Challenges are an every day situation that sometimes may break us or make us, but that choice remains with us. How we look at these challenges and how best we can overcome them, is our uttermost power over such challenges. Majority of people in their young years tend to move by the mass. They do what they see others doing and in due time the effects of peer pressure start settling in them. Since drinking is a common and popular element in the society, it becomes hard to know when one has crossed the line of moderate drinking into alcoholism.
I was once in this category but way back in time. It all started with a few puffs and drinks with friends. At first I wondered why I wanted to do this. Why would I want to throw my life away by engaging in these kinds of activities? Everyone around me said it was what everyone else was doing and so it was all fine. I went with the flow and slowly I was so addicted to drugs and alcohol that I could not pull myself away from the net of it. Those who got the courage to talk to me in persuasion of helping me got a rude shock as I was not who I was before these drugs and alcohol got a hold of me. My relationship with my parents and siblings grew from bad to worse. I was never at home for days and on the days that I appeared at our door, I was covered in bruises and blood. Nothing registered as not normal as for me, because this was my new life. Finances at times got so low and the only way to finance my activities was through stealing. I sold off my mother’s silver utensils, not at a high cost but just for enough money to help me buy cocaine which was what got me high.
On most occasions the police got a hold of me and locked us up but that was only for a few hours before my gang got me out. It was not because they cared about me, but because they wanted to engage in the sale of drugs in the streets in which case I was part of the ‘sales’ team. I never realized that I was being used as long as I had my small share of the drug in every given day. Day in day out it was all the same. At some point I never went back home for a week and my parents reported me missing to the police. Somehow I managed to stagger my way home only to see my mother with tears in her eyes and sorrow written all over her body. I cared less of what she felt as long as I was happy, I never cared about my family. I cut schools on so many occasions that the teacher had nothing left to do to me. I got punished, I got sent home, and I got detention. At one point I was even booked into a rehabilitation centre but even that did not work. I always got my way back to the streets. That was where my life was. This was me, or so I thought.
Things took a turn for the worst when we ran into a neighborhood gang. They were more built than the majority in my gang and what made it worse was that they had guns with them. Ours were toy guns just to scare people into handing over any possession that they might have with them. What our rival gang had was the real thing, the real guns. Commotion started out of the blues and all I remember was gun shots and my body becoming limp. I lost consciousness for a few minutes and when I came back to my senses I was in an ambulance with drips all around me. My sight was hazy but I could make out that my mother was there with me holding my hand as tears ran down her cheeks. I lost consciousness again and sank into a coma for four days. I woke up on a Wednesday with pain all over me, with my mother sitting beside me. Its then I knew I had to change. I resolved to make a clean starting point for myself .
I was out of hospital in a month and when I got home I asked my mother to send me off to a boarding school. It was a way for me to keep away from those who would derail me again. In my new surroundings, there were challenges but what carried me forward was the thought of how my past had been, knowing that I had denounced my gang. Would I make the same decision today was my former friends to ask me to join the gang? Definitely no. Although I have been through so much and put my family in real pain and trouble, I would not take that chance again. It has taught me that life is very short. Today, I am an active member in teaching others what alcohol and drugs can do to one’s life, what it robs you off. I try to support those who are willing to stop this vice and help through states of relapse. I use my very own life story as a lesson to others in the hope that they will learn before it is too late.