The Impact that Hanging Around with the Wrong People Can Have on Your Life
When I look back at the person that I was before coming to the program, I see the relationship between the groups I was a part of and my drug addiction. Before my drug use, I had good friends who cared for my well-being and I cared for theirs. We used to be productive, getting involved in activities and going out and really enjoying ourselves. However, I notice that the moment where my life changed for the worse was when I joined a new group at my university. I was new and made new friends—well I thought they were my friends. They acted nice and we spent a lot of time together but the difference was we were not doing much when we were hanging out, we were not being active or productive. In fact, I went from someone who enjoyed playing sports, educating myself and helping others to being lazy, selfish and unproductive.
“I didn’t realize that I was changing, and being influenced by the group but the people that I was surrounding myself with were having a big impact on my life…”
I didn’t realize that I was changing and that I was being influenced, but the people that I was surrounding myself with were having a big impact on my life.
I started missing lectures, drinking, taking drugs and going out at night. I didn’t have the energy to wake up and do anything in the morning. I had a purpose when I started university but associating with people who didn’t share the same goal weakened my ambition to achieve my purpose of graduating from university with a first class degree. In fact, the more time I spent with these people, the less I cared about achieving my goal.
I wasn’t feeling happy with myself or with what I was doing but at the time my friends seemed like the most important people in the world to me. They were the ones who gave me cocaine for the first time and I couldn’t see that what they were doing was destroying my life. I stopped caring for all aspects of my life; I started to care more for the people that were destroying my life than for my own family.
The reason I couldn’t see what was happening was because I was listening to the words the group was telling me and not looking at their actions. Taking drugs fueled this twisted perception and I experienced deterioration in all aspects of my life. No matter how much my family spoke to me, I didn’t listen. My life was spiraling out of control and the group that I was a part of left me to fall. They all went their separate ways but the people that were still there for me were my family and no matter how low I fell, they still picked me up. They were always by my side and never gave up on me—they looked for a solution and they found it in Narconon Balkan.
I came to the drug rehabilitation centre and the first thing that struck me was that the staff and the students all looked so happy. They were ready to help at any time and this was something I really wasn’t used to. I remember thinking to myself that these people are probably just acting like they are happy and are being pushed by the staff to be helpful. I thought that they wanted something from me as I was not used to seeing people who are so happy with their lives and so willing to help others. It was a big change and it took me time a little time to adapt and to see that these people are genuinely like this and I knew then that I want to be part of the group. As I progressed through the program I became a contributing member of the group and found myself becoming more active, more productive and happier. I am happy to be part of this group.
Now that I am reaching the end of the Narconon program I have a new and improved understanding of the importance of the people I surround myself with. It is important to choose your friends carefully, it is important to see your friends’ actions and not just listen to their words, because anyone can say pretty words and can make promises, but the action is what really counts. And the final and most important point for me concerning groups is to choose a group you have a common purpose with, choose friends who can help you to achieve your goal and you can help them to achieve theirs. Having a common purpose, is the strongest reason for a friendship to exist, because the actions taken within the group are intended to serve the purpose. In this way, there is better communication, stronger affinity and more understanding. At the present, I am in the Narconon students group and our common purpose is to become Drug- and Alcohol-Free for Life.
“I aspire to volunteer here at the Narconon Balkan center when I finish the program and join the staff group, because I now share a common purpose with them to help the students like the staff helped me…”
Now that I am coming close to achieving the title of drug- and alcohol-free, I want to continue being a part of this amazing place. I aspire to volunteer here at the Narconon Balkan center when I finish the program and join the staff group, because I now share a common purpose with them to help the students, like the staff helped me, to make a difference in the lives of people who are willing to change, to help all the students that come through the doors here at Narconon Balkan become Drug and Alcohol Free for Life.
C.A.—Student at Narconon Balkan
(To preserve privacy, the photo does not show an actual Narconon student or graduate.)