This I Believe

zachary - murfreesboro, Tennessee
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: addiction
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Change is one of the most powerful things that I have experienced. I have been lowly, depressed, and my life has had no meaning. I have hurt the people around me. The same people who have loved me and those who have given me everything they had, and asked for nothing in return. I did drugs, associated with low-lives, got into fights, lied to my parents, and all of those around me that cared. I blew off school, and ruined the nice things that were given to me. I ruined a two year relationship with a girl that I would have given the world. At one point I was on a pathway to destruction, and if something didn’t happen quickly, I would have met my demise in one way or another. A change needed to be made.

I started making horrible decisions early in life. In high school I started using drugs and hanging with the wrong people. Everything was fun and nothing mattered to me. I thought what I was doing was cool. I ended up on probation for driving without a license. Before all of this, I met a girl whom I adored. She was perfect, and I was as good to her as possible. She meant the world to me. She was the best thing that happened to me. I started off being great to her, and then things changed quickly. I lied to her, and slowly ruined our relationship. My life slowly took a turn for the worst.

I was heavy into drugs. My life was meaningless. I hated the person who I had become. I couldn’t stand the person that looked back at me out of the mirror. By this point my girlfriend had broken things off with me and I had to lie to everyone to hide the person I had become. The only way to deal with my situation was to use more drugs, to lie more, to steal and cheat my way out of endless tight situations. I got kicked out of my high school for drugs. I had to move to Memphis to live with my dad.

In Memphis my life didn’t change too much. Life actually got worse. I got heavier into drugs and my lifestyle had become too overwhelming for the real person inside of me. I ended up in the hospital several times. I was also incarcerated numerous times. I needed a change. I needed to go back home to Ripley, to what I knew. To what was real to me, but first I needed to change who I had become. I could not come back to the town that knew me as a disappointment, if I was still a disappointment. I began talking to the girl who I had hurt and became more open with my parents. I quit using drugs and cut off anyone who I thought was my friend before. I sat alone and read. I read and thought; thought about what I had become, and who I truly was. The person I saw in the mirror was not the man my parents had raised me to be. I didn’t dwell on the situation. I changed.

I moved back to my home town and changed everything about myself. I started life over if you will. I started dating my old girlfriend again, and things were better than before. My grades improved, my days seemed clearer. My parents trusted me, and I could go out and have a good time without them having to worry about getting that old familiar call from a police department or hospital informing them that they had their baby in custody. I was happy, genuinely happy, a feeling I had forgotten long ago. My old teachers, who hated me, looked at me differently. Things didn’t change overnight, but everything turned out great. I got back into soccer, my true passion. I was awarded MVP, and was voted awarded all district player of the year. I scored a twenty nine on my ACT and was awarded several scholarships. My life meant something to me again, and those around me began to care about me again.

I believe that everyone makes mistakes in life, but it is never ever too late to change. Every person is capable of change. I went from one way of life, to a completely different one, and back. I learned a lot of things that most people will be fortunate enough to never have to know. I regret many things, but instead of letting a bad situation consume me entirely, I changed. Now I am a better man, and I know I will never be what I once was. I changed. I now am what I consider a good person and I strive everyday to better myself and make those around me proud. Everyone can make poor decisions and wander down the wrong paths in life, but everyone deserves a second chance. Even the worst of people can change. With every ounce of my being I believe in change.