Live Through This

The Fine Line Between Freedom and Losing Control

At some point, the limits I was testing were my own.

Illustration by Emma D.

I had my first real taste of freedom the summer I turned 16. I’m not talking about driving. I did get my license that July, and it was awesome, but what happened in August was even better: I convinced my parents to let me stay home alone while they spent a long weekend at my aunt’s cabin in Michigan for a family reunion.

Their trip was planned for the week before my best friend, Acacia,* was leaving for boarding school, and it seemed far more important to spend EVERY WAKING SECOND having fun with her rather than to hang out with my (boring, grown-up) relatives. Fortunately, since my mom had once been a teenager, she understood, so with her help I put together an airtight argument to get my dad on board. Acacia would stay with me the whole time, so I wouldn’t be alone. We’d take care of the dog, so they didn’t have to hire a pet-sitter. We wouldn’t use the car or throw parties or have sex or do drugs or anything else that kids do in the movies when their parents are away. I was responsible and could be trusted. I had the straight As and the pristine babysitting record to prove it.

Of course, when my dad grudgingly agreed to this arrangement, the very first thing I did was call my friend Juliet and ask how much pot I could buy with my babysitting savings. Then I started spreading the word to my other friends to see who wanted to sleep over and smoke up in my bedroom, figuring with the incense burning and the windows wide open, the smell would be gone by the time my folks got home. I told my friend Matt to pick a night for his band to play, and we’d have a party. And this is where everything goes epically wrong, right?

Actually, no. During the stoned sleepovers, we ran around in the sprinklers in my backyard and made massive ice cream shakes in one gigantic bowl that we all drank from with straws. (For the next year, “Shake in a bowl!” was an inside joke that immediately generated giggles among my friends.) The night Matt’s band played, Acacia and I carefully rearranged all of the furniture, moved everything that might break, and even rolled up the rug so it wouldn’t get stained. We’d learned our lesson from seeing Jake Ryan’s house get trashed in Sixteen Candles.

Nothing got broken. No one got hurt. No one got sick. The cops were never called. The pot smell was successfully aired out. I just had an incredible, unsupervised long weekend, and my parents were none the wiser—except for the band. When I told my mom that I was writing this piece, she told me that the neighbors had reported that back to her. Apparently, the only reason I was granted this liberation was because she trusted them to watch over me. But she agreed that while I’d broken some rules—actually, almost all of them—my friends and I just had fun.

Pushing boundaries is a rite of passage, a really thrilling one when you manage to pull it off, and there are a million ways to do it that don’t even involve sex or drugs or potential Big Trouble. I spent the rest of my teen years testing the waters of freedom. Some of the things I did were relatively innocent but totally empowering—I lobbied for a later curfew, went to concerts in new neighborhoods all by myself, and made friends with strangers I met at the venue or talking about Riot Grrrl online. Some were not innocent, but they felt good enough to ignore the consequences—I had a secret boyfriend, one I snuck out of my house to meet and lied to my friends about, afraid that if they met him, they’d only see his drug problem and not his sweet, artistic soul.

Once I tasted freedom, I craved it, so I graduated high school a semester early and moved out on my own before I turned 18. I spent the six months between high school and college living with one of the girls I met online in Madison, Wisconsin, a city two hours away from my parents in Chicago. While I was in Madison, I started dating Simon, who was six years older than me and who could buy booze when I still couldn’t legally buy cigarettes. The very first night we met, he slept over in my bed. He just held me. Nothing else happened, not even a kiss, because I was too nervous. This was probably the first time I felt in my gut that I might be going too far. I worried it was a little dangerous to let a strange older man into my bed. But I ignored my instincts, because I was caught up in the thrill of the moment.

I started drinking cocktails when I went out with Simon and his friends. We spent two or three nights a week dancing in nightclubs that I was several years too young to get into. When I got to college, I started drinking cheap boxed wine in my dorm room with Kirsten, the girl who lived next door, on a nightly basis—and sometimes in the morning, too, when we didn’t feel like going to class or decided to bring Tequila Sunrises with us. Even though college was fun, the school I’d chosen didn’t quite live up to my expectations, so I dropped out after my first year and moved back to Madison to live with Simon, despite the fact that he was in love with another girl.

You may look at this and see a downward spiral, but I see an amusement park full of rides. There were ups and downs, moments where I’d never felt so exhilarated and uninhibited, and moments where I was in a sickening freefall. Sometimes I experienced both of those moments at the same time—like on the spring break trip that Kirsten and I took to New Orleans. We spent our days exploring the cemeteries and voodoo shops of a city that I instantly fell in love with, but we spent our nights in bars and goth clubs, drinking and doing drugs. One night, I let Kirsten go home with a stranger, and I returned to our skeezy hotel alone and had a panic attack, convinced that Kirsten was going to be murdered and that I was going to OD on a mixture of coke, booze, and sleeping pills. In retrospect, she and I were both extremely lucky. When I look back at my so-called adventures, I want to slap my former self, or at least shake her really hard. I was once a smart, responsible girl, the daughter of nurses, who knew that the substances I regularly mixed together were lethal, but I did it anyway. I didn’t have a death wish, I’d just lost the ability to rein myself in.

There’s a fine line between freedom and losing control, and I spent the five years between the ages of 16 and 21 slipping back and forth across it. Then, just as I’d had that gorgeous long weekend of freedom, I had the moment where I realized the ride was over. The rollercoaster I was on was now nothing but a series of stomach-churning drops.

One spring afternoon, a few months before my 21st birthday, I woke up in the apartment that Simon and I shared, head pounding, mouth dry, eyes crusted over with makeup after a night of dancing, drinking, and fighting with Simon. My cat, Sid, was outside the room meowing pitifully, and when I staggered out to him, I found him staring into the bathroom at his litter box, unable to get to it across the lake of puke. My puke. It was red, the color of the many, MANY drinks I’d had before driving home. Maybe it was the crying cat or the fact that I was sober, but when I realized that I’d driven home blind drunk, I was so horrified that I couldn’t ignore the this-is-very-very-bad voice any longer. Previously, all of my idiotic choices affected only me. If I had OD’d or went home with a stranger who turned out to be a serial killer, that was the result of a decision that I’d made—which isn’t to say that I deserved such misfortune, just that I was endangering myself. But I couldn’t remember anything about my drive home except hitting the curb and laughing, even though that curb could have been another car or a person. I could have KILLED SOMEONE. That thought looped in my brain, making me feel a new kind of sickness. And poor, helpless Sid, whom my parents had gifted to me on my 16th birthday…it dawned on me that it’s true what they say: with freedom comes responsibility. I was in charge of Sid’s life and my own.

So, after cleaning up my vomit, I took a long, hard look at my life in recent years. In the beginning, there was my Home Alone weekend, where I was able to pull off the kind of party that no one gets away with in the movies without going too far. I was testing limits: the ones my parents set for me. And in part, this gave me the confidence to make decisions that were scary and liberating, like graduating early and moving out. And I’d also had some pretty amazing, spontaneous adventures, like that New Orleans trip before it went downhill. My stomach had twisted when Kirsten suggested splitting up, and a voice started chirping in my ear, but I popped a pill to shut it up. At some point, the limits I was testing were my own. The only thing I had to keep me in line was my own intuition, and when I ignored it, I crossed the line. I lost control.

At 21, I had the kind of life that would have seemed awesome to me at 16. But my life wasn’t awesome, and I wasn’t happy, and I realized that I had to start trusting my gut again, and hope it would prevent me from making the kind of mess that might kill me or someone else. I needed to set goals, which I did by going back to college. I needed to abide by my own limits, and that was the hard part. My gut told me things that I really didn’t want to hear, like that my relationship with Simon was unhealthy and that if I didn’t cut myself off after three drinks, I almost always behaved in ways I would regret in the morning. It took me five more years to break up with Simon and curb my drinking. There was therapy involved and a lot of tearful, freaked-out journal-writing. But I finally got back to feeling the way I had that very first time my parents left me alone: I rediscovered freedom, but I had a new understanding of it this time.

Unlike in high school, where someone with authority was always stepping in to tell me what to do, I was in charge of my own destiny. If I wanted to drop out of college or end a relationship or move across the country (hell, across the world), I could. It was totally empowering. But it also meant that I was responsible for the consequences. Before, when I pushed boundaries, I was usually rebelling against someone—my parents, the guidance counselor, The Man—and for the most part, the worst that could happen was getting grounded or suspended. Now “getting in trouble” was different, and it wasn’t always trouble in the traditional sense. My years of drinking and my messy relationship with Simon led to the miserable feeling that I’d wasted precious time doing things I was ashamed of. That kind of regret wasn’t fun or freeing AT ALL, so I really had to think about what risks were worth taking. I was the ultimate authority.

Six months after breaking up with Simon, I moved to Los Angeles for a semester to study the adaptation of books into film. It was just me and three girlfriends, living in a brand new town. We went to famous nightclubs like the Viper Room, took a weekend trip to Vegas, and snuck into the pool at our rules-y apartment complex for a bit of nightswimming. But when I reached my threshold for feeling buzzed or my stomach knotted up in discomfort, I listened to the voice inside of my head rather than ignoring it. I didn’t have any regrets that semester. It was pure freedom, which isn’t always synonymous with fun. But in many ways, it’s better. ♦

* All names have been changed.

45 Comments

  • rosiesayrelax July 9th, 2012 3:05 PM

    wow, whenever i stay home alone i just go on just dance and get scared of the dark.

    Rosie Say Relax

    • Lily July 9th, 2012 3:26 PM

      Sounds like me with Netflix.

    • GlitterKitty July 9th, 2012 10:38 PM

      Oh yes… Watching movies and dancing around alone is the best.

      • all-art-is-quite-useless July 10th, 2012 12:25 PM

        playing music really loud and dancing to it alone is awesome… and so is cooking really random food for yourself.

  • Dylan July 9th, 2012 3:14 PM

    I love and relate to this piece a whole lot.

  • Susann July 9th, 2012 3:17 PM

    I don’t know why, but this leaves me really confused. So much to figure out for myself..

    Fashion in Pepperland

  • LuxOrBust July 9th, 2012 3:38 PM

    this article resonated with me so much. i spent many years as an addict and am in the second year of a long process of cleaning up and making things right. reading this made me feel so much better about mistakes i made, its so powerful to know youre not along.
    thank you for the honesty. cheers to responsible freedom!

  • Stephanie July 9th, 2012 3:56 PM

    Confused how, Susann? If I can elaborate in someway to help, I’m happy to. Setting your own boundaries can be confusing and yes, there is so much to figure it out, but my key piece of advice is trust your own gut.

    • Narita July 9th, 2012 4:25 PM

      Uhm hey Stephanie. I kinda related to this, which is weird, because I’m fourteen. I’m like always home alone because my parents have a busy job, I cook for myself a few times a week, et cetera. I feel the need to experiment, to rebel against them actually. On the other side, I’m considered a ‘responsible girl’ and all that stuff and I’m too chicken to actually do something because I’m afraid of their reaction. I’m mad at them for leaving me always alone, I’ve been depressed for about one and a half year before they even noticed and have been suffering from anixety and dystymia for even longer, and I feel like they kinda let me down. Idk.I want to be young and do things I’m not allowed to but it’s scary.

      • didja July 9th, 2012 6:02 PM

        Yeah! I feel the same way! I’m looked at as the ‘sweet innocent girl’ in the family, but in truth, I sort of want to– I don’t know– rebel, just to prove everyone wrong.

        • Stephanie July 9th, 2012 6:54 PM

          Didja, I know what you mean too. I was the good girl for a long long time and I honestly think one of the reasons I did spiral the way I did was because I wanted to break free of that. But now I know there are ways to rebel without like totally going overboard. For example I used to worry so much about getting straight A’s all the time that I would never EVER say blow off studying for one test to do something fun. But you really can do that. I don’t know maybe that’s a dumb example, but again if an opportunity comes up that’s not totally dangerous, maybe just a bit bad-ass and you feel comfortable, go for it. Though it is a fine line, you still can walk it!

      • Stephanie July 9th, 2012 6:46 PM

        It is scary and my general guiding principle now is that if it really rings in my head (or cramps up my stomach) that it’s TOO scary, it’s not worth it. Some risks are worth it, but some risks are not. One risk in your case that I think definitely is worth it, is to let yourself get angry with your parents, tell them how you feel. My mom was always really good at being there for me when I was in high school, but my dad wasn’t and I spent a lot of time acting out to get his attention, like I just wanted to pick fights with him because it would allow me to get my feelings out without actually having to say what I really felt. And sometimes it felt good. I kicked a full bottle of seltzer water all over him once and I wouldn’t take that back BUT I do really regret that I wasted something like 10 years picking petty fights instead of saying what I really felt. Once I did get that out, it felt way better than the seltzer incident.

    • Susann July 9th, 2012 4:56 PM

      Thank you Stephanie! Well, when it comes to boundaries, there was a time last year when I pushed them too far but have gone back to not pushing them at all and not even getting close to them.
      You know, I’m 18 and about to move out and spend the summer in the city where I’ll go to college… and so far, I feel like all I’m going to do is visit the city and spend time in the park reading and maybe occasionally having a cocktail when a friend is around.
      Reading what you wrote once again showed me that I could be doing so much more (and to a certain extent worse) things which might make my life more exciting, but yes, as I said before – there is so much to figure out and maybe it’ll be best to just see where things go.
      “Trust your own gut” is good advice, thanks :)

      • Stephanie July 9th, 2012 6:58 PM

        Trust your gut really is the best and only advice I can give. There certainly is a difference between making life exciting and doing things that seem exciting but in the long run you won’t feel at all comfortable with and that is basically how you want to evaluate situations. Though I’m definitely not a person who regrets much of anything, looking back on my later teens, I wish I’d done more things like call in sick to work to have an impromptu day in the park with a friend or reading instead of getting so drunk I had to call in sick. I probably would have gotten way more out of that day in the park and it still would have been slightly rebellious and adventurous. Enjoy your new city, just exploring it is going to be so freeing and exciting, I can promise you that!

  • velvetqueen July 9th, 2012 4:37 PM

    wow this is really good!

  • llamalina July 9th, 2012 4:47 PM

    i feel like this piece was my thoughts put on a computer screen. ever since i entered high school, i’ve been testing the waters, seeing what i could get away with and how much i could do it. it’s amazing how much your parents don’t notice or even just keep their mouth shut about. this was such an eye-opener.

  • darksideoftherainbow July 9th, 2012 5:03 PM

    i loved this so much. i can relate on the losing control and having to catch yourself before it become really difficult (or impossible) to come back. sometimes it’s hard to avoid the lure of harder stuff. sometimes you just want to do MORE.

    also, like with all of the article on rookie, i love the tone of this. it’s not at all, don’t do this! it’s just you sharing your story and it’s so much easier to relate and not feel like you want to go against it or prove someone wrong. beautifully written. thank you!

  • Abby July 9th, 2012 5:09 PM

    Although I’ve never really felt the need to rebel that much, I really liked this article. Thank you.

    Also, when I’m home alone, I always just watch scary movies in the dark, thinking that I won’t get scared, and then I scare the crap out of myself.

  • kellyissofab July 9th, 2012 5:45 PM

    I’m 17. Never kissed a boy. Never had a sip of alcohol. Never done drugs.

    But I always feel like I’m missing something. I live vicariously through articles and stories like these.

    Excellent piece!

    • Stephanie July 9th, 2012 7:06 PM

      Thanks! But don’t feel like you are missing something. You will have those moments if/when you choose them (and you may not choose those last two especially, which is totally cool), enjoy the moments you are having because I’m sure you are having some excellent ones!

  • Yani July 9th, 2012 5:50 PM

    this is an amazing piece… thank you. I too have been in a relationship I knew deep down wasn’t right for me but went along because I loved him / he was my best friend. now am on the other side of the world from home trying to figure out what my freedom is and if I have lost control.

    this article definitely shakes me a little to ask more of me

    • Stephanie July 9th, 2012 7:01 PM

      I totally know what you mean, but asking those questions is the best place to start and you will figure out what your freedom is!

  • moonflower July 9th, 2012 6:32 PM

    I can relate to this so much, and this is kind of tragic as I’m only 16. I used to write down some of the bad things I did on my blog, and one day my parents found it, and read EVERYTHING. I decided to kind of sort my life out, and that being a bad girl can actually be pretty embarassing.

    But the thing is, with friends like I’ve had, you experience these kind of adventures all the time, and there comes a point where through trial and error you realise how far is too far and how to have genuinely liberating fun. Luckily I feel like I know the boundaries now, and so I guess having learned these things at 16 isn’t so bad after all. Thankyou for sharing, because its good for people to realise when ‘yolo’ loses its integrity and not even in a cool way. You don’t have to put anyone in danger to be liberal. “‘If it harms none, do what you will’.

    http://ultravioletpixiedust.blogspot.com

    • moonflower July 9th, 2012 6:34 PM

      just re-read that, since when did ‘yolo’ ever even have integrity? i’m tired…

    • Stephanie July 9th, 2012 7:07 PM

      I think that is AMAZING that you sorted these things out at 16. Go!

  • nameindecipherable July 9th, 2012 7:04 PM

    This is well written, sound advice from someone who’s ‘been there’…like others I’ve taken parts from it that I can strongly relate to as well, especially how fulfilling it is to return to college after a seemingly never-ending bout of such a surprisingly tunnel-y lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

  • lylsoy July 9th, 2012 8:03 PM

    It is so cool how you share your stories with us on rookie!
    Although I never got into drugs or drinking, there are a whole lot of other things I did to explore how far I can go… and I must say that this experiences were absolutely necessary, as to grow up and one day become more responsible :) (or not)…

    http://gossipgonzesse.blogspot.com.au/

  • go.outside July 9th, 2012 8:38 PM

    Totally unrelated, but when are you guys gonna be announcing the details for the L.A. rookie meetups?

  • arabellasfireflies July 9th, 2012 9:07 PM

    i love how rookie just knows. i kinda needed this post today. so over the weekend i hung out with my family and my uncle (who is only 5 years older than me) and his friends invited me to smoke weed. i had already done it twice at school but never managed to get high. so i figured it would be cool to smoke with my uncle the problem was that my dad was sleeping in the house. i smoked, but again didnt really get high. i dont smoke at school (im in college) and i only really get drunk like three times a month maybe. im not a bad student at all, managed a 3.5 this semester, and i am super responsible. my dad found out about the smoking this weekend (i have no idea how) and had a serious talk with me. he kinda threatened to take away some freedoms and not let me go to mexico with my friends. it just bothers me. like i get that smoking is stupid and wrong but i just wanted to. and it has nothing to do with his parenting (he is a good dad) its just something i want to do. and in a way i feel its justified. im not a dumb kid. im both book and street smart. i just sometimes want to know what its like to get high. and i already know so many pot heads i would never want to end up like them. i know control. i just sometimes i want to do things.

    • suze_me July 10th, 2012 8:40 AM

      so true.
      the thing is I want to do pot once. I want to experience the high. At least once. I trust myself not to turn into a drug addict who steals money just to score some weed. I KNOW I won’t be smoking it everyday.Yes, I might do it on the weekends to relax because I have trouble doing that. But I know myself. I never get addicted to anything. Except pizza maybe. So I want to experiment, test my limits, taste freedom, that sort of thing.
      I don’t want to be judged for doing that.

  • chantal July 9th, 2012 10:23 PM

    Rookie always seems to come out with articles exactly when I need them! I just turned 21 and I think I might be developing a dependence on alcohol to deal with my social anxiety. It’s scary knowing that I’m very near that line, just one more step and I could go too far. I will consider your advice.

  • giov July 9th, 2012 10:26 PM

    oh, stephanie, it really doesn’t surprise me that we were born on the same day (next friday the 13th! happy birthday! I hope it’s a good one!).

    • Stephanie July 10th, 2012 1:08 PM

      That’s cool! Happy Birthday to you, too!

  • T.L. July 9th, 2012 11:36 PM

    Loved this! I lived a similar story and the way you tell it reminds me that at 30 i should have no regrets about the adventures of my youth. everything happened (as i had created it) for the purpose of growing and learning and becoming the strong, independent, responsible woman i am today.

    and yes, i’m 30, and i love rookiemag!

  • radiofireworks July 10th, 2012 9:56 AM

    Yet another Rookie article I sat through nodding after every paragraph. From the ages of around 15-22, I was pretty much the same. A lot of mine was to do with mental illness (particularly Borderline, which played havoc with my impulse control and self-destructive urges), but it all amounts to the same thing. When I was younger I used to think the sex, drugs & rock & roll lifestyle was SO cool, and I felt like I was free and authentic and badass and all that other teenage silliness. But I wasn’t, I was a mess and I was regularly putting my life and others’ in danger.

    Nowadays I’ve got stuff mostly under control, and I’m mostly an old woman. I don’t go out to clubs or parties anymore because I know I’ll end up drinking myself into a coma. I don’t do drugs or drink much, and I recently quit smoking. I tend to be a bit of a recluse, really. But I’m happier than I ever was when I was going out every night getting hammered and waking up the next morning horrified, having panic attacks, unable to remember what I’d done.

  • Landice July 10th, 2012 5:17 PM

    Thanks for this article, Stephanie. I relate a lot except I was never able to ‘control’ my drinking. I wish I had been as lucky as you were to just have a problem with heavy drinking, but it turned out mine was full blown alcoholism. It definitely sucks to have alcohol withdrawal symptoms before you hit twenty. It seems like you did a really great job of learning your limits, though, and maybe I’ll be able to apply them to other real-life situations; I just wish it was that easy with my alcohol consumption.

  • Taffy July 10th, 2012 8:31 PM

    I really appreciated this piece right now. I’ve been the good girl my whole life but its not what I want, I feel torn. In a couple months I’m moving to NYC which means leaving my boyfriend of 4 years. We don’t have much in common and we live in a really small town so sometimes I feel like we’re only together because thats all there is around here. At the same time I’m worried about ruining his life but I feel like I need to do what I want and thats NYC. I want to party and make stupid decisions for once and I know thats reckless but I guess I’m okay with it. I don’t really know what to do, though.

  • Flowercake July 10th, 2012 9:10 PM

    This makes me feel like a loser for not doing all of the out-of-this-world events during my teenage life, which i’m currently in.

  • LeatherStuddedFae July 11th, 2012 5:11 AM

    I could relate to this article in so many ways. Well, not completely as I have never smoked weed, drink or anything like that. Although there was one time that I did crazy things. It was the time that I longed for freedom. My parents are pretty overprotective and I chose to rebel against them. It felt so good to feel like you’re doing something that makes you happy. At first that is. It still feels good later on but wrong in so many ways.

    Between parents and freedom, those two words just don’t seem to get along in my life. I used to be so pissed with my parents. But then, after hearing other people’s experiences, I learned that parents are still there to keep you on the ground. As long as I know that they’re there to do the right things for me, I’m happy that I have them because when the time comes that I’ll have to leave and be free, they won’t be there to tell me what’s wrong or right. I’ll be on my own and when I need desperate help, they won’t always be there.

    So yeah, freedom is really good. But make sure you don’t do something that crosses the line of safety and that it doesn’t hurt yourself or anyone like your parents so badly. On the other hand, do something daring every once in a while.

    http://stylestuddedfairy.blogspot.com/

  • peanutbutter July 11th, 2012 7:45 AM

    Stephanie, I love that you have replied to so many commenters, and been so willing to help and take time to give individual advice.

    A very well written article indeed!

  • miranda11 July 12th, 2012 12:02 AM

    It’s so interesting that you’re 18 and sorting this stuff out right now. I had pretty mellow teenage years (my parents were extremely protective) but I started experimenting with drugs at 18, and I was my craziest at the beginning of college. 3 years ago my life was like a Skins episode. I’m 23 now and I party 3 or 4 days a week and smoke weed a lot I’m not in school. I’m also a graduate student and work 3 jobs. I think it’s important to start experimenting with things when you’re mentally old enough to handle your shit and stand up for yourself. NEVER let someone convince you to do something you’re not comfortable with. NEVER do something that your gut doesn’t agree with. Take care of yourself. If you have to steal money from your parents to fund your partying, fucking stop it. Get a job and reward yourself however you want, but don’t lose that job as a result. I don’t care if you’re 16 or 28; be an adult, and act like one, and have fun.

  • imogenmiranda July 12th, 2012 8:14 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this!

  • willow2749 July 15th, 2012 6:42 PM

    This story is great.. and, I’m sure, very informative for a lot of young girls.

    I used to live a crazy lifestyle like the one you described. From age 12-18, I partied constantly. But when I wanted to slow down, when my life was falling apart and I didn’t know how to pick the pieces back up, I could NOT just moderate my drinking. And a lot of people can’t. I think its EXTREMELY important that young girls understand that sometimes drinking takes over your life (or drugs)… it becomes a solution to every problem. There’s help for that and it can be found in 12 step programs. You don’t have to be miserable and stuck in the cycle of drinking and using.

    On another note, DRUGS ARE NOT COOL! I did a lot of drugs in high school because I thought it made me cool.. I wanted to fit in and I wanted to be a bad-ass. I was lucky. Many of my friends from that time period have overdosed or are living on the streets or stuck in their addiction.. its better to never start than to end up stuck!

  • lilybilly July 20th, 2012 4:32 AM

    this artical was really good its really changed my veiw on what happens when you leave home

  • martha August 10th, 2012 4:07 PM

    This is such a great piece. I think that discovering this fine line and learning how to keep on it and not lose control all comes with experience. And that does mean making mistakes and doing regrettable things, as we as humans are all destined to do- but it’s all for the greater good at the end of the day. I’m steadily learning about staying in control and making the right decisions and this piece has reiterated the importance of doing so- thank you!