Service Array:
Individual Skill Development and Enhancement

I was born and raised in Cumberland Wi. I would say I had a good upbringing, good parents, a home, all my needs met. Even with all that, there was a part of me that was lost in middle school. I started drinking and by the time I was in high school I was trying other drugs. I smoked pot but one thing I really liked, was dropping acid. I got tired of not being good enough, for school, for my family, for life. I dropped out of school in the middle of tenth grade and went to work on a farm. This period of time I would find out later was the easy part of my life. I would not learn real life lessons until I turned 18. This is where my story begins.

I started seeing a man casually when I was 17, six months after my 18th birthday I was pregnant. My parents pushed for us to get married for “financial” reasons. So, we did. I welcomed my first son when I was 19, his name was Dylan. Saying my marriage was rocky was an understatement. I was just told it would get better. At 21 I welcomed my second son into my life, Hunter. My kids were my life. My marriage was dead, but I was still trying. I was introduced to meth by my husband. I do not blame him at all for my addiction, but this introduction woke a monster. For 2 years I was addicted, first snorting, then smoking, then injecting Meth and Coke many times a day to just feel alive. This all ended by me being chaptered into a psych unit then treatment by my brother. One thing I can say is even on drugs my kids were my world. Ultimately, they are the ones who saved my life and the reason why I went to the right person to ask for help.

Early 2003 I successfully completed treatment. My husband completed it soon after and we were together. He continued to drink and smoke pot. I fell off the wagon a couple of times between April and November but only for a day or two before remembering why I didn’t want that life anymore. It was November 2003 when I can honestly say I died. While at work my husband and kids spent the night with my family for thanksgiving dinner. He killed our oldest Dylan, he was six, drunk driving on the way home that night. My grief has been a battle since; it took me many years to finally realize that I am winning that battle.

I could write a book on addiction, bad marriage, death of a child, being a single mom raising a son with trauma, divorce and hatred and so many other things. One thing I have realized over the years is that healing is not the same journey for everyone. People that try to tell you what to do just have not realized that. I was told I have to work through my addiction for myself or it won’t work, they were wrong for me, it was my kids that pulled me through. I have to deal with grief a certain way experts told me, I had to do it my way. I have become an expert on honestly telling friends that these battles can be won but they have to dig within themselves to figure out how. I give the advice that probably would have helped me the most had I received it. That is why I chose this career path. I am no expert, but I understand this.

Recently I found peace in a place I used to find it, outside. Well at least in the spring, summer, and fall. I went hunting for myself for the first time in 2021 and couldn’t get enough. Spring came and I started hiking, mushroom hunting, learning to do other foraging, and fishing is a huge thing I absolutely love. I spent all summer 2022 in the woods or on the lake. I found myself again, it has improved my health immensely over the past year.