Dust to dust: A vignette of addiction in New Mexico

Smoking weed at age 7. A father by age 15. A cocaine addiction that quickly escalated to methamphetamine. And a body scarred by an accidental electrocution that nearly killed him.  

“I was this horrible person that the drugs made me be.” One way or another, Jimmy White decided that he couldn’t keep living like this.

Read the transcript of the video here:

Jimmy White, resident manager at the Albuquerque Adult Rehabilitation Program: I was seven years old and, you know, I knew I wanted to smoke for the rest of my life. I started using marijuana on a regular basis and I started messing with the girls. I ended up having my first kid at about 15, and you know, from there on, I didn’t finish school. You know, I started working. I tried cocaine for the first time and it robbed me of my relationship with my kids. They were calling, and you know I’d be high and I wouldn’t be able to answer the phone to talk to them. You only could do so much of it before everything in your nose is gone.

I dropped the cocaine use and picked up the methamphetamines. While I was on methamphetamines, you know,

I felt like I could probably build a house in 30 minutes. As long as I had money in my pocket, gas in my car, food in my stomach and a sack of dope, I didn’t think I had a problem. I was working on an air conditioner on top of a trailer house. The owner, he was spraying water up there, and the motor wasn’t bolted down, and it fell right in the water. Electricity spread out like lightning. I put my hand out to jump off the trailer. That’s where I got grounded, and electricity threw me from one side of the trailer to the other side.

When I came to, I didn’t think anything was wrong with me. And then I looked at my chest and it was like a piece of beef jerky on my chest. This is where the electricity went in. So this was the entry wound. This is the exit wound on my hand. This was the main part of my chest where it exited. So it traveled all the way through my body. The Lord was trying to get my attention, but I kept on with the wrong choices and decisions. My only thing I was focused on was getting high. So, you know, I would go out and steal from people, lie to people, cheat people. I was this horrible person that the drugs made me be.

I ended up in jail. I just sat there and I looked around wondering, what am I doing? The only person that comes to visit me is my mom. None of my friends are around. Nobody else is around. I couldn’t do it no more. My mind was, I’m done, I want to change. After doing 12 months in the county jail, the judge was going to put me back on probation. I said I need help for my problem. My addiction was out of control, because that’s what got me here in the first place. The judge went for it, so I was court-ordered to The Salvation Army. As I grew in my recovery, my spiritual life grew. If I didn’t have the Lord in my life, I wouldn’t be here today. He’s my strength. He’s my rock.

Every burden that I have. He’s taken that from me. He’s made it light.

Major Raewyn Aspetia, Albuquerque and counties coordinator: When he graduated, he chose to stay here and pass it on to the guys in the program. So Jimmy is our Resident Manager of our Albuquerque Adult Rehabilitation Program. That means he lives on-site. And Jimmy is just wonderful. He’s very supportive. He’s loving, he’s solid.

Jimmy White, resident manager at the Albuquerque Adult Rehabilitation Program: Everybody that comes into the program has lost literally everything. I’ve seen people come in with nothing. Plastic bags taped to their feet for shoes. I have much respect for the guys that are in our program because it takes a lot to have to walk into those doors. I don’t act no better than the first person that walked into that room because I know I’m a drink away or a high away from being back where I was. 

I still, you know, work my recovery, I still go to meetings. Everything that you put into getting high and staying high every day, it’s going to take the same amount of effort to get clean and stay clean. I made it a point in my life where relapse wasn’t going to be a part of my story. So that path that’s wide and easy to take is not even in my book. Everything that the drugs took away from me, my family, my kids, my job, the Lord’s restoring and giving back to me. You know, the Lord’s gave me back the time with my grandkids that the drugs and alcohol took from my own kids. God is good, you know. It’s fun to be a grandpa. 

That old me was a person that hurt people. I didn’t want him around no more, because you know, there’s times where he actually was, “Hey, hey.” “You could just do it once, and nobody will know.” I didn’t want to do that anymore. So I actually dug a grave for that guy. And, you know, he’s not here today. That man that I was is dead and gone. This is the new me.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

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