Consequences are something that has been on my mind a lot over the past couple of years.
When I was running around selling drugs, partying, and living that life, I knew there were consequences to my actions.
When you use or sell drugs there is always that chance that you can get caught and then the possibility that you can go to jail or prison.
I knew that and for whatever reason, I was okay with that, because at the time I thought the risk was worth the reward.
The money, lifestyle, “feeling good” about myself while I was messed up, were all rewards that I thought outweighed the risk of losing my freedom.
I was going to live my life the way I wanted to because if I got caught and went to prison nobody gets hurt but me, right? Ya, I was wrong, again. Big time.
My mom, brother, sister, grandparents, and anyone who shares my last name with me for starters were feeling the consequences long before I ever was.
Well, as you know from where I’m sitting sharing these letters from, the inevitable finally happened and I was caught, sentenced, and incarcerated. And the consequences finally came for me.
I was sentenced to 120 months in prison and I felt relieved. Because I thought there is nothing more the state or federal government could do to me, I knew my sentence and all I had to do was serve my time and finish it.
Guess what? I was wrong again.
Of course, one option when going to prison is to keep pretending like what you did to get there is just a part of life and it affects nobody but yourself, so do the time, get out and go back to life as you know it.
That way is pretty painless I can imagine but chances are you will be back, back again, and maybe eventually back forever.
Then, you have another option. This option is looking for another way because what you knew didn’t get you very far. And you may not know what that way is, because it’ll be new to you. But if you’re open to something new, you’ll find it, just like I have.
I’ll be real, this way is a lot more painful because physically doing the time is nowhere near the hardest part of the sentence.
The hard part comes when you start to relive your past, while being clean and serving your time and let me tell you… new, unexpected, unimaginable consequences start to meet you.
For me most of those consequences include my daughter, my friends and family, and my realization that I had never had a real relationship, because of the way I chose to live my life.
Starting with the intimate relationships, that realization came when I got locked up and none of the girls from my past materialized, some wrote, answered calls, and visited but that is because some relationships became real true friendships. As far as having a truly intimate relationship that had the potential to become something more, those never existed, because I wouldn’t allow them and they were based on some type of drug activity.
My friend Sam asked me at a visit once, to think about how many of my past intimate relationships happened for the first time sober. (Sam is one of my best friends from college and is sober. Morgan will throw a picture in of me and my buddy Sam here.) I racked my brain and I don’t know if I could think of one. Starting with the first, he saw me struggling to pinpoint one and said, you can’t can you? I couldn’t. How sad.
Next, is friends and family and the consequences. When I started to ask my family for their input on how my addiction impacted them, I wasn’t completely prepared for the feedback.
I have shared a little in the past about this and I believe my sister put the letter she shared with me here on the blog, but my mom and brother gave it to me even harder then she did.
Then my Grandma and Grandpa sent one, as did my God-parents, and a few friends did as well.
Reading those letters today is a little easier because I am in a better place now, but they still hurt because I have to accept that I wasn’t always a good person and my actions had consequences that I didn’t think about at the time.
Those relationships are even stronger now because we opened up, talked through it, and luckily have a lot of forgiveness. But I think about all the people I haven’t reached out to that I owe an apology to and they deserve to put in their two cents if they wish.
Trust me, I promise I will get to them eventually, but if I did them all at once I don’t think I would survive to talk about it.
Last, and most importantly is the consequences that I have forced upon my daughter and myself involving my daughter.
When I was running around I wasn’t thinking about my daughter growing up without a dad in her everyday life. I wasn’t even thinking about her after she was born because I still didn’t quit my illegal activity. But I promise I am thinking about all that now, every single day…as if I had a choice…but I am glad I am being forced to live out my consequences because it’s all well deserved.
The hardest parts of my brother’s victim impact letter he wrote to me, included a section about the damage I have caused to my daughter, such as the different ways she will view her relationships with men because of me. That never even hit me.
Then the daddy-daughter dance he mentioned that I wasn’t able to take her to. My daughter was living in Roseau at the time, and her best friend’s dad didn’t want her to miss out on that experience and offered to take Melrose along with them. My mom told me on the phone and I thought that was really nice and considerate of him. Then I got the pictures in the mail and it hit me like a ton of bricks, how big of a selfish piece of shit I was. There is my little girl with some really nice guy next to her whom I have never even met, yet fulfilling my responsibilities.
That picture hangs on the inside of my locker door today, two years later, a daily reminder of the consequences I continue to pay for, ones far more painful than just enduring a 120-month sentence. And also one day be a good man like that guy and pay it forward because no little girl deserves to not go to a daddy-daughter dance.
I am sure I have plenty more consequences to come, accept, and live through in the last year of my sentence, or during my home confinement and probation upon release, and certainly, once I am introduced back into my daughter’s life.
Anyone out there who is walking in my steps just be aware and not just think about yourself. And if you can, stop and start living those consequences now and don’t take the same path I did. It’ll be painful but trust me, it’ll help you and your people live a better life. And everyone deserves to live a nice life.
Thanks for listening!