Nobody Hits Harder Than Life
by Timothy Smith
Note to the reader: I am the sister of Timmy, Kellen, and I typed this for my brother to share with those who are on the outside, for those who are struggling. It is important to him for his story to be shared with others who might be struggling, for those who might be on the fence, and for those who are in recovery as a reminder that if we go back out there, we could easily end up dead, in prison, in an institution, or sober. From Timmy and myself please keep an open-mind, an open heart and find help or keep coming back.
I wake up every morning in an old concrete cell, included is a toilet and bars. I have a set routine. Wake up at 4a.m. for breakfast, watch country music videos, lay around for awhile until about 9a.m. I get up wash my face, brush my teeth, I sit down and watch more videos. The most important two things I do in my day to day routine is say the Serenity Prayer, and read "Our Daily Bread", a booklet of short stories by Christians. After that the day goes differently day to day with some working out, or studying my case to try to find ways to get home.
My name is Timothy, more commonly known as Tim or Timmy. As of late it is inmate M38966. That letter and those numbers are the outcome of a series of alcohol and drug induced bad decisions that led to one very poor choice. Unfortunately that poor choice caused another human being to lose his life. I pray for peace and forgiveness everyday. Life is no joke, nobody hits harder than life. And life will definitely let you know when you have made a poor choice.
Since at least my Sophomore year of high school, around the year 2000, I drank alcohol and smoked weed. I didn't just develop these habits out of the air. I had influence by an older sister, family, and older friends. Don't get me wrong, I was raised Catholic, raised right, with morals and discipline, and most importantly, love. My sister Kellen, who is two years older than me, was adopted by our parents, and they adopted me two years later. She's my best friend, we've been through a lot together. We had a cliché sibling relationship, I wanted to constantly hang out with her when we were younger, and she was always trying to ditch me. I liked all her hot friends. We did hang out a lot though. Come high school I was a "Jock", on the wrestling and football teams. I was good at both, I had a wide range of friends; but the most important friend was my ultimate best friend since the first grade, Jenny. All through school and after we were inseparable.
Since my incarceration the word "friend" has changed drastically for me. The one thing we all had in common though was we liked to party, drink, and smoke weed. My life without realizing it would slowly begin to spiral out of control. After high school I didn't go to college like most of my friends. I drove around, went to parties, and sort of decided to "take the year off". See two things you need to know about me that I may mention several times is- I'm not good with moderation. I take everything to the extreme. The second thing is that if I don't enjoy or like something, or it's boring to me, I won't do well with it. Like school, I succeed enough in order to stay on the eligibility list- to be able to play sports. The first devastating blow to my life was when my wrestling coach, kicked me off of the wrestling team. He thought I was out drinking all night. The truth was, I was at home sick. My Mom was with me all night, but my coach didn't want to hear it. That broke my heart and no one truly understood that.
2003 rolled in and I met my third love, as far as girlfriends go. Her name was Christi. At first things were great, then shortly things began to slide downward. As a functioning alcoholic I was still surviving. My daughter was born in 2005, Tara. She was so special and precious to me; the only problem was that I was not a grown up. I could barely take care of myself; I really was trying. I just couldn't get a grip on life, it was too much fun to go out drinking.
I did not realize until it was too late, until I was sober, until I was sitting in a jail cell for the first time in my life. I did not realize the people I hurt, the jobs I ruined, the damage I had done. I lost faithful, honest women, I chased away friends. It was too late. I screwed up the lifetime chance to go to the Military. My attitude back in high school of just passing was wrong. It may sound repetitive, but take it from me, please change before it's too late. The 12 Steps have transformed me into a man. They have given me a second chance, and even from behind these cold walls, have given me light and a sense of life. If only I had gone to a meeting sooner. Life happens on life's terms; because my life at age 26 had spiraled completely out of control. My friends, my family, they had to distance themselves from me; they had to just let me fall. "A hard head makes a soft ass". I lost so much. I was seeing this girl who was completely toxic for my life. She was immediately disliked by my whole family. My Mother would hardly speak to me. Then I made an even worse choice to go against all pleas and asked her to marry me. I always wanted to be the romantic and get married. I just didn't understand how it all truly worked. I kept putting the "cart before the horse". My Father in one last ditch effort, tried to talk me out of it. Tried to get me to understand the seriousness of my choice. It was too late. At age 26 I accomplished bar fights, crashing cars, losing friends to lies and more lies. I made enemies with the whole Woodstock Police Department. I bankrupted my parents, I landed in jail finally. My wife, (lack of a better word), and I did something very stupid. This woman and the addiction of alcohol, had such an emotional hold on me. I did something she wanted, because I did not want to lose her. I should have just kicked her to the curb; especially since what I now know about her past and who she is. I was raised to love and that's what I thought I was doing.
On May 28th, 2011, the situation that arose was the end to the man I had become. A huge, tragic accident occurred due to a man being in my home who was not supposed to be there, who was asked to leave. A lot of alcohol, an unfaithful wife; I was wrong too!! My decisions and actions gained me a 50 year prison sentence. It will be a long road to get home, but I will make it.
I could write a more detailed account of my life, believe me I have plenty of time. And if the demand is or were there for a longer story, I would write it, but my intentions for what I just wrote is to get people to understand they are not invincible. They are not unstoppable. Drugs, alcohol, bullying, they lead to nothing good, and they hurt the people who love you. Hurting the ones you love shouldn't be enough to change. I spent my life, 26 years, trying to live my life my way. It did not work!! So if you are reading this, and are on the fence about how you are living your life, the most important thing I can say to you is this: whether you heed someone's advice or you don't, whether one day you wake up and decide for yourself, you have to stop and change. Or whether you get forced to by the police, judges, family, or death; one way or another you will change in the end. But you alone will make that choice. If you're an addict, alcoholic, or a bully, nothing good will be at the end of the tunnel. I'm not a preacher, I only know me, but I also know I never it was as bad as it really was. If I only took a few moments to listen to my friends and family. It's never too late to start over.
So in closing, I am an alcoholic. I will always be one. I can't drink one drink and stop. I can't live life without help. I need help from God, I work the 12 Steps as an active member of AA. I am 3 1/2 years sober. My sobriety date is May 29th, 2011 which is dedicated to my sister and parents. They have stuck by my side through the best and worst. No matter what we are still and always a loving family. A priest once told me, "There is a difference between living and just existing". Are you living life or just simply existing? One bad mistake could end it all. So all I ask is you look in the mirror, and take a quick inventory of who you are.
I love you and God Bless! One day at a time!!