I always considered myself a good kid, yet my actions seldom reflected that.
When I was seven years old, I started stealing for the first time. A little blonde kid in a big jacket waddling through the summer heat, I looked like a lost eskimo child. A month into my first stealing stint, I was caught. Thankfully for my seven-year-old self, a person with a single digit age is too young to be prosecuted.
In my teenage years, I began using toxic substances. I started smoking weed regularly at the age of 13. Soon thereafter, liquor came into the picture.
Halfway through eighth grade, I had established a reputation: The trippy stoner. Or, amongst teachers, the up-to-no-good weed smoking student. For me, it was all the same: I was deafening my inner worries.
Unfortunately for me, my anxieties were merely being pushed down. As with most suppressed entities, they were planning a revolt.
By the beginning of tenth grade, the revolt went into action. My worries overthrew my mind and forced me into a decision: To quit using or to use even more. Thus, I quit drinking, which had become a daily numbing tool.
Still smoking weed, I failed tenth grade. When my father kicked me out - due to months of lethargy - I slept on friends’ couches, entering a permanent mist. Soon, paranoia overcame me.
Deep in a dark cave, I decided it was time for change. I moved into a one-room apartment with my mother, who encouraged me emotionally. One month thereafter, I quit smoking.
After a 1 1/2 year period of mild depression, returning to school to complete my baccalaureate and valuable years of self-reflectiveness, my journey has been rewarding. Small steps of growth have turned into leaps of fulfillment.
My path was coloured by missteps, which have turned into learning experiences. Years of avid reading and active growth have turned me into a conscious individual that lives far outside the scope of a once dazed teenager.
I hope to inspire positive change in you, whether in regards to health, substance use or life in general. It’s all there, inside of you.