Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My story of becoming sober

This is my story of how I became sober. It does not go into my history of addiction, none of that really matters, what matters is getting into recovery and staying there. I wrote this as I was sitting in prison waiting to go home.

This is my story:

            I was arrested on October 4th, 2010, for possession with intent to sell. One minute I was high, having fun, laughing with a friend, and driving home. The next thing I know I have flashing lights behind me. I know I wasn’t speeding. My seat belt was on, and I didn’t think I had crossed any lines or swerved. When the officer pulled me over he asked if I knew my front plate was missing. Of course I knew and if he would have ran my plates he would have known too because it was reported lost/stolen. Now I know that the cops in that small town pull over people all the time if it’s not a car they know. But that’s of no relevance.
            The officer knew I was high and I was also on probation, so he asked if he could search my car. Being on probation you cannot refuse to be searched so I had to say yes. Having no time to hide the drugs that were on me I stepped out of the car knowing I was going to jail and in my mind trying to come up with some way out of it. The officer searched all over finding nothing, stepped out of my car and then grabbed my purse. I know I was done.
            In my purse he found my “tool kit”, 3.5 grams of methamphetamines, 20-30 empty baggies, scales, 20-30 unused needles, and a dirty spoon. I knew he found it because he dashed away from the car and towards me as if I was going to run and told me to put my hands behind my back and cuffed me. As he was leading me to his car he asked me if I knew what he had found, playing dumb I replied no. I sit in his car, thoughts racing though my mind, having no idea what I was going to do.
            “Ms.McGuire I found meth in your purse.”
            “What?!?” I replied acting as if I had no idea.
            “You didn’t know it was in there?” He asked looking at me as if I was the stupidest person in the world.
            “No, what do you mean I have meth in my purse?”
            I really don’t remember that much of the conversation after that. All I remember is watching my friend walk by the police car I was in, to another one behind me. At that time a tow truck pulled up to tow my car away.
            They took me to the station and started asking me questions. All I was worried about was calling my mom to have her pick Kelli (my 5 year old) up at school. Having to tell my mom what I was arrested for was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. She didn’t even know that I did meth, let alone drugs at all.
            I kept denying that the meth was mine. They asked me to take an UA. I knew that if I took it, it would come back dirty. So I just told them I couldn’t go. They gave me 2 cups of water and then sent me to a holding cell. Lying in the cell on a flat mattress with a full bladder that I couldn’t relieve for fear of a dirty UA, I cried. I felt lost, hopeless and scared.
            I prayed to god then, “God what is going on, how could you let this happen to me?” and other prayers to that effect. I have never been religious or spiritual. But I have always believed in God. I was what they call a fair-weather Christian. I prayed when I was in trouble or needed something and I only went to church on holidays if even that.
            After what seemed like hours of lying on that mat they took me out and put me in another cop car to transport me to the county jail that is about 30 minutes away, without their UA. I asked what happened to my friend and they told me they let him go.
            When I got to county jail they informed me that I was going to be on a 24 hour hold. If I was not charged in 24 hours I would be free to go.
             A lady led me into a bathroom and stripped searched me. I was so uncomfortable and embarrassed. They went though my purse and all my belongings and then threw them aside as if they were nothing. Then a call came though the radio that they were ready for me. Assuming I would be taken to a cell but instead they lead me to an elevator. I asked where I was going. They informed me that the judge was ready for me. Already? I asked if that was a good thing. The cop looked at me and just shook his head no. I was so scared. I didn’t know what was happening or going to happen.
            I was lead into a courtroom. Nobody was in there, just me and the officer. The judge finally came in after what seemed like forever and charged me with a class B felony possession with intent and sat my bail at 25,000 cash or surety. My mouth dropped. I didn’t understand how my bail could be that high for just a little meth. Still in shock of being arrested and then having such a high bond I was lead back to the elevator and back down stairs where they gave me my bedding and took me to a pod. I walked into a dayroom filled with 13 other ladies. They all just stared at me as I walked upstairs to my room to put my bedding away. I had to get to the phone, I had to get out of there. I hurried back down stairs and picked up a phone. Still high I had to figure out how to work it. Not very successful but after a time a lady came up and showed me how. Getting though to my moms house collect with my dad answering the phone seemed like it took forever. I told dad what my bail was and that I had to get out of there. They had to come pick me up now. They said with pain in their voice there was nothing they could do.
            I remember slamming the phone down, I was so angry. Nothing they could do? They could bail me out! How were they going to let their only child sit in jail? How could they do this to me? I sat down at the table and a girl looked over at me and asked me if I was high, and what I was there for. I told them no I was not high and then went into a long story of why I was there and that it wasn’t mine.
            Dinner finally came. 2 bologna sandwiches, no mustard, no ketchup, no mayo, just bread and bologna, a bag of chips, 2 cheap Oreo cookies and a glass of milk. Not very appetizing, although I couldn’t have eaten even if I wanted to. Meth has an effect on some people where they just can’t eat when they are high and I am one of those people. So I just went upstairs and laid on my bed and tried to force myself to go to sleep. After what felt like forever and probably was I went to sleep, only waking up to go to the bathroom and call home. I didn’t eat until I was there for 3 days and I didn’t really wake up until that long too.
            I begged my parents, tried to manipulate them, and tried to guilt them into bailing me out. They kept saying they didn’t have the money. So I tried my grandma-same thing. Nobody had the money and nobody was getting me out.
            I sat in county going to court every 2 weeks each time it kept getting continued. Everyday I lied and told everyone in the pod with me, even my parents, that it wasn’t mine and that I didn’t use. Everyday I was drained and exhausted and getting more and more depressed.  I wanted to either get out or die. Those seemed to be the only choices I had and I didn’t really care which one it was.
            My prayers were the same every night. “God get me out of here.” Yet still every morning I would wake up in jail and every night I would go to sleep in jail.
            I was in county for 3 weeks when I just couldn’t take it anymore and I prayed “God I know that what I was doing was wrong. My life was going no where, I don’t know how it happened or why I started but I need help, I need to get home to my family and my daughter. Please help me.” I was in so much pain and hurt. I had never been away from my daughter for that long. I was going to miss Halloween. Kelli’s first tooth was loose and a lot of other stuff I was missing. I couldn’t take it anymore. I sat there and cried with my bible in my hand. I asked god to give me something-to give me hope. That’s when I opened up my bible and the first passage I seen was Hosea 5:15 “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face, in their affliction they will seek me early.” I knew after reading that what I had to do. I walked downstairs and called my parents. My dad answered. I didn’t say hello or anything other than it was mine and I had been using. He wasn’t angry or yelling all he said was “I know, and its going to be ok, I love you” I know they were very disappointed and hurt.
            On November 1st I went back to court and they continued it again until the 15th of November. I told my lawyer that I wanted this done and over with. I was ready to go home. She told me she would do the best she could. So I was sill in county for another two weeks.
On November 15th I went back to court, my lawyer told me what the prosecutor was offering. I was in shock, but I took it because I wanted out of jail. They offered me 120 day treatment in prison, 5 years probation starting when I get out of prison, and a ten year back up. Could I have told my lawyer no, try for something different? Yes! Should I have? Probably. But it didn’t matter to me. I had been in jail for 42 days and I wanted out. I told my lawyer I would take it only if I got a furlough. We got up in front of the judge and I pleaded guilty. Seeing my mom, grandma, and best friend of 17 years in the court room watching me plead guilty in my orange jumpsuit with shackles on killed me, but I had to get out and really in all honesty I wasn’t thinking about anything but getting out. Thankfully the judge granted me a 30 day furlough. He told me I had to turn myself back in on December 15th at If I showed up late, showed up dirty, or didn’t show up at all I was going for my back up. I told him I would be there.
            I went back to the pod and started packing up my stuff. 3 hours later I was walking out the door. At the time it was just my mom and dad. My grandma and best friend had to get home. As soon as I got into the car I lit up a cigarette and started telling my parents how horrible it had been and all this stuff about jail. After stopping off at a gas station to pick up some cigarettes if my own and something to drink we were headed home. The car ride was quiet until my dad started to speak. I no longer had my own place, so Kelli and I were living with them. Dad told me there were going to be some rules. To be honest I don’t remember what they were or what all he said, I just slipped in my yes sirs and ok’s whenever it seemed appropriate. And was texting and thinking in my head, whatever you guys don’t really know what you’re talking about or what I “need”.
We finally pulled up in front of my parent’s house. All I wanted to do was run up to the door to see my baby girl. I will never forget the look on her face. She didn’t know that my parents were coming to get me. She opened that door, saw me and with this huge smile on her face yelled “mommy”, and literally jumped in my arms. I sat on the couch with her and would not let her go. She is the light and love of my life. I had just missed her so much it wasn’t even funny.       
But it didn’t take long for me to go back to my old ways. Oh sure I didn’t use and I have been clean since I got arrested and I still prayed and read my bible everyday. But as far as my attitude and how I treated my mom, family, friends, and really everyone else, it was no different. I had a sense of entitlement as far as I had a lot of stuff go wrong in my life. I felt my real dad didn’t want me, I was divorced, single, and a lot of other stuff that I could relate to my victim stance.
I yelled at my mom so much because “she didn’t understand” I knew I was hurting her feelings but I didn’t care because I had “problems”. I never stopped to think that she was hurting as much as I was, he only child was going to prison for 4 months. She felt about me the same way I felt about my daughter but I couldn’t see that.
Every chance I got I would go stay at my ex-mother in laws house because I was feeling “trapped” and “smothered” instead of feeling loved and protected like I should have.
I was getting ready to go to prison for 4 months I should have been spending time with my family as much as possible but my own selfishness prevented that.
            Then before I knew it December 15th was here. That morning my mom, me, and my daughter woke up to get my daughter ready for school. The whole time I was on my furlough I kept preparing my daughter for the day I left and now the day had come. While mom was getting ready to take us I sat with Kelli on the couch and told her that today was the day that mommy would be leaving but that I would be back very soon. It broke my heart when I seen tears well up in her eyes, I tried very hard not to cry. She understood as much as a 5 year old can but it was still very hard. After all of us were ready we got in the car and drove to school, mom and I walked her to her classroom, I didn’t want to let her go, she gave me a hug and a kiss and went into her class. I just wanted to stand there and watch her all day. But with tears rolling down my face I turned and walked down the hall with my mom holding me the whole time. How I could be mad at her and hurt her when all she gave me was unconditional love the whole time growing up and even now that I was on my way to prison. I will never understand that, the only thing I did know was that I was sick-not in an “I have a cough” sick but in the only way addicts could be sick.
We returned back at the house and I continued to get ready to turn myself in. Before we showed up to the jail we had one final family lunch with me, mom, dad, and grandma.
We pulled up in front of the jail and I was not prepared with my over whelming desire to run. During my furlough I tried to come up with ways to run, just Kelli and I, to take off, change our names and never be found. To be honest if I’d had the money I would have. Now sitting in front of the jail I wanted to just hop out of the car and run until I couldn’t run anymore. But at last I walked into the jail after saying good bye to everyone. I walked through the doors to the back part where I took a UA, breathalyzer, and proceed to get stripped searched, then put in oranges and taken to a cell until my trip to DOC.          
On December 17th they woke us up for breakfast and told us to pack our stuff; we were headed to Vandalia prison. I slept most the way there just so I didn’t have to think about going to prison. When we showed up to Vandalia all we saw were red barn looking buildings and the first thought I had was, well this wont be so bad, the buildings looked innocent enough.
            Inside I found out the true meaning of stripped searched, what they had in the county was nothing compared to this. The strip search, the lice treatments, the medical checks and all the administration hoop-la wore me out; by the time they took us to R&O housing I was exhausted and ready for a nap. They gave me my room assignment and opened the door to the day room that looked like it was filled with hundreds of women. I was scared out of my mind. I have seen a lot of things in my life dealing with what people called “the dope game” and I have never been scared until that moment.
            At that time I just told myself I will sleep away my time, boy was I mistaken. In R&O we could not even lay down, let alone go to sleep until , but we had to wake up for the count and then we could go to sleep and had to be up for breakfast at 3:50 in the morning. After we went to breakfast we could lie back down until but then we had to be up and awake all day. From we were allowed to lie down and sleep but that was it. And the CO’s, well if you were not getting talked at like you were stupid you were getting yelled at for being stupid. I was miserable. We got to call home every night so that was a plus. I talked to Kelli every night, I told her I loved her, I missed her, and that mommy would be home soon. Then I would talk to my parents. Most nights I would be mad and upset and hurt and I would take it out on them, very few of our conversations were good ones.
            I missed a lot while in R&O. I missed my first Christmas and new years ever. Kelli finally lost her tooth and many other things. The only way I got to experience these events was though pictures. And no matter how bad or how hurtful I was to my parents they made sure I had mail, pictures, and money on my books. And if that was not enough on January 8th my mom and dad came to visit me. Even though I was still distant it was a good visit and I did get to hug them and touch them, after 4 hours the visit ended. I cried. I didn’t understand why I treated them the way I did if I missed them and loved them so much.
            On January 18th at they woke me up and told me to pack my stuff I was going to be transported to Chillicothe Correctional Center for treatment. I was thankful for 2 reasons, first and foremost I wanted to get the heck out of R&O and second the whole time I was in R&O I continued to hear that Chillicothe treatment was way better then Vandalia’s treatment. All in all everyone said Chillicothe was just plain better than Vandalia. I packed my stuff and it was taken away. I went back to sleep only to be woken up what seemed like 10 minutes later for breakfast. After breakfast we laid down for a bit more and then at we left for Chillicothe. It took about 4 hours to get there. We were shackled the whole way. It was the most uncomfortable ride of my life.
            When we finally reached Chillicothe we drove into a garage-looking thing and were let out of the van. Again we started the whole procedure over again. Stripped searched, medical, and administrative stuff. When we were finally done the officers started to lead us to our housing units. We stepped out in the freezing cold and were face to face with many concrete buildings. It looked like something out of locked-up raw. If I thought I was scared before at Vandalia I can’t even describe what I was then. All I could think was “what the heck did I get myself into”. Chillicothe looked10 times worse than Vandalia. We were led to housing unit 4. We were told what wing and room we were in and then people from that wing came to help us bring our stuff in. they seemed nice enough, but looks are deceiving and I didn’t trust them at all. That night we went to our first group where they blessed us in. All 64 women were in a circle sitting on these stools called ‘buddies’, they went around the room saying their names and positions in the ‘family’. Nobody went by their first names, we were all Ms. Last name, when it was my turn I did what all the other new girls had done, “Hi my name is Ms. McGuire and I’m new.” In perfect unison everyone replied “Hi Ms. McGuire, welcome.” Followed by a series of short claps. All I could think was that they had put me in a cult. When it was finally over, I went back upstairs to my room, lay in my bed and started to pray “God just please help me get though it.”
            That was over 2 and a half months ago. Now I know they are not a cult but a family filled with sisters who truly love and care about you and your recovery. I have met some amazing women here that I will never forget. This program helped me grow up in a sense. I no longer blame anyone but myself for the situation I am in now. My parents and I have a better relationship then we have ever had. I no longer yell at my parents, each conversation is filled with love instead of anger and I look forward to calling home.
            I now know that I am good enough and that I no longer need to use to feel better about myself. There are times I want to use but they are few and far between.
            As I am writing this I have 8 days before I leave Chillicothe and go home. I am really looking forward to going home and having a fresh start. I miss my daughter more then anything and can’t wait to go home and be a sober mom. I now have the tools I need to do this and will be forever grateful to god for putting me here.

I know this story was long but I really hoped it helped. I have been out of prison for 3 months now. I have had my up and down days but all in all it has been much better then before. I have a good job, I have a car that is my own that I got myself by working legally, my family relationships are much better, and my relationship with god is much better. I thank him everyday.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a story, so much of it rang familiar to me, my son has been clean from heroin for 14 months. I love how when you cried out to God and opened your bible He spoke clearly to you. Our God is so awesome, your story is so encouraging to me. You have done so much in the short time that you have been out, you have much to be proud of. I will be following your blog and keeping you in my prayers. So glad I took the time to visit your blog and read your posts.