My name is Jo. I am 42 years old. My father was murdered in 1977 over a game of pool where the unknown killer refuse to pay him after losing the game instead he shot my father once in the heart and twice in the back. He died instantly at the age of 27. I was nine years old when my father was murdered. His death left me deeply wounded and depressed.
I was raised by my single mother in Denver, Colorado. When I was 14 years old I started smoking weed, drinking, and ditching school. This type of behavior continued through my teenage years at which time I also experienced with acid, cocaine and mushrooms. At the age of 18, I became pregnant with my first daughter. This would be the first time in my addiction that I would become drug-free. I had a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to an 8 lb. 1 oz. baby girl!
Shortly after I had my daughter I discovered the 18th and up nightclubs. For the 1st time in my life I felt a sense of belonging, the bars where I fit in. I started drinking more and using cocaine every weekend. At the age of 22, I became pregnant and got married. I used drugs throughout my pregnancy and my daughter was born addicted to cocaine. My marriage failed and was over in 18 short months and Social Services took my 2nd daughter. My life was slowly spinning out of control so I took more drugs and alcohol because I thought it was the only thing that would make me feel better. I became selfish and self-centered I did not have any regard for anything or anyone in my life.
My oldest daughter went to live with her grandma and my baby was released from social services and went to live with her other grandma. I packed up my townhouse sold my car and packed everything including my troubles into a suitcase and flew to Las Vegas (party central of American). I neglected my parental responsibilities and became more irresponsible. I stayed in this downward spiral for many years.
I could never put my priorities in order for example; I dropped out of school and majored in nightclubbing. All of my jobs revolved around the bar scene. I met my 3rd baby’s dad (Ned) in the bar. It was doing this time of my live that my change temporarily. Ned was the love of my life even though our relationship was first based on drinking and drugging. I would make major changes on my life. I was introduced to the lord and his mercifulness I would surrender my life and will to him. For the first time in my life I settled down and quit partying. Ned and I moved in together and I became pregnant with my third child. We all went to church together and lived our lives according to God’s will. In August of 1999 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy name Isaiah. This was also a sad time in my life my mother was dying from cancer. During this time my relationship with Ned slowly deteriorating. We both let the enemy in our home and started drinking and using cocaine. Eventually Ned moved out and I moved to Delta, CO to be with my mother. My mother lost her battle to cancer in February 2001. I suffered the greatest loss of all time.
I fell deeper into my addiction and substituted cocaine with methamphetamine. I got my 1st felony and was sent to residential treatment program. Once I was released I went back to the drugs and everything fell apart. My son went to live with his grandma and I went to prison. My addiction led to check fraud and identify theft charges. I spent 2005-2010 in and out of prison, halfway houses and parole. This was a blessing in disguise because I was able to rededicate my life to the Lord. I got clean in 2008; I went to school and received my GED in June 2009.
During my incarceration I made a commitment to myself to focus on the thing that would help me better my life. I took and completed several self-help classes such as, celebrate recovery, making Choices, parenting, SSIC and Relapse Prevention at Arts. To I have all my children back in my life, I been clean for 2 year & 4 months.