Walking in My Own Shoes (Part 1)
by Damien M.
So long I’ve been scared to walk in my own shoes. I thought I didn’t know anything and that I wasn’t smart enough. I am someone who lives in fear. From the time I was about 8, all I remember is being scared—scared of life, scared of everything. I didn’t think I was good enough or smart enough. I felt like I was poor. I didn’t know who I was, what I was, what I was going to be. From the time I was 18, my life had been consumed with drugs. I was lost. Where was my life going?
The people I hung out and used drugs with became my family. I called them my “street family.” I did have a real family who loved me, but I was depressed and sad. My brother was with me. I always told him my problems. I told him one day I would be sober. He told me one day he would be sober. But before that happened, he was killed.
A few years ago, I got in trouble with the law. That was the turning point. Some people don’t like the police or the law, but I’m grateful for them. They came into my life and helped me. They gave me the courage to change. The first drug program I stepped into, I started learning about addiction and then I started learning about myself.
Walking in My Own Shoes (Part 2)
by Damien M.
Today at 55 and sober, I know for the first time who I am. I am a good, honest person who loves life. I’m a mother, a proud grandmother, a sister, cousin, niece, friend. And most of all, I’m God’s child. I have my first real apartment. I’m a boxer. I’m working on my mind, body, and soul. If people knew how to deal with their feelings—that a feeling is just a feeling, and that it will pass through us—they would know how to deal with life.
Before this, I thought that at 55, you can’t do anything and it’s too late. I would debate with my pre-trial officer and tell her I felt I couldn’t do it, that it was too late. But it’s never too late. I wish other people would realize that.
I have a beautiful granddaughter and I’m watching her grow up. She’s doing so much. It is the happiest part of my life. I just truly love me right now. Even in my deepest depression I always felt that there was a lesson from God for me. Everything I ever went through in my life was a lesson from God. I lost a lot of time. But I learned from my mistakes. So see? Today I walk in my own shoes.