My Journey Through Active Addiction and My Road To Recovery

Active Addiction:

I remember drinking alcohol for the first time when I was twelve years old and in the seventh grade in junior high school. I was staying the night at my best friend’s house. Her parents went out for the evening so we were home alone. I guess we were just bored because we got this bright idea to drink peach schnapps until we were extremely sick. We fell asleep or actually passed out in the bathroom that night. That was my first experience with alcohol and I didn’t like it.
Things progressed over the next two years and I was experimenting with marijuana. The scariest part about it was that I honestly didn’t think it was a big deal. It seemed like “everybody” was doing it, and I wanted to fit in. It became more serious when I lost my father to Suicide five days before my fourteenth birthday; seven days before I started High school. His funeral was on my birthday. After that, all I wanted to do was get high. I didn’t want to feel anything. I can look back now and see that it was the beginning of the end for me. I wasn’t using drugs ALL the time or drinking ALL the time, but it was enough! At that time, I was still a functioning addict. I had good grades, but I still could have done better. I was in after-school activities, but when the weekend came, it was time to party.
After I graduated high school, I stayed sober for a few years. However; another problem arose. I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a few years later. I continue to struggle to this day with my mental health; although, being sober and finding some good doctors and counselor helped immensely!
After struggling through several different medications that either didn’t help or made things so much worse (such as gaining 75 lbs. in 3 months) and getting divorced, I started using drugs again. But this time, I had discovered painkillers. They seemed like a miracle to me. I had energy, my depression would go away, flashbacks and memories would leave temporarily, and I could actually sleep through the night. I even started working and was able to hold a job. In the beginning, it seemed as though I had been cured. I felt invincible. Of course, it wasn’t long until I wasn’t feeling the same effect from one or two pills. It got so bad that I was taking fifteen to twenty pills a day, just to feel “normal”. It had went way beyond the fun times of partying and getting high. I HAD to take them just so I wouldn’t go into withdrawals and get sick. I had “upgraded” to dangerously addictive pills and was even snorting them. I was always chasing my next fix. My life was on a downward spiral and I was headed there quickly. I was running out of money and connections. I knew I needed help but I had no clue how to get it.

Methadone:

I heard that a Methadone Clinic had just opened in my hometown. To be honest, I didn’t know what methadone was, but I thought I’d go and talk with someone there to see what it was all about. That was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. One of the first things the counselor at the clinic told me was that I couldn’t be honest with my psychiatrist about taking methadone. She said that my psychiatrist would refuse to see me and I would be taken off my psychiatric medications immediately. She said she had personally seen this happen. I was, at that point, left without an option. I couldn’t be honest with my doctor unless I wanted to be refused medical treatment. How could this be fair?! When I started going to the Clinic, I wanted to get off drugs. That was my goal! The information I was given by the counselor, the pamphlets and reading material I was given, and the research I did on my own made this seem like such a promising “treatment”. The cost was twelve dollars a day or seventy-eight dollars a week. That alone was so much less expensive than what I had been spending every day. The methadone didn’t really make me feel high, but looking back now, I was really messed up. By the time evening came around, though, I could feel myself going into withdrawals; that was really horrible. It was a lot worse than any withdrawals I’d been through before.
The clinic in our community grew rapidly. I was #99 when I started going there and now I’ve heard that there are well over twelve hundred patients. It’s unbelievable! And the sad part about it is there are pregnant women who go that probably don’t have a clue how much their babies are/will suffer. It amazes me that this is legal. I’ve heard stories about how people have left the clinic and immediately got into a wreck on their way homes or on their way to work. When I was still going to the clinic, a young lady died from mixing methadone and a benzodiazepine. The scariest part for me personally was that my psychiatrist had put me on a benzo and I didn’t know that it could have that severe of a side effect.
The whole situation wasn’t good. Every time I talked to someone about how sick I was feeling, they would increase my dose, when in reality it should have been decreased significantly. The last straw was after I had been up for three straight days, throwing up. I went into severe withdrawal symptoms and started hallucinating. I had to go to the emergency room. They tricked me into signing myself into the upstairs unit at my psychiatrists office by telling me if I didn’t they would arrest me. (which they legally couldn’t do) Technically, methadone is legal and I was being prescribed that medication from a doctor. But at the time, I didn’t care. I knew I was in trouble…again! I needed help! So, I signed the paper and voluntarily committed myself…

My Stay at the Inpatient Unit:

I was taken in a wheelchair to where I would starting the first days of hell on earth…or atleast that’s what I would imagine hell to be like. 110mgs of Methadone to 0 is like nothing I can quite describe to fully give it justice. I have since been told I am lucky that I didn’t die during that time, and that the withdraw is significantly worse than coming off heroin. Well, I’ve never been on heroin, but methadone is bad enough…it’s synthetic heroine. The first night on the inpatient unit was scary. I flooded the bathroom shortly after I got there on accident by just taking a shower. I guess I was probably in there for a while, seeing as how I hadn’t showered for at least three days, maybe longer. And of course, being on the inpatient unit of a psychiatric treatment center, there weren’t shower doors…just a flimsy shower curtain that didn’t even cover the width of the shower. As I stepped out of the shower, I realized I was standing in a flooded bathroom. I thought to myself, “Wow on the first night? This is gonna be great!” If I only knew the half of it! The rest of that night wasn’t too bad though. The nurses gave me some medications to help me sleep, and I did sleep. Well, until they came in me and my roommates room to shine flashlights in our eyes and take our vital signs. But then, that first night, I would fall right back to sleep. Keep in mind, no sleep for three days straight…and this was the one and only night the nurses gave me medications to help me relax and rest. The rest of my stay would be quite a different story… I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been run over by a car. It was time for breakfast. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat much but I was willing to try. And, I was definitely thirsty. We had to go to these little groups throughout the days while I was there. I hated them. But mainly because I was so physically sick. I told my doctor that I didn’t wanna be weaned down off of methadone, I wanted to do it cold turkey. Looking back, that decision wasn’t probably very smart. But I’m sure it wasn’t mine to make anyway. I was there for seven days (starting on Good Friday) The doctors and nurses gave me nothing to help me through the horrendous withdraws. They changed my psych meds and gave me vitamins, and when my blood pressure would get extremely high, they’d give me something for that. It was definitely one of the worst things I’ve ever gone through-something I’ll never forget! But, I’m glad I’ll always remember how horrible it was. That keeps me safe from going back to it. After seven days, I was released to go home. I had lost my apartment, and had to move back in with my parents at twenty-six years-old. I was close to hitting my bottom. I was to return to the treatment center within a few days for Day Treatment…

Day Treatment and Detox:

After I was released from the inpatient unit, I was to return a few days later to start fourteen days of Day Treatment at the mental health treatment center. I was still obviously going through horrid withdrawals! I felt like my skin was crawling, I was shaking, couldn’t sit still, and sleeping was out of the question. It even hurt to pee. It felt like I was peeing fire! felt like I could spontaneously combust at any second! It was the worst thing I’d ever been through! It was virtually impossible for me to sit in that chair in the day treatment room for six hours a day, but I was just as uncomfortable at home. I found no relief anywhere doing anything. I would take several showers a day to try to calm down. I even chewed on a wet rag during the times when what I really wanted to do was scream! My body and brain were just screaming for the drugs because this is the first time in a few years that I stopped putting them into my body. Every inch of me inside was fighting back towards me trying to tell me something was wrong and I needed to get “our” drugs back in there. But me and God kept fighting back stronger saying NO!!! Don’t get me wrong, if I’m making this sound easy in any way, I don’t mean to because it wasn’t. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life! But it was sooo worth every second of it. And I had to remind myself how I got there. This wasn’t something done to me-This was something I chose to do to myself. And that is a hard thing to accept at first, but once you do it makes it easier to fight the disease in my opinion. That was my experience…

My First Try at Recovery:

My first try at recovery only lasted about two months. I thought I wanted to stay sober, but I didn’t want it bad enough. That is evident to me now because when things got tough, I gave up. I started going to a twelve step recovery program. I knew the answer I had been looking for was definitely at those meetings. I was still going through withdraw but it was getting easier. One thing that was not getting easier was life at home with my parents. But, what did I expect? What did they expect? It was hard on everyone. I was carrying around so much guilt from what I had put them through and I was angry! Angry at me! And, I had no idea what to do with these emotions! I couldn’t stuff them down with drugs anymore. I was seeing a counselor and starting to deal with emotions back from when I was a little girl and had been abused by my father…the same father that had killed himself. I wasn’t ready to deal with all of that, not yet. I didn’t know what to do with what I felt. I just knew I hated feeling it. After two months of sobriety, I gave up. My mom knew I was giving up and tried to do anything and everything she could to stop it. She temporarily kept me from leaving her house by calling the police. She knew they wouldn’t arrest me. She just hoped they would be able to persuade me into staying. But, I was stubborn. I had my mind made up. Out the door I went…
Not surprisingly, it was only a matter of time before I was using all the drugs I had access to, and ended up back at the Methadone Clinic, again! It still baffles me to this day how I put myself in that position after the hell I had endured. But, that’s the thing about addiction-any addiction. I now believe it’s a slow suicide. Alcoholics and Addicts are not stupid people. In fact, we are all very intelligent people with a horrendous disease that causes us to do stupid things. LOL  In all seriousness, if you or a loved one is interested in some awesome twelve step groups, please contact me. I will NOT post your comment without your permission. I can personally direct you to some great websites to help get the ball rolling and I know we can get you connected with meetings and other resources in your area or if you prefer you can attend meetings online that will fit your needs. These groups, the people there, and my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God have saved my life along with millions of others! There are only three requirements, be honest, open and willing! The next page I’ll be writing is about when I realized I had to make a life or death choice…

I Chose Life:

My first try at recovery only lasted about two months. I thought I wanted to stay sober, but I didn’t want it bad enough. That is evident to me now because when things got tough, I gave up.
I started going to a twelve step recovery program. I knew the answer I had been looking for was definitely at those meetings. I was still going through withdraw but it was getting easier. One thing that was not getting easier was life at home with my parents. But, what did I expect? What did they expect? It was hard on everyone. I was carrying around so much guilt from what I had put them through and I was angry! Angry at me! And, I had no idea what to do with these emotions! I couldn’t stuff them down with drugs anymore. I was seeing a counselor and starting to deal with emotions back from when I was a little girl and had been abused by my father…the same father that had killed himself. I wasn’t ready to deal with all of that, not yet. I didn’t know what to do with what I felt. I just knew I hated feeling it. After two months of sobriety, I gave up. My mom knew I was giving up and tried to do anything and everything she could to stop it. She temporarily kept me from leaving her house by calling the police. She knew they wouldn’t arrest me. She just hoped they would be able to persuade me into staying. But, I was stubborn. I had my mind made up. Out the door I went…
Not surprisingly, it was only a matter of time before I was using all the drugs I had access to, and ended up back at the Methadone Clinic, again! It still baffles me to this day how I put myself in that position after the hell I had endured. But, that’s the thing about addiction-any addiction. I now believe it’s a slow suicide. Alcoholics and Addicts are not stupid people. In fact, we are all very intelligent people with a horrendous disease that causes us to do stupid things. In all seriousness, if you or a loved one is interested in some awesome twelve step groups, please contact me. I will NOT post your comment without your permission. I can personally direct you to some great websites to help get the ball rolling and I know we can get you connected with meetings and other resources in your area or if you prefer you can attend meetings online that will fit your needs. These groups, the people there, and my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God have saved my life along with millions of others! There are only three requirements, be honest, open and willing!

The most important part of the answer to my recovery:

I cannot stress enough how very important this decision was and still is, not only in keeping clean and sober, but in my life as a whole. I decided to become a Christian again!  When I decided to stop using drugs, I wanted to really turn my life around completely! I completely 100% turned my will and my life over to God. I let go of all control. I got out of the driver’s seat and climbed into the passenger’s seat, so to speak. I knew that was my answer. I had God in my life before, but I had turned my back on Him. It was time that I get down on my knees, which is what I did, and ask for His forgiveness. I confessed my sins, asked His forgiveness, and told Him that I wanted Him to take over in my life…that I wanted to do His will from now on, not mine. And, I meant every single word. Of course, God knew that. He knows every thought we have. From that moment on, He did what I had asked. He started leading the way. I didn’t have to feel like I had to know all the answers cause I don’t. I know He does and that’s one of the greatest parts. I just trust Him. Pretty simple, yet so important. I trust Him with everything! He is my Father. He wants what is best for me, He will provide for me, and He will lead the way.

I can’t even begin to explain what I consider to be miracles that have occurred since that day. God has done exactly what I had asked Him to do. He has been in the driver’s seat and I depend on Him completely. It would also be hard to accurately explain the amazing personal relationship I have with our Heavenly Father. I feel such a closeness to Him. And, what is so wonderful is that He wants that personal relationship with us. That is why He created us! Amazing!

If you haven’t yet made the decision to turn your life over to God and would like to, and would like to know Him more personally, I have a page that answers a lot of questions and explains exactly how you can do that. If you make that decision, I ask that you please contact me so I can pray for you. I will keep your name and information anonymous if you wish. I would just like to be there to answer any questions you might have, or just be able to keep you in my prayers.

“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12

4 responses to “My Journey Through Active Addiction and My Road To Recovery

  1. God Bless You, coming from a “similar” backround.. our stories are different but yet the same. With that being said, I know that “fear” of needing help and not knowing where to turn. I’m so happy you let the Holy Spirit lead you to where you are today! Your story will help alot of people, thank you for being so brave and unselfish in sharing it. May the Lord continue to Bless You in all your future endevors

  2. May God continue to richly bless you! Sharing your story, is evidence of the great strength within you! The word of God says, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world! You can overcome any addiction or bondage, because God’s grace is sufficient for you, and His strength is made perfect in your weakness! I will visit your page regularly, and feel free to visit my page. We can encourage each other in the Lord!

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