A new man

Tim Davis strolls down Center Street in Douglas nearing the two-year anniversary of breaking his addiction to methamphetamine.

Growing up as an only child throughout Arkansas, Tim Davis had what many consider a normal life. In 1989 the first of a series of baffling events to come happened. One-night Davis drank a little too much and ended up rolling his pick-up truck, resulting in an injury causing complete blindness in his left eye.

The years after seeped with normality, marriage, three kids and a job working as a mechanic. Until 2003 when his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After the doctors informed him there was nothing they could do, the thought of losing his mother became too much.

While driving his mother back and forth from chemo treatment Davis ran into a childhood friend, where Davis began to relate his stress and exhaustion. His friend replied by saying he had something to take the edge off and give Davis his energy back.

Davis trusted his friend and that night he tried his first hit of methamphetamine.

Davis anxiously watched as his friend began to inject meth into his arm. And next, into Davis.

He started to regularly use meth. His life became enveloped in the drug world.

Davis was arrested several times for distribution of meth and was incarcerated in the Arkansas penitentiary from 2008 to 2011.

He went into survival mode during his incarceration. Fights and being placed in solitary confinement became part of Davis’ daily routine. One morning, he awoke covered in his bunkmate’s blood, who had been stabbed in the night.

“The things I have seen and done; I would never want to put someone else in my place,” Davis said.

Davis was released on parole in 2011 for good behavior and decided to make his way to Douglas, carrying his hopes of redemption from the drug world, and starting over. Instead, life threw him another unforeseen turn: Davis would be kidnapped.

KIDNAPPED

It was 2011, shortly after Davis had moved to Douglas he was walking through the Arby’s parking lot where he met his kidnapper, the woman looked to be around 21 years old and was sitting on the sidewalk crying. Davis noticed her and went to see what was wrong. The stranger told him how her boyfriend had abandoned her in Douglas. Davis offered the woman refuge on his couch for the night.

At his apartment, the two were enjoying a drink of soda causally talking through the woman’s problems with her estranged boyfriend. Davis stepped away for a moment. Returning, he took one more drink of his soda and blacked out.

Two days later Davis woke up in a motel room in Rapid City, South Dakota, with track marks going up and down his arms.

He was in shock.

He stumbled to the front desk, still feeling the effects of the drugs. The concierge told him his “wife” had just left.

Davis raced back to his room and started searching for his belongings. He couldn’t find his wallet, checkbook or credit cards and as he was searching, the woman came back into the room with two male accomplices. Davis threatened to call the police, screaming at the trio.

He ran from the hotel room with only the keys to his truck and started driving from Rapid City back to Douglas.

Returning to Douglas, Davis went straight to his parole officer Penny Martinez, attempting to explain what had happened.

No one believed him, assuming he had shot too much meth and was talking nonsense. After endless debates, Davis finally gave in and was incarcerated once again by the Converse County Sheriff’s Office for three months.

Davis finally got the help he needed. Martinez and deputy Mark Dexter went beyond their duties to help get Davis’ life back on track.

“Every morning I get up I thank God for those two. They had faith in me and saw I had potential to be a good person, I was just on the bad track,” Davis recalls. “They’re the ones who brought me back to the Tim I used to be.”

CHANGING COURSE

After Davis was released from jail he started to struggle again with addiction. He was incarcerated for meth a third time.

Davis was stuck with a decision. Either return to prison or enter a rehabilitation center.

Davis chose to get his life back.

One day during treatment amid a breathing exercise, Davis felt a sudden pain in his left arm signaling a massive heart attack.

He fell to the floor and blacked out.

Davis awoke in the hospital where doctors told him had he not been in the treatment center, he would never have made it.

Davis was in a hospital bed when he had an epiphany. The drugs had taken a hold of his life for so long, he was finally ready to become himself again.

Since his close encounter with death, Davis has been clean.

He honestly admits his failures, noting the cold nervousness that overcomes him when the thoughts of meth and his former life run through his mind.

Whenever the temptation arises he knows he can always call Martinez or Dexter, and they will be there to support him and all he has worked for.

“Addictions; without someone to really help you, you can’t get through it,” Davis said. “All the bad things that have happened to me, happened because of drugs.”

Not only has the CCSO and Department of Corrections helped Davis when he needed it most, they stepped in once more to save his son’s life.

Three months ago, Davis was returning home from work to find his 12-year-old son, Christian, talking about killing himself to someone on the phone. Dumbfounded and unsure of what to do, Davis called someone he knew he could trust: his parole office. They stayed on the phone with Davis telling him exactly what to do to keep his son calm.

Three months later Davis is proud to say his son’s perspective on life has changed and looks forward to the moments when he receives a hug from his son and hears the simple words, “dad, I love you.”

STAYING THE COURSE

Davis credits his survival to the men and women of CCSO and the support of the parole and corrections departments who taught him every decision in life has consequences.

“It all comes down to your choices,” Davis said. “You can choose to go down with your addictions, or go up with life.”

Just two years ago, Davis would never have pictured the life he has now. Three sons, a granddaughter and a steady job.

“I commend the officers for doing their jobs,” Davis said. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them, and I deserved what I got. They were just doing their jobs.”

Even amidst the good, Davis still has his regrets. Namely the people he let down and the lives he destroyed from dealing meth. Also knowing with one more meth incident, he could have ended up in prison for life, with no chance of parole. Davis now chooses to get his kicks from watching Christian laugh.

Being among the minority who make it to the other side of drug addictions, Davis knows others can make it through as well. “Accept it for what it is, you have control over it, “Davis said. “You have control to choose life.”

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