July 18, 2011
By , Midland, TX
Emerging from a period of intense ridicule and abandonment from former friends because of judgment passed on me based off of a rumor spread around school, I was desperate for a friend. I nervously entered a new school, now with exponentially more students than my old one. But many of them were the same people I battled against the year before. Luckily I was old news to them, which gave me the chance to fade from the spotlight.

Several weeks passed and my old best friend decided to give me another chance. I guess I didn’t ruin his reputation enough to completely avoid me. But I knew if I started bringing down his status again, he would drop me rather quickly. Honestly though at that point, no matter how fake of a friendship it seemed, I was glad to at least have someone. We started to hang out with these group of guys at lunch and soon became friends. They were the skater type. They had the characteristic long hair that dangled in front of their face and always hid one eye. They wore the typical skater clothes. And you just knew that in the future they would become the biggest pot heads the second they got their hands on some weed. And they openly admitted that.

They weren’t exactly the type of people I would be encouraged to be around. My background was polar opposite of theirs. I grew up in a Christian home. My parents were very strong Christians and were heavily involved at church. I grew up attending church every Sunday morning. Most of my friends outside of school were from my church in my earlier years. I’ve always had a belief in God, and that he does exist. I usually always tried to do the right thing…when it really mattered at least. But deep down, other things seemed to matter more than “obeying the ten commandments.” Sure I was fearful of being disobedient and out of the blue God striking me down with a lightning bolt or something, but being accepted by others is what I desired most. I would stop at almost nothing to attain that acceptance.

Given my insecurity, instability, and lack of knowledge of who I was, the ability for me to be influenced by others was astounding. And in a matter of a few weeks I transformed into a clone of my friends. And because of that, it meant that I had to abandon my morals and values I used to keep. The number of detention visits I had after school skyrocketed. Being nice to the weird kids resulted in me being harassed by my friends. Walking all over them and putting them down resulted in being praised. Vandalizing the neighborhood, and especially the houses of people we hated, was our favorite sport. I didn’t actually hate the people we attacked, but since my friends hated them I for some reason felt the need to pretend I hated them too.

For a while, the only thing about me that I felt had changed was my appearance. Inside, I still believed I was a “good person.” I just chose not to show it. This was a convenient lie I could hide behind to fool my conscious… until one day when it happened. My friends unintentionally gave me the idea, but I was the one who actually discovered it. I tried it once, not realizing how dangerous it really was. I was like the mouse who spotted the cheese and was about to meet my death by the trap. It didn’t seem bad at first, and in fact it was quite enjoyable. I, of course, wouldn’t tell anyone about this secret. It was bad enough to hide it, but not bad enough to convince myself that I shouldn’t do it apparently.

Years passed and many things had changed. I grew very sick and had to be pulled out of public school. I no longer saw my friends anymore. The secret I hid had grown into a monster. This monster loved cold, dark places. My heart was the perfect shell for it to inhabit. The monster was in control of my life, I wasn’t. I had tried to rid myself of it, but I failed every single time. It was slowly eating me alive, and I was becoming increasingly desperate to be free. Despair over my pathetic state and previous failures mounted higher and higher. My life was wrecked, and I felt completely alone.

One night I finally broke down. Feeling so hopeless, not knowing where to go or what to do, I collapsed to the floor and started bawling my eyes out. I looked up and whispered to a God I didn’t even know was listening, or cared, and told him how messed up I let my life get. I told him how sorry I was for abandoning him and I understood if he never took me back, but begged him to just give me another chance, and help me. I told him that in every fiber of my being I wanted to change and live the way I should, but I just didn’t know how. I was pouring out my heart and I finally ended it by pleading, “Please show me what to do.”

After those words left my mouth I somehow felt an overwhelming sense of love wash over me. I can’t completely explain it, even to this day, but for once in my life I felt like there was someone who finally accepted me, even after all the horrible things I had done. I picked up my dilapidated, dusty Bible that I hadn’t opened in years and ended up turning to Ephesians 5:11, which says “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” After reading that I knew. It was time to release this monster into the light. And that night my journey toward recovery began.

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