Mistakes May Determine Destiny

Sarah - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Entered on March 2, 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 that the mistakes I made have shaped and molded me into the person I am today. I have chosen to spend the rest of my life working with and advocating for the people whom society rejects or oppresses. I have an understanding of these individuals’ feelings of failure and the stigmas they carry, because of the experiences I have had.

I battled with a drug addiction during my latter teenage years and my early twenties. As the story always goes, when I started using my life felt like one big party that never seem to die down. Of course, the last year of my addiction felt like the worst nightmare one could imagine. It was like I quit maturing when I found drugs. By eighteen, I had lost my scholarship to college, gotten a DWI, a moved back in with my mom. None of this seemed to steer me away from the roller coaster ride I was about to experience.

At this point, I had failed out of college leaving me with no school or work obligations. This was fine with me, because all I wanted to do was get high all day. My life quickly went from one great party to one deep, dark, black hole. I chose to only associate with people who used everyday like me. I would go on binges for three or four days without calling or going home. It was at this time that my family began realizing how big of a problem my addiction was. If I did go home my mom would always try to talk to me and convince me that I needed professional help, so I decided I would move in with my boyfriend since I already stayed over there all the time. I knew that I had a problem, but I also knew that I enjoyed being high. I always believed deep down that I wouldn’t use drugs forever, but I definitely couldn’t see a clear picture of me clean and sober.

After about a year and a half of using everyday as much as possible, my boyfriend at the time became very paranoid after being up on drugs for days. He would not let me out of his house for two days; because he could not be convince that his thoughts were paranoid delusions. I tried to stay calm and just tell him over and over that it is the drugs talking, none of the things you are thinking are happening. The moment I got out of that environment I told myself, “I am better than this and I am done with this lifestyle.” After a long road of recovery I obtained a bachelor’s degree and began pursuing my master’s in social work. I would not have the ability to relate to my clients or be an effective social worker in the corrections system had it not been for my battle with drug addiction. I also believe that if I had not experienced active drug addiction, I would not be a social worker helping prisoners recover from their own addictions. My mistakes have determined my incredibly blessed destiny.