Engaging young people in advocacy, education & prevention
Creating social change around alcohol, drugs, and more

The will to carry on

April 25, 2013 12:51 pm Published by Comments Off on The will to carry on

This post was written by a Ventura County high school student.

While his views are not necessarily the viewpoint of Straight Up, we are grateful for his honesty and openness about difficult subjects.

If you are struggling with alcohol or drugs, or have hopeless thoughts, please get help. 

  • In Ventura County, call the Suicide Prevention Center Crisis Line at 877-727-4747 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • For children, call Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families’ Crisis Line at 866-431-2478 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor for free, confidential help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I am sitting here, thinking of ideas of something to write about, something meaningful. Writing about anti-drug work even though I don’t completely believe in all Straight Up says and is about. I sit here puffing on a E-cig, trying to think, A complete hypocrite of the organization I am making this blog for as I fill my lungs with water vapor, flavoring, and nicotine.

With the clock showing me the early hours of the morning I clear my head and think. Looking back to how the roots of addiction begin, why many teens and adults start this reckless behavior, how my past was. My friends and family, people I know who have suffered and succeeded because of drugs. My last few blogs (all anonymous) have said a lot of my feelings, talked about raves, anger, redeeming myself, but I down to only one real topic left that I haven’t covered.

Love, and all the things that go along with it, relationships, friends, family, parties, gangs, hobbies, addictions, sex, and all those things we humans crave and desire beyond the normal needs. I want to open up, and cover a little piece of what I went through that involved drugs — then love of something that made me leave most of my past behind, allowed me to move on.

I know some teens don’t get enough of something, they have a kind of void to fill, drugs and drinking are something that can occupy the thoughts and the mind. A way to pass the day away in a different state of mind. Some kids use it for medical reasons, while that group is small and that excuse is often exaggerated.

Many different reasons why people do such things, why they alter their bodies. It also changes people in certain ways, some bad, some neutral, and some good. Intoxicating yourself is a way to escape often times, as well as a way to celebrate. I think it’s often a love of experimenting and being in a different state of mind is why many young people desire to intoxicate themselves — an urge I used to commonly share with others, and still somewhat do. While I refuse to say it is all negative and no youth should ever smoke or drink, I know most kids who use drugs will often overuse and abuse their body by getting addicted, or by taking hard drugs. I also know people who I believe wouldn’t be alive with me today without illegal drugs, but that group also remains small. People who use drugs to cope when they don’t need it, they become reliant on it as something to get them through hard times. This is when problems can arise, depressed teens with little else to fall back on are very vulnerable to addiction and other risky behaviors, not everyone has the will power to hold back.

While I personally don’t believe I ever had a problem with drugs when I used them, I am approximately a year sober from intoxicating products. I had a weakness for drinking I realized this as I started to occasionally drink. My family has had trouble with alcohol for multiple generations and I knew this would be a problem if I drank on a regular basis. Smoking although I did not tend to enjoy nearly as much, but I was not afraid of getting addicted cause I did not enjoy smoking nearly as much as alcohol.

By the time I started getting slightly more reckless with my behavior and drug abuse, I got a major life change. I made some mistakes, and shortly after I experienced the whiplash of my mistakes. I got majorly depressed and slightly suicidal, I felt awful and my family just added to my guilt. I kept a small amount of vodka as well as some pills for if I wished to end it all, the combination of those two would give me the strength to go out and finish the job in one go. Give me the motivation to climb to the top of a building and say a final goodbye.

I kept these feelings to myself, I didn’t feel like whining. If I was going to take the cowards way out I wasn’t going to whine and complain about it. I knew my situation was poor, I didn’t really feel like I had much of a reason to carry on, I kept this all to myself. I talked to my best friend some, but as he was going through his lowest point in life after a dramatic breakup he didn’t tend to be much help.

But then, a girl I knew since middle school — we started talking a good amount. Things continued smoothly and we soon started dating, and soon with time we started going out.

She gave me a reason to carry on, not for me, but for her. I could never bear to hurt her, she ended up meaning the world to me, the sadness that I would put her through, as well as my family and friends, is something I could not bear to think about, so suicidal thoughts began to decrease. I stabilized out, I just wanted to make her happy, she helped save me, she is an amazing young lady and I love her. Gave me motivation to carry on through and not give up, it was the extra motivation I needed to get through a rough time.

We have had a stable relationship pretty much over the last 12 months, now as we approach our first anniversary things in my life have practically returned to normal. Kind of funny how time brought everything back to how it was pretty much a year ago. I think if we reach that low state of our life we need something or someone to bring us back up. Something or someone to care for, to dedicate ourselves to, live for something else, but if we attach ourselves to something dangerous and don’t break that connection, that is where things will go poorly. That is just something I learned personally, maybe it’s not the solution for all, but I am pretty sure it could help many others who have been and will be in situations like mine, and just need some help getting by.