First I want to put it out there that addiction comes from all walks of life! Not only poor people or people from a bad side of town are drug addicts! It can happen to anyone and it affects everyone including sober family and friends! If you know an addict I beg you to keep loving them even if it’s from afar because most of us believe no one truly cares about us because that’s what drugs whisper to us to keep us using!
One year ago I woke up in a hospital room with no idea where I was, what day it was, or how I had gotten there! I was so confused and to tired to think straight. I remember looking around and seeing two IVs in my arm, the hospital bed sides wrapped in towels making some sort of cushion to keep me from harming myself, and I couldn’t move my legs! A lady I didn’t know was sitting in a chair next to my bed and she explained who she was and why she was there but honestly I still can’t remember what she said. She sat there non stop for a whole day but we never spoke to each other because I kept falling asleep and was to confused, tired, and embarrassed.
Everyone knew why I was there…they had to know! I was so afraid to address the elephant in the room – I had a major drug overdose!
My drug use had started about 9 years ago when I was 18 but my triggers had started years ago in my childhood and through out life just snowballed out of control! It all started with weed and alcohol, which to this day I don’t think is a big deal because I basically stayed out of trouble and did it as a past time! When I was 21 or 22 the pain pills came into the picture! This started not for fun but I actually have back problems and was working a lot and going to school and always on the go and on my feet. Snorting the pain pills gave me energy for hours more than any coffee or energy drink and made me feel numb from a lot of emotional personal things going on in my life at the time.
After several years of prescription opiate abuse I had reached a point where I was sick all the time if I wasn’t constantly doing them so I would but my ass to work all time for 7.80 an hour at mcdonalds to pay for my addiction on top of rent and other bills. A few months before I turned 24 I lost everything and was forced to move home to my Mawmaws and I fell into a deep depression and started using xanax and kolonopins for anxiety and to sleep!
A month after I turned 24 I met my current boyfriend on Craigslist of all places. He was the most amazing person I had met and after only a few dates we moved in with each other because I was always at his place anyways! At first I hid my addiction from him and tried to secretly quit because I liked him so much I didn’t want him to break up with me. We started drinking a lot and going to bars a lot which helped me stop using pain pills. Eventually my drunken ass spilt the beans after drinking some Tequila heavily one night and he admitted he used to do coke pretty heavily a year before we met but had quit and was very understanding and accepting. I guess that should have been my sign to be careful because both of us had been addicted to drugs but it didn’t because I was naive and believed I was healed forever!
The drugs came back into the picture 6 months into our relationship i believe. Going to dive bars and partying all the time brought them back around. The bars we went to became a hotbed for dealers and heroin was blowing up in my area because of all the new restrictions on pain pills due to the government realizing how addictive they were!
Let me just say I NEVER thought I would ever do heroin…let alone ever use a needle because I am still to this day afraid of needles! My boyfriend and I did it together. We both thought what is one time going to do? The first time we snorted heroin was the beginning of 2-3 years of a fucking wild rollercoaster mess! We snorted it every day all day for a year until we had built a tolerance so strong that our dealer introduced us to the needle to cut us back because you have to do less of it when you shoot. But after only 6 months of shooting it we were spending just as much money as before if not more or we would be deathly ill and couldn’t function or go to work. We stopped going out and hung out in our bedroom like a couple of hermits for months. When we started feeling to low or didn’t have enough money to buy enough heroin we would smoke meth to wake us back up because it was a lot cheaper! The constant up and down daily drug use tore our life and relationship to pieces. Our family got tired of it and constantly letting us borrow money and decided to cut us off financially which in turn caused us to lose our apartment because any money we got went to our addiction.
My boyfriend ended up having to move to his moms in North Carolina and I got stuck staying in the same old city at my mawmaws again! I was so depressed because at this point he was my only real friend and we had been together constantly for 2 years! I guess this is the straw that broke the camels back because I just spun out of control after that! I thought I was rock bottom but I actually dug the whole deeper. About 2 or 3 months after he left and got clean I just couldn’t take being lonely anymore and missing him and talking to him on the phone and wondering when or if I’ll ever see him again! I took a huge concoction of meth and heroin (called speed balling) and shot myself up at a friends house.
Everything after that is bits and pieces to this day. I remember my friend waking me up by slapping me. His mom coming home and seeing me past out in there bathroom and yelling at me to leave or she was calling the cops. I remember walking to the bus stop but I don’t remember getting on the bus! I remember getting off the bus somewhere by Mawmaws and walking and falling down a lot on the sidewalk and I kept falling asleep on the sidewalk. I remember the cops showing up and waking me up and asking me if I want to go to jail or the hospital and I told them the hospital. I don’t remember the car ride there or going into the hospital. I remember waking up in a cold small room at the hospital on a mattress on the floor and I was so thirsty and I kept asking them for water and the nurses would bring me water and I would drink it fall back asleep then wake up again to me spilling the water all over myself and the floor then nodding back out again. I was still in my clothes at this point from what I remember.
Then there was darkness. I specifically remember dreaming the darkness like when you have no dream but I felt like I was falling slowly backwards. It felt so peaceful. And then I woke up as I described earlier.
I spent 3 days awake in the hospital and never asked how long I was not awake because I was so embarrassed to even talk to anyone about it. I found my phone in my purse and called my boyfriend who took a plane overnight to come sit with me in the hospital. He gave me the ultimatum to leave the hospital and move with him to his moms in North Carolina, leaving my family and everyone I know behind, to get clean or stay where I was, keep doing what I was doing, and lose him forever! I knew that this was my one chance to escape this vicious cycle and that I probably wouldn’t ever get this chance again so i said yes. I told the doctor I had to leave because his plane was leaving the next day and his mom had bought a ticket. Even though she said she was against it because I needed to heal still she allowed it. I think she understood that this was my way out but we never spoke on it. She explained to me that I had suffered a brain injury from Hypoxia which is when the oxygen is cut off from your brain due to low blood pressure and advised me of the long term effects that may or may not plague me for the rest of my life!
I left the hospital the next day swollen from head to toe from all the fluids and swelling from falling and barely able to walk because my limbs felt like jello from muscle atrophy. I got on that plane and never looked back and I did it all cold turkey without any medicine!
Since that day I have gotten pregnant and had my beautiful daughter Lilly in December! She is what keeps me going forward and gives me something to live for and I am so grateful to have had the second chance I am living! I still get urges under stress to use but I have kept myself away from people I think might be on drugs and I keep myself busy with hobbies like blogging! I think the urge will always be there creeping in the back of my mind and tempting me which is a big reason why I think a lot of people relapse! I really hope someone reads this and finds the courage to just say I am done today and take the steps they need to quit because I promise you even though it’s a long hard road in recovery it is worth it by a million. If you find your way out take it and if you can’t find one make it!
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction of any kind I beg you to please seek help even if it’s just going to a therapist. Go to a hospital or a rehab…just do it! Don’t wait until tomorrow or you could be found on a sidewalk half dead like me and never come back! Somebody out there will miss you if that happens…you are never alone!
If you need help finding somewhere to go or someone to talk to call the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s Hotline at 1 800 662 HELP (4357)! They are open every day of the year and every hour of the day! They will not judge you or call the cops on you! They are there to be supportive when you feel like no one understands! Family and friends of an addict can also call this line for information!