This I Believe

Stephanie - Baltimore, Maryland
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: addiction
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Everyday I’m hopped up on prescription speed and/or simultaneously numbed by anti-depressants. I always want more. I dread being sober, but I secretly know that if I run out I’ll just find another way to self-medicate, especially if I’ve got homework. I’m dependant, but I want independence. I ponder what happened that drove me to this behavior, to stop caring. I wasn’t always apathetic, and I wasn’t always addicted.

I’m following in my brother’s footsteps, only 27 and three DUI’s already on his record. I’m following in my father’s footsteps, who totaled his car driving drunk 2 years ago. My father followed in his father’s footsteps just like my brother, just like me. I feel stagnant. Sometimes I think I’m devolving. I’m bored with myself and need something new.

I’m selfish, and get caught up in the moment. It’s all about instant gratification, and anything I can do to benefit myself. So in this still life of mine, instead of doing homework, I’d rather snort one more line, smoke one more bowl, pop one more pill, or pass out drunk one more night. Yet I wonder still what I’m doing or waiting for. Myself, perhaps. I’m just now coming to learn and understand everything around and within me.

I have this love-hate relationship with myself. Sometimes I hate who I’ve become. I ask myself, “am I really addicted?” How could I transform from being a homophobic, straight edge, Catholic prude into a depressed, lost, unmotivated bisexual alcoholic? I’m just like my brother. I’m just like my father, and my grandfather. For too long I’ve been paralyzed, numb, dwelling in this place that I’ve created for myself. I know I’m not the only person with problems. I know I’m not perfect, I don’t strive for perfection because I’ve come to learn that it’s an impossibility that only leads me to self-destruction. I know that change will come with time. Aside from death, it is the only constant I know. As long as I’m honest, especially with myself, I know that I can bring change.

Engaging in personal dialogue is honest. I acknowledge that I am not perfect. I’m attempting to abandon my addictions and realize that it’s not going to happen overnight. I make myself vulnerable. It’s easier to be dishonest, but dishonesty only leads to scrutinizing and doubting my identity and reality. That doubting leads to self-loathing, which puts me in this vicious cycle that I’m in. I know that being honest is the one thing that can pull me out of it, the one thing that can make me change, and the one thing that can help me create that change for other people. This is why I believe in honesty.