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My whole life I have strived to make the right choices and be a positive role model for both my children and those around me.
To understand how I got in this position I need to go back to the beginning. In 2013 I moved in with my fiance’s parents to allow us to get on our feet. Shortly after moving in I became the victim of his mother’s emotional abuse. Out of fear of becoming homeless I kept the abuse to myself not even telling my fiance what was happening. In 2014 the abuse came to a head and I was abruptly told to move out one night. I had nowhere to go and had just landed my dream job. For the first time in my life I was completely alone. I ended up at the Bethlehem Inn in Bend Oregon while my fiance remained with his parents. I could not ask him to come with me as he was only three months into his new found sobriety and I could not take a chance of him relapsing . Over the next month the two of us worked diligently to find our own home.
Things finally began to look up and then my mother died some what unexpectedly. A few months later I needed to have surgery to correct a chronic problem. The surgery was successful but had some unexpected side effects, the worst being an inability to feel things the way I always had. Things that were insignificant were now disasters and things like the death of my mother I had no emotion about. Even my own wedding day did not seem to be as joyful as I had imagined it would. By summer I was both over and underwhelmed. Then my body began to give out causing a rise in my anxiety and confusion. I decided to begin seeing a therapist who suggested I try some medication to try and stabilize things. This too backfired as I now felt nothing.
By October I started to think maybe there was something really wrong with me as the anniversary of my mothers passing was approaching. I began spending more time with my best friend as a way to not think about things. Not thinking is exactly what got me in trouble. One day the two of us were at Walmart to do some shopping. As we were going through the store I noticed she was putting things in her purse. When I asked why she said it was a rush. There was a thrill in getting away with doing the wrong thing. I was so desperate to feel anything I thought it was the answer. I could not have been more wrong. As we were leaving the store a security guard approached us and escorted us to the office. We were then asked to produce all of the merchandise that had not been paid for. I did not try and hide anything at this point and gave them what I had. There was a great deal more handed over than I even knew about. I didn’t argue about it though as I knew I was just as guilty for the items she had taken as I was for my own. The next thing I knew the police were contacted and I was being given a summons to appear on theft 2 charges. I had never been so scared or embarrassed.
In November I appeared for court and was offered a deal. If I did 20 hours of community service and paid a $25 fine all charges would be reduced to a simple violation and I would keep a clean record. I of course jumped at the opportunity. I had 45 days to have everything done when things fell apart once again when I hurt my back bending over at the beginning of December. Since that time I have had two stays in the hospital and been nearly completely bed bound. The court has been gracious enough to keep extending the time I had to complete the hours but I have been physically unable to. I have my final set over on the fifth and have been in a panic still needing to complete 15 of my 20 hours. That is when I found DIG. Not only am I able to get my hours but writing this essay has forced me to really examine how I allowed myself to get to a place where I felt breaking the law was actually a path I was willing to take. This experience has taught me so much about myself and how important it is to never go down that road again.
I want to also thank DIG for offering this program to those of us trying to turn our lives around. As the adult child of an alcoholic/drug addict and the wife of a recovering alcoholic I understand the importance of the services you offer to families struggling with the horrible disease of addiction. I hope that my story may reach someone who may be feeling like I did before they make the same poor choices. I truly understand now the importance of asking for help when it seems that self destruction is the only option. I will keep this experience in the forefront of my mind the rest of my days so that I will never make such a poor choice ever again.