“My Family’s choices don’t have to be mine.”

nicole - San Bruno, California
Entered on December 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: addiction

I believe…

“My Family’s choices don’t have to be mine.”

Tully Knowles says “the greatest things about man are his ability to transcend himself, his ancestry, and his environment to become what he dreams of being.” This quote relates a lot to my story and my belief meaning even though your family has done bad, or does bad, it doesn’t mean that has to be who you become. I am sixteen years old and for as long as I can remember I’ve watched and heard the stories of my family, of my own parents, and their addictions to alcohol, and even worse drugs. The life style and the stories got so bad it tore my parents apart and lead into divorce.

My dad started his addiction at my age, first just drinking beer and then eventually he used cocaine and smoked marijuana. He did drugs for about 15 years, and finally seeked change with the help of my grandparents. My dad came out on top verses our other family members. Prison is never a place my dad called home, not like many of my other relatives. I now have two uncles and one cousin in jail, where one will spend the rest of their life.

Everyday I think about the addiction in my family and now seeing it affect my brother, which breaks my heart. In this day and age doing drugs is like the new thing. Why you ask? Because everyone wants to feel the high and many think “it’s cool.” Sadly drugs are becoming more and more easy to get, and it’s scary to think years from now it will may be legalized to smoke marijuana. I recently read a statistic that said, “20 percent of 8th graders report that they tried marijuana and 28 percent of teens know a classmate or friend who has used ecstasy” those numbers are too high if you really think about it.

I look at my family and know I want to do better, and be a better role model for the future people in my life. I am growing up and seeing how hard it is to live this lifestyle. Of course it’s still hard to pass up the peer pressure you get at parties and with friends but as tempting as it can be drinking and doing drugs gets you know where. As a junior in high school it’s time for me to work harder and start making my dreams, a reality. My goals in life are to be a cosmetologist, to be one of the first people in my family to finish high school and to even go to college. I want my kids to have a positive figure to look up to and still want better.

I believe that my family’s choices don’t have to be my own. Going back to Tully Knowles saying, “The greatest things about man are his ability to transcend himself, his ancestry, and his environment to become what he dreams of being.” I will not end up like my family, instead I will be better for my future and live out my dreams of being who and what I want to be. So I believe unlike them, I will not let the addiction take over me and my life.