My name is Beth, and I’m in recovery. December 2, 2008, I used meth the last time, and I pray daily it was my last time. I’ve been asked several times why, at 31, self-employed, with a very profitable business, two beautiful daughters ages 7 and 12, a three-bedroom home, new sports car and stable relationships with my family and some great friends, would I ever try meth?
Why? Because it was offered to me. Because I had recently gone through a divorce. Because I was dating a drug user and tried to keep up with his lifestyle for almost six months. Because my self-esteem had always suffered.
Why my self-esteem had never been good is still a question I ask myself daily. If I ever figure that one out, I will be rich. All addicts suffer with low self-esteem. That’s why most of us ever use. The drugs gave us self-esteem, even if it was a false sense. We finally fit in and have a whole new set of friends, or so we think.
On October 30, 2003, I went to a party in my apartment complex and was handed a small wad of toilet paper. I asked what it was and was told meth. I asked if it would make me throw up and was told no. Then I asked how it would make me feel. I was told, “good. You will have energy and be really happy.” So just like that, I swallowed the wafer, or wad of toilet paper with crystal meth inside.
I went upstairs to my sleeping boyfriend and said, “Tina said, ‘take this and get to the party.’” He immediately jumped up, snorted the meth and began to get ready. A few minutes later I began to feel the effects. My boyfriend looked at me and said, “You took some, didn’t you?” I replied, “Yes.”
The words he spoke to me I will never forget. He said, “You just £@(£%¥ your life up. In a year, you won’t have anything. You will lose your house, your car, your business, and you will never want to see your daughters.” I replied, “I can handle it.” He laughed and said, “No, you can’t! It’s meth.”
They say if you try meth once, you might be able to walk away from it. Try it twice, and you’re addicted.
From that night until December 2, 2008, I used daily. Unless I was sleeping, which wasn’t often, or in jail, I used, and I used a lot. Less than a year later, I had lost my three-bedroom home and was living with my mom. My car had been wrecked due to driving drunk and then repossessed. I lost all my clientele, and I made up excuse after excuse why I couldn’t be with my daughters.
I remember one night, my youngest was clinging to my leg, begging me not to leave. It was 10 o’clock at night, and my girls were in tears, screaming for me to please stay home and sleep with them. But I couldn’t. I had to go chase the sack. I physically pushed my daughter off my leg she was clinging to. The hell I put family through is heartbreaking to think about.
I remember bragging, saying, “I do drugs, they don’t do me.” I was never so wrong! Meth did me in. I had only been using for nine months. Soon, I had to find a way to pay for my increasing habit. So, like most addicts, I began to sell.
The next five years were a blur. Using, selling, sex with anyone I wanted and anyone that would make my boyfriend jealous. Insanity. Morals and dignity slipping away. Soon, I just didn’t care, and when you don’t care, you’re a very dangerous person.
So many times I fell asleep driving, had guns pulled on me, I walked into dope houses and hotel rooms alone with bags full of dope and wads of cash, a target to be robbed, raped and killed. I went from bad boys to extremely dangerous men. I thought I ruled the world. I had the dope, the money, the men, and people jumped when I said jump, if they wanted their dope.
I lost cars, time, memories, clothes, jewelry and my clean record. I was arrested time and time again. I was given chance after chance to change. After each arrest, I thought I could be slicker than the feds and city cops. I found myself facing life in prison with federal charges. I had sold to an undercover ATF agent. They had busted me with an accumulative amount of 24 pounds of meth. And my “friends” had ratted me out. The state was pressing charges of trafficking, and on top of all that, I was pregnant.
I had gotten pregnant and had a miscarriage in November of 2005, which was the best thing for my unborn child. I was using and selling big time and had yet to be caught. That baby would have been born addicted and the state taken it away at birth. I was hoping I would miscarry with this pregnancy as well.
Two and half months into the pregnancy I sat in a hotel room with who I thought was my baby’s daddy and best friend. Truth is, I had no clue who the dad was. It was between two men I had been in a relationship with, one for four years and the other just over a year. Anyway, I had decided it would be best if I tried to have a drug-induced miscarriage. We loaded two syringes with over a gram of dope. We each found a vein on each arm and shot it up, knowing it would kill the baby inside me and might even kill me. I was okay with both of those happening. Instead, I threw up and was higher than I had ever been for about three days. No spotting, no cramping, nothing.
One night in November, my long-term boyfriend and I got into a fight. He was angry that I was using dope while pregnant. He was scared because the feds were breathing down his back. I had been arrested again, had my brand new Charger impounded and $7,000 taken away. I was on his couch with nothing, and I was putting a damper on his sex life. He told me I had to go. He was sick of me and no longer loved me. I was sick, and he hated who I had become. A junkie was sick and embarrassed of another junkie?
I knew what laid ahead of me: prison for life. I knew what I had become to my family: already dead. I was never around and avoided their phone calls. They went weeks and weeks not knowing if I was dead or alive. I thought my girls would be better off without me. They needed a stepmom who would love them and actually be a part of their lives. This baby didn’t deserve to be born in prison and be another child of the system. I had lost all hope. So I wrote a goodbye letter to my boyfriend, asking him to tell my family goodbye. I texted him and said I had taken all the pain pills I could find. I apologized if, when I died, I left a mess in the bed.
I took the pills, called my dog up on the bed beside me and fell asleep. I woke up in the back of an ambulance, sitting in front of my house with charcoal being poured down my throat. IVs in and oxygen on. I looked out the window and saw a car pull in my driveway. A girl got out, my boyfriend went to get her and they went inside our house.
That feeling … he already had a chick in our bed, and he didn’t know if I was going to live or die.
After they got me stable, they admitted me to the behavioral medicine unit across the street — the “nut house.” I found out the next day the baby had survived and it was a healthy, perfect little girl. I looked up at the ceiling and asked God, “Why?”
A week later I got to leave. My boyfriend picked me up and took me to my mom’s. She insisted I go to treatment. I sat in her bathtub with a syringe full of the last little bit of meth I had. My arms were so bruised and had knots all over them from times I had missed my vein. My veins were shot, but by God, I was going to find one somewhere. The water became cold and full of blood. The syringe had more blood than dope and I knew when I finally found a vein the dope would be so diluted I wouldn’t be able to get high off it, but because of my insanity I kept trying. I remember looking down at my pregnant belly, sitting in cold, bloody water, and every so often a ripple would flow through the water when the baby would kick. Tears falling and hitting stomach. I was sick and tired and hated myself still. I was too sick to live and too weak to stop getting high.
I slept the next two days solid. I woke up and had convinced my mom to let me take her car to go get a new driver’s license, but in reality I was going to my boyfriend’s and getting high. Before I could get off the couch, the doorbell rang. It was the feds. They were looking for me. I yelled across the living room for them to come back with a warrant. I smoked a cigarette and jumped in the shower and waited.
My 17-year-old did something that day she never did, she came home for lunch to see her mom. For once, she knew where I was. When she turned on to her Nana’s street, there were over 30 police, ATF, US marshals, drug task force, FBI and sheriff’s cars lined up on the street. She thought I had finally succeeded in killing myself. She walked in to witness her mom with five guns pointed at her head.
I stayed in jail until, only by the grace of God, I was allowed to go to rehab.
On April 6, 2009, three-and-a-half months clean, my third daughter was born. Healthy, perfect and her two big sisters in the room. I graduated rehab October 7, 2009. On December 15, I was sentenced. My attorney, the federal DA and the judge had met the day before and all signed for me to do three years. I was to leave the courtroom and go to prison.
Let me back up to August 17, 2009. God spoke to me. I had been praying every chance I got since coming to rehab that God would please, please let me stay out of prison. I begged Him to let me raise my girls. I lived each moment in fear of losing my girls when I went to prison. I was not enjoying life. I was imprisoned in my own thoughts.
So on August 17, I was at church. I took my baby to the nursing room and began to pray while she nursed – the same prayer, begging God not to send me to prison. And after I finished praying, I felt Him walk in the room, walk across the room and sit in the rocking chair beside me. He said these things to me: “Beth, relax. You’re not going to prison. I’ve kept you in rehab this long, so you can get recovery. Be patient with me. It’s almost over.”
At that moment, my entire world changed. I began to really live. I told everyone I wasn’t going to prison because God had spoken to me. I loved each moment with my kids and didn’t fear not having them. My prison walls had crumbled. So when my attorney called me the day before I was to be sentenced and said they had signed for me to do three years, my world crumbled. I had to go home and tell my girls I was going to prison the next day. I had to look them in the eye and apologize for screwing up their lives. I told them I wished I was dead because that would be less embarrassing than having to tell their friends their mom was in prison for drugs.
My oldest daughter, who was now 18, was going to take over guardianship of my baby. My middle daughter asked me if I was a liar. I said, “I try hard not to be these days.” She then said, “Well, you said God told you that you weren’t going to prison.” She was right!! I got the elders and ministers together from my church, and we prayed for hours. One elder prayed for the judge to have a sleepless night. One prayed that this be the hardest case he had ever had to render and another for him to be in turmoil about what to do with me. There had been over 70 letters written to the judge on my behalf, and the courtroom was packed. There were more than 50 people inside and people in hallway, including my 13- year-old and my 9-month-old daughter. My oldest was on the front row, waiting for her mother to be sentenced. That is something NO child should ever have to do.
The judge walked out of his chambers and called me to the bench. The first words out of his mouth were these, “I didn’t sleep last night. I was in turmoil about what to do with you, Ms. Pearson. In my 25 years of being a judge I’ve never had a case this hard to render.” I turned around and everyone who had been in the prayer session the night before all had their jaws dropped. Exactly what was prayed for was spoken.
I walked out of the courtroom with five years probation and six months of house arrest. God is good!
My little girl is six and perfect. Right after her fourth birthday, she told me something that to this day still gives me chills. She said out of the blue one morning while waiting for her Mother’s Day Out program to open. “Mom, I saw God.” I imagine she has seen lots of pictures of Him since we never miss church and Bible class, so I asked if she saw His picture at church. She said, “No, I saw Him when I was in your tummy, He came inside your tummy twice. He has really big arms. He held me and said He loved me and that everything was going to be OK. I asked Him who He was, and He said, ‘God.’”
That story blew me away and still does! If ever God was to intervene in her life it was twice. Once when I tried to have a drug-induced miscarriage and once when I attempted suicide. God is alive and very active in an addict’s life!
I received a letter from the United States probation offices congratulating me on successfully completing my probation. I wrote a thank you letter to my judge, thanking him for his mercy, and I told him all I had done to better myself and all I was blessed to witness the past five years. College, marriage, my daughter’s high school graduation and her college, proms. I told him I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the fourth annual meth awareness rally in Bakersfield, California, in 2014. I also got to travel to Del Ray Beach, Florida, and speak at a huge recovery gala and be filmed. I’ve been interviewed twice by local news stations on meth stories. I have a published poem I wrote about meth, I also have traveled all over Oklahoma speaking at various Celebrate Recovery meetings and NA and AA meetings. I’m writing a book and have had part of my story published in a book called Breaking Chains.
In April of 2015, my husband, my oldest two daughters and my two stepdaughters got to witness my fourth perfect daughter coming into this world. I’ve been clean almost three years longer than I used,I attend meeting regularly and have a sponsor. I sponsor other girls and have a strong relationship with God and my family. I’ve been forgiven and am trusted. My oldest daughter told me I was her hero while still in rehab. I’m my middle daughter’s best friend, and all my girls are my rock. I put them through hell, but they have seen the power of prayer and that recovery does work.
I now have the answer to my “Why?” I asked God after finding out my baby was perfect. My “Why” is a life free of meth. Days spent with my family and something to be grateful for each day. And as I write this, it’s been over seven years and 10 months, but who’s counting?