This I Believe

Molly - Palm Desert, California
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that my background has affected and influenced me, but I am responsible for who I become. I come from a family that has a history of people who were or are chemically dependent. Whether the chemical be alcohol, cigarettes, pain killers or marijuana, over half of my relatives, deceased and alive, are chemically dependent.

All my life I lived a sheltered lifestyle. I lived in country clubs, attended private schools, and was use to getting what I wanted, which I believe made me naive. For seventeen years I lived with my mom who is an alcoholic and my brother who became a stoner five years ago. I never thought anything was wrong with my family members because nobody ever said anything to me about it, and I did not know anything about drugs or alcohol until I started attending public school and took health class during my freshman year. Even after taking that class I still did not fully comprehend what was wrong nor did I realize that I was an enabler by taking care of my mom and stepping in as a mother figure for my brother. I did not truly recognize the severity of my mom and brothers problems until last year, my junior year, when my brother caused the entire house to reek of weed (he smoked in the bathroom and the smell traveled through the air vents) and my mom checked into rehab (which turned out not to work).

I decided that I was living in an unhealthy environment with irresponsible people. I did not want to deal with their drama anymore and I did not want to live in that house any longer and risk the chance of becoming like them, so I moved in with my dad to try to escape their issues.

After a few months of living at my dad’s house I was still being pulled into and affected by my mom and brothers problems. I realized that it was not enough for me to try to escape the problems that had bothered me; I had to change my attitude and perspective towards them. I did not want to feel burdened and obligated to help them anymore. I had done all that I could by attempting to help them down a sober path. I finally chose to let my mom and brother do what they wanted and not worry about their issues anymore.

I decided to live my life for me and stop trying to change those who do not want to change. I would stop being an enabler and not allow their actions to affect my behavior any longer. I would not let them stress me or hurt me anymore. From then on they were only going to hurt themselves because I chose to become someone stronger and better.