My first stint in college went miserably. Not only did I not have community, but I didn’t have the confidence to find one. I think the University tried very hard to set me up for success, but with 50,000 students, just ended up crippling me with a false sense of security. When I needed support services, they just did not come through. However, UNT became a different story entirely. I don’t say that because that’s where I ended up, attempting to make the best of my decisions. What I have done to get this far has culminated in a beautiful family that I call the CRP. Every choice that I made, every wrong turn, every hill climbed, it got me here.
Granted, for a long time, there was no progress. For a long time I didn’t try very hard at anything. I wanted to take the easy way out, and because I was smart I got away with it. I figured out I could work a system in my favor, I did. I didn’t trust other people, or delegate responsibilities, or concede to anyone interfering with anything I had deemed important. I was insistent that I could do things my way, using my methods, on my time. However, having this community and being a part of this program has taught me that it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to let others in, to give them a chance to see the real you, and care about you anyway. It’s selfless to let go, and be strong enough to admit things to other people, allow them to judge you, to be as authentic as you can. When you are authentic, you gravitate towards others like you. You create something that you didn’t think you needed, became part of something bigger than yourself. You start serving other people and gain confidence and security from that. Then, all of a sudden, you also have this family that you chose and you made and that you love and who love you in return. It makes recovery so much easier and more tangible, because now I have something to show for myself. I have all these people who love me. I changed, I became someone worth loving. And that’s what community has done for me.