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Breaking the Cycle

By , Kiester, MN
She stood nearly three feet over my head. I longed to have hair like hers someday; long, wavy, and blonde. This was sister I knew for too long. Many years followed before finding out it was all a lie. She was a lie. The one I looked up to. I told her to quit smoking, drinking, using drugs, for me. But I guess forgiving love of the whole family was not enough.
Soon I began to see a cycle. My sister, Emily, would realize she needed to fix her life, and would start going to AA meetings and start talking to God again. Then, maybe a month later, just when things would start to look up, she would fall back into old habits. I felt like there was something I should do, and yet there was nothing I could do. So often I blamed myself for not talking to her enough and not helping her more.
Earlier this year, Emily needed a place to stay. My dad told her to come home, and we welcomed her home with open arms of apprehension. She stayed for months, and everyday was a challenge, because she was off the drugs and was sober. We grew really close, not only as sisters, but as friends. It didn't matter that we were 10 years apart. Then came spring. After dropping out of college two times before, we weren't expecting much. So my sister went to college for the third time, and we held our breath. Actually, everyone except for me. I had high hopes that she would at least finish out the semester with passing grades. Well, that day never came.
Emily started hanging out with her old friends, and all the unseen wounds that had been slowly healing in her live and ours, suddenly started pooling out blood again. She was in denial, and our family was hurt.
Now, I'm not telling you all this so you can feel sorry for me. I'm telling you this because there is still no happy ending. But there is hope.
My sister got accepted into the year program of Teen Challenge in Minneapolis. God bless the amazing people that work there. In all reality, Emily may resort back to her old lifestyle sometime after finishing with the Teen Challenge program. But I have hope. I have hope that someday my sister will be able to be truly happy and content with her life. I have hope that every member of my family will find the strength and forgiveness to talk to her again. This might not ever happen. But because of love, I cannot give up on Emily. Because of love, I must have hope in a brighter tomorrow even if it leads to only heartbreak and disappointment down the road.
Don't give up on family. There's always the hope of healing.





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