In childhood and throughout our lives we live, we love, and we learn. These learning experiences can be either positive or negative and they can quickly be forgotten or can stay with us forever. Throughout my lifetime I have gone through my fair share of both positive and negative experiences. It is through these experiences that I have become the woman I am today. Two of these positive experiences that I have gone through in the course of my life that have played the largest part in the woman I am today are; the birth of my first son and getting clean and sober.
Both of these experiences came with a variety of mixed emotions in the beginning but in the end were very rewarding. I can still remember the day the doctors told me I was pregnant. That immediate sense of fear swallowed me whole and time seemed to stand still. It was not until a couple of months later that I realized there was no changing the situation and that I needed to make the very best of it. Finding out I was pregnant started out as a very scary experience but ultimately was one of the most positive and rewarding experiences I have ever endured.
After the fear settled a little bit I was able to really start thinking about my life and what I needed to change. Up until that day at the doctors I was living day by day doing what I needed to do for me and no one else. I had no job, I was living with my parents and my only source of excitement came from the local bar rooms late at night. I knew things needed to change and I set out on a mission to make that change happen. Alone and afraid I was able to swallow my pride and ask my family for help and the guidance to get my life back on track before this baby entered our world.
All through my pregnancy I knew I loved my unborn son more than I have ever loved anything in this world. I knew that my life was no longer mine rather it was my son and I’s and that I needed to be the very best parent I could be. Although I was not able to find a real job I was babysitting for other family members and earning my own money. I was able to buy almost everything that was needed for my unborn son all on my own. Two months before I was due to give birth I finally got my own apartment. I was starting to feel like my own person and I was not so scared anymore.
Kaidon Douglas Bishop entered this world on July 26th, 2005. It is a day that I will never forget. That immediate feeling of unconditional love overwhelmed me. This little boy had changed my life forever and for the first time in my life I felt like I did something right and I had a reason to live the right way. I chose this experience to discuss first because I believe it has had the most profound impact on my life and the person I am today. Finding out I was pregnant was a huge eye opener and motivator.
There has been no other experience in my life that has made me as happy and satisfied as this one. The second experience I have chosen to discuss is my journey through addiction and into sobriety. This is yet another experience that has had a lasting impression on my life. At about the age of 16 I went through some very hard times and rather than deal with all the feelings and emotions that came with those difficulties I turned to drugs to bury those feelings. Things quickly escalated and in only a few short months my life was turned completely upside down.
My drug addiction was the only thing in my life that mattered and I did not care about anything except my next high and where it was coming from. The ages of 16 through 21 were by far the worst years of my life. My addiction to opiates was running my life. Throughout the five years of my addiction I did several stints in and out of County jails, State prisons and rehabs. When I was not in one of those places I was homeless, bouncing around from drug house to drug house when I could and sleeping on the streets when I had no other option.
My final rock bottom was when my own family had completely shut me out of their lives. It was at this point I knew that something had to change and I needed to get help. I had nothing and nobody and it was a very lonely time for me. I began making phone calls to substance abuse programs all over New York State hoping and praying that somebody would want to help. I was finally accepted into a suboxone program for opiate addiction and once again had someone on my side. Slowly I was able to completely get off from the heroin and pain killers and regain some sense of control.
I understand that this sounds like a very negative experience but I have chosen it as one of the more significant experiences in my life because the outcome was so positive and rewarding and to this day affects my everyday life and decisions. Once I was clean and my family saw my progress I was accepted back in to open arms and a boat load of support. I doubt highly I would have ever been able to beat this addiction and get my life back without the help of my family. This experience not only taught me t he value of family but that persistence and working hard to get something you really want does pay off.