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Rock Street, San Francisco

Drugs and alcohol have been some huge issues in most people’s lives. Being a drug addict or being an alcoholic is not new to the youth nowadays anymore. People say when we try any drugs for the first time, we will be addicted to it, but I guess that wasn’t my case at all. I was young and I was curious like any other teenager. I wasn’t afraid to try anything that my friends offered me, including drugs.
My parents got a divorced when I was two years old and my mom moved to America after the divorce. My dad and I were left in Vietnam until my mom’s sister sponsored me for coming to Canada with her. So, I grew up in Canada living with my mom’s sister and her daughter. As we lived together, we had several disagreements but as a child, I couldn’t speak up and had to keep myself quiet to not get into any troubles. However, there was one time that I couldn’t handle my aunt’s behavior anymore. She beat me up with a broom handle because I went out with friends without telling her. But what happened was that I tried to call her many times but she didn’t pick up. I didn’t have a cellphone by that time, so I left a note on her room’s door saying that I’m going out with my friends and will be back at 9pm. The fact was, she didn’t see the note, her boyfriend did, but he didn’t say anything until I got beat up. I told my aunt that I left a note on her room’s door but she insisted that she didn’t see any notes. This is when her boyfriend started speaking:
“Oh, I saw the note earlier and I threw it away.”
I’ve been asking myself why couldn’t he say that before my aunt beat me up. Why did he wait until the last minute? I couldn’t find the answer to that and until now, I still don’t know the answer. However, I expected an apology from my aunt for beating me up before knowing what happened exactly, and an apology from her boyfriend for not speaking up since the beginning but waited until the end. Obviously, my expectation was ignored. They just acted like nothing happened. My aunt’s boyfriend went to his room and my aunt followed him after telling me this:
”Next time, you should tell me first that you’ve left a note so you won’t get beat up for nothing.”
I was very upset. I was upset not because I got beat up, but because no one respected me. Even though I was only a teenager, I still expected people to treat me the right way. I was respectful to anyone, from adults to children, from older than younger than me. So, of course, I expected the same way around.
I didn’t live with my parents after my birth. I had nobody to teach me what is wrong and what is not. I had nobody to show me how to treat other people correctly. My aunt didn’t teach my anything, but instead, she showed me that adults are always right and children are always wrong, which is never the case. I couldn’t handle her way of treating me anymore. So, when I turned sixteen, I moved out. I rented an apartment and found myself a job which was enough for me to pay my rent and to feed myself. It wasn’t easy for me to live by myself at first, but I still managed to go through all the struggles, undoubtedly, with my friends’ help.
“I’m finally free,” I thought to myself.
“I can do whatever I want from now on.”
“But I feel lonely sometimes,” my mind started doubting that if I made the right decision by moving out.
“Well, if I go out more often with my friends, especially with my best friend Andy, I won’t feel lonely anymore,” I tried to appease myself.
Then I went out partying more often, almost every day. I made new friends every time I went out, and the contact list on my phone went from 50 names to 150 names. Sometimes when I looked at my contact list, there was some names that I couldn’t even remember how I got them on my contact list. I was probably too drunk to even remember having a chat with them. Some of them became my close friends after a while of blowing up my phone every day for coming to their parties. They showed me how to drink a whole bottle of Hennessy without getting drunk. They even offered me some weed and other drugs but I refused. My best friend Andy was one of those who offered me some coke, which made me very surprised because I didn’t know that he does drugs.
“Try this,” Andy told me by pointing at the coke on the table.
“No thanks,” I replied.
“Why not? Try it. It won’t hurt you. It will help you forgetting all your problems.”
“Will I get addicted if I try?” I asked, innocently.
“No, of course not.” He assured me.
And I tried it. At first I couldn’t inhale it with my nose properly. Only half of the line went through my right nostril and the other half was still on the table. Andy and those who I thought was my best friends laughed at me. They told me to finish the other half on the table which I did, not only what was left on the table, but I also finished whatever was left in the 3×4 2ml baggie. I was high like I never was in my entire life.
“Andy was right,” I thought to myself.
I started forgetting about all my problems and all I cared about was drinking and sniffing. The feeling of getting high and getting drunk was the best feeling to me. Not only I was drunk at the parties, but I was also drunk and high while I was at work. Sometimes, I would even skip work and stay home taking coke and drinking by myself for 2 days straight without eating anything. That sounds crazy but that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t eat nor sleep for 48 hours straight. All I did was sniffing coke, drinking, playing games on my phone until I get really exhausted and fall asleep. I lived that lifestyle for around 3 months. I spent all my money on drugs and alcohol. But the weird part was, I distanced myself from my friends and would rather enjoy taking drugs and drinking by myself. I didn’t really know what was the reason for me to avoid my friends, all I knew was that I didn’t want them to disturb me from getting high. That period of time didn’t last long because my mom decided to come visiting me from the United States. Obviously, I didn’t want my mom to know that I was taking drugs, so I tried to act as normal as possible in front of her. She probably noticed something wasn’t right with me because she suggested that I should come to the United States and live with her. That idea was the craziest idea that I would ever imagine of. I was comfortable with my little apartment, with my friends and especially with new friend, Coke. But, since she’s my mom, I listened to her because I didn’t want to upset her. As I expected, she booked my flight ticket on the same day that I agreed on moving to the United States with her. The flying date was one week after the day the ticket was booked. I didn’t have enough time to let all my friends know about my departure. I didn’t have enough time to find a new owner for my furniture. And the most important thing, I didn’t have enough time to deal with my drug addict problem. I heard people saying that once you try any drugs, you will get addicted to it and must go through hard times to get rid of the addiction. However, after moving in with my mom in the United States, I was too busy trying to get used to everything in this new country that I kind of forgot about the drugs. I thought I was addicted to it but obviously, for some reason, I wasn’t. My mom helped me settling by getting me a new car, finding me a new school, decorating my new room and showing me her love. I was glad that I could finally live with my mom and I could finally have someone to lead me to the right path.
Thinking about what happened in Canada, I feel like it was a nightmare to me. From getting beat up by my aunt, to being addicted to drugs and alcohol, it seems like a dream to me, a bad dream. However, I guess I know exactly the reason why I fell to that drug trap. I am a type of person who easily get attached to new things, especially bad things. So, when I was living by myself, I felt lonely. The only person I could really rely on was my friends. I guess that’s why I went partying with them every day and that’s why I listened to them for trying on anything. But then, after realizing that they were only trying to get me into drugs, I decided to stay on my own and not answering anyone’s phone call. But instead, I relied more on drugs and alcohol. I think that drugs and alcohol was only an excuse for me to not think about my problems. It was an excuse for me to escape the real world where I never feel loved. But then, when my mom showed me her love toward me, I felt overjoyed and I then knew that I don’t need drugs to keep myself happy anymore. I wasn’t addicted to drugs, but I was addicted to the feeling of getting away from the reality. I think that’s also one the reasons why people do drugs. It’s either they feel lonely or they have too many problems which they think they won’t be able deal with. So, they use drugs as an escape. Sometimes when I think about what happened to me, I got the feeling that God sent me the right person at the right time to pull me off all the negative vibes. And here I am, as a fresh, positive person again.

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