I will never forget the first time I went to my dad’s friend’s house to watch “Fast and Furious” with all the other kids.
There were always TVs and games of some sort, but none of us knew how to turn the TV on, or make sure all the remote was in the correct place, so inevitably we would just start watching random television shows. Every once in a while my friend’s mom would call us to come in and have a snack.
Of course we did not want a snack, all we wanted to do was watch more TV and play more video games. It was around the time when gaming was popular and it did not matter where it was, or who was around.
Fast forward a few years later
I was already showing signs of being addicted to video games. I remember distinctly the day I first started to notice a change in the way I thought.
It was the day I was a senior in high school, and was riding with my friends down to the bus stop. I was totally engrossed in the game I was playing, and looking forward to the rest of the day to play it.
We got to the bus stop, and all of the sudden, I was the only one that got on the bus. My friends just kept going, and I just stood there. The bus driver was a very aggressive driver, and wanted to turn around and make the group get off the bus.
Instead of going out to another bus stop, I said I was sorry and got off the bus. I have no idea what I was thinking at the time.
I wanted to play more “NFS.”
Fast forward again
I was taking my MCATs, and the test was on Saturdays. One Saturday, I started looking through the exam’s practice questions and came across questions that were on levels 2 and 3.
I remember thinking to myself “If I can do level two on this, I will be doing amazing on level three.” So, I sat down and attempted level two on level three of the practice test. I was quickly moved up to level three, and did not even notice it.
After sitting through the last question, and passing the exam, I did not even remember how it was completed. I honestly did not think much of it, and just assumed I did what I was supposed to do.
The rest of my week was spent playing my video games to pass the time. I wanted to make sure I studied enough for the test so I could get into medical school.
After taking the MCATs, I went to a recruiting day for med school. I went to a few interviews, and as far as I was concerned, I was going to medical school.
I was taking my MCATs the very next week and was excited to start school as soon as possible. My parents were not very supportive of me going to medical school.
My dad went to school in Florida, and we all thought that I would go to a medical school in Florida, too. My mom was the only one who understood my desire to go to school in Florida.
The only thing I ever knew about Florida was that they had Disney World. A month after the MCATs I decided to stay in Pennsylvania to go to medical school in Philadelphia.
I was disappointed, but there was nothing I could do about it. I had to do what was best for me and my family.
Even though I had decided to stay, the lack of support I was receiving from my family didn’t help at all. One day, I had just finished talking to my dad and he was really upset with me.
He yelled at me for not going to Florida, and then told me to go to college. Of course, that was not going to happen, so he said to go and have a “normal” life. So, that is what I did.
I started working to help pay for my tuition, and then it just progressed from there. It was at that time I started to drink to escape what I was going through.
I was miserable, and at that point, I thought I deserved everything I was getting from my parents. I was a lost cause.
After going to school for two years, and not being able to pass my boards, I was not really going to school anymore. I could have quit, but I was too scared to. I didn’t have any life skills and I was stuck.
I am a recovering alcoholic, and I have never felt better
I am happily married, and I am actually going back to school to get my master’s.
About 15 years ago, I met the love of my life. She is not only beautiful, but she is a medical student. We have been together for about 4.5 years, and this year, we are getting married.
I have everything I ever wanted, and I am proud of myself. I went from failing my MCATs to graduating with honors, and attending college. I am going to graduate from college this year, and have a future full of hope and opportunity ahead of me.
I want to thank my parents for the courage to not only listen to me, but to also support me through what was a very difficult time in my life.
I also want to thank my wife for putting up with my drinking, and the pain that it caused my family.