“I was seven years old and I knew I wanted to smoke for the rest of my life. I started using marijuana on a regular basis and started messing with the girls.
I ended up having my first kid at 15 and, you know, from there on… I didn’t finish school.
I started working. I tried cocaine for the first time and it robbed me of my relationship with my kids. They were calling. I’d be high and I wouldn’t be able to answer the phone to talk to them.
You can only 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 methamphetamine 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 and was spraying water up there. The motor wasn’t bolted down and it fell right in the water. Electricity spread out like lightening.
I put my hand out to jump off the trailer. That’s where I got grounded and the 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 [pointing to a wound on his palm]. This was the entry wound and this is the exit wound [pointing to his other palm]. And this was the main part of my chest where it exited [pointing to his chest]. 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 that I was focused on was getting high. So 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.’
My mind couldn’t do it no more. My mind was, you know, ‘I’m done. I want to change.’
After doing 12 months in the county jail the judge was gonna put me back on probation. I said, ‘I need help for my problem. My addiction is out of control because that’s, you know, what got me here in the first place.’ The judge went for it so I was court-ordered for 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 had, he’s taken that for me. He’s made it light.
Salvation Army Major Raewyn Espetia
“When he graduated, he chose to stay here and pass it on to the guys in the program. So Jimmy is the resident manager of our Albuquerque Adult Rehabilitation Program. That means he lives on site.
Jimmy’s just wonderful. He’s very supportive. He’s loving. He’s solid.”
“Everybody that comes into the program has lost literally everything. I seen people come in when nothing; plastic bags tape 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. 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 gonna take the same amount of effort to get clean and stay clean.
I made it a point in my life that relapse wasn’t gonna 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, and my family, my kid, my job, the Lord’s restored and given back to me.
The Lord’s given 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.
The old me was a person that hurt people. I don’t want him around no more. There’s times where he actually says, ‘hey, you could just doing one sin and nobody will know.’
I didn’t wanted to do that no more 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.”