lesson learned | Teen Ink

lesson learned

October 11, 2008
By Anonymous

Growing up as a teenager I always had been reminded that alcohol and drugs are bad; driving under any influence is even worse. However, I made a huge mistake of drinking and driving, and with the help of MADD I can clearly say that this mistake won’t repeat again. The night I chose to drink was a celebration of New Years; I had no idea of what a horrible choice it will soon turn out into. I will never forget the night I put so many things at risk, including people around me and myself. In MADD I learned why what I did was wrong and what consequences I would have to live with, they taught me how everything could have ended. In a long run of life I thought things come easy, and we always get a second chance, I learned otherwise though, I learned that my choices affect others and now I thank God everyday, that somehow, I am still alive. MADD taught me that when I put my life at risk that night, it could have been the end for me or anyone else. There is absolutely nothing after that end, and as much as you can blame yourself, nothing to save. I could have taken life away from someone who had nothing to do with the choices I made. I will never forgive myself for taking my friend with me, down the road that night. However I’ve been given a second chance and my job is to make the best out of it. I will not repeat the same mistake and I promise to make everything possible to prevent people from doing what I did.
When I went to Emergency Room I thought I was ready for the worst. What I didn’t know is how much it will affect me. When I looked at the people, seeing them half a breath away from death I realized the cost of one night of a wrong choice. Looking at the people I wanted to help, I realized that the only way I can help is to not make the same mistake I did before. There were people who had no hope, people who would wake up the next day hospitalized and people who will remember that experience for the rest of their lives. I wondered if they realized the cost, I know I did. I found out that life is not to be wasted on the wrong choices, but to make the best and try harder. Things are preventable, just takes self-control and people who don’t know that, shouldn’t be let out on the streets.
The next visit to Coroner’s office shook me one more time. I looked upon people who had absolutely nowhere to go anymore, people whose life ended miserably. Most of those people didn’t belong there; most of those people just didn’t have anyone to tell them what’s wrong and what’s right. I appreciate that I have people explaining to me why it is wrong and the lessons I learned will stay with me for life. I honestly do not understand why after all the risks I took after that night, I got a second chance and they didn’t. I will never find out why, but what I do know is that since I have that opportunity, I want to use it, not just for myself, but to help others. I took a glance of what could have happened to me and I promised myself that day, that from that point on I will control myself, because ending lives is not the answer.
When I went to Victim Impact Panel, I saw so much pain in all the mother’s eyes. As I was sitting in back of the room, feeling guilty and selfish I understood the cost. I couldn’t even channel the pain, but I knew it must’ve hurt a lot. I realized that I could have caused someone that pain and loss and that really got to me. Victim Impact Panel made me realize that it wasn’t about me, it was because of people like me. Those mothers came there, through the pain, to not make people feel sorry for them, but to make them understand why they got a second chance. Those mothers helped me take my guilt and turn it into a valuable lesson.
In conclusion, I learned my lesson in so many ways. I really appreciate being given this great opportunity that taught me great things. In fact MADD started a sparkle in me to join the volunteer work they do, in order to help prevent horrible losses. It is an honor for me to have the great opportunity to learn from my awful mistakes for the future. I thank the judge, my probation officer, MADD and so many more people for their support and help. I finally learned the self-control needed to go on with life and reach a great success.

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