This I Believe

Kinsey - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death
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Facing Death and Getting Life

Staring down the barrel of a cold looking pistol that was being waved at my face, I was not phased. I thought, like many young adults do, that I was invincible. Nothing could touch me, nothing could stop me, I had a special force-field around me. I thought there is no way this guy, whoever he was, had the guts to blast me anyways. To put it bluntly, I wasn’t afraid to die that day because I didn’t think I was worth living, not to mention I was already killing myself on a daily basis.

I believe that through coming face to face with death, one can get a second wind to fight for life.

My best friend James and I spent most of our time doing drugs, hustling, doing business and making it through the day. I was introduced to a street poison: crack cocaine. I couldn’t say no, and discovered myself captivated by it as well as the many other substances we abused together. We found ourselves coming toe to toe with the grim reaper who would have loved to take our number any and every day. Sometimes we slipped and were caught putting pleasure before business, something that could put an end to us. Outside of this savage world, I appeared to be the typical good girl you see on a box of Cheerios. I was an athlete, on the honor roll, and I attended church every Sunday. I existed in two worlds though I was living in none.

My parents found out at the end of one summer about my not-so-healthy extra-curricular activities. Three days later, I was on a plane to attend boarding school 1,500 miles from my home, and my previous lifestyles. I was there to get a clean start at a leadership school where I would find out who I was really meant to be. When I got there, I couldn’t see that all of my previous activities were truly that bad. I had become so numb to all of my experience that I rationalized it in my head to make it ok.

I soon became a part of a recovery program. I wanted to see if it was all that it was cracked up to be. I secretly wanted it to help me to deal with my past, accept myself as I was then, and look ahead to my hopefully promising future. As I continued, my life began to change. I started to deal with problems that I encountered in a new productive way as well as by developing responsible relationships with the people in my life.

Today, I am still slowly finding out what life is truly supposed to be about. My friends showed a concern for me that I had never known before. My parents saved me and for that I am forever in their debt. This wake-up call shook me back into life. I no longer am living to die, but dying to live.