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Learn To Take Advantage

Jun 5, 2008
I never made any important or conscious decisions about my life. I had no passion for life or what life had to offer. I had no sincere passion or real interest in anything. Twenty five years of my life wasted not feeling or trying or even thinking about life outside of me. I look at my daughters who were nine and seven when I hit bottom and got sober. There were years of healing which involved counseling, meetings and hurtful confrontation, all of the things I had avoided my whole life. We fought like hell to learn to respect love and most importantly to forgive but I was in the center that I had broken us and now I was trying to put us back together. Out of that there has come so much love for each person and feeling was difficult to show for anyone. It would have been very easy for my girls to stay angry with me and the world and to just make choices in life to make them feel better.

Fitting in was very difficult for my girls in their teen years because they had been so distant to their friends for so long, so when it came time to bond with kids their age it was difficult. They saw their dad and I working so hard to make our relationship work without hurting each other anymore. They watched and heard me cry at night begging and praying for forgiveness; they saw me struggling to stay sober when they knew how badly I wanted a drink or a drug either for the obsession or just to numb myself even for a short time. They saw me fight through that and they knew finally everything I was or wasn't doing was because I loved them so much. They started caring about themselves and talking about their feelings which blew me away.

I was in awe of them, I had so much respect for these girls. I never thought of my future so I never talked about it either, but they were seeing good things in themselves and believed in what they wanted for themselves. They got good grades and were excellent athletes so they told us they were going to get college scholarships and go to college right after high school. When I heard things like that come out of their mouths I would go and be by myself and I would cry thanking god because they had not had much of an example.

This is when I watched them take advantage of the positive opportunities in their lives. When they were 11, 12, and 13 years old they started going to the YMCA after school and on weekends playing all different sports and working with trainers. They did this to enhance what they already had and it made me so proud and relieved to see them use their energy in a positive way. The people they chose to spend their time with were people who had goals and a work ethic and it was wonderful. It made me so grateful because of everything I did to my girls and they were still trying to achieve their goals. It helped me change my attitude and outlook on life because if my girls were able to overcome our problems then I could do the same.

No one is perfect and I am not saying we didn't have our problems but we were learning to pick ourselves up when we would fold or make a mistake and go on. The four of us were growing up together and I was like a kid sucking up every bit of knowledge I could. I used every opportunity I had at work and to better myself with an education in order to get to where I wanted to be. I loved learning from people because if we all stopped for a minute and looked we realized we had a lot to offer each other. People and life itself are our biggest educators and if we realize this and give it the respect it deserves we can see it as important as school and college. Picking ourselves up from some of the worst pitfalls in life is what makes up who we are. We grow from every experience we go through and making choices when we are coming out of that pitfall are what make us stronger. Maybe we could have made a different choice and the result for us would have been better but we all learn from our mistakes and unfortunately no one can protect us from that.

Picking ourselves up from some of the worst pitfalls in life is what makes us who we are and we learn from every experience we go through. The choices that we make set us up for future actions therefore it is important to take advantage of the resources available to us. My family took full advantage of what everyone had to offer us and we would not have made it to the point we are today. It is a great feeling having my children in a happy place in their lives and my husband and I still together while we continue to better our relationship. I have learned to take advantage of what life has to offer because you never know your future holds.
About the Author
Eileen DeClemente was 11 years old when she took her first drink. Alive is her courageous story of an addiction so consuming it nearly killed her and destroyed her family. To anyone who has ever battled an addiction, and to the people who have loved them. This story is for you, Eileen is Alive.
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