In Control, Out of Mind

Michelle - Sahuarita, Arizona
Entered on November 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I recently went to a party with my friend Zandrea and her boyfriend Jessie. The party was being held at a mutual friends house and his parents were suppose to be there so I did not think anything too juvenile was going to happen. I also did not think about how many people were going to be attending or what everyone was going to be doing to occupy time. I thought that the other guests may just be there to mingle or take a dip in the pool because that is all I had planned on doing. When we arrived to the party there were only about eight people there total and I’d met almost everyone once or twice before or had at least heard about them through the grapevine. I did not seem to notice any responsible adults such as parents at this gathering but everyone seemed to be really nice so I decided to stay and have a good time.

After a bit everyone except Zandrea and I were drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. These people weren’t even smoking marijuana in a conventional sort of way and it was disturbing. They made a bong like device using a plastic juice bottle to smoke out of in order to receive a much better high. This all seemed a bit childish to me and I wasn’t having fun anymore because I finally realized I had absolutely nothing in common with any of these people. I got the feeling as if I were watching these people throw their lives away right before my eyes. I did not like it and it reminded me of being back in high school.

I am not the type of person to be involved with drugs or alcohol. In fact, I never experimented with either in high school. Not once. I was offered many times, its just that none of it interested me any. Most of my friends were having fun trying things out and I was left on the outside, never wanting to. This is probably why I didn’t particularly enjoy my experience in high school as much as I could have. That doesn’t bother me but what does bother me about this portion of my life is that I was not able to share it with my mother because she had a drug and alcohol addiction. I continue to try my hardest not to give into peer pressure because I know if I do, I will end up just like her. I will end up with a drug and alcohol addiction, no job, no family, and no place to call home. Being in an awkward situation like I was at this party has only made me realize that I have not been missing out on anything in the sense of this particular type of lifestyle. It has been extremely difficult being so young and always having to think about the consequences to my actions but I am glad I developed the habit early on.

Since Zandrea and I were not participating in all the fun we were sort of left as outcasts. We did not really have anything to add in the conversations of the others so we decided to sit by the pool and talk amongst ourselves. Looking back on it now, this situation that I put myself in allowed me to see that we unknowingly separated ourselves from the people who were taking part in things that we knew we didn’t want to participate in even though we were friends with them. This occurrence enabled me to believe that we are in control of our own lives and we are responsible for ourselves. We cannot blame others for the actions that we’ve made or the paths that we have chosen. In the end, the only person that we can truly count on doing what is right is ourselves and that is control. My mother decided to live the life she chose and finally realized this when she decided to turn her life around and become sober. I made the decision years ago that I wasn’t going to become an addict because I had the choice.

Everyone has the option of following the path that is laid before them early on in life but we are the only ones that have the opportunity to choose the right or wrong path. There are paths going every direction and we are able to skip over some and select the ones that most interest us. Realizing you have such control over your life is not something you wake up with one morning and all of a sudden have. It is a journey in which we have to discover the power which everyone embodies.

Being in control of our own lives takes away the opportunity to blame others for our actions. Knowing that I was solely responsible for myself all these years enables me to disregard all the blame I put on my mother for not allowing me to enjoy my childhood to its fullest. In a way, it is my mothers fault that I never was able to enjoy memorable childhood experiences like spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with my whole family. Now as I have grown older, I understand that she didn’t realize it was her fault until she actually took on the responsibility of caring for herself by cleaning herself up and getting her life together. The best thing that my mother walked away with from her experiences down the wrong alley in life is the fact that she understands that her decisions alone are the ones that she has control of.

I was lucky enough to have realized that I have control over my life and I am responsible for myself somewhat easily. My mother learned the hard way, as do many others. I feel that if people are able to experience the journey and learn first hand that it is possible to have control over yourself they will be more understanding to those who they have put blame on and to those who have not yet come to a place in their lives in which they have reached this awareness. They will also comprehend what they have done or what they need to do in order to have full control. Knowing you have control is all anyone needs as long as they do not dismiss the power as unimportant.