This I Believe

Tami - Portland, Oregon
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: setbacks

I believe that it is never too late to start your life over. I was born and raised in San Diego, California in an upper middle class neighborhood. My parents were religious people and raised us as such. We were fairly sheltered, in that our whole lives evolved around church and church activities. We went three hours on Sunday, had “family night” on Mondays, Tuesdays were youth groups, Wednesdays were “homemaking” and boy scouts, and dances on Fridays. Our friends were mostly people we grew up with in the church, because that’s who we spent most of our time with.

In spite of our decent upbringing and our parents’ efforts to shield us from evil, it found us. By the 90’s, four out of their five children were addicted to meth, (or “crank” as it was called back then). Once I tried it, I never looked back.

Eighteen years of misery passed in the blink of an eye. During that time, I went from a naïve little girl, to a full time criminal. My addiction told me that I could never be anything more than a dope fiend, and I believed it.

At 36 years old, I found myself facing prison time and it finally dawned on me just how insane my life had become. I wanted my life back, but I had my doubts that I could do it. I sought help through Narcotics Annonymous, and had a spiritual awakening. Since I joined the program, I have gained the self confidence and support I needed to succeed.

I’m 38 years old now with over a year and a half clean, and I’m starting my life over. I’m going to school to become a veterinary technician, something I’ve always wanted to do. Every day is both a struggle and a blessing. I have a new respect for life and my future and I know today that the sky is the limit. Regardless of our age, it is never too late to start over and change the ending to our lives.