Why would I runaway from rehab and put myself in danger in California for drugs and alcohol if I wasn’t an alcoholic?” That’s when I knew maybe I was a little insane. I was in rehab for 5 months. I had many struggles, including understanding how people could live without drinking. I would get really bad cravings and punch my legs until my leg was numb and rip skin off of my hands. I have also had many positive things come out toward the end. When I left my rehab they actually asked me if I could come back to Visions when I turn 18 to help out other addicts and alcoholics just like me. I actually can’t wait to go back and visit. During this whole experience there was a switch in me. I really want to stay sober now. I never knew I would love sobriety and I never thought I could turn it around because booze was my everything, but now the life of a recovering alcoholic is what I want. I had 9 months of sobriety yesterday and I’m very grateful for that.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.