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- Mental Health
Submitted by: Jamie Thompson
I grew up in a good home with my mom, dad, and sister. I had everything I could ask for. However, my cousin molested me when I was eight years old and at the same time I lost my grandma who meant the world to me. It was hard for me and I wondered why this would happen to me. My self-esteem and self-worth bottomed out and I basically wanted to die.
In third grade, the cops were called to school when I got in a fight with a kid and broke his ribs. Looking back at it now, I can see it was anger that I had built up from being molested and my cousin not being charged. I was also angry for losing my grandma.
By the time I was ten, I had begun drinking and smoking cigarettes. In high school, I started smoking weed and taking pills. I hung out with the wrong people and went to the wrong places. I dropped out of school after I was arrested for a fight at school during my junior year.
I lived like the Tylar who acted a certain way to fit in. If you drank and smoked, I would drink and smoke more than you. I would try anything.
One night, I left to go to a party with my cousin and friends and ended up committing two burglaries. I was seventeen and found myself locked in county jail. While I was on felony probation for four years, I failed multiple drug tests and got my daughter’s mother pregnant. After the first year of probation, I violated the rules and I was given the option to go to rehab for two weeks. I chose rehab and still relapsed and was sent back to county.
My daughter’s mom was about to give birth to my daughter when I was released. After a day or two at the hospital, I decided to leave and go get high. Later on, I got the call that her water broke. I didn’t have my driver’s license so I had to wait for my mom to drive me. By the time we arrived at the hospital, my daughter had been born. I missed her birth. I lost it. My dad had quit drinking when I was born and I told myself that I would stop getting high when my daughter was born. Now I had missed her birth and felt even more worthless so I went and got loaded.
Later, my mom called me to say that my probation officer had called and that I was in violation for breaking probation. I later found out that my mom had made the call to the officer. I cussed my mom out and blamed her. I went on the run for a while, but finally decided I needed to get it over with. The judge sentenced me to four years in prison and I ended up in six different prisons for failing drug tests and fighting. I used heroin in prison for four months and promised myself I wouldn’t do it again once I was out. But I did.
While on parole, I lived with a girl who physically and emotionally beat me up and I chose to stay because I was getting high there. The heroin dealer lived around the corner. Also, I didn’t want to leave her kids because I protected them from her. I stayed there to take it. Talk about feeling like the lowest feeling piece of crap. My self-esteem was lower than ever before.
I called my mom for help and she gave me a list of rehabs. The next day, I was at the airport trying to get high before my flight to treatment. I ended up wasting the last bit of heroin I had and I was wild and angry in treatment which almost got me arrested.
I went back home and got in trouble with my dad because I wrecked his truck while driving drunk. My parents gave me the ultimatum that I could go back to rehab or be homeless. I chose to go to treatment which made me miss seeing my daughter as previously planned. She still brings this up today. I was supposed to go see her and I messed it up.
After that rehab, I went back home and overdosed. While at the hospital, my mom brought a picture to show me. It was a page of my daughter’s diary. “My life is so hard because my dad is never around. My heart is broken into pieces.” After reading that, I knew I was the first person to break her heart. I was supposed to be her example, her everything, and be the person she looked up to. And there I was, a heroin addict who couldn’t get his act together. From that day forward I vowed I would do everything it took to stay clean.
I used to blame my mom for the fact that I missed my daughter’s birth. After completing my fourth step, I realized it was my fault. If I wasn’t getting high, I wouldn’t have missed her birth. No one is to blame but me. My way of thinking and my outlook on life has changed. I owe it all to God because He saved me when my friend found me overdosed. I no longer hold a resentment toward my cousin. I never thought I would be able to do that.
My daughter is now nine and I get to celebrate her birthday with her and go to her ball games. I have a job and a car today. I pay my own bills and my child support. I do everything I’m supposed to do. Now that I’m in recovery, I get to speak at schools and help people get into treatment. I started a meeting in my hometown. I have a Facebook group called “Sober Is the New High” that has almost 13,000 members.
Today, I’m ecstatic about life. I never thought I would be happy to be alive. I do everything I possibly can to make sure my daughter does not have to worry about her dad getting high.