In fact, most addicts don’t. For most of us, we all started with a gateway drug before we started using the hardcore drugs.
How many of us really said, “When I grow up, I want to be a junkie.” I am willing to bet not very many of us if any at all.
Did you know that In 2014, 467,000 adolescents were current non-medical users of pain relievers, with 168,000 having an addiction to prescription pain pills. In 2014, an estimated 28,000 adolescents had used heroin in the past year, and an estimated 16,000 were current heroin users.
I remember saying as an adolescent, “I will never use needles.” I never had a fear of needles, I just personally thought it was disgraceful.
Little did I know I would be sucked into a life of feeling hopeless and miserable. A life where every waking moment relied upon how I was going to survive another day as a Heroin user.
I ended up becoming addicted to opiates before Heroin, and this started sometime in 2007 after sitting a short stint in Wood County Jail, in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, for what would be my 4th offense OWI.
While in jail I had the hair brain idea that I was going to get breast augmentation after my release.
Growing up, I was one of the few people who did not fill out. Not only that, but I was teased in school and was not popular what-so-ever. I was always embarrassed by this and dreamed of one-day becoming bustier.
Shortly after my release, I began putting my plan into action. I got in contact with a company that provided loans to people with little to no credit at all. At this point in my life, I did not have bad credit I just did not have any credit history at all.
I managed to find a website that put me in contact with a plastic surgeon who would do my surgery for as little as $500 down. I couldn’t resist.
A little time passed and I ended up at the plastic surgeon office discussing size options and going over the complete payment details. I was approved for financing, with high monthly payments and a high-interest rate of course.
I was so ecstatic! Finally, I was going to be able to fit in and I could stop feeling so miserable about my looks.
I was able to set a date to have my surgery done, and I wanted it to be as soon as possible.
Some time elapsed and the day of my surgery was fast approaching.
The day I had been waiting for finally arrived. My bags were already packed. My boyfriend at the time and I got into the car and drove to Milwaukee, WI. This was where the plastic surgeon was located. He had been in the business for over 20 years.
We arrived at the facility and I took a moment to gather my thoughts. I was a little scared, but I knew that this was something that I had wanted for so many years and it was finally going to become reality. I stepped out of the car and walked up to the front door of the business, again, thinking about if this was really something that I wanted to go through with. The doubt swept through my mind like a broom over a dirty floor. The doubts vanished and I walked in.
I positioned myself in front of the women who was the receptionist as you walked in. I said, “Hi my name is Lisa and I am here for my breast augmentation surgery.” She then pulled out my paperwork from a folder that had my name on it. She explained to me what I needed to fill out and directed me to the chairs in the waiting room. I sat down and with pen in hand I began filling out the paperwork. I thought to myself, “Wow, do they really need to know all of this?” I continued to fill out the paperwork, and once completed I walked back up and turned in it.
The receptionist told me that it would be just a short wait and directed me yet again back to the waiting area. I took a seat and waited patiently for my name to be called.
I hadn’t been waiting too long before I heard a voice call out my name. I stood up from my chair and followed the lady who was a registered nurse to a room where she had me get into a nightgown. She went over the procedure with me and gave me a Valium pill that would make me relaxed and sleepy. The procedure was going to be conducted under local anesthesia with sedation.
I began feeling extremely sleepy and the last thing I remember was being wheeled into the surgery room. They hooked me up to a heart monitor, IV, and an oxygen tube was placed into my nostrils. I dozed off into a state of sleep until the procedure was over.
After the procedure was over, they wheeled me into a recovery room. I waited there for quite some time until a lady came in and went over the aftercare procedures. She explained to the guy I was dating at the time that I would also be given a mild narcotic known as Vicodin for the pain.
I was released from the recovery room and they allowed me to get back into my street clothes. I grabbed all of my belongings, aftercare instructions, prescription and headed out the door.
I did not know that this was going to be the beginning to a life of hell.
The local anesthesia began wearing off just a short couple of hours after my surgery. I was in excruciating pain and I needed something to take the pain away and quick. Luckily for me, I had filled my prescription for the Vicodin and popped a couple down with a glass of water.
Within 20 minutes the pills began to work. I was getting sleepy and all my pain disappeared. Not only did my pain disappear, but so did all of my worries.
We had checked into the La Quinta Inn sometime before this, which was located right next door to the clinic. The clinic offered a free night stay there for having the surgery done. At the feeling of becoming woozy, I thought it would be a good idea to lay down.
From that moment on, I loved the pills and the feeling that it gave me. I knew that I was going to need to get my hands on more once the prescription was empty.
When I was 14 I suffered a hairline fracture to the skull, dislocated ribs, lacerations, and bruises as a result of being hit by an asphalt truck that was doing 40 MPH.
I had been walking to the mall with a friend, when at a cross walk a car waiting to turn left waved me across. I started to run, only to remember looking to my right and everything fading to black.
The pain I dealt with from this accident was far from bearable. Not only was the pain unbearable, but I suffered from emotional distress from many years of guilt for things that I had done to people in my past, and from the many traumatic events in my life that I had endured.
One event in particular, was the death of my stepfather. It happened not long after my accident with the asphalt truck and it was extremely hard for me to forget. I had nightmares for quite some time before I tried to block it out by hiding it in the back of my mind.
He had asked me to come stay the night by him the day before. I declined, and instead said that I would come with my mother the next day to visit him. When we arrived he was lying under his car, as he had been working on it. Sadly, the rotor where he had removed the car tire had come down on his neck. I was traumatized for quite some time by this very image that was burned into my mind.
Something else that stands out in my mind, was all the abuse in my life. It was not that I was being physically abused, but rather I was physically abusive. I used to get into arguments with any guy that I would date and physically harm them. I was the initiator and in most cases it would end up with bloodshed, domestic or battery charges, fines and probation.
I could not stand the person that I was, and I wanted it to all just disappear. I thought I found the miracle pill and what better way than to make it all just go away. The only problem was, it was only temporary and once it wore off all of the emotion and pain came back.
As time went on, the plastic surgeon refused to refill my prescription. Stating that I should no longer need the pills.
I began drinking heavily and turned to Cocaine for a brief period of time to mask my emotions.
The guy I had been dating when I had the surgery and I had split up due to my drinking issue, and now I was in another relationship going on drinking and coke binges for days and even weeks at a time.
As usual, the end result was me being psychotic and starting a fight that I usually made up in my own mind. This relationship ended a little different from the others, it ended with me being hospitalized for a broken collar-bone and a laceration to the back of my head that needed stitches.
This was not due to the guy I was dating at the time hurting me, but instead, because I held onto his car as he drove off. I am not sure as to why I did not let go right away, but I held on for a little ways before it flung me into the street causing the damage to be done from my own actions.
After him and I split up, I began going out to the bar quite frequently. I was drinking heavily and to the point of blacking out.
Many years later I ended up meeting a guy on MySpace. We moved in together after only knowing each other for a month. We got our own one bedroom condo in an upscale community.
Shortly after, I began going to school online for Medical Assisting.
I also got a job and started making a contribution which I rarely ever did in past relationships.
The only problem is that I still had a drinking problem and it was causing our relationship a great deal of pain.
I later got my hands on some Oxycodone and began taking them quite frequently. I would sit at home and drink a bottle of vodka and pop pills and attempt to do my online coursework. It never ended well and when the boyfriend would get home we would get into arguments.
I could not take the arguing anymore and I decided that I was going to move out. He begged and pleaded for me to stay, but I just could not do it. I wanted to do my own thing and he was creating more emotional instability for me. He made me feel as though no matter what I did it was never good enough.
Not to mention his dad robbed a local pharmacy and ended up being sentenced to 6 years in prison so he had to move home to help his mother out. I was not signing up to live with his mother nor him especially in the state of mind I was in.
I eventually moved back home with my mother and her boyfriend that she had been dating at the time. They had been together for quite some time, and I actually looked up to him and considered him a father figure.
My real father was not in my life growing up. He had been sentenced to 16 years prison for murdering my aunt, and as mentioned earlier I had found my step father deceased.
I thought that this move was going to help me, but I was wrong.
I was about to find out that this was the turning point to where it started going downhill even more and very quickly.
Turns out the next door neighbor was prescribed Oxycodone and Methadone for her terminal cancer. She had offered to give me a few pills and I was not about to decline.
What started out as taking a couple of pills, quickly progressed into getting the whole script of Methadone. I began eating pills like skittles and I would run out of 80 pills in less than a week. When that happened I began begging for the Oxycodone.
She personally did not care for the Methadone and rarely took the Oxycodone so they were going to just sit around. I did not think too much of it at the time, nor did I feel ashamed.
This went on for probably a year before she passed on. God rest her soul.
Within a few days of her passing, I was introduced to Heroin.
I was afraid to try it, and the words that I had remembered saying as an adolescent crossed my mind.
I felt that I had to have something and it didn’t matter what it was.
I was feeling anxious and somewhat sick from not having any pills. All of my emotions had also resurfaced.
I didn’t even need to think twice about how I was going to buy the drugs at this point. I had recently opened up a credit card and was approved.
In my mind, this was like winning the lottery. I did not think about who was going to pay the card when it was due. I just thought about my fix and that is all that mattered to me.
I was actually pretty shocked to be approved at that time. I was unemployed and just a year earlier I had filed bankruptcy.
I ended up buying a gram of Heroin that very first day that I tried it. I was told that should last me awhile, especially being as it was new to me and my body had not built up a tolerance to it like it had to the pills.
I was at the devils door within moments of buying the Heroin. I had already been there, but now I was knocking even harder. This was the first time I had injected.
The feeling that I used to get from the pills was nothing compared to the feeling that Heroin gave me. It was more numbing than anything that I have ever felt before. I was instantly hooked – “Game Over”
My life from that day forward became a living hell.
I spent every waking moment for the next three years finding ways to get my fix. It did not matter to me if I lied or stole from my mother, my significant other, a friend, or a store.
All I knew in my mind was I needed this drug to survive and without it I would not feel complete and I would soon become anxious and dope sick.
No one knew at this point that I had an addiction to Heroin, except for the guy I was living with and seeing at the time. I had to break the news to my mom, but I was not sure how.
My addiction to Heroin was so bad that I would often spend upwards of $300 or more a day.
One day I was throwing up so bad from using that it would not stop. It went on for days and I was becoming so weak and dehydrated. I asked my mom to take me to the emergency room. This was it, I had to use this time to tell her what was going on.
When we arrived the nurse checked me in and took me back to a room. I had my mom wait in the waiting area.
The nurse took my vitals and I asked her to bring my mother back. It was there that I started crying and pointed to the track marks and bruises on my arms and hands and told her that I had been shooting up. She looked at me in disgust and could not believe the words that were coming out of my mouth.
They ran tests at the ER only to tell me what I already knew. I was extremely dehydrated from throwing up. They hooked me up to an IV and pumped some fluids into me.
Before we left, my mom asked them about rehab and what they could do to get me into their treatment facility that was just upstairs in another area in the hospital. They explained that I would have to call on my own time and set up a time and date to come in. The thought crossed my mind, but I knew in my heart I was not ready to change.
As time passed, everyone lost trust in me, no one could stand to look at me, and everyone thought I was a disgrace. I could hardly stand myself, but I felt like there was no way out of my addiction alive. I sincerely believed that this drug was going to take my life, and it almost did.
A day came where I was unable to get my hands on anything in the early morning. This was when I needed my fix the most. I could not start my day off without it. I would be weak, anxious, and go between hot flashes and chills. It was like having a bad case of the flu but 100 times worse.
I was able to get my hands on some muscle relaxers, known as Methocarbamol. I took roughly 14 pills and hoped that it would help my pain and my emotions. It didn’t help at all. In fact, it made me extremely sick to my stomach and my vision was extremely blurred.
I was later contacted by my dealer who said he had recently re-upped and told me to come thru. I got in my car and drove 40 minutes to meet him. I got there, bought my bag a.k.a. bindle, which is a tenth of a gram, and headed straight for the bathroom.
It was there I got my dope ready. I do not remember much after that, but the next thing I do remember was that I was laying on a bed convulsing for about the next 30 minutes. I was shaking uncontrollably and practically swallowing my tongue. I laid there until I came to and then drove back home.
I broke down just day’s after that happened. I wanted out!
It turns out one of my friends ended up going into rehab at St. Josephs Hospital in Marshfield, WI.
Just weeks earlier, her and I were driving around with her two kids and picked up some Fentanyl. She ended up overdosing in my lap. I was so high and oblivious that I could not think straight. I was swerving all over the road trying to drive. We were later pulled over and she was rushed to the ER after being injected with Naloxone a.k.a. Narcan.
I am not sure why to this day the police did not take those kids out of the backseat of my car, but they told me to get them home safely and they let me drive off. I did not think about it so much back then, but today I can say that I am grateful that she survived and that I did get those kids and myself back home safely.
I went to visit her at the rehab facility while she was in there and she told me that it was a pretty nice place. I thought it over in my mind for a while and I decided that I was going to get on the waiting list.
I finally got around to calling the rehab many days later and I spoke with someone about reserving a bed. They informed me that it would be about a month before I could get in. They advised me to not stop using on my own and to wait until I could get into to detox and treatment.
I continued using for that month while on the waiting list to get into rehab. I was excited that there was hope for a better future in store for me.
The day finally came for me to check-in. My mom picked me up and drove me to the facility. It was about an hour or two check-in process full of questions. Questions like, “What kind of drugs have you used?” and “How long have you been using?” There were many more questions, but those are just to name a few.
I ended up staying for 11 day’s before I decided that I was okay and I wanted to check myself out. The nursing staff advised against it, but I did not listen. I packed my bags, had my mom pick me up and went back to my apartment.
I was not even at home for 10 minutes before calling my dealer. He agreed to meet up with me, and in less than 30 minutes I was back getting high again.
This went on for another year and during that time I spiraled out of control even more. I ended up using anything and everything I could get my hands on and mixing all sorts of drugs and sometimes even alcohol. I would pop 10 Xanax, with 20 Oxycodone, and then shoot up a couple bindles of Heroin and/or Fentanyl if I could get my hands on it.
My life was in a shambles, I was reckless, and more out of control than ever. At this point, I wanted to die. I had a death wish and I prayed to God to just put me out of my misery.
My misery continued for quite some time after my failed treatment attempt.
My life was like the movie Groundhog’s day. Where every day I was doomed to relive the same day until I got it right. Wake up, grab my phone to find out where I was getting money from, get money, contact my dealer, re-up, get high and wait until the next day to start the vicious cycle all over again.
I would often spend up to 3-4 hours a day just trying to find money and getting to where I needed to pick up. This was so exhausting and wearing me out emotionally and physically.
I spent most of my days wearing my pajamas and smelling like stale cigarettes. It was a miracle if I showered twice a week and I would eat ramen noodles on a daily basis unless food was made for me.
My mind was so wrapped up on getting high that nothing else around me mattered except how I was going to get that next fix. I would often lay out my plan for how I was going to get my money and where my next fix was coming from days in advance.
One day I decided to switch it up a little and I decided to go spend time with a friend who I hadn’t seen in quite a while.
Of course, I had to get myself right before I would even be able to function. I got all that straightened out and headed over to her house.
We planned to go out and shoot pool and afterward return back to her house. We did just that.
A guy she was dating at the time and his friend were over having a few drinks. I had stated that I did not want to drink because of my past and how I always ended up getting in trouble when I drank.
I always had an issue in the past with driving while intoxicated which landed me some time in jail. I already had 4 OWI’s and I did not need another one.
I was also known for blacking out. I would always find myself waking up at houses I do not remember going to and I was never able to recall anything that happened the night before.
After thinking it over I decided that it would be ok to have a few drinks on this particular night. I was going to be staying the night so what would it hurt?
I cracked open my first Mikes Hard Lemonade and began drinking socially with my girlfriend and the other two guys.
I started feeling light-headed and dizzy and everything around me started fading in and out. I was on drink number three so this was not making much sense to me, but then again I did recall that I did a couple of bags of dope earlier in the day.
An argument between me and one of the guys took place. I ended up freaking out, got in my car, and went on a ride that I would barely remember.
A ride that would turn into a nightmare in the beginning, but into a blessing in the long run.
I was an hour from home and I was trying to make it back to my apartment. I ended up an hour in the complete opposite direction and tried to get myself back on track. I blacked out again and I ended up about 30 minutes even further out of the way in the wrong direction.
I remember opening my eyes once to being about 100 feet away from hitting a road block and constructions signs at 60 MPH. I managed to turn around and get back on the highway. I blacked out again and I remember opening my eyes to driving in the ditch in between where the highway was. I turned my wheel and swerved back onto the highway.
I eventually made it back to a city located about 15 minutes from the house I had been at. By this time the fog started to clear and I was somewhat coherent. I finally got myself headed in the right direction toward home.
I took a deep breath and collected myself. I only had about 35 minutes to go before I would be home free. I didn’t get but seven miles before I looked into my rearview to see blueberries and cherries.
Sure enough, I was being pulled over. I was shaking, nervous and instantly felt nauseous.
The cop told me he had been following me for a few miles already and he saw me drive over the center line on numerous occasions.
I was arrested and booked into jail on what would be my 5th offense OWI, 2 counts of possession of narcotics, and possession of paraphernalia. I sat in jail overnight and was bailed out the very next day.
All hope was shrinking each and every day that passed. I felt as though I were never going to amount to anything and this was the end of the road for me.
I continued using but had cut back significantly.
My family and friends stopped giving me money like they used too and eventually my car ended up out of commission due to an accident where it left my car undrivable. This was not the first accident I had gotten into with my car, but it was certainly going to be the last for a very long time.
The very first time I got in an accident was over an argument about not being able to get any money. I flipped out and drove my car at 60 MPH down a 25 MPH road. I attempted to slow down to take a right turn and ended up in a marshy woods coming mere feet from hitting a tree.
When the police arrived they searched my car and informed me that had this accident happened just 10 minutes later there would have been a lot of children on a walk that was being held in the area. I would have more than likely killed an innocent child.
The last time I got in an accident, I had just picked up money and was driving across the street to the gas station from the bank when an oncoming car hit me. This severely hindered me from being able to freely get money, Heroin, and pills. However, it was not the end of me getting high.
A short time later, I was turned onto Meth and began using that quite frequently. I didn’t need a car to get around anymore because I had a ride with some other people. Meth turned into days even weeks of no sleep and barely anything to eat.
Heroin was definitely something I didn’t fiend for as much anymore. Although there were a few times I would do some Meth and go up and then take Heroin to come down.
I thought Heroin was the devil but let me tell you what Meth was just as evil. It was a living nightmare.
I was so paranoid that I thought my mom was in the mafia and that everyone and everything was part of some elaborate plot against me. I would lock myself in rooms for days picking apart my phone and everything on it.
I ended up robbing a house to get money and items so that I could make another drug purchase.
The house I robbed was my boyfriends who I had not been living with for years. In my mind, we were not boyfriend and girlfriend. We never spent time together, we did not live together, hadn’t lived together in over 4 years, and I had been seeing and living with someone else. I used him for money and I called him my sugar daddy. Just the day before I was plotting to have him murdered.
The very next day the cops found me sitting inside a Kwik Trip bathroom where I had been for at least an hour or two. I was sitting in a stall with a box cutter knife. I was prepared to cut anyone who came through that bathroom stall door and hurt them severely. I had been left at the gas station because I was acting ‘sketch’. I had been at a trap house for the past four or five days doing half gram shots of dope at a time.
I was transported to the Marathon County Jail in Wausau, WI where I sat until video court.
During my stay, I was tazed because I tried to hit the guards with my laundry bag full of clothes. I was later put in suicide watch because they felt that I was at risk for harming myself and they had found me trying to hang a bed sheet from the ceiling.
Monday rolled around and this is when I was scheduled to see the judge. I was being charged with burglary, theft-movable property, and felony bail jumping.
They set my bail and I was bailed out.
It was after that stay I knew this wasn’t the life for me anymore. In fact, it was never the life I wanted. I wanted to be able to work a job and function normally, go to college, get married, buy a house and live the all American dream.
Minus the kids of course because I was unable to have any more after having my tubes tied many years earlier after having my son who I gave up for adoption in 1999.
I significantly cut back my using and drinking and started finding other things to do to keep my mind occupied.
I moved out of the apartment that I was living in and moved back home with my mom.
I found myself using a handful of times before having to go to court for my sentencing on my OWI and possession charges.
It never took away the problems I was dealing with, and once the drugs wore off I had to face reality again.
October 2nd, 2014 came around and that is a day I will never forget. That was my sentencing hearing.
That day in court I was sentenced to one year in county jail for my 5th offense OWI, 6 months for the possession of narcotics charge, and they dropped one of the possession charges. They ran my sentencing concurrent and granted me Huber and good time. I did not have a job so I would not be getting out to go to work.
I felt that my sentencing was unfair and I still did not believe I was really in the wrong. I blamed everyone but myself for my actions and I could not take responsibility for them.
That was not out of the ordinary for me. I had always blamed everyone for everything that did not turn out the way I wanted it, and when I did something wrong it was never my fault.
I said goodbye to my mother, gave her a hug, and walked out of the courtroom with the guard.
I was fingerprinted, booked in and housed in a very small room in the Wood County Jail in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.
I was housed there for a few days until they moved me to the Waupaca County where I would spend the next 9 months.
I got to Waupaca and got settled in. This was not my first rodeo but I was not looking forward to it at all.
There were two tiers, an upstairs and a downstairs, and it housed up to 24 other females. The girls there were loud and obnoxious. I knew from the moment I set foot through those doors I was going to need to figure out how to survive in there and quick.
I noticed a girl I knew from the streets and I instantly started chatting with her. Turns out I was bunked up with her and I felt a little more at ease. I sat in the med/max pod for a few days until I was classified to minimum. I moved next door and got settled in over there. Again, I ended up being bunked up with a girl I knew from the streets so I felt a little more comfortable.
After sitting for a few days I started watching the tempers flare and drama rise. I could not stand to look at these girls much longer and I just got in there. I kept my cool for the most part and got along with everyone. I tried not to click up to tight with anyone, but everyone had their own cliques in there.
A month went by and a few more girls I knew from the streets came in.
One of the girls that recently came in I knew pretty well before jail. Her and I never really got along.
This girl ended up planting a seed, the Word of God, in me after a few short weeks of sitting in jail. I grabbed myself a Bible and started reading scripture every night and began to pray. I started feeling a lot of weight lifted from my shoulders and my spirits were lifted significantly.
She led Bible Studies and I began doing the same. A group of us would get together and study the Word of God and talk about life before jail and our plans after we got out.
As I grew closer to God and acknowledged Christ as my savior I knew he had forgiven me of my sins. I no longer felt the way I did in the past and much guilt had been lifted away. I started feeling more hopeful and thought that I may be able to have a brighter future for as long as I lived on life’s terms and not mine.
I had been sitting in jail for no more than a month and half when the strangest thing happened to me. Something that I to this day even have a hard time believing happened.
I was sitting in the day room watching a tv show and it was two people ice skating. The couple skating was a guy by the name of Michael Weiss and girl name Lisa. This was really bizarre because that was the name of the guy my mom had dated for almost 10 years, the very same guy I considered a father figure and he was ice skating with a girl named Lisa, which is my very same name. The moment I saw this I felt as though it were some sort of sign.
I knew I was somewhat crazy as I was diagnosed with BiPolar I with psychotic features and I had episodes of paranoid schizophrenia and psychosis throughout my life, but more so extremely bad after my prolonged drug use. So for all I knew I was out of my mind.
Turns out others were watching the same show and seen it too. In fact, you can look this very ice skating show up on YouTube and see that it does exist so I am not all that crazy.
This gave me an upset feeling in my stomach and I had to call my mom. She answered the phone and immediately told me that she had found him deceased in his apartment. He had been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver amongst some other health issues. He passed away from the effects of alcoholism.
I broke out into tears and I got off the phone and went to my bunk and prayed. This was something I had not done since a child before I found my stepdad deceased, but started doing regularly while in jail.
My prayer went something like this, “Lord, please forgive me of my selfish ways and forgive me of my sins. I am so sad and hurt that I never got to say goodbye to Michael before he passed because I was too busy getting high, and stealing his money. Please Lord if you hear me give me positive affirmation that my prayer was heard and that you have forgiven me.”
A little while later it was laundry exchange and put on my new oranges. I was walking around and the same girl who planted that very seed, the Word of God, asked me why my pants said ‘Mike’ on them.
Call me crazy, call me whatever you want, but no joke with a doubt it happened and I have people who can attest to witnessing it.
Right then and there, I knew from that day forward God was without a doubt real. That was my affirmation that my prayer was heard. That was my spiritual awakening.
I used the rest of my days in jail strengthening my relationship with God. I sat up late on many lonely nights and pondered how I could lay a solid foundation and find the proper coping tools that would work for me when I got out of jail so that I could stay on the right path.
Don’t get me wrong I made friends while in jail, some good and some not so good. I could almost tell you the ones I knew were not going to be successful as horrible as that sounds.
The Bible teaches us that only God can be the judge of us not anyone else. I had to start learning that in life.
For those of you who are nonbelievers you don’t have to believe anything that I am saying, however, I find it helpful to keep an open mind.
Had I not kept an open mind I wouldn’t be sitting here today writing this article. I would more than likely still be out there using drugs and drinking, in prison, or dead by now.
Mind you while I was in jail I was not necessarily all about everything the Bible had to teach.
I met a trustee who frequented the pod to deliver food and I thought I was in love. I thought I found the man of my dreams even though this whole time I had been receiving money from the same guy whose house I robbed prior to going to jail. This trustee and I began sending letters in and out to one another and we got caught up. We were both sent to the hole.
I ended up getting into a couple of fights with other inmates while I was in jail as well.
One girl threatened to shank me and have someone run up in my house over a hair tie. We later made amends over that ridiculous argument.
I still could not believe that the very man whose house I robbed, stole from, lied to, and cheated on, stood by my side that whole time I was sitting in jail.
He even helped me get the burglary charge I was facing for robbing his house dropped to the lesser charge of theft of movable property. I ended up receiving 90 days jail to be ran concurrent with the sentence I was already sitting.
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and next thing you know I was down to one month before my release.
The day finally came for me to be released and I was excited. They were supposed to release me before headcount but no one ever came to get me. I was starting to fear the worst.
The guards finally walked into the pod to do their morning headcount and I asked, “I have been here for 9 months and today is my release date. Can you please tell me why I am still here?” One of the guards looked at me and said, “I have been here for 9 years and I am still here.” I did not find his cockiness to be funny at the time.
They did some investigating and the paperwork from my original county that I was sentenced in was not sent over. They got it all in order and finally let me out of the pod.
We walked downstairs and I got out of my oranges and in to my street clothes. I had no idea what was going to be in store for me when I walked out that door, but one thing I knew is that I wanted a cigarette.
My mom was waiting outside for me. I jumped into the vehicle and lit up a cigarette. “Ahhh, It felt good to be out”, I thought to myself.
Within a matter of weeks I met up with a girl that I sat with in jail with. She had been my main chick in there and we became pretty close.
Her and I took a trip and picked up some Meth. I did my first shot and within a few hours I felt like I needed more when I really didn’t.
I always had a bad habit of overdoing whatever drug it was that I was using. I injected another shot. I kept doing this throughout the night. Everything started fading out of reality and everything began to be just as it had in the past, a living nightmare. I was seeing and hearing things that were not there.
It had been about 16 hours or longer since my first shot and probably about an hour from my last.
I thought that I better start heading back to my moms boyfriends. They had been generous enough to offer me a place to stay when I got out of jail under the circumstances that I stayed away from the drugs and drinking, I got a job, and I moved out in three months.
I didn’t make it very far before I started feeling extremely sick and turning bright red. I made it about halfway home when I came across a hospital. I walked in and told them I had injected some Meth and that I used a needle that was given to me and it very well possibly may not have been clean.
They immediately took me back and hooked me up to an IV, gave me some antibiotics, and began running tests. It did not take them long before they came back with the results that I had contracted ‘Sepsis’. A deadly blood infection that can and will kill you if left untreated. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I was saved once again by the good Lord.
I stayed hooked up to the IV for a couple of day’s and was given Lorazepam. I had been hallucinating so bad that I could literally hear and see things far beyond most people’s imagination. I saw black shadowy demons and voices that sounded like Satan. If you could imagine what his voice would sound like.
I was hanging on to my life by a tiny thread, but they were able to rehabilitate me back to a normal state of mind after a couple of days and sent me on my way. They urged me to not continue the use of IV drugs just as I had heard many times before in the past.
I eventually made it back home and I had to tell my mother a lie as to why I was in the ER. I cannot exactly remember what the lie was, but I already could feel all the guilt that had been lifted from my shoulders in jail starting to resurface in just a short amount of time.
I had not been living up to my promise that I would look for a job and I got into an argument with my moms boyfriend. He told me that he would treat me like a daughter and love me as If I were his own if I got my act together. Otherwise, the alternative was that he would not want anything more to do with me.
I knew from that moment that my mom was not going to choose me over him. Not this time.
If I messed up again she would disown me. She practically did before I went to jail. I even heard the words, “I hate you and wish you would just die”, come out of her mouth on numerous occasions in the past, and those words were not ones that I wanted to hear again.
I ended up applying for jobs and I landed a job at Taco Bell in Marshfield, WI. I was given the chance to work there and prove myself which made me feel good. I had not worked any sort of job in over seven years.
I continued using for some time during this period and I saw myself falling into the same old patterns and behaviors that I found myself possessing before I went to jail.
I began calling in to work sick a lot because of how the Meth was making me feel. I even tried Heroin once more to see if I missed it. It made me throw up for three days straight, with a massive headache, and feeling like death.
My paranoia was resurfacing and I started to think that people coming in to get food were all cops and people plotting against me.
It was drawing near to my 3 months being up to stay at home with my mom and I needed to figure out a living situation. I ended up moving in with the guy who stuck by my side through my darkest moments in my life.
I ended up transferring my job to the Taco Bell in Wausau, WI where I ended up working for 4 months. During the 4 months that I had worked there I continued using. I began using Meth almost daily to keep going and I noticed I started slipping on my performance at work.
I couldn’t stand the person I was becoming once again and I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I ended up quitting there due to a bad episode of psychosis.
In those weeks leading up to my last day of work I had been praying to God to save me from the life I was living. I had barely eaten or slept in weeks and I looked at myself in the mirror one day and saw nothing but darkness.
My life flashed before my eyes and all I could see was going down that same path I did before and ending up in prison or dead this time. I also imagined the hurt on my families face, especially my mother, and now my boyfriend who I was living with and finally trying to make our relationship right.
I had lost their trust for so long and I wanted to show them that I could be better than that person who lied, stole, and cheated for so long to get her way.
One thing that I kept after leaving jail was my faith. I had faith that things would get better and they were about to.
December 5th, 2015 was the very last day I used any mind altering substance. Two weeks later I quit smoking cigarettes too.
I was unemployed from leaving my job that I had at Taco Bell, but I kept my faith that I would find another job. I ended up getting a job at Pizza Hut, where I worked for not even a week before receiving a voice mail from an old coworker who I had worked with at Taco Bell. She said that our old District Manger from Taco Bell wanted me to come work for her at a nursing home as a Culinary Assistant.
The hope that was once fading away in my life started to come back. I turned from using dope to numb my mind and my pain to relying on hope.
Things in my life were finally starting to head in the right direction. I hoped and prayed that if I continued putting forth efforts and actions instead of just talking about doing something I would be successful in all that I do.
That is exactly what happened.
I ended up landing the job at the nursing home that I was not even searching for. I had been praying for a job, one that would help lead me in the right direction, one that would help me build a solid foundation, one that would help me to find a good support system and friends that did not use. The Lord answered my prayer yet again when that call came in.
Despite my criminal background, I was given the opportunity to show this employer that I was reliable, honest and a good faithful worker.
I obtained my occupational license and I ended up staying with that job for 8 months.
In that time I got engaged and was married on August 22nd, 2016. I married the very same man whose house I robbed, lied to, cheated on and disrespected for so long. He was finally seeing all the good changes I made in my life and I regained his trust and love for me. Something that I never thought would happen.
Not only did I regain my husbands trust and love for me, but I regained my mothers too. I have also mended relationships with family members who I had not spoken with in many, many years.
I ended up quitting the nursing home job for a job closer to home, making more money, that is full-time and is less stressful.
I ended up completing my AODA treatment in October of 2016. This was court ordered the same time I was sentenced to jail.
My credit has also since been rehabilitated. My credit score went from a low 530 when I was released from jail to over 700 all within in matter of a year.
My husband and I bought a home on April 26th, 2017 and are very grateful to finally be on our own. I never could have imagined owning my very own house after living a life of lies, cheating, and stealing.
Today, I spend all my time focusing on being a better person for myself and for my family. I also spend a lot of my time giving back to the community after all that I took from it during my using days.
I write for online addiction & recovery related websites and blogs in hopes to share my story so that it will reach multitudes of people across the globe.
I am corresponding with a principal for a local high school and I will be guest speaking there to a group of up to 80 students.
I attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings when my job and time permits.
I use my Facebook pages to share not just my personal experience, strength, and hope, but other recovering addicts stories as well.
I intend to continue to spread hope to the addict that still suffers, the families dealing with a loved one suffering from the disease, as well as those who have lost a loved one due to this horrible disease.
I am faithful that other people struggling from this disease may find the freedom that I did. There may not be a cure, but there is a solution.
This journey has been a long and rocky road for me, and it does not end here.
I am a grateful recovering addict by the grace of God. I will continue the rest of my days in recovery for as long as I choose hope instead of dope.
Just for today.