Note: this blog entry was first published on the POI website as a winning blog entry in February 2016. It is posted anonymously as requested by the author. The author received a $50 gift card to REI (per her request) as her prize. We are grateful to the writer for sharing her authentic story with us.
I grew up with an alcoholic mother. I grew up not knowing if someone was going to be able to pick me up from school that day and not being able to understand why nobody cared enough and would leave me alone to fend for myself. I grew up pretending I was sick so that I could stay home from school and hopefully have that be reason enough for my mother not to drink. I grew up in fear. I feared she may cook me a dinner that was not suitable to eat because it was undercooked, but she would scream and yell at me to eat it because how dare I waste food that was perfectly fine. I feared that I may write an essay or make a poster for a class that was not good enough for her, so she would rip it up and make me start all over. I feared that I would bring friends over to my house and my mom would be drunk, so I would have to explain to them that this was normal and she was like this all the time. I feared that one day, I may come home to a dead mother. I allowed alcohol to control my life. I allowed alcohol to control who I thought was cool enough to be my friend, because only cool people drink alcohol.
But no more. I try to #PassOnIt because I know how powerful drugs and alcohol are. I know that drugs and alcohol have the power to control someone’s life, but they will not control mine. I control my life, me and only me.