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My Story

It’s hard to spin drug and alcohol addiction into something positive. But that’s what I’m attempting here.

I wasn’t always a dirtbag. I grew up in a good family, went to church, did good in school. Yet for some reason, I’ve always been drawn toward the wrong kind of people. The wrong kind of places and things.

I was into skateboarding and punk rock shows (not that those are wrong, lol). I spent my time hanging out with friends and generally up to no good. Along the way I fell into drinking and doing drugs.

I call it self-medicating my depression and anxiety.

In my thirties I started using opiates. Eventually, I started selling them to support my habit.

Opiate addiction is horrible. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies (I don’t have any enemies, lol). Ask anyone who has lived through an opiate addiction, I guarantee they know multiple people who have died from an overdose.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. Selling drugs that are capable of taking lives is something I can’t undo.

In 2011 I got sentenced to 60 months for Controlled Substance Homicide. My friend overdosed and died. His drugs came from me.

You would think that serving time in prison would do the trick. That I would stay on the right track after that. And I had intended on staying clean from then on, but I guess I had more figuring-it-out to do.

I ended up back in prison a second time for drug related offenses.

Don’t do drugs y’all.

Long-story-short, I’m clean and sober and in active recovery now. I believe it’s never too late to change your life.

While I was locked up, I decided that I wanted to learn programming/web development when I got out. I had started learning Python a long time ago, in an intro to Computer Science class but I ended up quitting because, well, reasons.

So when I got out, I found a Dell laptop on Craigslist for $200. It’s actually a good computer for that price. Intel i5 with 8G RAM and a 256G SSD.

Anyways, I got this computer and now I spend as much time as I can trying to learn as much as I can. The problem is that it’s all so interesting! And there’s so much to learn!

I’m still figuring out exactly what I want to do, which path to pursue, but I’m currently studying web development, Ruby and Ruby on Rails, React, JavaScript, Node, TypeScript, Bash and all things Linux. Lately, I’ve been checking out Elixir too and I really like it.

I’m currently seeking a mentor and a job.

I know I have a major uphill battle trying to find employment as a developer. Some of the not-so-awesome challenges include being almost 50 yrs old (ageism is a thing) and new to it all, having big gaps in my work history, and being a felon.

But I’m passionate, determined, and enthusiastic. I love learning new things and I know that I’ll succeed.

I’d love to hear from you!

Feel free to reach out via my email —> bburt at bburt dot me

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