Sometimes we make wrong decisions in life. This does not mean that these decisions are bad. Sometimes these decisions lead us to the right place. That’s what Marc also showed me.
When I was on my way to work, far too early, I decided to drink a coffee at Starbucks. It was relatively crowded and so I asked a young man if I could sit down next to him. At first I only saw the man from behind, he was muscular and athletic. Pure of his physique I would have appreciated him for 26 years.
Until I looked into his face.
I was shocked and could only hardly hide it. The man looked older than my father. Deep wrinkles and dark eye-rings drew his face. I had to know why he looked that old. It was terribly unpleasant to me because I was not sure if he had a disease – I thought of something like “The curious case of Benjamin Button”.
But when I asked how old he was and the man already started to grin, I knew he was often asked this question. “What do you guess”, he replied. And I honestly could not give an answer.
But I should be right. He was actually midway twenty. To be exact 25 years old. He was neither sick nor born like that. But the story that has written that face, I would never have imagined.
“Since I was 16 years old, I was drug addicted. Not just Mariuhana, with which teens are starting classically. No – the really hard stuff like cocaine, exctasy, even heroin I injected myself. This all started with the change to a new school. I was never really cool, but this time I wanted to do it differently, I wanted to be part of a group. Part of the cool kids. I was not aware of what it would mean to belong to such a group.
In the course of time I changed completely. My grades got worse, I moved out from home, in the end I droped out of school. It took me a long time to realize what happened to me and today I am grateful that it is only my face that is affected – not my brain.
Now I am clean for 4 years. The reason, however, was not that I was shocked by the look in the mirror but the overdose heroin of my best friend. I never realized what a crap we were actually doing. Until that moment.
Today I am grateful for this phase of my life – a fact that many people can not understand. I look like an 60 year old, have a bad relationship to my family and lost my best friend. I have neither a graduation from school nor a vocational training. And yet I am happy. Why? Because the drug addiction has given me a meaning in life. I never knew what to do with my life. Today I help teenagers out of their drug addiction. I still help myself today and at the same time give help to others. This is what I always wanted – a meaningfull profession. A profession that causes something. Not just sitting on an office chair staring on a laptop for 8 hours. I know I made a mistake. But I’ve learned from it. I want to do it better.“
On the one hand, I was shocked how easily Marc handles his situation. But on the other hand also really impressed. He himself says that he has no other choice because only he is responsible for what happened. Nevertheless, he says that in every misery there is still a spark of hope when one looks for it. He did not want one decision to determine his whole life.