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Meet Ariela – Our Guest Blogger

We are pleased to introduce Ariela, a 16 year old from New York. She contacted SavingTeens as a young woman who wanted to help other families like hers. More importantly, she wanted to share her story as a sibling of a struggling teen. “When I heard about SavingTeens I knew I wanted to be involved. There are so many families who need the support that we’ve received. Institutions such as a therapeutic boarding school or a wilderness program can redirect someone’s whole life onto a more positive path, and that should be an option available for any struggling teenager and their family. Also, since I first visited my brother’s school, I have wanted to work in a therapeutic boarding school as a therapist and feel like I am making a difference in someone’s life. This is a good start to become part of the cause, as it is very relevant to me on a personal as well as a professional level.”

Brother-and-sisterBefore Rob got in trouble, I always saw my brother as a reasonable, totally together, no nonsense boy, mature beyond his years. He was an A+ student and I thought he knew and was good at everything. I wanted to be close to him very badly. I was eleven or twelve when he stopped talking to me though, so I never truly got the chance. Even so, in my eyes,Rob was perfect. As I grew up, he was my role model in so many ways. I looked at him and saw someone I wanted to be: smart, respected, sure in his sexuality and at peace with it, even though it wasn’t the norm.
​I was in eighth grade when Rob’s grades dropped to Ds and Cs. I didn’t think much of that, except that I was a little concerned for him. He was my superman. He could get out of anything. I was sure he’d be fine. Then he started staying up so late that in the morning it was impossible to wake him. I remember getting up for school and shaking him awake most days three or four times before I could get him out of bed. My mom had given up after a month or so in this capacity out of anger, so I took it as my responsibility. My mom was doing a lot anyway: she would sit next to him at night while he was doing his homework to make sure he wasn’t playing the game that he was addicted to, or watching television. I think it was around that time that I became a little angrier with Rob and more worried. I also had a lot on my plate as a student athlete, and had to keep up my schoolwork and spend enough time and focus on my ice skating.
​Then during the next summer while I was at my sleep away camp, I got the news that my brother was in a residential eating disorder center. I was extremely angry at my parents for not telling me earlier and had a very rough end to my camp experience. I was in a foul mood for most of that last week and had to apologize to some of the girls at the end for saying mean things to them. I was very stressed because I found out that when camp got out that I would go straight from Connecticut, where my camp was, to the hospital in Maryland.
​The weeks I spent there by the hospital were the most stressful weeks of my life. I constantly had to monitor what I said and how I said it. I had to help my parents decide on what to do a how to do it. There were countless moments of sadness, paranoia, and fear for all of us. Then, the day before I started high school, my mom and I took the train back to New York….

We look forward to reading the next installment of Ariela’s story.  Stay tuned for next week!!

2 Responses to Meet Ariela – Our Guest Blogger

  1. Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your side of addiction. Sometimes we forget about the siblings because you are all holding it together for the rest of the family. Continue writing & stay the course sweet girl!

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