We talked a lot about this next series we’re about to dive into, “Noah’s why?”
Should we share? Should he share? Will it embarrass our family? Will people be mad?
How did all this happen? What did we do wrong? When and why did he make that choice?
… We had the best parents, a big loving family, supportive grandparents… still do…
… Is it worth it to share ALL the truth? To our clients, readers, friends & family…
We’ve talked through this for months and the answer is, yes.
Every year 2.2 million adults are incarcerated. That means for every 100,000 people residing in the United States approximately 655 of them are behind bars. And over 5 million children growing up in the U.S.households right now have one or more parents incarcerated. Two-thirds of these parents are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses, primarily drug offenses.
People, just like Noah.
This photo was taken one of the times we thought Noah was about to go prison before sentencing. (Little did we know the judge would let him stay out until the day after our wedding day.)
So without further ado, Noah’s back again…
Hey guys, Noah here.
The other month I was talking to my good friend, Lars Lisell, on the phone, and I asked for feedback on everything my sister had posted up till this point here on the blog. One thing he mentioned was possibly going into more detail about the chaos, like the times I got held up at gunpoint.
I didn’t want to relive those memories however thought it was a good idea, but over the past month, I have been tossing the idea around in my head and trying to think about how to deliver it.
If I choose to share it, I wanted to make sure it’s for the right intention, and I decided it plays into the notion of, at what point does a person want to change.
What is the breaking point, or where is rock bottom?
Rock bottom for me was 2011…
I was in debt close to six figures to the wrong people; I got raided/robbed three times (twice at gunpoint). My drug use was out of control, I knew I was under investigation by the Feds, and my life was in a downward spiral that could only end up one of two places, prison or the morgue.
However, I don’t want to want to jump straight to 2011 because if I am going to tell the full story, I might as well start from the beginning, so you know the true story.
And after talking to my sister, and thinking it deep over, I think I’m ready to share now.
So let’s rewind to the beginning…
Most of you already know when the drug use started from previous letters, smoking cigarettes in 5th grade, drinking and smoking weed in 7th and 8th, and it progressed from there pretty stereotypically. I wasn’t necessarily trying to escape anything, because my home life was pretty good. My family loved me, my grades in school were decent, and I knew what was right and what was wrong. I was a kid just trying to fit in.
I was trying to find my identity and to find something I was good at, or at least thought I was, but I always thought I had my partying under control and I knew I had my limits. But, as I progressed through life, I constantly pushed those limits. In high school I drank, smoked weed, and smoked and chewed tobacco, but I would never use hard drugs.
Then college came, freshman year I still stuck to my guns and didn’t use any hard drugs, but I started to talk about them as if I might try them someday, and by the summer after freshman year, the hard drug use started.
The thing about drugs (or anything for that matter) is if you surround yourself with something long enough, even if you aren’t directly participating, you eventually create a new normal and trying it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
The only thing I was around regularly and never tried was the needle, not sure if it’s just because I am scared of them, or if it’s because I just wasn’t around them long enough, like everything else I would have probably come around and given it a try if I would have hung around the people long enough.
With the hard drugs, cocaine became synthetics, then acid and mushrooms. Then why not try prescriptions drugs? Aderol became meth; oxy became heroine, and that led to crack.
The real heavy uses didn’t start till after college but I had sampled everything else before then, and I had connections to purchase all of the above.
So college graduation came, December 2008, and I thought I was ready for the real world, but I definitely wasn’t. In my head I thought I was going to become something great, I was going to make all this money legitimately, and party whenever I wanted. I thought the party never had to stop; you just had to make more money, so you don’t look pathetic doing it. So, I got my urine clean, since I had to take a drug test for my first job at Automatic Data Processing, 50k salary plus commission and car and phone allowance. I passed the drug test, started the job, and within five months I was laid off, but they gave me a severance pay, which I thought was weird since I only worked there for a few months, but hey, I’ll take it!
I took the money and went back to painting at College Pro Painters, my previous place of employment. A few weeks into painting I start to feel this immense sense of failure, and I get what I thought was a genius idea, why don’t I take the money I have from Automatic Data Processing and get some drugs and run them up to Fargo and Grand Forks.
As I was nearing my college graduation, I had been hanging out with a number of kids that were going to school up there, and I had gone and partied there a number of times. At the time I had a decent connection for ecstasy, so I got a few hundred pills and went and got rid of them. I had a blast that weekend, I partied with a bunch of new people, met some new friends, and I tripled my investment. It was the easiest money I had ever made, and I had fun doing it.
I also thought, I was just partying with college kids.
As my clientele expanded, so did the demand for different drugs, so I started networking back in Minneapolis for whatever the campuses up north were craving. After a few weeks, I decided having a real job is for the birds, and decided to become a full-time drug dealer.
One weekend I would go to St. Cloud State, next would be Alexandria Tech, then Moorhead or NDSU, and finally UND, each one was a completely new adventure with different people. By the end of 2010 my family started to question where the money was coming from so I decided to get a job working for one of my most respected people. Also, by this time I was dating my daughter’s mother, Dacotah, and we were living in an apartment in Brooklyn Park. It wasn’t the best part of town, but it was a close drive to downtown, where I was working. It was also on the edge of the city so I could get out of town on the weekends to make my drug runs without much traffic. Things seemed like they were going pretty smooth, but then the drug use started trending in the wrong direction, Dacotah and I were fighting a lot, and I didn’t foresee the disaster that was coming the next year.
The summer of 2010 Dacotah and I found out we were expecting a child and she suggested that we make a change, or at least I make a change. A few months into her pregnancy she tells me either I quit selling drugs or she is moving back up north to live with her parents in East Grand Forks, as you can guess from where I am writing this letter now, I made the wrong choice.
Dacotah left, and that was the start of my downward spiral. Next, I moved into an apartment in downtown Minneapolis to be closer to work. However, things were not going good at work as I was meeting minimal requirements to stay in my position and anyone with half a brain could see my mind was somewhere else. Most nights I would stay up all night partying in my high-rise apartment, snorting blow, and then seven o’clock would roll around, and I would start getting ready for work. I would put on my dress socks and undershirt, start steaming my dress shirt, put on my suit and tie, and people were wondering where I was going. Well, I have to go to work and they would be shocked, you have been up all night and now you are going to work? Yep, is all I would say and you could guess how my work performance was, based on the choices I was making the night before.
I would be in the office, sitting in meetings or hitting the phones, and I would be a sweaty mess. I remember one time sweating profusely and asking around is it hot in here or is it just me, and this guy looked at me crazy and responded, yeah it’s just you. Sorry, I was a piece of shit, there is no way to sugar coat it. Eventually, this guy brought me into his office sometime in early 2011 and asked me if I even wanted to be here. I replied no, and we started to transition my clients.
At this time Dacotah is completely fed up with my shit, she has had Melrose, and I am a drug-fueled maniac that doesn’t have a job and is running around with strippers and drug addicts that are trading shots of heroin and then cocaine back and forth. I remember looking back on this time and thinking I need to quit what I am doing, but at the time I was pretty far in debt, due to my drug habit and a number of poor choices……So here we are 2011!