Substance abuse is one of the top three offenses that leads to the incarceration of young women.
Whether it’s dealing, or doing something illegal while being high, 1.27 million women in the United States are in prison or jail or on parole or probation, largely due to substance abuse.
Holly has been in and out of jail four times during my five years of teaching at the jail. Each time, substance abuse has played a major role in her return. Holly desperately wants help and eventually wants custody of her two daughters, but until she is determined that she wants these things more than the high of any drug, she’ll unfortunately continue in this cyclical pattern.
Meanwhile, I’ve asked Holly if she would be willing to share part of her story, with the hopes that others can learn that the path of drugs is not a worthwhile one. From a 23 year old woman who wishes that others will not follow her path…
A Fallen Friendship
You were my best friend, you never left my side.
When I would pick you up, all the pain that I had
would hide deep inside.
I loved you so much I traded my soul,
just for time for you and me to partake in a special role.
I shared your wisdom with another. This made me sick inside,
to show others how you could easily help hide the pain.
At first we took it slow, not too much too fast.
Don’t I wish those days never even started.
Now we moved on. We are up to pokes and picks.
You gave me scars and bruises that I could not revoke.
My pain got stronger down deep inside,
I used you so much that I numbed the pain inside.
I had to get away from you, this I did know.
But I needed you and couldn’t leave you, even when I tried.
I needed you to help me, I needed you to move.
Get up in the morning without you I could not do.
The love I had for you turned into hate.
But I grew to depend on you, this I can’t deny.
Having you take away all the things that were good.
I gave up my life, my family and friends…just to be with you,
just for some more time with you.
When we finally went our separate ways,
how I longed for your help to take my pain away.
The days went by, I kept you in my thoughts.
The pain I had to go through, when I left your side.
This was something I could have never hid.
Each day I was more sick than the last,
but soon days turned to weeks, weeks into months.
And you I have not sought.
I thought you were great, the best friend I could ever have.
Good bye to you forever my old friend.
My life you cannot have.
All you really wanted is to grow off my pain.
You turned into a demon with a very scary name.
I send out a warning, to all in your path.
Do not get fooled by the destruction of the evil wrath.
Think pot won’t hurt if you try it just once? It’s the gateway to bigger and more dangerous drugs. I went from smoking pot, to using crack and most recently, heroin–which is what the poem above is about.
I’ll never be able to erase the screams and the emotions of my daughter as I was handcuffed and forced into the police car. Once I am out of prison, it is going to take years to mend our relationships, and become a family again.
As horrible as I feel for doing this to my family and to myself, if just one person chooses not to try drugs, then I can say that something good has come out of something that has almost destroyed my life. Get high on the thrill of being with family and friends, not on the falsehood of drugs.
~ Holly, age 23