Before Alateen, I could never forgive the people who hurt me. I could hold grudges like I could hold a feather—easily. Resentment is a bad habit I couldn’t seem to break. If you hurt me, I was going to hurt you back—ten times worse. No one knew that on the inside I was hurting. I played it off like everything was okay. If you even said the slightest thing wrong or even looked at me wrong, I was coming after you.

But when I started working my program in Alateen, I learned that it’s okay to forgive someone if they hurt me. I have learned to forgive my dad for his drinking. I always used to beat myself up about the stupid stuff I did to myself, but I have forgiven myself for the pain I caused to myself and the harm to my body. I feel so much better knowing that it’s okay to forgive. I’ve learned that if people hurt me, they hurt me. They only affect my mood if I let them. Before, their opinions would convince me that’s how I was. But today, I know that it’s their opinion, and it doesn’t make it true.

By Paige M.

The Forum, June 2018