This I Believe

Jennifer - Knoxville, Tennessee
Entered on March 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: addiction
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Alcohol has made its destructive appearance in my life in more ways than one, and the irony of the situation lies in the fact that I have never even had a single drink. The summer before I left my hometown to head off to my freshman year of college, I met a terrific guy. We talked a bit before I left and were both interested in pursuing a friendship, so we continued talking once I was gone. Amazingly enough, that friendship turned into a more serious relationship. We spent hours talking to each other and became very connected to one another.

Unfortunately, alcoholism was something he had been dealing with for several years and something I had never even known was a part of his life. The day came when it reared its ugly head in our relationship and things came to a crashing halt. Our romantic relationship was ruined and our friendship was in shambles. All the trust that we had built up over the several months we knew each other disappeared with the blink of an eye.

I was absolutely crushed and had no idea where I was supposed to go from there. I became lost in my own emotions and lost all interest in everything that had once been important to me: my friends at school, my family at home, my studies. I kept blaming myself for not being able to help him with his problem and in doing so, I became a very depressed and withdrawn individual. I wondered what the future had in store for me and it seemed so dark and empty when I envisioned it.

And then the day came when my life lightened up and my confusion and self-pity became knowledge and determination. I realized that it is not the future I should be living for, but rather the present that is right in front of me. Why should I waste another minute in my state of depression and loneliness seeing only a dark future when instead I can embrace today knowing that it is all I have?

I only get one life to live, and I believe that I must enjoy the present day I am given regardless of any obstacles or challenges that are in my way. Bad things will happen and I have accepted that. How else could I be grateful for the good things in life if I had no knowledge of the bad?

There will always be people in my life whose decisions and choices affect me, but I can’t let those decisions dictate my mood. I have been given today and that is all I need to know. The future will become a thing of the present but I don’t want to miss out on my present by looking forward to the unknown. My future is what I make of it and today is all I have.