Jessica - CASA GRANDE, Arizona
Entered on September 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: addiction, family


Growing up in a not so wealthy family I thought everything was so perfect. I had two sisters, one brother, a mother and a father, who both worked constantly to keep food on the table. After a long day of work my mother would come home and begin cooking. The dinner was usually made before my father had come home he often came walking through the gate stumbling and I at the time thought that was normal. He was stumbling because he was drunk. I thought it was normal because that is what I was used to seeing. It’s not till I got older that I realized it wasn’t. spent most weekends at my friends houses for sleep over’s and not once did I ever see their fathers come home drunk or did I see them stumbling in the yard trying to make it to the front door. I didn’t see their parents fighting either, so I began to wonder why it happened so much in my family? The only thing that crossed my mind was addiction at the time I did not know exactly what it was but I knew how it affected people. I constantly questioned my mother on what it was and she told me it’s when someone gets used to a certain thing. She began to tell me that people can be addicted to anything whether it be a cell phone, buying clothes, money, drinking, and drugs. Addiction is everywhere in some cases it’s easy to overcome and in some it’s not.

So my father was addicted to alcohol and now I’m a lot older to understand new things. The times have changed and now drugs are the new thing many are getting addicted to. Not once did I ever see or ever imagine my older sister my role model becoming addicted to crack. It was a hard thing to handle. No one saw it coming from a girl who had it all and more. She had her head on her shoulders and knew what she wanted in life. She was smart and hardworking always willing to help someone out. I guess it was too much for her because she chose to go down such a rough road. She was like my second mother growing up I saw my older sister more than my mother. When I needed help with my school work I turned to her when I had problems at school I asked for her advice. My mother was too busy working and I didn’t want to make her worry or stress about me. Though my older sister had no childhood because she was too busy raising us. I don’t see this as an excuse for her to escape all her problems; she could have talked to someone anyone. But she chose to keep everything inside.

One day my sister had come rushing through the front door she slammed it and went straight to her room trying not to make eye contact with anyone. But I caught a glimpse of her eyes they were so blood shot it looked like she had been crying. A few seconds later her boyfriend came rushing through the door. I was about to ask what was going on when he told me to call my mom and to make sure she was on her way home. So I did as I was told my mom said she was right around the corner of our house. My mom arrived and she usually greeted us and asked us about our day but she said nothing and went straight down our narrow hallway to the last bedroom on the right side. At first all I heard was my sister’s boyfriend saying tell them what you’ve been doing behind their backs. But there was nothing but silence. Then out of nowhere she began to apologize about it. She started to admit that she was and had been using crack for about a year off and on. She said she’s tried quitting but that it was just too hard for her. When times got rough that’s what she’d turn to, to numb her pain. Standing in the hallway in shock I stayed there stuck not knowing how to react. I felt disappointed, sad and extremely shocked about the whole thing. I was disappointed because she stooped down to that level. I was sad because what about my niece and nephew and shocked because I never saw it coming from the girl who had it all. The side effects to the drug was nothing nice, she started to lie about any little thing from asking her if she borrowed one of my shirts she’d deny it. Then later on I’d walk in her room and see my shirt lying on the ground. But I didn’t say a thing I just left it at that. I saw it as there was no point in confronting her because she was only going to deny it. The mood swings she went through were worse than my niece and nephew put together, no one wanted to be around her. She began thinking that everyone was against her which was not the case at all; we as a family were trying to help her cope with all of it for the better. However, you can’t make someone change their ways they must be willing to do it on their own.

Trying to make things different we would have dinner together where we could talk about anything that was on our mind pertaining to our family. Then we would watch a movie or something that involved everyone. It was not like we just brushed it off like nothing happened it was just that no one not even my mother knew how to deal with such an addiction that can just consume you. It takes over your entire body it makes you forget what is really important, you no longer have the same personality because you’re so used to being alone. Thinking no one else matters except you and when you’re going to get your next high. My sister is no longer doing crack and she’s seemed to have changed her life around but the roller coaster ride was not so easy. There were relapses but she pulled through them for the sake of herself and her family. My father tries to stay far away from alcohol as much as possible he says it’s not a good habit to fall into. Ever since these two experiences I really began to believe in addiction whether it’s to alcohol or even things as powerful as drugs. As time passes and people get tired of trying to make people change they will eventually realize that the person must be willing to do it on their own to better themselves. It will be tough but anyone is able to better their lives and the lives of others with patience, courage and support.