It is funny how political campaigns can bring out the worst in people, and that is something I have seen from my opponent, who has fabricated many untruths about my life.
I, like many people, have made mistakes in life. I began drinking at an early age, and as I grew older, my addiction to alcohol only grew stronger. If you know anyone who is suffering or who has suffered from an addiction, logical reasoning usually goes out the window, as was the case with myself.
While working on my first master’s degree, after a day of drinking, I convinced myself the only way I could afford food was if I stole it – not considering the amount of money I constantly spent on alcohol. After stealing a handful of groceries, I drove away and sped through a stop sign causing a wreck in 2008.
By the grace of God, no one was hurt, and my insurance paid for everything, but I was still charged with reckless endangerment.
Not seeing the “red flags,” I continued drinking, and while working on my doctorate in November 2011, I was pulled over for drinking and driving. That was when I hit rock bottom. I remember sitting in a jail cell and crying out to God, begging for Him to help me overcome this addiction. It is a blessing to say that was the last time I ever drank.
Since that time, my life has improved astronomically. I even started a college trust fund for the children of the family involved in the wreck from nearly 10 years ago. Many wonder why I share my story, especially while running for office, but our campaign’s message of redemption transcends anything I can ever do politically.
My hope is that we are able to show people that their past does not dictate their future, and anyone can change their life for the better and become a leader in their community if they are able to walk away from the situations that are holding them back.
We all have stories of adversity, and if we can step out of the shadows of our past, and we are willing to be vulnerable, there are people all around us who we can help.
While I will never promote my past, I will promote what Christ did to change my life for the better. Through Christ, all things are possible.
Jeremy H.G. Hayes