My Name is Beth and I’m In Recovery

Beth Gentry Before and After

December 2nd, 2008. That’s the day I used meth for the last time.

I’ve been asked why I’d ever try meth. See, I wasn’t your typical addict. I was thirty-one and self employed with a very profitable business. I had two beautiful daughters, a three bedroom home, a new sport’s car, and stable relationships with my family.

So, why’d I try meth? Because it was offered to me. Because I’d recently gone through a divorce. Because I was dating an addict. Because I was trying to keep up with his lifestyle. Because my self-esteem was always low.

The First Time

On October 30th, 2003, I went to a party. Someone handed me a small wad of toilet paper. They told me it was meth.

I didn’t know anything about meth and quickly asked if it would make me sick. They told me now. I asked how it would make me feel. They told me it would make me feel better than ever before. What did I do next? I swallowed the small bundle.

A few minutes passed and I began to feel the effects. My boyfriend looked at me and asked if I was on meth. I told yep, I had. I’ll never forget what he said next.

“You just f**ked your life up. In a year you won’t have anything. You’re going to lose your house, your car, your business and never want to see your daughters,” he said. I thought I could handle it and told him so. His reply? “No you can’t handle it! It’s meth!”

I’ve heard if you try meth once you may be able to walk away from it. If you try it twice though, well, then you’re addicted. I was addicted from my very first time. From that night on until December 2nd, 2008, I used daily. I used and used. The only breaks I took were to sleep (not very often) and while in jail (often).

Everything My Boyfriend Said Came True

In under a year, I lost my three bedroom house and was living with my mom. My car was wrecked and then repossessed. I lost all my clientele. Worst of all, I made up excuse after excuse why I couldn’t spend time with my daughters.

I remember my youngest daughter clinging to my leg, begging me not to leave the house. It was ten at night and my girls were in tears. They were screaming for me to stay home with them, but I couldn’t. I had to go chase the sack.

I remember bragging, saying “I do drugs, they don’t do me!” I’ve never been so wrong! Meth did me in 100%.

A Living Hell

After nine months of using, I was out of money. I had to find a way to support my increasingly expensive habit. So, like most addicts, I began to sell drugs.

The next five years were a blur. I was using, selling, and having sex with anyone to make my boyfriend jealous. I was living in utter insanity. Morals and dignity? What are those? I just didn’t care. When you don’t care, you’re a very dangerous person.

I fell asleep driving. I had guns pulled on me. I walked in to dope houses and hotel rooms with bags full of dope, alone. I carried wads of cash, alone. I was a target to be robbed, raped, and killed.

I went from bad boys to extremely dangerous men. I thought I ruled the world. I had the dope, the money, and the men. People jumped when I said jump.

I lost cars, time, memories, clothes, jewelry, and my clean criminal record.

I was arrested time and time again. I was given chance after chance to change. After each arrest, I thought I’d be slicker than the Feds and city cops. Guess what? I wasn’t.

Federal Agent Arrest

From Bad To Worse

I found myself facing life in prison. I sold meth to an undercover ATF agent. They busted me with over twenty-four pounds of meth. Guess what? My “friends” ratted me out. The state was pressing trafficking charges. On top of all that, I was pregnant.

In November of 2005, I had a miscarriage. That was the best thing for my unborn child. I was using and sell meth at the time. That baby could have been born addicted. I was hoping I’d miscarry this pregnancy as well.

Two and half months into my pregnancy, I sat in a hotel room with who I thought was my child’s father. The truth is I had no clue who the father was. Anyway, I decided it’d be best if I tried to have a drug-induced miscarriage. We loaded two syringes with over a gram of dope. We found vein on both my arms and shot it up. I knew it would kill the baby inside me. I hoped it would kill me.

I began throwing up everywhere. I was higher than I’d ever been, for three straight days. Did I miscarry? Nope.

I got into fights with my long-term boyfriend over using while pregnant. He was scared because the Feds were breathing down his neck. See, I’d been arrested again. My brand new Charger was impounded and $7,000 was confiscated from me. I was on my boyfriend’s couch when he told me I had to go. He was sick of me. He no longer loved me. He said I was sick and he hated who I’d become. Wait a minute, a junkie was embarrassed of another junkie?

I knew what was ahead of me, prison for life. I knew what I’d become to my family, already dead. They went weeks and months without knowing if I was dead or alive. I was convinced my daughters would be better off without me. They needed a stepmom who would love them and be a part of their lives. My unborn child didn’t deserve to be born in prison. I’d lost all hope.

I wrote a good-bye letter to my boyfriend, asking him to tell my family I was sorry. I texted him and said I’d taken all the pain-pills I could find. I apologized for leaving my body in the bed. I took the pills, called my dog beside me, and fell asleep.

I woke up in an ambulance with charcoal being poured down my throat. I had IV’s in my arms and oxygen on. After the paramedics got me stable, they admitted me to the Behavioral Medicine Unit, the “nut house.” The next day, I found out my unborn baby had survived. I found out she was a perfectly healthy girl. I looked at the ceiling and asked God one question. I asked God why?

A week later I left. My boyfriend picked me up and took me to my mom’s house. She insisted I go to treatment.

I sat in her bathtub with a syringe full of the last meth I had. My arms were bruised and knotty from missing shots. My veins were collapsed. I wasn’t giving up though. By God, I was going to find one final vein. The syringe became more blood than meth. I knew by the time I found a vein, the dope would be too diluted to work. I kept trying. I looked down at my pregnant belly and saw my baby kick. Tears began to fall. I was sick and tired and hated myself so much.

I slept the next two days straight. I woke up and, once again, began to scheme how I could get high. Before I could even get off the couch, the doorbell rang. It was the Feds. They were looking for me. I yelled for them to come back with a warrant. I smoked a cigarette, jumped in the shower, and waited.

Soon they came back. I was arrested and stayed in jail until, by the grace of God, I was allowed to go to rehab.

From Ashes Comes Beauty

On April 6th, 2009, my third daughter was born. She was healthy and perfect in every way. Her two big sisters were in the room. I was clean for just over three months.


On August 17th, 2009, God spoke to me. I’d been praying ever since I got to rehab. I begged God to keep my out of prison. I begged him to let me raise my children. I lived each day in fear of losing my girls. I wasn’t enjoying life at all. I was a prisoner of my own thoughts.

So, on August 17, I went on pass to church. I took my baby to the nursing room and began to pray. The same prayer, begging God not to send me to prison. After I finished praying, I felt Him walk in the room. He sat next to me and said, “Beth relax. You’re not going to prison. I’ve kept you in rehab this long so you can get recovery. Be patient with me, it’s almost over.”

At that moment my entire world changed. I began to really live. I told everyone I wasn’t going to prison because God had spoken to me. I loved each moment with my kids and didn’t fear losing them. My prison walls had crumbled.

I graduated rehab on October 7th, 2009. On December 15th, I was sentenced. My attorney, the Federal DA, and the judge had meet the day before. They signed all the paperwork for me to do three years in federal prison. When my attorney called me, I was shattered. My world crumbled.

I had to tell me girls I was going to prison. I had to look them in the eye and apologize for screwing up their lives. I told them I wished I were dead, because that would be less embarrassing than having to tell their admit who their mother was. My oldest daughter, who was eighteen, was going to take over guardianship of my baby.

My middle daughter asked me if I was a liar. I told her I try hard not to lie anymore. She replied, “well you said God told you you weren’t going to prison”. Guess what? She was right!

I got my church elders and ministers together. We prayed for hours. There’d been over seventy letters written on my behalf. The courtroom was packed. There were over fifty people inside and people were lined up down the hall. Each person wanted to testify about why I shouldn’t go to prison.

My oldest daughter was in the front row, waiting for her mother to be sentenced. That’s something NO child should ever have to do.

The judge walked out of his chambers and called me to the bench. He said “I didn’t sleep last night. I was in turmoil about what to do with you, Ms. Pearson. In my twenty-five years of being a judge, I’ve never had a case this hard to render.” I turned around. Everyone who’d been in the prayer session, well, their jaws all dropped. What the judge said was exactly what we’d prayed for.

I walked out of the courtroom with five years probation and six months of house arrest. God is good!

A Happy Ending

Beth with her family

Tomorrow, I celebrate five years clean and free. This is a big deal because I got high for five years. I’ll finally be clean as long as I used. It’s only by the grace of God that I’ve been able to do this.

My little girl is four and perfect. Right after her most recent birthday, she said something which gave me chills.

“Mom I saw God. I saw Him when I was in your tummy. He came inside your tummy twice. He has really big arms. He held me and said He loved me and that everything was going to be okay. I asked Him who He was and He said God.”

I began to cry. I’m tearing up right now, even thinking about that day. If ever God was to intervene in her life, it was twice. Once when I tried to have a drug induced miscarriage and once when I attempted suicide.

I’m back in college. I’m getting my M.S. in drug and alcohol counseling. I speak at every meeting I can. I have a sponsor. I sponsor other girls. I have a strong relationship with God and my family.

I’ve been forgiven and am trusted. My oldest daughter told me I was her hero, while I was still in rehab! I’m my middle daughter’s best friend. My girls are my rock. I put them through hell, but they’ve seen the power of prayer. They’ve seen that recovery does work.

I now have the answer to the “why?” I asked God after I tried to kill myself.

My “why?” is a life free of meth. My “why?” is days spent with my family. My “why?” is something to be grateful for each day.

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