On July 22nd this year, I marked my twelfth year clean and sober. Not a small feat considering my drug infused past, and I am beyond grateful that I have made it this far. I have so many blessings in my life today. Blessings I never, in my wildest dreams, believed would be realities for me. It seemed any happiness was unattainable, not in my cards, someone else’s story, any excuse, but not for me. I had so much pain from a youth that haunted me, and I saw no way to live with myself except by numbing it out to escape. I was a shell of a person who, even though I had survived my experience with John Holmes, was killing myself. In the end, I had lost my home, my friends, my family, and my connection with God. But I wouldn’t die….
When I share this experience with others, I remember it like this: A day came when I was particularly despondent, coming out of a fog that I had literally prayed I wouldn’t wake up from. It was mid-day and for some reason I turned to look toward some dusty bushes rustling in an unexpected breeze. I stared at them, watching the wind curl a random pattern through their brown-tinged leaves. There, I was suddenly struck with an understanding…a deep new awareness that came to me clear and simple–”it was time I change”. Then almost as randomly, an acquaintance happened to show up and offer me help… this time I took it.
It was tough in the beginning, but with God’s Grace I’m making it, one day at a time. My journey has been a path of amazing revelations–of who I was, who I am, and who I am supposed to be. Also, came a wonderful reconnection with God and some amazing opportunities. So much of my pain was connected to abuse, and with my abuse there was the theft of my God given voice. With sobriety came healing and from healing…the publishing of my book. I have been given my voice back in a big way.
The Grace and opportunities haven’t stopped. My voice has now grown into a conduit for other voices. The voices of those throwaway teens who are still suffering, reaching out, and seeking to be heard. A documentary is on the horizon. Today, I am humbled and again blessed to be given the chance to produce a film depicting the plight of these teens. With the support of Medallion Media and award-winning documentary film maker Justin Hunt (“American Meth” and “Absent”) this film will become a reality, and another new awareness will be realized by many.
To think, twelve years ago I wanted to die. I had no idea that I was worth anything, for myself or much less for others. But God did.
Thank you all for being a part of this journey with me. I am grateful beyond words.