When my life was quickly falling out of my hands and reality wasn't within reach, I felt helpless. I needed to find a way out somehow, someone or something to influence me in a better way by helping me out of the major hole I had dug myself into.
It all began when I moved away from my life in Pennsylvania, and couldn't accept the fact that it was something my parents had to do. I was an emotional mess. I had much anger and no one to vent it on, except my parents, which, most of the time, was pointless. This would just end up being an even bigger mess. So as I began to make friends, I figured why not drown my sorrows in whatever I could possibly find - drugs, alcohol, "fun." I was out on school nights until one or two, planning on not going to school because I thought I had better things to do. As time passed, I began to miss many days of school, causing my grades to fall tremendously. I decided to drop out of the tenth grade. It seemed easier in my eyes, no more waking up at five o'clock - and I could stay out and not feel guilty. I knew somewhat what I was doing; I knew my life was on a downhill slant, and at that time I couldn't do a thing about it.
As my friends from the other side saw what I was doing, they decided to do it too, losing everything they had: respect from everyone, parents, relatives, friends, and teachers. So we went on a fantasy trip, not caring about losing our education or love from people who tried to care. We thought it was great to be on our own until we ran out of money for our adventures.
So, I got a full-time job which didn't last long. I got sick of that too. I couldn't deal with people telling me what I had to do. I rebelled, and got fired. Once again, I didn't care. Then, my friends and I began to get into a lot of mischief, getting in trouble with the police a number of times. Finally, they told me I would be sent to a juvenile institute to get back on track. My friends were in the same predicament. So I went home to try to figure out my mistakes, to try to patch them up. Well, I couldn't - I would just have to move on.
Weeks went by while I stayed home, still out of school. I watched what my friends were getting into, and I couldn't understand why they couldn't see what was happening to them. They were falling apart, just like I was. At that point, I wanted nothing to do with anyone. I needed time to myself, and I wanted my life back to normal.
The second semester of my tenth grade year, I put myself back into school and got a part-time job. I began to do well, still a little on the edge, but I knew it wouldn't be perfect in a day. It took me awhile to get back in the swing of things and live a normal high school life. I give myself credit for doing it on my own. I turned myself around because I knew my lifestyle was wrong and what I was doing was dangerous. I needed time to find myself more than anything, and here I am now, a senior, awaiting graduation. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.