My name is Danny, I was born in Taiwan and I came to the United States with my family when I was 5 years old. We first lived in Southern California when we first arrived. We’d lived there for only 9 months before my parents decided to move us to Las Vegas. Because of an injury my father had acquired on his ankle, which kept him from standing too long. Because of that, Dad left America to do business back in Taiwan in more familiar surroundings. So you can say growing up it was just the three of us; mom, my sister and I.
During those earlier years I knew it was extremely difficult for my mother being alone in America, not speaking the language, and raising us. So I learned not to trouble my mom with too much. I learned to be responsible at an early age. I’ve always surround myself with a lot of friends and involved myself with school be accepted. In high school I was involved in Student Council and in my senior year was involved Senior Class Vice President. This was a big accomplishment and meant a lot to me. Accomplishing this actually help me overcome some fears. The fear of not being accepted, feelings of insignificance and shyness.
While attending University of Nevada Las Vegas, I was working too at a financial institute. It was during my second year in college that I’d begin using drugs. The transition from High School to College was difficult for me. Many of the friends I had and was used to from High School went to other colleges in different states. So it was starting over again in the department of friends. I began to hang out with people I normally didn’t seem myself hanging out with. I started doing things that I normally wouldn’t do, just to be accepted by them. Things like drinking, smoking, staying out all night, and doing drugs. I’ve always known drugs are bad. I never would have thought I’d be addicted to drugs. Even when I was curious and tried it, I’d always thought I could stop anytime.
In a period of 5 years, my life went on a downward spiral. I was beginning to show up late to work, calling in sick, skipping work just to get high. I was beginning to lose interest and focus at school. The minute I’d arrived in class I would sit there in anxiety hoping for class to get out so I can get high. I was spending a majority of my money on drugs. Eventually because of my poor performance at work I lost my job. It was devastating to me. I worked so hard at this job. I worked my way up from a Teller to a CSR. I was difficult to let my family know and of course I lied to them about the real reason I was let go. I never forgave myself for that. I turned to the drugs as my comfort and used it to cope and as my escape from reality.
Pretty soon my family caught on to my drug use. They found out about my drug habits when I was arrested in 2002. I will never forget the look on my mother’s face as I was brought out in court in a chained and shackled up with other criminal offenders. There I saw in the first row was my mother and sister crying. When the courts called my name, my mom in her broken English stood up and pleading to the judge to give me another chance. The judge had pity on me and gave me a chance to prove myself. On that day I’d vowed to myself I would change and never touch drugs again. But I’d couldn’t, the addiction was so strong, even after staying clean for 9 months I went back to doing drugs. I’ve tried a lot of ways and my family tried helping me and I just couldn’t quit. My mom helped me out tremendously. Even though I lied, stole and cheated from her she never gave up on me. On several occasions it seem like I was starting life over with a good job, but the minute I’d had money in my pockets I turn to go buy drugs.
No matter what I tried I couldn’t quit. I wasn’t successful until I came here to Operation Dawn where I became a Christian.
In January of 2006 my mom, dad and I flew to San Jose to check out this place called Operation Dawn. It was at Operation Dawn that I came to accept Christ in my life. From the Bible teaching and experiences sharing given by the workers in Operation Dawn, I came to understand that drug addiction is a bondage of sin, and by their teaching and their guiding and the instructed program, I gradually clean from drugs. Now I am studying in West Valley College, in interior design. I also work in school, and join the Associated Students Org. Now I enjoy life, and always look forward for the school’s break time, so that I can spend time with family, in the past. For a long time now I couldn’t forgive myself for the things that I’ve done, but now I can.