WU Words: The Lucky One

The Lucky One

SO this is my story true raw and well mostly unedited. This is not my whole life story as this part of my life does not define me, it does not make me who I am. You only get to read this story on one condition, take from it what you should. This is not a story about pity, or a search for sympathy.

This is your task, the next time you are at the grocery store and you see that busy mom who looks frazzled but still sings and laughs with her kids give her an extra smile. You see she herself could be the “lucky one”

OH MY GOD! says the much too young chick in front of me. She takes another big hit off the bowl before passing it on, she leans closer to me like we were bff’s, you are sooo lucky your married to the dope man, your the dope man’s wife.

Now not much in this world surprises me, especially the things people say. In the 20 years I have been using meth I have seen way to much and have heard it all, so I thought.

My husband and I were at someone’s house we were working that night and stopped to visit while taking care of a serve. She was no different then any other chick at any other dope house. They all look and sound the same after awhile. And damn if they didn’t keep getting younger and younger. I just want to shake them and yell stop! Please don’t go down this path! But I don’t.

The dope man’s wife she says, just like that I had been labeled. I take a second look to see if that excited look on her face was for real, it was.

The night went on we did our run, we made the required McDonald’s and kwick shop stop and headed home. It was 4am, two more hours till it was time to get the kids up for school. I tried to shelf the chicks comments, I really did. But it was still feeling like a punch in the stomach. The dope mans wife….

Lets back up for a minute here so you can have a brief history. I moved out of my beaver cleaver family home when I was 16 I also started using meth, (crank) when I was 16. I did however manage to graduate from a private catholic high school and continue on with my life adventures consisting of mostly broken relationships, lots of moving blah blah blah. In 2002 one of my adventures brought me to Topeka where I met my now husband. He was indeed the dope man. He touched my heart immediately giving me the gift of a phone call home to my family that new years eve. My boyfriend/abuser had forbidden me to use the phone, but my man made it happen. Years went by and our lives led their separate paths. Although he was never far from my heart.

In 2015 I was running a hair salon and had stepped out into the shopping area and there he was. My heart stopped, there he was. At this point I had been actively searching for him. He immediately gave me a huge hug. A hug from my husband is not your regular hug. He is 6’5 and my head fit right on his chest perfectly. All my adult life all I ever wanted was safety and right then and there with my head against his chest I felt safety. From that point on we were together every chance we could. Relearning about each other yet feeling that comfortableness you have when you have known someone a long time. He would tell me often “you will be marrying me”. I just told him I was a hot mess and he didn’t want to take me on. He would laugh and say “but your my hot mess” and insisted I was going to be his wife. Soon I realized he was serious. In February I decided to call his bluff. I filled out the application and we had agreed on the time to meet at the court house.

He was late, he wasn’t coming. I checked the clock and started to thank the judge for his time and head home when I heard the elevator open and there he was. OMG this was really happening. Just like that I became Mrs. West.

Soon life changed. Husband became sick with massive foot infection and became confined to the bed refusing to go to the hospital. This also meant that the income slowed, utilities were shut off . We had a severe ADHD 16 year old, an autistic six and seven year old, an 10 year old, a grandbaby and my husbands 21 year old daughter. Everyday I hauled in 80 gallons of water in 10 gallon buckets. Often this had to be done at night sneaking over to the neighbors. This allowed me to keep clean dishes, cook, do laundry {by hand} and keep toilets going. It was important to us to try and keep as much as a normal home as we could for the younger ones. At night we made a game of using flash lights and my husband and our oldest son made a maze of wires and inverters hooked to car batteries. Our oldest son was amazing in helping me. Yanking on the generator cord that was to hard for me to pull, and filling it up with gas. He caught me behind the shed crying one day. He never said a word just gave me a hug until I was done. We learned what things could be ran around the house and for how long and when everything went dark we knew that it was to much. .

This was my everyday. 80 gallons of water hauled across the dark street 10 gallons a time , cooking, cleaning, generator, and my dear sick husband. It felt like he was calling my name every five min. His moods were all over the place, but mostly angry, often yelling and throwing things. The infection that had taken over his blood stream making him a different man.

I hated my life, I loved my family with everything I had, but I hated my life. Sometimes I would sit in the bathroom and just come apart, careful that I at least looked strong for the kids. All thru this I could hear in my head, ” your so lucky your the dope mans wife” , yep I certainly was lucky I am the dope mans wife….

How the mighty fall, since Dec.3rd we have been living in our van. Everyday we hustled. My husband doesn’t walk to well now. Diabetes has taken all 10 toes and he now has ulcers on the bottom of both feet. Still everyday he was out there. We also discovered people will buy anything. Everything we came across I posted and sold. Its funny the things you learn how to do. Its old fashioned survival instincts.

For example clothes are easiest washed in the shower not the sink, and if you hang them from the curtains above the air conditioner they dry faster. Also it’s a fact that nothing is safe. If it means anything to you keep it in your purse or in sight. Also trust NO ONE I mean NO ONE. They are not your friends. Don’t get attached to anything or anyone. Don’t let that motel room feel like home, you’ll only be moving to a new one soon. Don’t get attached to the people in your life, you’ll only be moving soon, and they are really only there for one reason. The expectations you thought you had for people or for life in general, lower those expectation’s, you’ll get your heart broken every time.

As a general rule; people come in and out of your life for a reason. They all serve a purpose. Some you will remember others you wont.


As I start this new adventure in my life I am learning new rules. I am seeing different faces, different kinds of faces. I am not sure what the new rules are yet you never really know for sure till the adventure is done.

We are in our own home now. The most exciting part is I am a official Washburn University student. I will graduate with my social work degree. Since 2003 every time I went past the campus I always wondered what it would be like to be a student on campus. Feeling like a piece of me was meant to be there. Shrugging it off, your to old, its to late for you. But its my time now and no matter what I will be where I belong.

So this is a section of my life. For all the hell and heart ache I have discovered strength. What have you taken from it? What do you see when you look at me? Your typical homeless druggie? No you wont see that. Society has painted an image of what a drug addict looks like. Society has grouped all of us together under one label, the addict not trustworthy, not fixable, not worth the time.…But I am a woman with more inner strength then I know, a mom, a student, an addict, and yes I am the dope mans wife.