I was released March 27, 2013. On May 3rd, 36 days after coming home, I had completed a week long intense training and was graduating from the Hope For Prisoners program. I was insecure, scared, and had a constant reminder wrapped around my ankle of my uphill battle to come…BUT…as I sat there, it was difficult to dwell on those thoughts and feelings because I was now equipped with a toolbox. A toolbox that included power tools… such as knowledge, values, wise choices, motivation, support, HOPE, …and Barbara Loupe’s 20 second smile:). I was filled with pride having completed the class. But more importantly, I had a vivid vision, which created specific goals that laid out my path for the coming year. I was ready to build a new foundation in my life, one that I can’t get knocked off from.
I found my dream job after wearing holes on my boots(and Mickey’s boots) from hitting the pavement. It took awhile and I took any job she threw at me while continuing to look. I knew that after every NO, I was closer to my YES. And when I found my yes and told the CEO I had to disclose things about my past before accepting his job offer, he said “I already know. I believe people can change and I believe in giving 2nd chances”. Those days were emotionally challenging and stressful..house arrest and logging, drug counseling, community service, 12 step celebrate recovery, full time job, mentor meetings..but I knew what I had to do, my vivid vision and the goals that get me there were my instructions and I had my tools…I took one day at a time, sometimes one hour, on some days one minute or one thought and effort at a time. But I kept the momentum that HOPE for Prisoners started and kept my looking toward my goal and pushing forward… because there was no way I was going to go backwards or stop, because I know when you stop, you’re not going anywhere and sometimes you even look back. Then I completed my drug counseling,I completed my community service, then they took off my anklet, I graduated my 12 step program.
In June of last year, I was hired as the Director of Technology for an international company. Today I am the V.P. of Technology for the same company and love what I do every day. I am still on probation and will be until God says it’s time. So I cross my Ts, dot my I’s, make wise choices and remember my values from my toolbox. But every day is a beautiful challenge and I stay motivated and press forward by staying connected. Staying connected here, giving back, attending mentor meetings, checking in at my Celebrate Recovery, are all things that I do to strengthen my foundation.
I want to thank Hope For Prisoners and all the amazing people that is part of their instructor team! Thank you for your passion to help, patience, sharing your knowledge, and having HOPE.
Hope taught me how to sow, I’m now harvesting, persevering and growing.