Pendleton did not always have everything so put together. “I started using drugs to escape my problems and to mask the feelings of self-hatred and self-loathing,” commented Pendleton. “It was only recreational for a couple weeks, and then it went downhill fast,” stated Pendleton. He quickly became an addict, and never truly experienced the “fun party scene.”
Pendleton explained how he discovered his older brother was doing drugs, and began to use with him. “And when my brother died from drugs, instead of getting help, because I would eventually end up like him, I just decided to use drugs more to help mask the feelings,” Pendleton said. He went on to share how losing his brother increased his desire to use.
“My goal was not to feel good; it was to feel as little as possible. It got to the point where the drugs didn’t make me feel high— they made me feel normal.” Pendleton continued to use and progressed in his addiction until he began to give up. “I was always so sure that I wouldn’t make it to my twenties or thirties,” Pendleton stated; he never expected much from himself and began to have no confidence.
“When I got help I still didn’t want to listen, and when I didn’t listen to the people I got help from… [I] got high one more time,” Pendleton said. He eventually accepted the help he so direly needed. “Now I have been clean since February 1, 2010,” Pendleton exclaimed. “I’m actually an employee at a rehab center in Santa Paula,” he said. “And life is so much better without drugs.”
“There really is no purpose to getting high in my opinion. It doesn’t make you cool, it doesn’t make you tough, it doesn’t make you sexy,” Pendleton commented.
Pendleton currently speaks about his past and drug addiction to many schools, including Cam High, during Red Ribbon Week. He intends to continue sharing his story in hopes that it will help others improve their lives.