I felt a lot better in high school than I had before, but things were not perfect. It seems like I always had a boyfriend, but my taste in guys was terrible. It seemed like I loved a rebel, and asshole guys were my specialty. I dated a lot of guys who made me feel like I should be doing more with them than kissing, and it made me uncomfortable. It reinforced my feelings that guys only wanted sex.
I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find a guy who liked me as I was, and didn’t want to pressure me to be differently, or think differently. I had my friend set me up with a guy once, he was a friend of her boyfriend, and played football for another school in town. He seemed very nice, and I thought he really liked me. We talked for ages and started dating. We got to go out on a double date for Valentine’s Day, and it was the first time I got to go out on a date. It was also the first time I had a solid Valentine.
To say I was excited would be an understatement. I couldn’t find anything good to wear, so I made my dress. I did my hair and make-up as well, a rarity for me. We got to get dinner and go to a movie, but my parents were pretty strict, I had to go home after the movie. When the movie ended, everyone wanted to go over to my friend’s house, but I couldn’t go. The guy just didn’t understand why I wouldn’t go back to my friend’s house with him, and thought that I didn’t want to be with him. I tried my best to explain that my parents said I had to go home after the movie, and left.
The next night we were all supposed to go to a school dance together, and I was really excited about this as well. I talked to my boyfriend that day, and he said he would go to the dance with my friend’s boyfriend, and meet me out front. I got dolled up again, and headed to the dance. When I got there I couldn’t find my friend or our boyfriends. I called my boyfriend, and he told me that his parents wouldn’t let him go. I believed him and called my friend to find out where she was. She told me that they were not coming to the dance; they were going to go bowling instead. I told her what my boyfriend had said about his parents not allowing him to go to the dance, and she told me he had lied. I guess he thought he was getting even with me, and I didn’t hear from him again after that night.
I started rebelling because I felt like one bad thing after another kept happening. I was so tired of dealing with all the negative crap. I was having a hard time handling family issues, and trying to balance social pressure, and my own awkwardness. One day I picked up one of my brothers cigarettes, and thought “people don’t get addicted to these, how stupid”. I wanted to do something rebellious I guess, so I lit it up. I was instantly in love with the buzz it gave me. I had never felt like that before, and it seemed really nice.
After that first cigarette, I started sneaking out of class with some of my friends who also smoked. We would sneak down to the pool hall by our school, and smoke cigarettes out back. Some of my friends started noticing that I smelled like cigarettes, and I admitted that I smoked. I loved the buzz they gave me, and how cool they made me feel. It felt like empowerment in a stick. Several of my friends got very upset with me about smoking, and lectured me. I didn’t want to hear it, and pretty much blew them off. I lost a lot of friends over the situation, but I didn’t care as much as I should have. I even had one friend tell me she hated me to the depths of her soul, dramatic, but it still didn’t seem to get to me. It was the first time I chose something stupid over my friends. I didn’t want to quit smoking, and loose that buzz, so I let my friends go.
It wasn’t the right decision. I should have cared more about my friends, and that they only cared about my health. This was the beginning of a terrible habit of choosing things that were bad for me, over people who loved me and cared about my well-being. It’s part of the mind of an addict. We don’t care what we do to get there, we just want to make sure we get whatever it is that we are addicted to in the end. The mind of an addict is a dangerous place, and choosing substances over friends isn’t personal, we are just so wrapped up in our addictions we can’t see properly. I didn’t see it then, I thought it was just cigarettes, and I didn’t really care, but over the years I chose a lot of bad things over some truly great people. I wish I could have told myself then that it wasn’t going to do me any favors, but hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it?
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