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Catherine S.

by James Thelen 08 Jul 2024 0 Comments
I was a needle junkie for many years, if it would go into a needle it was for me. I would dig dirty broken needles that I had thrown over a hillside back out of the ground to not be sick. I was the underbelly of society and did whatever needed to be done to be high, whether it be sleep with strangers, rob or steal. I was raised in a family of medical professionals who when you were hurt or didn’t feel good would hand out narcotics like candy but didn’t understand what went wrong when Iturned to a needle. Because of my willingness to do what had to be done to get high I ended up in prison, not for drugs but writing bad checks to get them. Twenty-one when I went and came out when I was 24. Almost immediately I got in a very toxic abusive relationship and started getting high again. The addition was so much worse than before. With that the abusive relationship and death of my grandmother I went back to prison at 25 and was released three weeks after my 33 birthday in 2013. While there in 2010 I lost 15 people from February to November. One of which was my other grandmother, the one who basically raised me and was my answer to everything. It hit me one day that when I was really homesick, I was homesick for a place and life that no longer existed. At 33 years old I had to learn how to live as an adult and function in a world I knew nothing about. Learning to live as an adult was and is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I have been clean for 19 years and now have an amazing family of my own. Sometimes it is hard for my husband to understand because he has never lived like I did in the past but he is always supportive. I have a tattoo on my wrist that says that which nourishes me destroyers me. I see it everyday as a reminder of how far I’ve came. I have a 14 year old step-daughter who I’ve raised since she was three. I am very open with her about who I was, the things I’ve done and how I got through it. I live in a very rural area so coming home as a tattooed, recovering drug addict felon greatly limited my opportunities to better myself. Luckily along the way I ran into some wise people. I fought not to be ashamed of my past and speak openly about it. That’s one of the biggest things that keep me clean is I’ve made peace with it and if it bothers you than that’s not my problem. I’ve been almost every bad thing you can think to call someone and walked out on the other side. It definitely isn’t easy and there are days I fight harder than others but fight is the key word. I learned that I can’t run from myself and only I can make my life what I want it to be. It sucks sometimes but it’s definitely been worth all the blood, sweat and tears.


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