Name: Ava Eszenyi
From: Avon, Indiana
Addiction? Try harder…..
Addiction? Try Harder…..
“Work hard and shine your shoes” was my great-grandparents’ famous saying. While this may just seem like a mindless catchphrase, they truly embodied it. My great grandmother Evelyn, one of nine children, loved learning. This passion drove her to move off the family farm at age sixteen to live with total strangers, so she could attend business school. After receiving her degree, she met my grandfather. Together they ran three successful businesses.
Working hard and doing your best isn’t exceptional in my family, it is the expectation. My parents have raised me to do the same. And I have done all of the correct things: maintaining a 3.8 GPA, playing a varsity sport each season, assuming leadership positions in my school club, volunteering with students with special needs, and working part time. Tired yet? I was. Stressed? I am.
What happens when all of these stressors converge, and your appearance of perfection becomes a burden you can’t bear? Try nicotine to stay awake, alert, and thin. Try thc to rest and let your mind “check out”. What you don’t do is stop working hard, playing hard, or shining your shoes. Until you can’t.
I lied to my loved ones, saying I wasn’t using. I wasted time and money buying tests to game my parents and coaches, counting the days needed for a flush to work. I insisted it was too many energy drinks, lack of sleep, my shoulder injury.
I finally got caught. My parents were devastated. I was embarrassed. But I couldn’t stop using, especially the nicotine. I crave it. My family told me to just stop. You can’t? Try harder! Show some restraint! The THC was challenging, the nicotine almost impossible.
Why are kids struggling? The expectation of perfection weighs heavily. Drugs help us stay awake, help us relax, help us stay thin, help us stay alert…. I could go on. They are everywhere, accessible, and not so expensive. Socially, at work, at school, THC and nicotine is available. My parents are more knowledgeable than most because my mom is a teacher. She knows what kids are doing- to a point. But most parents can’t keep ahead of their kids. And kids love to experiment. And we believe nothing bad will happen to US, it will be someone else. Everyone said to work hard. Not all of us have the tools to do it.