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  #1  
Old 07-24-2015, 02:16 AM
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My late husband and I were full blown Heroin Addicts, we were married close to 20 yrs when he passed, I was in Chowchilla at the time on my 13th term. In all the years we were married, we maybe spent a total of 7yrs on the streets together, He used it and drank for close to 40 yrs and me, well I started using drugs and drinking at 14. I did it all, Juvie, YA, County and finally the state, all due to drugs. I have 8 kids 2 of whom grew up watching their mom not be a mom. The others were lil and some were placed with family and others who raised them. I do Thank God for the family who raised them not to hate me but to love me because I had a disease. But, also knowing they were in good homes and being raised right did not help me be accountable and responsible for these children that I was Blessed with. I now have 1 son who is into Meth and did heroin just like me, it was his way of identifying with me. It breaks my heart to see him taking this journey and walking this path. He is now in the state prison in North Dakota. Which baffles me when he is from here in Cali. I have tried in every way to help but as a mother and a Alcohol and Drug Counselor, I had to tell him he has to follow this path because he is making theses choices. I will always be there for him but I will no longer enable him. In 2002 just before my husband passed we were able to talk and say our good byes, he was trying to hold on until I got out but I knew he was in pain and suffering, so I told him to go ahead and go home with the Lord. I and our son would be ok. The other kids were grown with families of their own now. He told me he loved and always would. He passed 6 days later. The saying in our family was, if it took him dying to get me straight then that was the way he would have wanted it. I knew then my life either had to change or I would end up dead too. I walked out of that prison and did not look back. It was hard, I did this on my own, I made up my mind that things had to change, I wanted that relationship with my kids and grand kids, its sad when your grand kids announce to their friends that their grandma has been to prison and will beat people up if she doesn't like them, Yes even my other grandchildren see those sides of me. I went to school to become an AOD Counselor, I worked my way up too becoming Admin. Director and Executive Director of 2 other places. But now I had to step down due to health issues, baggage of my past. It's ok though, I now have time to spend with my kids who were too young and really didn't get to know me, my grandchildren whom I get to babysit. My heart still breaks for my middle son, my oldest son too is an alcoholic nut manages to work, he is also an artist. My youngest son too is an alcoholic but now works and got his certification in the Restaurant ield, so far he is functioning. I try to give them support and let them know I will help them get the help they need but they are ready yet. I hope they won't let it go till it is too late, whether it is health issues or they just give up. I am on that new Hep C treatment, the Harvoni, if it is to work and cure at the 96% rate then so be it but if not well, I will get all things in order. I know what I did to my life and my body, I can blame no one else but me. I hold my self accountable for all the hurt that was caused by my selfish actions. I have come to terms with a lot of things that was wrong. I will face my judgement with the Lord, only he can judge me and no others. I love my life now, I may not make money like I was when I was working but I am happy and content to be with my loved ones, they matter the most to me now. I have over 35 grandchildren plus one on the way and 3 great grandchildren and my doggie Lucey. I keep everyone close to my heart and to me, no matter what.
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:27 AM
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Hi sparky! I went on and gave you your own thread to share your story. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story with us.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:37 AM
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Thank you Lifetraveler, I agree it's brave to share your story and it is very appreciated. You have amazing accomplishments. You said your son was an addict/alcoholic and was "functioning" I know as an addict that there is really never a place of full functioning when you are addicted. You stated having a lot of guilt, for hurting them and I am glad you can be reflective but at some we have to forgive ourselves and look at where we have grown and the accomplishments we have made. I think one of the things that makes people relapse the most is their inability to forgive themselves. High five for your hard work.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:00 PM
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Oh I have forgiven myself believe that and my kids have too! I went into the world of being an AOD because of the insights I have and the struggles of becoming a clean,sober and productive citizen. I was known by parole officers who saw the changes I made, to go an give my testimony at the Pact Meetings that at one time each parolee had to attend. I was given an award from them also. Oh, I know the functioning of both my sons will possibly bring them to a stand still, I can only pray that they will come to a point in their lives to make those changes before it becomes to late. I knew went I went in on a violation back in '99 that if I got another term that my late husband would not be there when I got out, I told him and he said he knew it too but we still continued to use. Our choice but God's will for me not to be there, because I always knew in my heart that if I were to see him in that much pain and he asked me to bring him something I would, then I would not have been able to live with it and I would not be here today. I strongly know that and believe it as did he. It was not easy to do it on my own, I hit walls, tore down walls. I dealt with past issues and then had more to deal with. My kids always worried was I going to go back? At every big event in my life that they knew would or could cause me to revert back, they watched but as each and every major event they saw I only got stronger! Now they know I will not return to that life, I can't see myself as that person anymore. I know how to handle what is being thrown at me, I know when to back away and move on.Not one person in this world can walk in my shoes nor should they even try. These are my shoes to keep walking in this life and keep learning new things, meeting new people, leaving old people. I value my life and also my experiences. I choose the life I have today. If my story can help just one person then that is good. Life is precious and I know that today!
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:48 PM
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You're an amazing inspiration, Sparky. You are one strong woman. I think it's great that you've chosen a career where you can give back. My LO also struggled with addiction for 20 years and is currently working on becoming an LCDC when he's released.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:24 PM
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Well, I can't work anymore at this point due to health reasons. I would like to move on as a MFT or LCSW. But for now I have my health to take care of. I enjoyed my career and still do. I loved working with the adolescents because that is where the Intervention/Early Prevention starts. They are a hand full and feel as if they have no future but the gangs,criminal life and such. Being an ex gang member, addict, felon I can understand but I pulled no punches with them and was straight because their trust issues are pretty non existent. They need to now someone does care, I wasn't just a counselor or the Director, I wanted them to know that there is a better life but they are the ones to have the power to make those choices. I made mine and now with the baggage of my past. Although I will say, even with the choices I made it also made me who I am today.
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