TLC has helped me find my focus

“Recovery is a process; it takes time to regain, reclaim, and recoup all that was lost while we tried to cope with our problems.”

Who was the old me? Starting at the age of 13, I began my rebellion stage. At first, I started with disrespecting and disobeying simple house rules. As time went on, the fear of getting in trouble was completely gone. I began to cut school, drink, and smoke, I never opened up to my parents, and my parents didn’t know how to get me to open up. I argued and fought over petty things. I thought I was the boss of the house, and no one could say “NO” to me. I blamed my parents for things that happened in the past, and shut them out from the emotional and mental problems I was having. In the beginning of November last year, was when I went to my extremes. I never went to school, I wouldn’t come home for long periods of time, and my focus was getting high until all the pain from within was gone, or at least until my body was numb and I could feel no more. I was just a careless person raging inside.

I was sent to Thayer Learning Center boot camp on December 5, 2003. Boot camp was not so difficult for me physically. The hardest part about boot camp was learning to focus on my emotions, thoughts and feelings. In this stage, I had a pocket full of unanswered questions, such as “Do my parents really love me?” and “What do I have to do to get out of here?” I felt very frustrated, angry and alone. Three and a half months down the road, I finally got rid of MOST of my anger and sadness.

The hardest part of the program was residency. This is because I had to talk to my parents, and close the communication gap we had. This included talking about the past, which I absolutely hated. It took me a long time to realize that my choices were bad and that my parents love me and only want what is best for me. I accepted the past and moved on. I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, and the person I wanted to become, and I set goals for myself.

Being at Thayer Learning Center has helped me find my focus and has changed my mindset completely. I know, now that the general orders, are not just rules of Thayer Learning Center, but they are the laws of society. They have taught me how to honor my parents, and to deal with my anger. They taught me that you have to work for everything in life and face problems rather than hiding behind them, by using drugs alcohol, or violence. I know how to apply them to my life, and that will help me be a successful person.

Now, I am two credits away from a High School Diploma. I will attend the Community College of Philadelphia in January for a semester, then transfer to Syracuse University in New York majoring in Public Communications. I would like to thank all of you who have had so much hope and faith in me this past year and most of all my parents for all the time and money they put into my future. I would like to thank myself for taking this opportunity and making the most of it, and never giving up. I would like to end this speech with a quote for you. “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve….you only need a heart of grace, and a soul generated by love.”

Thank You.