Kendall is a 16-year-old lesbian who makes her own clothes and loves movies, music and books. She talks about the effect that alcohol and drugs had on her and how one scary experience, and a love of animals, served as a wake up call.
Due to family circumstances, as well as school stress and not-so-great friends, I was introduced to various forms of drugs and alcohol. I found that, at least for the few moments to few hours I was using, life didn't feel like such a scary thing.
During this time, I had sort of come to terms with my sexuality, but it wasn't really something that could be discussed. That was hard. I never wanted to be involved with drugs or alcohol, seeing what it had done to relatives. But it just worked out that way.
I saw myself plummeting downward, and it was like I had no control. Then, there was one pretty bad night. I had had quite a bit to drink, and my throat started to swell and my breathing was cutting off. I had to go to the hospital; I'm pretty sure I nearly died. It took almost dying for me to realize that I really wanted to live my life without influences from bad "friends" and drugs.
I started to be involved in volunteer work, especially work with animals. Seeing abused / neglected animals still happily playing and living really affected me. It's probably not the same for everyone, because not everyone connects to animals the same way. However, because of this, I was able to embrace my personality, my circumstances, my faults and flaws, and most importantly, my sexuality.
I've had a few stumbles where I've used marijuana, but other than that, I've been in control of my life and choosing to be free of drugs and alcohol.