Getting Clean, Part 6 | Noah’s Why

Getting Clean | Noah Bergland | construction2style

Hey all,
Noah here back again. We’re going to digress off the “why” series now and then well because we like to digress. And some of the why stories lead to other topics that I want to touch on because they’re important to understand the full reason why I’m in prison and why addicts do what they do.

So getting back into my why…

When I left Minneapolis, it was a good feeling. And it felt like I was getting a new start.

However, I wasn’t breaking completely free.

I still owed people plenty of money, mostly to family, and there were loose ends. My car was in the impound and I still owed at least $8 – $10K on my car note (not to mention that my uncle was so nice to get me through his employer) and I knew I was most likely going to default on that loan as I was getting out of the drug game. I put over 200,000 miles on the car running drugs from Minneapolis to Grand Forks, in only 2.5 years. Writing that right now, over 7 years later, reminds me just how pathetic I was. I made all this money with the car and couldn’t even pay for the car. The shit a drug addict can convince themselves of that is okay is ridiculous, and it makes me feels so stupid even to this day.

I knew at this point there was a very good possibility that I was going to prison. But I also wasn’t sure. My future was up in the air.

Sometime in the summer of 2011 my mom contacted me and said she received a call from a Roseau alumni who worked for the Grand Forks Drug Task Force but was calling as a civilian, concerned about another Roseau alum, which was referring to myself.

Not completely sure what he told her but it was somewhere along the lines that I was in over my head, and I had recently been raided for suspicion of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute.

I told my mom that everything was fine and that I will handle it.

And from my earlier posts, you can put together that everything was far from “fine” at this point.

I contacted the officer and told him that he could talk to my lawyer, of which he asked for the number, and I told him I would have him call him.

I actually didn’t have a lawyer and also couldn’t afford one, because I was dead broke.

I also had just borrowed $2K from my brother to get repairs on that same vehicle that I was leaving behind and in the previous months had made zero progress on paying him back.

On top of everything, I was feeling both guilt and shame that I had lied to my family about the money I had borrowed the past summer. Again, another new level of rock bottom that I had hit.

As I mentioned in one of my last “why” posts, I reached out to the one person who I knew wouldn’t judge me, but also wouldn’t let any of my shit fly. I knew I had to get clean and it’s not easy turning to anyone, let alone people who don’t understand.

So I went to East Grand Forks and moved in with my daughter’s grandpa, and he said I had two rules: I would get a job, and quit that shit.

I don’t remember a whole lot of details about the immediate transition, but what I do remember is how happy I was to be in Melrose’s life on a daily basis.

She was already seven months old and living with her mom and grandpa, and they so graciously welcomed me in.

The diaper changing took some getting used too, but it quickly became one of the little things I learned to be grateful for.

I searched the internet for work and applied at numerous places. I had a couple of interviews, and eventually got a job at a sugar plant in Drayton. Lucky for me, they were having a strike and looking for temporary workers. They were impressed by my college degree and offered me a shift supervisor position starting at $22/hour. I was ecstatic as you could imagine and looking forward to making some actual hard-earned money again!

The one thing about drug money is easy come, easy go; when you don’t earn it, honestly it’s just so much easier to convince yourself it’s okay to waste it.

This was probably the number one question I got after I was convicted,  “what did you do with all that money?”

Well, I smoked, snorted, gave it away, gambled, expensive hotels, trips, outrageous tips, eat out five meals a day, strip clubs, and the list goes on…I wasted it.

I chose to do all these things instead of taking care of my family, paying back my debts, paying my bills, or saving for the future.

So I am sure you can imagine how this weighed on me when the smoke cleared.

Until next time.
From the inside,

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