Amy is a childhood friend of mine and her blog on addiction hit so close to home, a little too close….so I had to message her and let her know what an amazing article it was and then I told her my story and told her if she ever wanted to share my story to try and help someone then please, I want to know I fought for at least one life besides mine. I asked Amy to please give me some direction. So a little background, I shall remain nameless, I never moved from the house I currently reside in, my family is what you would call a text book family, I was not abused or neglected and I was actually an extremely straight laced girl until high school. I went wild, I tried smoking weed, ecstasy, meth, coke, pills of all kinds, but I always said I would never touch heroin. Wrong. I am now an addict in recovery started with pills (dilauded, roxy’s, OC’s) to a gram of heroin to myself every day. The first time I tried it I was eighteen.
My boyfriend of five years did it every day and he never died. Curiosity won. So one day he said, “Hey baby, why don’t you come do the rest of this line? I might OD if I do it all.” Simple as that I agreed it was small amount not even an inch of dope to snort. But I was a virgin so it was plenty. I would never go downtown with them to get it, I was too scared of Atlanta and I swore I would never use a needle that, that was disgusting. Wrong again. So me, my boyfriend, and two friends kept this up for two years. Me putting it up my nose, the three of them full blown IV users. Until the day my boyfriend was texting me while high driving and got in a wreck that essentially cost him his life. He is still alive, this year on November 28, 2014 will be seven years since, he can’t walk, he was twenty years old when it happened, he will be turning 27 this year, he has to wear a diaper, he will probably need someone to care for him the rest of his life, but he’s clean and doesn’t remember the not so nice person he once was. The day I lost him, my best friend, I stopped, life stopped, I didn’t have time to use I was at the hospital every day waiting for him to wake up and not die. Slowly I picked “life” back up.
My addiction grabbed the most serious grip on me. I started dating this “bad boy” who I would love to blame for ruining my life, but you’re responsible for you at the end of the day. We got right into pills roxy’s, dialuded, and OC’s in the very beginning. I was still snorting, he insisted on using a needle, even sharing them. I still swore I wouldn’t. The day I got hooked and knew my addiction was much bigger than me, was the day I let him convince me to allow him to shoot me up in my ankle, just a quarter piece of a roxy 30. At that moment, I’ve never experienced such a strong euphoria. Once you use a needle, there is no once, you will continue to use a needle. ALWAYS. This went on for a year we would try to stop but never could. We’d swear oh this is the last time. We decided to go to the methadone clinic stayed there for six months and decided no more, cold turkey. Methadone withdrawals are worse than withdrawals from dope. He went to jail and got to detox there, I was left on my own to detox. Being left alone addicted to Satan himself would be an emerging pattern. He got out of jail, we relapsed yet again, he was abusive, he manipulated me into pawning very precious items of mine, we committed crimes for money, but as long as I got my next fix none of that mattered. He hit me, verbally abused me, he was a serial cheater, but by the time it was this nightmare all I could think was, “is this the day he is going to kill me or will the drugs take me?” We were doing heroin, my cousin had a heroin problem so I got in good with his dealer. I put myself in bad situations, I was robbed at gunpoint. My family had no idea who the hell I was, but still they stood by my side…they knew I had to choose to get better, they couldn’t choose for me. I OD’ed my dad found me, I was already blue, my lovely boyfriend said “don’t call 911, she’ll be fine.” The EMT’s had to bring me back and I was far from fine. Still no wake up call, no light bulb going off in my head…OD’ed two more times, the time my mom found me I was out on bond so she revoked my bond, because I refused to go to rehab. As soon as I was released from the hospital, I was arrested right there in the parking lot and went to jail for a week.
My boyfriend was also in jail in a different county so I used as soon as I could get my grimy hands on some dope, after they released me from jail. He was already on probation so he got to spend the remainder of his sentence in a half way house, and once again I was on my own. I was up to a gram a day to me, myself, and I, while he was in sober living learning the steps. My mom moved in with my aunt, because she just couldn’t take being around me and I do not blame her. My addiction had me, I was not myself….I was lost. It was just me in my dad living together. I hit rock bottom I was too ashamed to ask for help such as detox then in patient rehab. So I did what I knew would make it stop. I wanted silence. No more using, no more lying, no more of the cycle. I just wanted it to stop SO bad. I took my dad’s spare key to the gun cabinet, unlocked it. Picked up what turned to be a .22 caliber rifle, found the correct bullet that went in it, loaded my VERY first gun, took off the safety, stood in the mirror and pulled a trigger for the VERY first time in my life, right into the right side of my head. I felt no pain my nightmare was over. I touched my shoulder because I could feel it was wet and I had blood on my fingers and all that really stands out and I will never forget, was the sound of my daddy screaming.
Then my real recovery began. I woke up in the hospital in more pain then I can ever describe, hooked up to a pain pump that would pump dialuded into my system every eight minutes….wait? What? You guys are giving a girl with an opiate addiction dialuded? I did not know this until sometime later, but my neurosurgeon had made a promise to my parents that I would no longer want to use heroin by the time I was able to go home. In his fourteen years of practice he’s only seen two people survive a direct shot to the head, me and a twelve year old little girl, no one else made it off the table. He says that I shouldn’t even be here and that I’m a miracle, even if two more minutes had past when I arrived at the hospital I would’ve been dead without a doubt. I had to fight like hell, I now and still have a brain injury. I had to relearn how to swallow, for three entire weeks I had no use of the left side of my body, and there was no way to tell if it’d return. Then all the prayers that had been said were answered, my arm and hand on my left side slowly started working and my left foot took its first step forward. I’ve never smiled so big, my fight wasn’t over yet I had to get my balance right and had to relearn to dress myself and I had to get some strength back in the left side of my body.
The whole time I was being administered dilauded through an IV, I did NOT get hooked; I did NOT want to get high. All those feelings had diminished. It’s been over two years now since all of this and I haven’t relapsed. I still have a brain injury and bullet fragments that were too dangerous to remove I had one-third of my temporal lobe cut completely out, a skull plate that’s made from plastic where there used to be bone, but I’m alive and glad I am and that awful nightmare is a tough lesson. My neurosurgeon, who I owe my life and upmost gratitude, said it takes the brain two years before the “want” for dope leaves your brain. I’m past two years but that doesn’t mean I go near that garbage. I’ve lost a lot of friends, but that’s ok, I also gained a lot of amazing people and my family never gave up nor my doctors, or therapists, nurses.
The most important thing I have to stress and address is do NOT do something this drastic, I was beyond blessed and I still have a purpose one of which I’m still trying to figure out. Seriously, though cut out all your dealers, and user friends (they aren’t real friends anyway), change your number I did, none of those people will be any good for your recovery. Do not let anyone tell you shit having to do with statistics. That stuff is for the birds. Here are statistics for people who sustain a direct shot to the head only 2% survive, people who actually live to see the day they quit doing heroin 5 to 10% get out. I managed to surpass both of those. If you do NOT want to be a statistic then don’t. Statistics do NOT nor will ever dictate how you will change and start your recovery. I’m not going to lie and say I worked the 12-step program; it’s simply not for me. I’ve managed to not relapse because I have such an amazing support system, and I cut all those ties, that was HUGE in helping me move forward.
You can think, “Oh, I’m strong enough to be around someone who is high on pain killers.” Wrong you’re not. Trust me my boyfriend now who is so supportive and encouraging had a cousin who orally took pain killers and I had to say no if he’s high we are leaving because it makes me want some. And even though that’s his own blood relative he said ok. If you’re ever in that type of the situation and the person you happen to be with actually cares about you not relapsing, then they will respect your feelings and leave with you, but if they choose to stay, leave them it’s not worth a relapse. Better yet try your best to avoid situations like that altogether. Find out, and get help from a professional on what the best type of treatment is for you. Just because 12 steps aren’t for me it is for a lot of people. I’m telling you my story based on my experience and I am not a professional. If you have a recovery plan already don’t change, professionals know best.
Also, don’t ever think you can’t die from doing it one “last” time, currently where I live in Georgia we are losing at least one person every two to three weeks if not more. Not an exaggeration, it is an epidemic. Please believe in yourself, because everyone is capable of recovering if you want to fight for it, because you can’t be cured. I know I’m still an addict and always will be, but I’m in recovery. I’d like to take a brief moment to give a HUGE thank you to my friend from grade school Amy for allowing me to share my story and hopefully save someone’s life or help someone who’s struggling within their own recovery. And to just take it one day at a time, because that has been the best advice ever given to me.