As I mentioned in one of my lasts posts, a question I thought about after moving home was, would I get along with my mom after moving home?
Well, another thing that I accomplished while living in Roseau was starting a new and building a strong relationship with my mom.
I also mentioned in one of my previous posts that I wish I would have been closer to my dad and took advantage of the time I could have spent with him, and I am not going to make that mistake again. He passed away when I was too young and sometimes wonder what life would have been like had he been around. But our dad always said, his only goal was to get his three kids through college… in which he did. He was a good man, and led a good life.
The one thing I have always done my whole life is to put my friends before my family.
Christmas and Thanksgiving visits to Roseau generally centered around hanging out and partying with friends first and spending time at home second.
I got a lot more home time as I was then living with my mom, but there is still plenty of room for improvement upon my release. (And not to be cheesy, but she is the one I can always count on to pick up the phone and is my very best friend this day.)
One thing I want to talk about, as it has come up many times in treatment, is relocating. What I mean is moving from the town you have done most of your criminal behavior or drug use in, to a new town where you hope to get clean and start fresh. So I was living in Minneapolis, and that was where my drug connections were, but most of my criminal activity took place in Fargo and Grand Forks, as that is where I was transporting the majority of my drugs.
I want to weigh the pros and cons of relocating versus staying where you are and trying to get clean. First I moved from Minneapolis to Grand Forks and then finally ended up in Roseau. Now, as I took each step, I did make progress as far as making my life more manageable.
When I left Minneapolis, I didn’t think I have to get out of this town to give myself a chance to get clean, but maybe my sub-Fargo was. At the same time, I did move to a town where much of my criminal activity and partying took place, so if I was running from my problems I didn’t pick the best place to go. The primary reason for relocating was to be a daily presence in my daughter’s life. However, after several months, some success and some failures, I decided Roseau was the best place for me to go. So, in case someone is in a similar spot and is thinking about relocating the pros are, you get a fresh start. By that I mean you may have built up a bad reputation from your current community and would feel more comfortable going somewhere you may be a little less known.
You also might have more support where you are going; maybe it’s a positive influence in your life that is encouraging the move, as a way of trying to help you out. Another good reason for it would be a job opportunity where you are going, in sobriety, there is nothing more important than steady employment because many times that is the foundation of your structure. A new town can give you a new sense of confidence that you might need to lift your spirits and get you out of a slump. Of course, every situation has its cons.
In the case of relocating if you have lived in the town or city that you are choosing to leave, you may be leaving the biggest part of your safety net behind especially if you have lived there for an extended amount of time or were raised there. You also might be leaving behind job opportunities, since you probably have built a large social network wherever you lived. This is also a reason why I am choosing to go back to Minneapolis upon my release, even though I left it behind in 2012 because I believe it’s my best chance of financial success.
Other reasons why relocation might not be the best option is you may not like the new town that you move to, especially if you haven’t lived there before. This could make you more susceptible to failures or relapse if it turns out to be the case. The last reason can be the living situation that you are moving to doesn’t pan out, this can be the same if you are moving into a new relationship, which only adds pressure onto your recovery.
In the end, there is no way to foresee how the move is going to turn out; sometimes, you have just to try it if you have already exhausted all other efforts. When I decided to relocate, I was happy with my results, even though I always knew Minneapolis is where I would want to return eventually.
I enjoyed my time in Grand Forks, starting a relationship with my daughter and working at the sugar plant. Then time in Roseau, continuing that relationship with my daughter and building one with my mom as well, which has remained strong throughout my incarceration.
Until next time…