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A STORY WORTH TELLING

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My Views by Thomas J. Barr, Publisher

 HILLVIEW -- Many years ago, there was a program in Jefferson County schools called Scared Straight.

Students would listen to people who were responsible for bad things -- most times fatal traffic accidents -- because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The goal of any program is to bring a little reality to a possible situation if they make bad choices.

Through the years, individuals have come to schools across the country to give similar testimony on why drinking and driving do not mix.

For Kacey Diesman, there was an opportunity to talk with a group of individuals, mainly adults, who gathered to participate in the heroin awareness rally.

For Kacey, this was the first time she told her story. It was a moving story from a lovely young woman whose life had been taken over by drugs.

It was also a story on how she started the long trek to change her life.

It was a story of life and death. It involved the death of her husband and it involved her start to a new life and her upcoming delivering of a brand new life into the world.

The table at the Walking to Stop Heroin rally had the picture of several individuals. The lit candles were in memory of the individuals who had passed away due to drug overdoses.

One of those pictures was Nathan, who lost his battle to drugs. Kacey felt responsible for introducing her late husband into the world of drugs.

She had reached the one-year mark of being sober. Her parents were in the audience that day when she made her first public comments.

“My life changed when he died,” Kacey said.

At that point she decided that her life was worth living and she wanted to be a voice to tell others about the dangers of drugs.

But, she didn’t sugarcoat the presentation.

Time and time again, Kacey had been given chances.

She had gotten numerous opportunities at home, even though she stole from her parents to feed her drug habit.

She had gotten numerous opportunities from Bullitt Circuit Judge Rodney Burress to turn her life around.

“I wasn’t ready to stop,” said Diesman. “Unless you want help, it won’t matter what anyone says.”

As a mother of two children, with another on the way, Diesman said she wasn’t ready to get clean and sober.

Until Nathan died.

She said it wasn’t known that he had an enlarged heart. But she did know at the age of 24, he suffered a fatal heart attack due to an overdose.

His family blames her for the situation. She admits that she introduced him to drugs.

“He got curious,” said Diesman.

Then the addiction hit.

“It is a progressive and terminal addiction of the brain,” she told the crowd. “Addiction is a disease that wants me dead.”

Kacey lives with the guilt that it was her mother who found Nathan that day. She lives with the guilt that he joined her in doing drugs.

But she said that she reached a point that she had to get better. She had a message to deliver.

She credited her parents for never turning their backs on her, although she got to the point where they no longer allowed her to live with them.

Her parents moved to Brandenburg; she had to stay in Louisville.

“I stole everything from them,” said Kacey. “They did not deserve that.”

On the road to recovery, she left her friends behind. They were not a good influence.

She is distant with one brother who also suffers from the disease of drug addiction.

While never being cured from her attraction to drugs, Kacey said she is on her way to being a better person.

She even sponsors a couple of individuals who are looking for guidance in kicking the habit of drug use.

“I am blessed by God every day,” said Kacey. “I was a slave to drugs.”

Coming forward and talking about her past was not something she imagined doing. It was not something she enjoyed.

However, as she talked to the audience of a couple of dozen individuals, Kacey spoke from the heart.

She had hurt others in the past. She knew that. She didn’t hide from it.

At the same time, she was looking to let family and friends and strangers understand that she was making a change.

While there are no guarantees what tomorrow may bring, Kacie knows that activities such as the Walks to Stop Heroin are important.

“The more we do this, the bigger it will get,” said Kacie. “It is important to tell our stories. It is important to raise awareness in the community.”