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Choices This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "The choices we make dictate the life that we lead." For years my parents drilledthis into my head. Over and over I heard it regarding different situations, but Inever took it to heart until the day I forgot those words. Now it has permanentlychanged my life.

Growing up around muscular men, including my dad anduncles, I always felt inferior, like I wasn't big enough for any sport. I wasalways teased about my size and strength by friends and family, and I hated it. Ineeded a way to show them I could gain size and mass and prove to everyone that Icould be just as big and intimidating as they were. So I started using steroids.

Some may say it was the easy way out, but to me it wasn't easy. To me itwas the only way to gain weight and prove to people that I was sick of theirconstant teasing and nagging. So one day I pawned my snowboard for $250 and wentto the kid who sold around school and bought D-Bol tablets and two testosteronevials.

I started using them and working out religiously in the weightroom. I started my "cycle" in mid-January weighing in at 159 pounds. Bythe end of February I weighed 173. I continued working out hard and buying moreand more steroids to suppress the pain I felt inside. By the end of Marcheveryone started seeing results and making their own assumptions about why I wasgetting so big. People were concerned, even my parents, but I didn't care. All Icared was that everyone was starting to notice and respect that I was gettingbigger. It was respect I was getting, and people fearing me.

At thebeginning of May I weighed 205 pounds. I thought I had the perfect body, with a56-inch chest, 17-inch arms and a 29-inch waist. I had it all: strength, size andrespect.

It all came to an end in September. I started getting reallysick with bloody noses, and I was not able to fight off diseases. My mom took meto the doctor, and waiting in his office for my blood results was reallynerve-wracking. I was scared something was really wrong. I was scared that I hadmade a choice that would affect my whole life. I was right.

When my bloodresults came back, the doctor told me I had extensive liver damage. I wasshocked. I couldn't say anything; my mind went blank and tears welled up. Now Ilive in pain with a slowly dying liver. The choice I made will dictate the life Ilead from now on.

The only good part of this experience was that I foundout what's really important to me. It's not being big and intimidating, it's notbeing able to lift more than anyone at my school. It's not even the fact that Ihad finally met my goal to show everyone I could be like them. What is mostimportant to me is being able to live, and to live well.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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practicerandomkindness said...
Jun. 25, 2009 at 7:26 pm:
impressive article, sorry you had to find out the hard way how bad your choice was. publish this and send this to a lot of people, because it will keep them from making the same choice u did.
 
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