This I Believe

Mark - west depford, New Jersey
Entered on December 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: addiction
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I believe addiction doesn’t discriminate. As a boy growing up, I looked at my family as perfect. Never once did I feel like they made mistakes and I looked up to each and every one of them, including my sisters. As the only boy of my siblings, I attached myself to my sisters 24/7. Since we were so close, I never felt as if secrets were being held between them and I. I guess I was wrong. My two of three sisters grew older and were in the process of becoming adults. They had jobs and money and a car and lived what I thought was a successful life. Drugs being a part of their lives never crossed my mind once, until the news was broken to me by my parents. It came to my attention that something was wrong because my sisters were out of the house and it seemed as if every time they called, my mother and father would always argue with them. Eventually with the knowledge I gathered, I questioned my parents about what was going on until they sat me down and told me that my sisters were doing drugs. Infuriated and hurt at the same time, I didn’t want to believe them, but deep down I knew that it was the truth, whether I liked it or not. Still hurting, everything changed after that point. My grades started slipping because I was worrying if my sisters were going to die from the drugs and I couldn’t focus in school. I became emotionally damaged for a while because it seemed as if my “perfect” family was falling apart. I also worried about my niece Taylor. Through the process of addiction, my sister had given birth to her daughter and my niece Taylor. I cared a lot about her and it was hard to know that someone who meant so much to me was out living a life as an accomplice to my sisters’ addiction. Everything just became hard to deal with. And as all that was going on, my sisters tried to play it off like there wasn’t anything wrong with them as if I was stupid and I had to believe everything they said. For some reason, I was letting it continue and not once did I open up my mouth and say how I was feeling. I just kept it all inside to the point where I broke down and couldn’t take it anymore. Reason being that I was scared my sisters would hate me. I was scared they would not talk to me ever again. I was just simply scared. Waking up one day, my sisters realize that they needed to get their act together. They came back to my parents for help and my parents searched for it. Finding help, my sisters started the process of “recovery” and I was there for them almost every step of the way. They began staying in rehabilitation centers, then oxford houses with other people like them who are in recovery, and eventually moving out on there own again, only this time without needing and using drugs. I looked at it as a baby step program since each little step towards recovery was an even bigger step to getting their lives back together. It was almost like they were reborn again after becoming clean and had to start their lives over from scratch. While this miracle was happening, I felt as if my “perfect” family was coming back together. There was no more drama and nothing went wrong. My parents and I attended these Narcotics Anonymous meeting that were held in the program. Meetings were a place where you would go and share about problems you’re facing with drugs and if you almost relapsed or if you’re happy you’re clean or whatever you were feeling that day or the other day. And it was a place of comfort because you weren’t alone. There are other people who are addicts or who are trying to stop their addiction that come to these meetings and share the exact same feelings you have as an addict. Through this whole entire process, I thought that I was alone and that this wasn’t happening in any other families’ life besides mine. But then I came to these meeting whenever I had the chance to with my sisters and heard stories from other families of how they dealt with the fact their child was addicted to drugs and I realized one thing, which was I wasn’t alone. Addiction doesn’t discriminate. No matter if you’re white, black, tan or yellow. If your nice, ugly, hot, or popular. Addiction will always try to slide in the open cracks of your life, and your families’ life. But try to realize something that I realized after a long rollercoaster ride of dealing with addiction in the family. And that is you’re not alone. This I believe.