This I Believe

Andrew - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 9, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that God created me wonderfully and perfectly. I did not always think along this path, though. In fact, I found it next to impossible to believe this while I was growing up. I am 18 now and am 5’ 7” and weigh a whopping 118 pounds. In middle school I was always the smallest kid in the class, the one whose nicknames revolved around his size. Like most middle schoolers, I disliked my body. I became insecure and self-conscious; I hated my body and developed a self-loathing attitude towards it. I am extremely sensitive and daily life just began to hurt. I began escaping from reality into my mind. My imagination and my creativity helped me cope and make it through each day. My self-hate soon became too big for imagination. My mind began to corrode; my thoughts became delusional and irrational. My freshman year of high school I tried half a bottle of vodka in one sitting. I loved it, I loved myself, and there was no pain. Of course, it ended up with a water bottle full of vodka just to get through school. I drank like a fish and I often drank alone. Then my sophomore year of high school came and I tried pot. I stayed with just the alcohol and pot for about a month. My thoughts had become more and more irrational and delusional; I started sleeping only 2-3 hours a night. I tried cocaine, many kinds of painkiller, ecstasy, meth, and every other drug imaginable. By my junior year, I had tried over 32 different kinds of drugs.

I was addicted to the high. I chased a hollow and empty feeling that never lasted. September 11, 2004 at 1:00 AM, I was in the emergency room of a hospital with malnourishment, dehydration, and a potentially lethal overdose. The drugs could not even block the hate for myself any longer, and it seemed as if I had tried to commit suicide. I got help, and in the process I was diagnosed as being Manic Depressive. I hated myself even more for what my mind did to me. I gave myself a 3rd degree burn in the form of a brand trying to have it all make sense. I asked myself, “If God really made me perfect and in His image, why do I have an incurable mental illness?” With the help of medicines, I became a shadow of my formal self. I began to recover when I made myself more at home in my body with tattoos and piercings. The only way I fully recovered was when I reconciled with my Lord and Savior. I still battled the addictions of drugs and alcohol with many relapses. God still loved me. I slowly began to embrace myself and let God embrace me. I do still struggle. The difference is that now I believe God does love me and He made me perfect for His will and plan for my life.