My name is Adir. I was born and raised in Dimona. My parents are divorced, and my dad has remarried.
I am the ninth of thirteen siblings. It wasn’t always easy at home, our financial situation wasn’t simple at all, and my parents had to focus on earning a living and providing food for us kids.
When I was in the eighth grade, I left home for a boarding school for the first time. I didn’t get along there and stayed for less than a year before returning to Dimona.
When I was in the ninth grade, I was removed from my home due to a court order and sent to another boarding school, where I stayed for almost four years until graduating high school. Like everything else in my life, attending boarding school had its ups and downs. I connected with people and got to know all the staff in the village very quickly. But after a while, things started to fall apart. I wasn’t doing too well in school and also started having emotional and behavioral problems. When the village staff discovered I smoked marijuana, they sent me for treatment at a rehab center. That was the most challenging part for me. I didn’t manage this process well.
As a condition for ending the year at boarding school, they said they would transfer me but only if I completed rehab. So, after completing three months of treatment, I returned to school as promised.
When I graduated from boarding school, I was referred to the “Bridge to Independence” program, placed in one of the apartments. At the same time, I started studying for a mechanical engineering certificate, which I am about to get. I continued the addiction treatment even during school and Bridge to Independence program. And if that’s wasn’t enough for my tight schedule – I also incorporated work. I’ve experienced many challenges in life, but I promised myself I’d have optimism and faith no matter what. I have many dreams about my future, and I work very hard to make them come true. I even paid for driving lessons and got my driver’s license about two months ago.
In the last few months, I decided to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I quit smoking, stick to a running and fitness routine, and try to eat healthy.
From Bridge to Independence, besides an apartment, I got an attendant. It took me a long time to figure out what an attendant is. She’s not a guide, a social worker, a manager, or a boss. She’s just there to help me with whatever I’m going through and sometimes helps with things I don’t even know I need. She makes me think outside the box and look at things from a different perspective. She understands me and knows me well, helps me make small and big decisions. She understands that it’s difficult for me to deal with something like school. She doesn’t judge, just the opposite. She always encourages me to hold my head high and keep looking forward.
I feel she genuinely believes in me and my strengths. It took me a while to allow myself even to feel it, but today I do. I tell her about the things I went through, the decisions I made, even the things I am not proud of. It always amazes me how she accepts me as I am. I share my dreams and aspirations with her, and she helps me understand what next step will bring me closer to making them real, from helping me exercise my rights to looking for a job, learning to cook, and managing my money. She’s always there for me. All along, I had help. I had someone to consult and share with, and to be honest – I gained a lot and still do. I’m on the right path and really proud of myself. I’m a little shy when it comes to talking, so I wish I could tell my attendant how important she is in my life. I hope she feels and knows it.
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