Desperate to Fit In
But sometimes change is slow. A year later, I decided to attend a party with some old friends. Even though I knew there'd be drinking, there were a few girls I really missed, so I decided to go. I decided I'd be careful and I wouldn't drink. I even felt like I could be an example to my old friends.
But things didn't turn out the way I'd planned. I wasn't at the party very long before I started drinking, and after a few hours, I was really drunk and sick. The only way I could get home was to call my dad, which was humiliating, especially after the promises I'd made.
In the car on the way home, my dad was really quiet. The only thing he said was, "You're old enough to punish yourself, Colleen."
Dad was right. I punished myself by refusing to go out—with any friends—for a long time.
Dad also suggested I start reading my Bible again.
He was right again. So I started reading it faithfully. And all over again, I could see how much God loves me, how much he cares for me, just the way I am.
That party incident was the last of its kind for me.
A couple years have gone by. I'm not interested in the party scene any more. My shoplifting days were done after that run-in with the police. And after a lot of counseling, I'm no longer fighting my eating disorder—though I still struggle with how I feel about my body.
I'm so much happier now. I'm hanging with a good group of friends, people who love me for who I am—not for somebody I'm pretending to be. And even though I care and worry about my old friends, I've decided not to spend time with them. I've learned the hard way that I can't handle it very well.
When I last saw my old friends, one of them asked me, "What happened to you? You used to be so much fun at parties, but we never see you any more. You should hang out with us again."
I just smiled and said, "No thanks. I'm much happier now."
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