My name is William Cotton. I am a 45 yrs old from Mt. Sterling, Ky. I was raised in church by my wonderful parents. They always provided a clean, wholesome, healthy and loving environment for my younger sisters and I. I had a love for baseball and played organized ball from 5 yrs. old through high school and Connie Mack in Montgomery Co.
In 1992 at the age of 20, I was promoted into management for Wal-Mart stores. I would eventually work out of 9 different stores over the next 19 years as an assistant manager, co-manager and operations manager. Life was going great. I got married and was blessed with 3 beautiful daughters over the next 8 years. I never in a million years dreamed of the downward spiral my life was about to take.
In 2007 while setting up a new Wal-Mart, I pulled my back while unloading 12 ft. steel warehouse racks. I had never in my 35 years taken a pain pill, smoked pot or done any form of drugs. I was sent to see a neurosurgeon at UK and had my first of 4 back surgeries. I had a herniated disc in my thoracic and my lumbar regions of my spine, my discs were “crumbling” and each of the 4 surgeries would become a little more extensive.
After the 3rd surgery, I was sent home using with OxyContin and Roxicodone for pain, Valium as a muscle relaxer and Neurontin for nerve inflammation. This is when the spiral started. I began to double up on my pain meds and started to run out early. I would go back to the doctor and they would give me more and even strengthened the dose. I started taking more and more. I eventually found places to buy on the street and from there I would spend every dime to get pills. If I tried cutting back, I would get sick and go through withdrawals.
I went to see a neurosurgeon and he advised my pain doctor in Lexington to increase the dosage for adequate pain control. I eventually got to taking 10-12 Oxycodone 30’s a day. I fell into a deep depression and felt extremely inadequate. I began to steal from family and to do whatever I had to, to get pills. I stopped paying my bills, stopped buying groceries the way I should have for my girls (whom I had full custody). All of my money was spent at trap houses on pills.
At night I would take Xanax and was afraid to go to sleep, afraid I would die during the night and one of my girls would find me dead. I knew my life was turned upside down. I just couldn’t or wouldn’t ask for help. In January 2014, I was arrested for the first time. I had nodded out in the Wal-Mart parking lot with my car running. I spent a night in jail for the first time in my life. A couple days after getting out of jail, I was completely broke and was visiting my mom when I saw her purse sitting out on the table. I took 2 different debit cards and withdrew $480 out of the ATM to buy pills.
My mom filed charges and I was picked up by the sheriff that evening. I spent 3 days in jail. I was released to go to detox for 14 days and was ordered to find long term residential treatment or spend 6-12 months in jail. Every place my family called was 15,000 per month.
My Mom and sisters prayed and prayed. I laid on the floor on a 2” mat in jail praying to find somewhere I could afford or that my insurance would cover. Then we found the Isaiah House and I was approved to get treatment on a sliding scale. The hardest thing in my life was having to send my 3 girls to live with their mother 2 hours away.
I came to Isaiah House in March of 2014. I will never forget the thoughts, fears and complete brokenness I felt when I walked through those doors that morning. My first 30 days were miserable because of my mindset, because I was still detoxing and because I was used to being in “control” of my life.
Then things changed. I started a bible study, praise and worship time with a group of 6-8 guys. During these bible studies my relationship and my walk with God deepened and flourished. I started to feel better each and every day. The “fog” that had hindered me for 7 years prior was leaving. Each day God began using me to mentor and help newer guys that came through the doors. All the things I had thought were punishing and unfair that led me to IH were actually blessings from God to set me free and to restore my life and family.
Today, my life is a blessing. I have 4 smart, beautiful girls, ages 8, 10, 13 and 16. This Saturday I will marry my God sent, beautiful best friend, Mary. I am planted in the most amazing, loving church, Life Impact Church Mt.Sterling. I am trained by the state to do prison ministry and to spread the hope and love of Jesus. I am back at Isaiah House working part time. Some people ask why I drive 180 miles each time I go to IH. My only response is my desire to remain obedient to God. He thought I was worth saving. I choose to think those in treatment deserve the same thing God made available to me and my recovery. I’ve witnessed time and time again the genuine love, the grace, the out-stretched hand of hope and love every day at Isaiah House!!
Never be ashamed of your story. I praise God that the others who have helped me along the way weren’t ashamed of theirs!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:11-13