Updated: Sep 13, 2020
In twenty-two years living on this earth; stumbling, falling and tripping over my problems, I have finally realized something: very few things do not have an ethical dilemma strenuously attached to the moral fabric of our actions.
It could be be throwing a cigarette butt carelessly on to the road It could be dating a coworker we all have to face these tricky decisions in life. It could be “should I have just one more drink?”.
In my opinion, a eclectic life, one full of adventure, regrets, and action, is not always in that order. These many small decisions make it difficult to decide what I would like to talk about. The subject in question is a major or minor ethical dilemma.
The most prominent one was probably previous to starting college. Strung out, working, hard, broken and burning my wick at both ends. I was working by day with youth, and by night thinking I was Sigmund Freud on cocaine. I was very involved with my First Nations and my youth. Everyone thought I was a role model: supposedly standing tall and being an advocate for my youth.
In the dark, the shadows were what I had grown comfortable with. I had hidden my self-loathing, guilt and feelings of betrayal of my people was where I learned and shocked myself into realizing what I had been doing.
Repressing. Suppressing. Oppressing.
This led to steps slowly leading up to my arrival at self-improvement.
I had no reason to have such negative self-talk professionally until I took a look at my life rounded into a whole. All of the things that I had felt guilty about or ethically wrong were decisions I made myself. It took me a long time to learn I wasn’t a victim of circumstance I was a victim of my own self destruction.
Years of little things, small bad decisions, can build up regardless of where you come from and no one is an exception to the heavy winds of this world tearing you down. Until the little decisions lead you down the path to a big decision.
Over a plate that sat staring laser-guided beams of temptation into my eyes, the porcelain shining off the white powdery substance that kept my mind distracted. I sat discussing my government with one my youth who is 2 years older than myself.
This was somehow “normal” and frequent in my family. Over a few beers that devilish powder gave this conversation a kick to the ass that very possibly saved my life. Her words were high pitched and loving. To this day I don’t think she has any idea about how much that impacted me and my future following. Yet these simple words changed everything.
“I look up to you” she said.
And with that I even threw the eight ball off and a few forties of whisky I had consumed my heart still broke, I knew I wasn’t the person she should be looking up to.
And I knew my younger youth couldn’t either.
That night I tried to Overdose myself, I failed.
I checked myself in to detox the following morning. My first instinct was to run, flight or fight right? I have always been well versed in avoiding my problems, and putting things off, but I think that night I honestly had no faith in myself. This program being the new detox program in Whitehorse had saved my life, my pride as well as my sanity.
Having so many siblings, friends, and family members I don't believe I had ever really been alone until that point. The pure anxiety of the silliest things astonished me, no contact with the outside made me feel closed in and separated from everything that made me feel safe. This process tore down my comfort zones and built healthy ones. For the first time I thought about myself and what had landed me there.
The workers were more than amazing, and I still keep people that I was in the program with close to me to this day. Sadly one of us is gone now, but he will always be in my heart.
The amount of buried garbage that I had been holding in I finally got a chance to let out and express itself. Finally I understood why I started my inner self-hate speech, where the roots of my malevolent tree had started sprouting.
About three days after I left detox, the adventure really turned. I got in the car with my partner at the time and in twenty-eight hours I was seeing the coast line. Having been raised here my sense of wonder and excitement grew exponentially.
I had made no prior arrangements to our destination, nor housing or work. I did what I do best, adapted. We found ourselves in a small town on the island in a campground. Knowing well, that you can't make it very far without work or school I signed myself up for college the next day and after tons of paperwork and calling people who didn't know that I had already left, I was accepted and continued my self help through school. Learning to be an Addictions Worker and community service worker.
I still have far to go, and have a fair way to stumbled along but now I can be proud of who I am again. Even more importantly, I'm finally someone my youth can look up to again.
Written by: An Anonymous Youth