To Embrace Change

David - Nipomo, California
Entered on February 24, 2010
Themes: addiction, change
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As the seasons change from winter to spring, so do our lives. Life is always changing, from new problems to new solutions. You either embrace change or fight it. I have chosen to take on change with a smile.

As a boy, I was really shy and unsure of myself. I had a father who liked to belittle me frequently. I always felt inadequate. I remember the first time I drank like it was yesterday. While on a trip in Europe, a group of us rode motor scooters from the city to the mountains. My friend opened a bottle of vodka and offered me some. I hesitated for a moment and then took a drink. It was as if I drank magic potion–happiness in a bottle. Little did I know that the bottle contained poison.

From that moment on I spent all my energy on finding ways to escape. The older I got, the harder the drugs I used. By the age of eighteen, I had been smoking pot for three years. After high school, I was introduced to methamphetamine, the devil’s drug. Marijuana made me feel lazy but meth gave me energy. Talking to people became much easier also. It gave me hope like I never had before. After five years of meth abuse, I lost everything: my house, my friends, and my hope. I was a broken vessel. Little did I know that this would be the start to a new life and a new hope.

With the help of family and friends, I decided to go to rehab. It was a very long process. I went through three rehabs before it finally stuck. I have nearly four years clean and sober. I do not regret my past, for it has made me the man I am today.

I have had many accomplishments since my recovery began. I have chosen to use my story to help others. I volunteered at the youth authority and juvenile hall for three years. My main topic with these young men was change. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I try to teach them that it only takes one right decision to start the process of change.

The greatest of my accomplishments has been having a family. This has brought me the most joy in my life. I am also the children’s teacher at our local church. I want to be an influential person in these children’s lives. I offer them words of advice and encouragement to deter them from the wrong decisions I made as a child.

As I get older, it becomes easier to make good choices. My decisions no longer affect just myself but my family as well. Life is based on making decisions, some of them good, some of them bad. It’s these decisions that add up to make you who you are. Most people are afraid of change, but as for me, I choose to embrace it.