Velvet – Completing GED- To become a College Student!


Velvet – Completing GED- To become a College Student!

My name is Velvet I am 38 years old and live in Portland Oregon. I am recovery, which means, I have not used any drugs or alcohol almost three years. That is the most clean-time I have had since the first time I ever used.

I grew up in Klamath Falls Oregon in a group home for troubled girls, I lived there from age 11 to nearly 18. It was a good home. The foster parents where good God-fearing people took us to church, loved us and gave us a good home. I got involved with the church decided that when I turned 18, I would go to Bible College, become a missionary, and go teach God’s word.

Someone in my church told me I needed to forgive my mother and make amends with her before I could go God’s work. So that is what I set out to do; I returned to my mother and my step father’s home with the intention to do just that. Quickly I realized that it was not going to be possible. Some people are just too sick to allow in your life. So being unable to reconcile with my mother or forgive her. I got in my head that if I couldn’t forgive her God couldn’t forgive me.

Hopeless, I tried an unsuccessful attempt to kill myself. Soon after, I found meth. The man I was dating wouldn’t marry me until I was a size 9. That seemed a great reason to continue doing meth, soon the meth had its hooks into me. That relationship soon ended.

It wasn’t long before I met my “now ex-husband. My addiction was so out of control at this point; I was selling meth when I met him. We started hanging out and a week later was pregnant. His family talked me into marrying him because it was the right thing to do.

I was able to quit using while I was pregnant but my husband didn’t. During that time he began injecting meth and hiding it from me. Soon the abuse started, he was beating me. The abuse continued until I shot him.

That was just the beginning of my addiction.  My husband and his family ended up with custody of my son. I sank deeper into my addiction.  My addiction kept ending in incarceration and that cycle continued on for years. I had another child and lost custody and continued to use. I tried moving to Alaska and still continued to use.

I came back to Oregon with a decision to change my life. I got in touch with my friend Shawn Bower, one of the co-founders of a project called Iron Tribe. He helped me get into one of their clean and sober houses. Coming to Iron Tribe saved my life. Every one welcomed me with open arms and for the first time in my life feel like I belonged somewhere – without drugs. I hadn’t had that experience before. Members of Iron Tribe were there for me, through the good and the bad times. They have shown me how to live a good life drug free.

Today, I have good job working in a methadone clinic, I completed my GED and going to college to become a drug counselor. I wake up each day very grateful to be a woman in recovery. We need to invest in treatment instead of sending people to jail. We can together fight addiction.

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