Last weekend I went to visit two good friends of mine. One of whom (Jess*) is in a really bad way, the other is living at University in the chaplaincy (Ellie*). My intention when I went down was to help Jess to get out of her situation. My trip really opened my eyes, I couldn’t do much in the time I was there but when I left I was more determined than ever to help her. The other life changing part of the trip was seeing Ellie, my experience with her actually changed me.
Seeing Jess opened my eyes to a part of the world I’ve never realised existed. She lived in what can only be described as the arse-end-of-nowhere. I sat with her and honestly felt like I was watching one of the documentaries about girls who live in shitty run-down, brothels and are hooked on drugs. I’ve never felt like such a terrible friend. I’d let her carry on down this path even though I knew she was having problems. Since I’ve been there I spoke to Ellie and we agree she needs a break from where she’s living so hopefully she will move in with me for a bit. I’ll be going to see her again so hopefully she’ll come back with me.
My experience at Ellie’s was amazing. I went to mass with the chaplaincy in the morning, then afterwards we had coffee and lunch and played cards. After me and Ellie spoke for ages, I had the first real confession I’d ever had with the Priest there. Every time I’ve been to confession before I’ve always found it so hard to tell all the truth. This time I told him everything and I’ve never felt more at peace. I left that confession with the promise to myself I would follow God’s word more closely and stay aware from impure thoughts. Leaving Ellie’s I spent 6 hours on a bus praying and reading three of the Catholic books I’d been given by Ellie and the Priest.
That day really was a religious experience. I felt happy for the first time in years, and so truly at peace there. I left determined to stay pure and improve my life. And with the help of my friends, prayer and God’s guidance – I will.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.