I am a seventeen year old girl and last year popularity got to my head. I was a “church-goer”, always have been, but I stopped caring. I was drunk, high, hung over, or all of the above, most, if not everyday of the week. My parents have never been strict, and have always trusted me greatly, so they chose to ignore my late nights, weird actions, and the illegal scents emanating from my body and clothes. I became “that girl”: the party girl everyone knew, incapable of staying at home, especially on the weekends. I was “connected”, and extremely lucky I never got caught.
Summer ohh nine came quickly, which was filled with plans of crazy beach trips, days at the river and, at the back of my mind, church camp. I only agreed to go because it was in Florida, and I needed to work on my tan. Center Fuge was the name, July 19 through the 25th were the dates, and Panama City Beach, Florida was the location. This place saved me. http://www2.lifeway.com/fuge/
Unhappily I loaded onto the charter bus, where I would spend the next 16 hours attempting to sleep, tune out the weird people around me, and maybe sneak a few pills without anyone noticing. No one did, and that ride was hell. Angrily, those first few days, I ignored more “party at my house” texts and deleted more missed calls that would be regarding the same thing. Then, it hit me.
Sitting on the beach, I sobbed my eyes out like never before. I felt so alone. None of the people whom I considered my friends really were. I was just another person to party with, another “connection”. I sat there examining my life, I didn’t have a best friend, my boyfriend was probably sleeping with “the hot girl” at that night’s party, and I realized that I had been lying to myself. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t having fun, and I really didn’t care about “my friends”. Sitting there, in the cool sand, water lapping onto my toes, I picked up my phone and deleted 23 contacts. I haven’t looked back since.
This place impacted me. I could have written to you about my crazy family vacations, or trips with friends, but this is the one I never will forget. This place saved me. As of today’s date, I have been clean and sober for two months, one day, and still counting. There are some days that are harder than others, but on those days I have to stop myself and look around at all the amazing things I have now. On that trip I made the best of friends, have an amazing boyfriend, and am closer to my family than ever before. Center Fuge 2010 is the number one event on my calendar next summer.
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