By Laura M.
Laura received an Honorable Mention for this essay in the 2010 “Say It Straight Up” writing contest, age 12-17 division. Laura is a student in Camarillo.
Nowadays a teenager can get alcohol so easily! When I was fifteen years old my life was completely different compared to how it is now. I remember always sneaking out of the house late at night, I didn’t care about what time it was, all I wanted to do was go out and have fun with my friends. What I most wanted during that period of my life was for my parents to leave me alone to live my life how I wanted.
I partied over seven months straight, not caring about my parents, the most important people in my life. I took advantage of everything they gave me; I would leave and not show back up to their house for days, just to see my mom crying because she was so worried. If something had happened to me during those days it would have destroyed her. I knew this and inside I would feel bad, but on the outside I never showed her that it hurt me too. It also affected me in school, my attendance was poor and I got to a point when I absolutely didn’t want to attend high school anymore.
I’m sixteen years old, almost seventeen years. I have grown up so much. After my seven straight months of partying, I realized how badly it affected my family, especially my mother. Looking back on what I did last year, there is nothing to be proud of … except getting myself turned around. Now that I have been sober, I look back at the lifestyle I use to live. What I see in hindsight, what seemed so cool at the time, was actually stupid. Alcohol was making my life shorter and completely turning me into a different person. Every time I had a drink my personality would change, and I showed no respect for anyone, including myself.
I have been sober for almost a year now; I see life so different. I appreciate every little second in life. My parents even pay for me to participate in sports. For me to have a healthy life means that I must always have something that is going to keep me busy, and of course out of trouble. I feel so happy and thankful that my parents are doing this for me. Both of my parents have always shown me how much they care for me. I am proud to say that I love my parents very much.
Now that I know I’m a recovering problem drinker, I can say I won’t ever drink again until I am an adult, when I can make a more educated choice. I’m really glad I have moved on, because I can’t image how hard it was for my parents to have to deal with a person that would drink mostly every day, not to mention with my rudeness. Being sober feels much better; I enjoy spending time with my parents, my mother especially. I ask her all the time, what can I do to thank you for helping me? She tells me to me behave, and I know she feels proud of me now because it’s been almost a year and I have been doing the best I can. Alcohol is never the best thing to do in life.