Stories of Resilience: Eric Pimentel


“You have the power to change and at the end of the day, your life is made up of decisions.” 

In my second year of university, I had just broken up with my girlfriend and I was in a really weird spot. I had learned who I was with her. So, I didn’t really know who I was without her. 

Something that I started to do more of, was drugs. At first, it was casual but soon I started to get really into them. I turned to cocaine and eventually, I tried sipping lean: a mixture of codeine cough syrup and various ingredients to make a cocktail of opioids. I loved it. It made me not feel, and, because I was in a place where I didn’t know what I wanted to feel, feeling nothing seemed like the absolute best thing.

So, I began ‘sipping’ and as I did, I noticed that when I wasn’t ‘on the cup’, I had absolutely no idea who I was. It was terrifying. I knew that that little bottle was what kept me going throughout the day. I would wake up and need it. I went to bed and would crave it. I wasn’t able to function without it and because of that, I spiraled into a state of depression. 

There were quite a few days where I sat downstairs with a shotgun and the only thing that stopped me from actually pulling the trigger was that I couldn’t let my mom find me like that. Another time I went skydiving with a couple of friends and on our way to the airport I remember thinking, “you know, I’m really okay if I don’t land.” 

I did land, of course, but it was the beginning of doing very reckless things. I’d wake up with tattoos – some of them I gave myself, some of them were spur-of-the-moment decisions. I just didn’t care about myself, and from there, my addiction started to evolve. I went from lean to pills, and that’s when I knew something needed to change.

I watched a TedTalk one day about a soccer coach for an American university. He explained that he overcame his own personal battles by carrying around a little notepad with ten things [written inside] that he really liked about himself. I think one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was figure out ten things that I liked about myself! But, eventually, I was able to create my little list. I carried it around and read it 10, 20, even 30 times a day. From then on when someone told me something that I really liked or gave me a nice compliment, I’d write it down. Now I have about 600 notes from the past year. 

Never forget, you have the power to change and, at the end of the day, your life is made up of decisions. Whether it’s a simple decision or a hard one, it’s something that you have to do if you want something more out of yourself. 

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.