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Change

 “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, and is nothing. He may avoid suffering to a degree, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or even live. Chained by certitude, you are a slave, and have fortified freedom. Only a person who risks is free.” -William Arthur Ward-

Change is hard. To stay the same is natural. Through 2-years of sobriety I have learned that the hard route, the road less traveled, is more often than not, the right path for me. Being a recovering heroin addict had left me insecure and anxious about life in general; far from the courageous, social and comical person on heroin. I found it frightening and hard to speak up for myself. Court, college, even peers; I would isolate and avoid interacting socially. When an advisor signed me up for human communications I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In our first class I learned we had to give four speeches. My first thought was, “I’m dropping this class”. I stuck it out though. I’m glad I followed through. I was obviously nervous about my first speech. The anticipation was worse than the actual delivery. I scored 95 out of 100. I felt great afterward.

I have shared my testimony several times and given several presentations. My last presentation netted me 55 points out of 50; the highest score in my class. Due to an unexpected transfer I’ll have to retake the human communications class, which isn’t near as daunting as it was the first time around. I feel my recovery is the same as glossophobia. It can be terrifying at first. You’ll lose sleep over the anxiety, the fear, the uncertainty, the doubt, and most of all the fear of failure. Our instructor told us “as far as I know no one has ever died from stage fright”. Well as far as I know no one ever died strictly from recovery. The more I got up in front of people, the more confident I became. Recovery is the same way. And after all what did I have to lose? Nothing! There is nothing to lose but everything to gain. 

Now, I don’t hesitate to ask questions when I need help. I don’t fear authority. I won’t lose sleep knowing I have a sales presentation to do in 2 weeks. That incidentally is one fourth of my entire grade for that class. I won’t avoid attempting to contact my daughter due to anxiety and fear of being let down. Most importantly, I won’t stay the same because of fear of failure or uncertainty. With realistic goals and perseverance the sky is the limit.

Jamey Rose~07/07/17

Edited/Published by Dawn Seitter

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Man to Mirror

Man to Mirror

I was introduced to a man that has helped me tremendously. I was a fairly young boy, around six or seven years of age. My mother had recently separated from another “step-dad”. We were “on the move” again. All I really know is my siblings and I ended up at my aunt’s house in a rural community of less than 50 residents. In the town of Kirkpatrick that had one crossroad. The only public building was a little church that sat adjacent to the trailer we were staying in. We were required to attend Sunday school at this church. I had never been to church, to my knowledge. I didn’t care for it much. I spent most of my time lingering through the halls, looking for places to hide from the institutional feel of it all. Needless to say, I didn’t take this introduction seriously.
I carried on with my life as if I had never met the man. However, I couldn’t deny the impression the encounter had left on me. In times of need, in times of doubt, despair, anger, I would think of him.
In 2001, I was 21 years old. It was a turning point of sorts in my life. I began a steady pattern of incarceration. I attended a play of sorts. This play emphasized how a man endured many hardships, trials and tribulations. Through it all he stayed the course. Through doubt, reluctance, humiliation and oh the violence, he endured. Through it all, he showed me what love is. Compassion, forgiveness, kindness, and servitude. What a man of character. A true model of integrity. I had never known this kind of love. I didn’t even know that kind of love was possible.
In 2005, I had possibly the most significant experience in my lifetime. I realized the man I had come to know, knew me personally. This extraordinary historical figure, actually knew me by name. Through this experience I had the overwhelming desire to get to know him. I started to communicate with him regularly. I would confide all my thoughts, worries, and concerns in him. When I told him I wanted to stop smoking and that I couldn’t do it without him, he helped me ensure I quit, for good! When I told him I was tired of my lifestyle, using drugs, violence, co-dependence, he gave me the strength I needed to overcome. When I received a five year prison sentence, he removed the bitterness and denial and replaced it with accountability and humility. When I lost my wife and sister to addiction, he helped me make sense of it. He’s given me courage to be a better father, brother, son, friend and person.
This man provided me with a blue print of how one should be. The importance of honesty, respect, honor, and self-worth, are now more than just concepts to me, they’re values. He’s given me knowledge, strength to persevere, an attitude of gratitude, in order to become the man I desire to be. He’s given me the courage to strive to live my life as he lived his.
The funny thing is, he was there all along. Even when I didn’t think I wanted him there. When I cursed him and blamed him, he stuck by my side. He was there when I didn’t want to go on living, when I couldn’t see anything worth living for. Most importantly, he loved me when I didn’t love myself.
Who is this man? Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Someone once said, “If somebody saves your life, the least you can do is live it.” Today, I choose to live my life with a purpose. What is your purpose?
Jamey Rose~07/05/17
Prison Memoirs
Published by Dawn Seitter