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The Hangout

"Your past does not define you..."

"Hey, you wanna come over after work? We're just going to have a few beers, hang out. You're off tomorrow anyways, It'll be fun."

Little did I know, with that invitation my world was about to be turned in ways I didn't even know it could. I had hit a point in my life where I cared little to none about anything or anyone, including myself. I knew better then to go to this "hangout" but I decided to go anyway. There was maybe 4-6 of us who all worked together, some of us even still in high school together.

My friend didn't lie, there was in fact alcohol... as well as a list of other things she failed to mention. There was booze, pills, lean, shrooms, grass, white, the list went on and on! For a split second I thought to myself, "this seems like a horrible idea, maybe I need to go home..." Then, the not caring part of me kicked in and said, "f*** it you're already here."

For the next few months I basically did every drug in the book, or at least tried them. I had my preferences, though, as I became an alcoholic at 17, and was popping a pill every chance I could. My life was spinning out of control and I honestly didn't even know it. I started losing weight, stopped going to school and no one really seemed to care.

Until one day, the phone rang. "Get dressed, I'll be there in 20 minutes."


I was shocked, I hadn't talked to my dad in the longest time and then to get that call with no warning or explanation. So weird! Well, it turns out I had missed not 1, not 2, but 3 full MONTHS of high school and we were going to court.

We arrived at the courthouse and if you've ever gotten a truancy ticket you know they spend very little time on each individual's case. We were there maybe an hour, paid $250, I had to go to classes, and of course I had to go to school. Afterwards, my dad and I talked and he told me, "you have to figure out a way to keep going. You just have to. If not for you, then do it for me. I want you to succeed." He dropped me back off, we said our goodbyes, and that was that.

I went back to school, and worked harder then ever to try and recover from the months I missed. I quit the job my friends from that hangout worked at, and sought out a new one. One I could grow with and stick with for a while. However, during my search, I failed a drug test for a job I really wanted and it was that moment I decided I really needed to stop. I stopped smoking pot, stopped taking pills, and all the other things I was doing wrong and I finally realized it wasn't worth it. I had to be a better me.

I wanted to succeed in life, and I wasn't going to get there on drugs. I got clean, ignored the urges, buried my head in the books, and got my life back on the right track. I managed to graduate on time, with my class, and I found a job I have become pretty successful at. We can't erase the past, and we sure as hell can't change it. But, we can change the future. Instead of letting it rip you apart, use it to better yourself so you can have a better future. So you can prove everyone wrong. Your past does not define you, what you do differently to make damn sure you have a promising future does.

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The Hangout
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