This I Believe

Melissa - Forest City, Iowa
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • 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.

I Believe in Sobriety

I am an addict. I believe in sobriety. I believe in raising my children in a drug free environment.

In 1991, I was ten and in the fifth grade. Like many schools today, part of my school’s requirements was to offer the D.A.R.E. program. I remember learning about the different kinds of drugs and the bad people that might try to sell or give me drugs. I distinctly remember thinking that I would likely smoke cigarettes someday because my parents smoked. When I saw pictures of the green leafy plants and the white powdery substances I remember thinking , I don’t see myself doing drugs, ever. However, within just a few short years I had used every drug I learned about in D.A.R.E, and many more that I had not.

Besides the dysfunction of my drug use, my family was dysfunctional due to the consistent confrontation among us. My family had discovered our only common ground was at the dinner table, smoking pot. When I was fifteen, smoking pot together was how my family bonded. When I was not at home, I was with friends, who like me, were addicts too. We used large amounts of methamphetamines along with anything we could get our hands on. I lived this way for long time. I believed that was just the way life was. I was a druggy. My family all used drugs; it was who I was, and where I belonged. I believed that was the way it would always be.

I am 27 years old now and I’ve been sober since I became a mother at 21. I have had my struggles with addiction since then however, something keeps pulling me back to a better life. I believe addiction is strong. I believe that addiction is everything evil at hand, pulling good people down into the abyss of death and despair. I believe there are forces in this world that can indeed bring us down. I also believe there are forces in this world that can build us up and restore us to sanity.

From my experiences with addiction, I believe that I can help others. Every day I hold on to

Someday, that keeps me strong. I hold on to the greater good, turning an experience that’s been deadly in my life, into an experience that might breathe life into another.

Statistics show that drugs lead to jail, institutions or death. If I can influence one person to take a higher path, then all that I experienced with drugs will be worth it. I believe in living a better life and in finding something to live for. I believe in living without all the pain that the active use of drugs and alcohol will bring. I believe in raising my children in a drug free environment. I am an addict and I believe in sobriety.