Born to a middle class family, raised in what I thought was a normal lifestyle, my mom owned a bar, we moved many times before I was 18 and I went to probably every school in the district.
My parents divorced when I was three and the dad that raised me died when I was nine. My brother died in a motor cycle accident when I was 15 (he was alomost 18) and that is when my using and drinking career began. Instead of dealing with all the loss in my life I stuffed it down with sex, drugs, alcohol and rock and roll.
I went to jail for the first time in 1987 and was sentenced to 30 days in work furlough, so I went to work and then back to jail. The most I learned while incarcerated that time was how to crochet. After I got out of jail I went back to my old ways.
In 1995 I was arrested for possession with intent to sell. I remember thinking my life was over. And my life as it was, WAS over. A friend told me to apply for the Choices program and I was accepted. I had no idea of anything that was program related, or changing my behavior, so of course I got into a lot of trouble in the beginning. Shirley was my counselor and the more she blasted me the more I loved her. I remember one Sunday she came in which was not normal, we were watching movies and it was a calm afternoon. As she was leaving, I just wanted to grab onto her leg like a little kids and beg her not to go.
I learned so much about myself in Choices, my defects were gossip and not having a voice. I can see now what they meant when they said both of them could get me in a lot of trouble. I have gotten in trouble for both and was able to reflect and finally understand what they (Shirley and Terri) were trying to teach me.
I have been clean and sober for many years now and still am learning as I go. I have stayed as close as possible to Shirley and do my best to give back. She moves and I find a way and a reason to hang around where ever she goes. She knows that if she needs something she can call on me and if I can’t do or get it, I will find someone that can.
Thank you Shirley for EVERYTHING that you do for EVERYONE!!!!!