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So Methed Up: How I Almost Lost My Career Before It Started

This is the first part to a series of blogs that I will be posting. These are very, very personal stories. The events I share were impactful and part of my journey which formed the path to where I am today. I have kept names out to protect those involved. These are my stories from my recollection. Drug use, binge drinking, and physical abuse will be described throughout the series.

It was May 2005, I was turning 24 and graduating from Cal State University, Northridge. I had just started to date this really great guy who was also heading into education. We had met the year before in a math class and he was getting out of a relationship. Everything was going really great; it was all new and exciting. To celebrate my birthday, which usually falls on Memorial Day weekend, I was invited to a friend's house to hang out, have some beers and maybe smoke a joint or two. I took my co-worker who was my best gal at the time to the get together.

We started to drink, smoke a little pot . . . we were having a good time. Then, the meth dealer showed up. I was curious. So, I tried it. My girlfriend chose not to. No peer pressure. No big deal. As the night continued on, I noticed I wasn't tired and the beers and weed had no effect on me. So, I put the beer down and snorted another rail. This was the craziest drug I'd ever done. Previous to this, I had done coke once or twice, but hadn't really felt the effects of it. Meth was a different story. I felt invincible. I wasn't tired. I wasn't hungry and I had all this energy. All I wanted to do was talk, smoke cigarettes, and hang out with the people at the party. My friend was tired and ready to go home, but I wasn't . . . so I stayed. I stayed up all night doing meth. I watched the sun come up and thought wow. . . I could do meth all summer and lose weight and look great.

My friend came back later in the morning, picked me up, and brought me home. I slept for a while, ate some food, showered and then I went right back to my friend's house for round two. The night before, the drug dealer knew it was my first time, so he was very aware of how much he was giving me each time. I trusted him because, why not? He's a drug dealer. Again, stayed up all night doing meth. Getting that same high and sensation was incredible. I felt very in control. I thought I could do meth on the weekends and all would be fine. The next day was Sunday and Monday was a holiday. I went home Sunday mid-morning. Slept, ate, and chilled out on Monday to get my head right for the work week and graduation.

Graduation was great . . . had my new boyfriend and all my friends at my graduation and we all went out to celebrate at TFIGs after. The next day, I ditched work to enjoy a day down in Orange County at the beach with my new boyfriend. Then, the weekend came and I wanted to celebrate some more. I went to my friend's house. Did some more meth that night, came home the next day to get ready to take my new boyfriend to dinner with my old boyfriend's Mom and step-dad (they were my lifesavers after my Dad died-so we had stayed close.) When I got back to my place, I couldn't get my heart rate under control. I ended up calling 9-1-1 because my heartbeat was so fast I thought I was having a heart attack (which freaked me out because my Dad died from heart issues.) My new boyfriend rushed over to the townhome I was living in with my Vietnamese roommates (whom I had to explain to why I called 9-1-1.) The firefighters and paramedics showed up, they checked me out and suggested that I go to the ER. The new boyfriend, G, drove me to the ER at Kaiser in Woodland Hills.

After receiving some fluids in an IV, the doctor entered the room and asked if I was a credentialed teacher, I said no. He continued to tell me if I had been a fully credentialed teacher, he would have to report me to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. My heart dropped. I just graduated with my BA and was entering a credential program! Everything I had worked for could be gone. I worked so hard against so many odds to be where I was. I felt so dumb for jeopardizing my future. As G drove me home, he said he couldn't continue to see me if I was going to use drugs. Another blow. He told me to get in touch with him when I quit and I was ready for a relationship. And I thought to myself . . . I'm quitting drugs, cigarettes, and easing up on the booze. After a week or so of soul-searching, I contacted G . . .TO BE CONTINUED.

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