The lessons were pretty straightforward: try your hardest, don’t quit unless there is a legitimate reason, show people consideration, there is no “better than” when it comes to measuring your faults against another’s because nobody is perfect, don’t let naysayers discourage you, stay away from those who drag you into the mud with them; be responsible, not the same as holding yourself accountable for your actions, but still a valuable lesson. The first speaks to taking action and leading the way when a leader is necessary, whereas the second means owning up to your failures. Be yourself, pursue your dreams, work hard, make opportunities available to yourself, be independent, respect other people, respect yourself, and understand that God and the church are separate entities that don’t always agree with one another.
In one fashion or another these values were instilled in me, but I allowed the ideas of instant gratification and absolute freedom to erase these crucial lessons from my core line of thought. It took the loss of my freedom, family, friends and future to rediscover the lessons of my childhood. Is this rehabilitation? Yes, but it also took the removal of other forms of corruption – drugs and alcohol and mental illness – to begin to rehabilitate. Who can say I’m completely healed or that anyone is? It takes time to learn how to cope with loss and get over the wounds of the past so they cannot continue to defeat you. Rehab is more than relearning what’s been forgotten – it’s understanding why the lessons were important to begin with.