It has been almost 8 years since I was last incercerated and I but myself in court for a traffic infraction. I don't feel too badly because I was actually a totally legal driver including a valid drivers lisence, registration as well as the required minimum insurance. 8 years ago that would have been a miracle. I drove illegally for years and years. Incidentily I saved thousands on insurance during those years and luckily never had an accident and injured no one. I feel I must qualify my previous statement about incaceration by informing everyone that my first incarceration did not happen until my mid 30's. Despite being raised to be a thief and a criminal I managed to rebel and attempted to be a productive member of society. I managed to be what I believe to be a positive person and even held a respectable position in the mental health field for almost 10 years. Looking back the beginning of the end actually started in the early 90's when I took my first hit of crack. It was love at first toke and I proceeded to go on a 6 month binge. I lost my job, my money and all my friends. Far too much happend to get into here and now but I did manage to stop after about 6 months. I then became a fairly heavy drinker with vodka being my beverage of choice. I muttled along that way for a few years and tried heroin for the first time at the age of 34. I first started snorting and was fine with that until a so called friend of my older brother, a mentor of sorts turned me on to needles. That was a line I swore I would never cross but when another friends father who was a diabetic was switched to another form of meds, he had 3 boxes of 100 syringes. I took them off his hands thinking I would give them to my friends who were much worse than me because they were IV drug users. Anyway, after the very first time I would never snort again unless I was sick and there were no clean needles. I did manage to never share a needle with anyone, not once. Just like most addicts I have far to many so called war stories and I do not want to get into all that here and now. The point of this story is mistaken identity and not my career as a gutter drug addict.
So here I am dressed for work at the courthouse in my hometown. These days I work about 55 hours a week selling Kia's and Mazda's. I am a very successful car salesman and have never been as healthy as I am now. Clean living has a way of rewarding us like that. Upon arriving at court I sign a clipboard as does everyone who has a case on for that day and along with about 75 people am waiting for my name to be called by the states Attorney to discuss my case. The room is crowded and I am very uncomfortable and can't seem to find a open space amongst my fellow accused. I then notice an unoccupied desk area and set up my position behind this desk. It appears to be a sort of help desk that the state decided not to use. After about 10 minutes people start asking me questions and instead of informing them I just start answering questions. I had lots of previous past experiences in this room and kinda surprised to pretty much have the answers to all the questions being asked of me. The last person who approached me started the conversation by addressing me as sir. She said "sir can I ask you a couple questions". It was actually startling to me for some reason when she said "sir". She was a few years my senior but because she thought I was a state employee she called me sir. I anwered her generic question, gave a bit of legal advice and then decided to come clean. I informed her that I was infact just another defendant and was basically in the same boat as she. Her response is really the point of this story and it still resonates with me 6 months later. When I have bad days with depression and self doubt, I think of her words. My life is still not all peaches and cream as it takes years to repair such a broken person. I feel closer everyday but with so much lost I am not sure I can completekly repair the damage I have done. I lost my son when he was 17, the mother of my children passed when she was but 39 years old and I do not have custody of my 3 children. All a direct result of my addcition. When I do get down, those words help a little so I try to remember them. After I informed the the lady I was not in fact an officer of the court she showed obvious surpirise and said, "wow, I thought for sure you were a lawyer, you are very handsome and extremely impressive". Maybe it was the tie that fooled her but it still sounded like music to my ears. 8 years earlier when I was last arrested for shoplifting I was 35 pounds lighter, had tracks all over my body and was on the fast track to an early death. I have a long ways to get to where I want and plan to be, but I do believe I am on my way. There is a lot of history which I believe started me on the road to the insanity that is addiction but that is for another day.