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

      My hero is an unexpected choice. His name is Josh and he is an 18-year-old recovering drug addict, self-mutilator, and bulimic. When people look at him, they don’t see a hero. He looks like the stereotypical problem child with chains, piercing, make-up and a mohawk. Nonetheless, he is my hero who saved my life.

When I met Josh, I was in a very bad place. I was cutting myself and getting high every day. Not only that, but I wasn’t eating very much and what I did eat I made myself throw up. I had gone from being a straight-A student to almost failing seventh grade. I fought with my parents and even ran away. The only friends I had were guys who were years older and took advantage of me. I was with a guy whom I thought I loved, but he abused me in the worst way.

By that point, everyone had given up on me. Counselors wouldn’t see me because I wasted their time. Psychiatric hospitals would no longer admit me because I never improved. My friends had gotten sick of me and drifted away. Even my sister and mother lost hope. I had lost hope, too. After all my suicide attempts and the abuse I had put my body through, I didn’t even think I should be alive. I just didn’t care anymore.

Then I met Josh. He had endured everything I was going through and recovered. He gave me hope. Josh showed me that I could get better and live a healthy life. He brought me to AA meetings and introduced me to healthy people. He showed me how to live.

Most important, Josh stayed by my side. He never gave up on me or lost hope. When I was upset he would drop whatever he was doing to help and comfort me. No matter how many times I failed, messed up, or got sent back to the psychiatric hospital, he never gave up. One time when I relapsed with my eating disorder after six months, he didn’t even get mad. He just stayed by my side, making me eat and helping me exercise so I didn’t feel bad for eating.

Josh has loved me unconditionally and that has given me so much strength. He taught me that I didn’t have to give up my body to be loved. He showed me what it is like to have someone really love you, and in turn, gave me the strength to leave my abusive boyfriend. He taught me that I deserved to be happy, deserved better than the way the people I hung around with were treating me. His love saved me; Josh saved me. He talked me out of so many bad things and talked me into so many good.

For this, Josh is my hero.

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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 10 at 9:22 am
i love this so much!
Hover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 9, 2011 at 7:25 am
Simply beautiful. I loved this article.
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