Cautionary letter to my young cousin using drugs/booze

Hi_____! So you’re 14 now! That’s excellent.  I hear you’ve been getting into the party scene heavily though, and because of my experience with that (a LOT of experience) I just have to say a few words. Just read and consider them, that’s all I’m asking. Then, at least, I’ll know I tried to save you some pain.

Drinking and drugs seem like great fun when you’re young, a way to hang out with your friends and feel happy and included, but in the long run it leads to a lot of pain, shame, guilt and a host of other problems.

I started drinking and drugging at 14 too, and by 25 it had left me pretty much badly broken, mentally and physically, and with a huge amount of baggage I’m still trying to deal with.

I was arrested 3x before I hit 18 from doing crazy things while drunk or/and on drugs. I had to go before a judge, do community service (a lot), and was on probation each time. I nearly got sent to reform school and nearly had a permanent record.

Because of drinking/drugs I ended up sleeping with a lot of men who were just using me (drunk girls are easy prey), so I ended up with no self esteem and had no self worth. I exposed myself to disease, and dangerous situations with strangers.  Getting over the results took 100’s of hours of intense therapy.

I ended up with unwanted pregnancy twice, both which ended in horrible miscarriages that nearly killed me mentally and physically (nearly bled to death). The more I drank and did drugs the more fucked up stuff I got involved in. I ended up in an abusive relationship, getting beat on for a year, which has left me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I ended up getting held against my will 3x by very drunk/high men with weapons, also contributing to my PTSD. I have constant nightmares and panic attacks  and can’t let myself trust men much at all.

The more I drank the more I needed to drink, to bury all the horrible emotions that came from all the things that happened because I was drunk or stoned. I lost a lot of good friends in the long run and did horribly embarrassing things. I had blackouts from binge drinking where I’d end up in some man’s bed, who I didn’t know, with no remembrance how I got there. I fell down stairs, smashed teeth, broke bones, and got concussions from drunkenly smashing into things. I hit people and was hit.

All this made my already present depression and anxiety worsen. It fed my Borderline Personality Disorder.  I ended up in detox twice, trying to get clean and the hospital several times, with nervous breakdowns.

So, please, save yourself all the pain. I know it’s hard when that’s what your friends are doing, I know it’s so easy and tempting to just go along and have the ‘fun’, but it often turns bad in the end, very bad, and you’re the one that’s left suffering. I just want to try and save you from all the things I went through, and how I ended up.

Do ANYTHING else instead. Get new friends who don’t party, or get a job, or throw yourself into something you love, or try to find something you love. Try painting or photography or writing or sports. Anything that will keep you focused on doing something you are really passionate about and away from drugs and drinking. Cause it’s a long, crazy, painful, traumatic road it will lead you down and you will end up feeling one way in the end… shit about yourself and fucked up.

I could go on and on about tons of other things that happened to me when I was drinking/drugging, but I won’t.  I hope you read this and think about it. I care about you and really want you to have a good life in the future, but you won’t find it in alcohol/ drugs of any kind. So do yourself a HUGE favour, get away from it, far, far away, and you’ll have a better chance at a decent life. Take it from one who knows and loves you.


First Words or Compassion for All


I am so proud and happy, one of my ‘babies’ said his first ‘words’ today. Kiefer, one of my big, de-scented male ferrets, rescued from a horrible, cruel, abusive breeder 2 years ago, made a ‘chuckle’ today. Most people won’t know what this means so I’ll explain. Ferrets make a wide variety of sounds and some ferrets are very ‘vocal’ while other are less so, for whatever reason. They ‘dook’ ie make a dook dook dook dook dook sound, chuckle (like a happy ble ble ble ble ble sound), hiss (kinda a cross between a cat hiss and a snake hiss), scream (loud, sudden, piercing fright noise), chirp( a short, sharp bark almost), and quack (yes, like a duck), among others. Well, neither of my rescued boys (brothers) ever made a sound.

They are both ‘pyschologically damaged’ from their expereince with the breeder, and are not like normal, happy,  easy-go lucky ferrets. They are very tense, nervous, shy, scared ferrets. I got them when they were three. Seven  brothers and sisters were rescued from this guy, who used to power hose down their old wire outdoors cages with them in it, among other things. They had spent 3 years in this cage, never held, pet, or talked to.  They were quite wild when I got them, both  fear biters. Since then I have been trying to reverse the damage by giving them love, love, love, and slowly over the years they have started to relax. Before, they never played or danced, and they were scared of visitors or any noises,  especially the sound of water, even being spritzed on a plant. They will run and hide when they hear water or spraying of any sort.

They now have become a bit braver, they don’t slink around the edges of a room anymore, and will even occasionally come out of hiding to inspect a visitor. The best thing is they will often play now, chasing each other in circles, bouncing up and down the hall, wrestling, it is so wonderful to see. But, still no noises! I believed they were too tense to make a noise.  BUT, TODAY KIEFER CHUCKLED!!!!! Of the boys he has always been the slightly braver, and today, as he was playing with his brother, I reached down and tickled him and he danced and went ‘ble ble ble ble bble’. It was so wonderful.

Many people think that only the suffering of people is important, that animals are ‘less important’, we should spend our energy, time and money to alleviate peoples’ suffering only. But, I say, suffering is suffering, and any creature that undergoes suffering deserves help, regardless of what species it is, 2 legs, 4 legs, fur, flesh, or feathers.  The suffering of a ferret is just as terrible and painful to their minds and spirits as it is to ours, no more, no less important. Suffering should be alleviated WHENEVER it can be.

Animals recognize the pain and suffering of other animals and try to help: a wolf brings food to a downed comrade, a cat quietly grooms a sick friend, a ferret kisses your face and looks into your eyes when you are crying, snuggling close. If a cat or dog or ferret can realize and care about those who suffer, then for us not to is positively…inhuman, and inhumane.

“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.” Albert Schweitzer

“Certainly it is wrong to be cruel to animals and the destruction of a whole species can be a great evil. The capacity for feelings of pleasure and pain and for the form of life of which animals are capable clearly impose duties of compassion and humanity in their case. ”
John Rawls