I lived on farms and then small towns until I was 11 years old, and then I moved to a city in the middle of American. I was naïve and pretty ignorant when I moved and I did not know about racism, sexism, or alcoholism. I learned pretty fast what these meant when I was 13 years old. I had two older brothers who thought my sole purpose on earth was for them to beat up on me, but I still looked up to them.
I had my first mind altering substance when I was 13, which was a marijuana cigarette I got from my oldest brother. This happened shortly after I was sexually assaulted by one of my brother’s friends, which I told no one about until I was an adult. I liked the way the drug made me feel or not feel.
I had my first drink when I was 14 and I liked how this made me feel too. It didn’t take me long to become an alcoholic and drug addict. I tried every kind of drug I could get my hands on back then. Everything from Qualudes to LSD. I loved them all!
I married when I was 19 because I wanted to get away from my mom. My husband was an active alcoholic and liked to take drugs, so this, I thought, was a great guy to have for a husband. He was a Vietnam Vet and 10 years older than me. I thought that he would take care of me for the rest of my life.
I had my first child at 25 and my second at 28. Having my children helped me get some control in my partying and this lasted for about 10 years. At the age of 37 I got my first DUI and entered an alcohol treatment program. I stayed sober for 6 months, but I wasn’t ready to end my drinking and partying. I found it impossible to stay sober living with an active alcoholic who didn’t think he had a problem, so I found myself back to the old drinking and partying.
I started working for the federal government when I was 22, despite my drinking and partying. I was promoted and received a fair amount of awards for my job performance. Since I seemed to function well in my employment and home life, I never thought there was any reason for me to stop drinking and using.
When I was 39 years old, I filed for a divorce and ended up in many relationships and always with someone who had a drug or alcohol problem. The relationships didn’t last because I did not like competing with a substance, yet I still wanted to use.
Life went on this way for a while. I was drinking and having black outs on a regular basis. I was involved in numerous accidents, some of which were my fault and some that were not. In 2004 I became a meth addict. I started using a needle at that time and I shot up numerous drugs. I tried Heroin and Oxycontin for a while, which I found I liked too much, but I was afraid of becoming addicted to those, so I quit using those drugs.
Within two years, I filed bankruptcy because of stolen credit cards. I began to spiral downwards at a pace I couldn’t keep up with.
In 2006, I became very depressed and suicidal. I had always been somewhat depressed, but with the addition of alcohol my depression became overwhelming. I started to use Meth again and gave up the alcohol for a while. Unfortunately, or I should say fortunately, the people that I used with would end up taking all of my drugs or my money. I couldn’t trust anyone anymore. I began to isolate and the suicidal thoughts became a daily urge. In that year I attempted suicide three times, but I was unsuccessful each time.
The last time I tried to commit suicide I tried it with my Harley Davidson. My bike did not have a front brake and had bald tires. I was going to ride off the interstate on my bike in a “blaze of glory”. Instead, I rear ended a car while extremely intoxicated. I was arrested and taken to jail for a third DUI. This time I was charged as a felon.
When it was time for my sentencing, I surrendered. I remember sitting in the courtroom asking God if I was done yet. After all the accidents that I had been in and this final accident, I thought that by all rights I should have been dead. God must have plans for me, I thought sitting in the courtroom. I don’t know what they are, but God isn’t letting me die, so he must want me to learn something through all of this.
It has been 18 months since my last drink. Life still has a lot of rough spots. But I am living a different life now. I have found a way to cease my drinking and drug cravings. I have found a way to become whole, and to love myself. I did this by having the courage to seek others for help. I go to AA at least three times a week. I am back in college and studying to become a licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I want to help women. I have gained my self-confidence and self-esteem back. I am accepting. I am loved and I am loving.


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