I just got out of jail. My sister had been at The Next Door, and I looked it up
on the Internet; I didn’t want to go back to my hometown because I knew I could
relapse there, so I wanted to get as far away as possible. I went to Knoxville
first, but all my problems were too close by. So I asked about switching to
Nashville, and The Next Door said, “Come up tomorrow.”
I didn’t think I was going to like it at first. It’s scary at first to be
somewhere that you don’t know anyone, but it’s also great. You’re around new
people who are recovering addicts too. Here I can be anything I want to be. That’s
what I was looking for – I want to be better than I was and better than how I
grew up. I’ve been at the Next Door for three nights. It keeps me busy, too, and
I’m doing a lot of things for the first time. I went to NA for the first time
in years. The difference is that I really want to be clean this time around. It
teaches you how to take care of money and get a job. My roommate Sarah is
helping me a lot and showing me some of the ways I can change. She was asking
me why am I here. I want to be clean for the rest of my life.
I want to have a family and have kids. If my father and them were to die today, I
would have no one to bury. I’m trying to give my kids some of what they’ve
given me. I’m 23. I’ve been in jail for the last three years due to my
addiction. This year will be the first holiday I’ll be out. I called my mama
and said I’ll be home for Thanksgiving. She cried. My older sister is in recovery
and she’s helped me so much. She bought a car and got a job and just got a
house. I’ve only been here three days but I love it. In a few weeks I can go
out job hunting and I’m so excited about that because my last job was in ‘02.
It was probably no surprise to anyone that I became an addict. My mother and father were both drug and alcohol abusers and we kids mostly got in the way. My father became saved and quit using and became the sole parent of three girls, although only two of us were his biological children. My mother abandoned us and continued to use and run the streets. At the age of five, I was sexually abused by my babysitter’s son, and at the age of six I was sexually abused by my grandmother’s husband, which continued until I was eight. I really never knew my mother until I was thirteen when I moved in with her. She was excited to get me drunk, and I remember the parties we had every weekend, dancing and drinking to country music.
At the age of thirteen I began to self-mutilate. After being sent back to my father’s and then returned to my mother’s, I found myself in a girl’s school for a year and a half. I went to a foster family and was sent to a group home when my foster mother caught me self-mutilating. At the group home I was hopeless and hated myself. I tried to commit suicide by taking to bottles of sleeping pills, however the staff knew that something was going on when I went to bed early, since I was usually up as late as was allowed. I was sent back to the girl’s school and was eventually released on my own at eighteen. I moved in with a friend who always knew where parties were. I began to drink constantly, always looking for a party, eventually I moved back to my mother’s and began using meth.
My boyfriend was a drug dealer so I quickly relied on meth to get through the day. I became pregnant and sobered up and felt really good about life, but as soon as my son was born I started using again. In 2007 my house was raided; I was not there but my son was taken into DFS custody and my boyfriend went to jail. Although I tried to stay sober I could not maintain it, and I began drinking very heavily and often. I ended up moving to a new town where I started selling meth. After nine months I was arrested and sent to jail.
I sat in jail for sixty days, and that was my new beginning. I decided I was going to stop the cycle: my mother used and her mother used, and so on up the line. I was going to do something different for my child. I started reading my Bible and going to church. Jesus was my life preserver. After sixty days I was released and ran into my boyfriend. He had also found Jesus and changed his life. We got custody of our son back; I completed my probation without a flaw, and he got off probation two years early because his probation officer said it was “futile.” We also have a daughter now. I am currently attending school for a Bachelor’s in psychology and criminal justice. Our lives have become the total opposite, and our sobriety has impacted our families’ lives. His mother and two sisters quit using meth, and my two sisters have quit as well. We are so blessed!