page-image-juan.jpgIt was raining when they found me in a field; trying to remember how I got there - or where I was going as I sat soaked and half-starved to death. They, as in the Franklin County Sheriff's department, picked me up and brought me back to the main road before turning me over to the Pasco Police. I sat in the back of a patrol car watching the streetlights fly by through the night as the officer accelerated. I was on a road that, at the time I never knew, would maybe someday lead me to the life I always wanted.

The nurse at the hospital saw me for what I really was: high on methamphetamine. Sometimes I sit back and remember the day we met, me and meth, two forces colliding so hard that one consumes the other. It's no wonder I'd end up here. It always proves that no one's special...

Before all of this, I had the perfect life: a wife, a beautiful baby daughter. All I wanted was to be able to give them the life they deserved, but working a minimum wage job doesn't work like that. That's why when opportunity knocked, I willingly opened the door to a dark underworld with ambitions of getting paid. Serving those that had lost their way, I became a reflection of what I thought success was: money, clothes, all things just to make it feel like it was all worth it. Life as a drug dealer is even darker than what you see on the movie screen. Greed got the best of me and my reputation attracted savages that redefined the clarity of life and death. My wife was swept into her own addictions and with everything that was happening around me, I eventually lost custody of my daughter. Everything good was sucked out of my life, so I naturally found an escape.

Meth doesn't discriminate. It's consistent in taking prisoners. To meth, nobody's special, but something special did happen that night I left the hospital. Whoever was taking me to jail felt a bigger need to take me to the Mission. Whether he believed in me or the Mission, it doesn't change the fact that coming here was the best thing that's happened to me. I used to drive by this place all the time, but never in a million years did I think I would end up here.

The past year has been nothing but blessings. I feel like I have a family again. Every day I wake up and thank God for another day. I have my daughter back in my life, I'm going to school to become a medical assistant, maintaining a good GPA, and working mornings to make an honest living. I don't know where I would be without the Mission. I'm not ashamed of being here because I know I am on the right track. I couldn't be happier with the way things are going right now - and I won't let anyone take that away from me.