AnonymousMarch 8, 2017 at 9:31 pmPost count: 7
Most of my story has been put out on Addiction to Rehabilitation, in various forums and posts, but this is the first time I’ve put it all together. Tomorrow, I will celebrate 4 years in recovery. TBH, I’m not even sure that the 9th was the exact day…I was in a fog from a sleep-deprived, disastrous relapse, but it’s the day I chose. I know this is going to be long, but for those of you who know me, that’s just the way I am:)
My story involves as much, if not more, codependency (codie) issues as drugs. I wasn’t raised a codie…raised with love, praise when I did good, consequences when I did bad, and was repeatedly told I could be anything I wanted to be. Excelled in school, started college in my Sr. year of high school.
My first love was R, a functioning alcoholic from an extremely dysfunctional alcoholic/codie family. I stuck with him for more than 20 years, despite him always having other gf’s, the emotional abuse, etc. I drank to “put up” or “keep up” with him. Got my only DUI, one night, when we were arguing and I took off. That was my way to deal with anything – RUN!
In my late 20’s I went to nursing school. R and I were as dysfunctional, as ever. I attempted suicide, a few times, when he threatened to break up. I got into traveling nursing…was very good at my job, working ICU/ER and neonatal ICU (NICU). However, being away from R, I was lonely. I’d come “home” to see him on my every-other-4-day-weekend. There were often notes from the gf who had just left, that morning, on the table….sigh.
I had essentially quit drinking..didn’t care about it when I wasn’t around him. Not a problem, despite how much I’d been drinking. I eventually got the idea that pain meds made my patients “chill out” and maybe THAT would help. That began a long disastrous path into opiate abuse. I say abuse, because despite the massive amounts of what I was using, when I quit, I had no withdrawal.
I lost my travel job, had nowhere to go. I will say, though, most of the time, I used after I got off of work. I came back to GA, got another job, and it was apparent that R and I were over. I sunk further into the opiates. The drugs that killed Michael Jackson? I injected all of them, and more, laying on my couch. I’d pass out, wake up and push more.
I eventually lost a dream job because of something I’d taken after my shift…I was found “dazed and confused, walking around in the parking lot” and woke up in the very ER I’d just worked my shift. They didn’t do a drug test, but did turn me over to the BON (Board of Nursing) and DEA.
I went to AA, scared to death. I found a great home group, I worked at a volunteer medical clinic run by one of my AA friends, I had an awesome sponsor…an alcoholic, but worked in the local drug/alcohol treatment facility.
I had 5-1/2 months in recovery, but I was lonely and had yet to address my codie issues. I hooked up with a guy I met in AA (XABF#2), K, totally against the advice of my sponsor and other old-timers I respected. He was a crack addict, and had a reputation for 13-stepping. I fell.
It wasn’t long before he moved in and started smoking crack. I’d always been terrified of it, seeing what it did to people in the ER’s I worked, including death. I started drinking and dabbling with pills again, because it was my only way to deal with it.
I finally said “let me try it”. He told me I wouldn’t like it, that I was used to “downers” and crack was an “upper”. Three days later, he had my car, brought me some crack at work, I took a break, smoked it, and went back an took meds from the narcs cart (for another “friend” in AA) and was caught.
That resulted in a felony charge of “obtaining controlled substances by fraudulent means” and “theft by taking” (the drugs). I was offered the “first offender program”, meaning if I didn’t get another charge, the felony would be removed.
At that point, I felt like I’d lost everything. K had all kinds of people in/out of my home (crack and meth addicts), and I later found out we were being watched by the GBI. One of them went nuts, one day, busted my window, cut an artery, I had to call 911, they came. Minutes later, K and someone else were smoking meth, knock on my door, and the sheriff was there to arrest me. The detective who was handling my case had heard the 911 call, knew of K’s rap sheet, and thought I was in danger, so had me brought in.
K said he was “trying to get the bond money”…$365 for 4 days. Actually, he was having one helluva party, having sold everything I owned, including my dead mother’s wedding ring, my nursing pin, high school ring, and all my furniture. I finally called my dad, he got me out, and that’s when he found out I was on crack:( He had no idea about the opiates, as I’d lived 2 hours away and was good at hiding my problem.
It went downhill from there. I left K, found S (XABF#3) who not only smoked it but sold it, so had more access. I’d sworn I would not go out on the streets. I’d walked away from my home, my cats who I absolutely loved more than life, but crack just made me stupid.
S got locked up, a guy offered to take me to the jail to see him. Instead, took me 11 miles away from the ‘hood, in the middle of nowhere, raped me and left me there. I walked back. At that point, I said “WTF” and started earning money the way most females do. I got beaten up, had my cheek bone/collar bone busted, got choked, but I kept doing it.
I finally got arrested in March of 2005 (the day after S had gotten locked up again) for probation violation.
I was in county jail for a month, a diversion center for 5-1/2, got a job waiting tables, was doing good. But I was still a codie. I stayed clean for the better part of a year…I COULD smoke crack just one afternoon, and then not do it again for a month or so, but it was getting harder to not want it more often. I totally quit, again, for 5 months.
I was at my best friend’s (not any more) motel room in Chattanooga, TN in late Feb. 2007. She was at work, her daughter was with friends and her husband said “gee, so you’re not smoking any more, huh? Too bad” and dropped a handful of crack on the table. I couldn’t not do it. A week later, he was locked up, she was locked up and I went up there to try to get her daughter to her brother’s before DFACS got her (yeah…me, the rescuer, as always). This was a crack motel. Was going to get $100, do it and then take care of business the next day.
Instead, hooked up with a psycho crackhead, went back to the streets, in a strange town, until I ran out of money, had talked to dad and he said he was going to call my probation officer. I begged him to come get me (no money for gas, the idiot had done major damage to my breaks).
Dad came and got me, he did cover the bounced checks I’d written, got my brakes fixed, which some will see as codie, but as soon as I got over bronchitis and the sleep deprivation, I was immediately looking for work. A few days later, I went back to my old town for a job for dad…ended up back with S, and after 3 days of using, again, and talking to dad, I just said “I can’t do this any more” . The entire relapse was less than 2 weeks but it was bad. BTW, S died a little over a year ago.
I couldn’t go back to the restaurant I was MIA for the weekend, but mgr did allow me to work in a “sister restaurant” and that’s where I went. I worked every chance I could, and paid dad back the $$ within 6 weeks.
I had been lurking on Addiction to Rehabilitation for over a year, I finally signed on 6 months later.
Since I’ve been in recovery, I’ve been dealing with consequences….I’m still broke, I’ve chosen not to get my nursing license back (it shows lapsed) and am back in school for Health Information Technology. I need $4,000 worth of dental work and don’t have it, so have asked my extended family for help.
I was robbed, twice, at work. First time, wasn’t such a bad thing…shotgun in my face, we were all herded into the freezer, and a coworker called 911 from his cell phone. We were told where the silent alarms were, the next day..sigh.
The second time, we’d already had an idea of who was behind it..a gang member at my former restaurant, someone who used to bum cigarettes from me. They were robbed first, then us, then they got robbed again and I begged my district and general managers to let us lock the doors, late at night (I worked 3rd) and was told “absolutely not”.
One morning, I went to lock the door, the realized it was after 5a.m., one of my mgrs may come in early and I’d lose my job for locking the door, and the robberies had never happened after 4a.m., so I left the door unlocked.
Five minutes later, there were 3 men (boys) with guns, Halloween masks, and hoodies. My cook and I were pistol whipped, after I’d had the gun held to the base of my head. My mgr was smacked with a gun and then pepper-sprayed. I got 6 staples in my head and entertained the cop who was assigned to babysit me until the detective got there, with my history..told him I couldn’t believe I survived crack, to almost get taken out in a restaurant?!?! He told me I was an inspiration and the funniest victim he’d ever met:)
I ended up with PTSD from the robbery. Workman’s comp said “we don’t deal with mental stuff”. My insurance wouldn’t cover therapy. My dr., who is a Godsend, put me on an anti-d because I couldn’t concentrate for 5 seconds, and it helped. I got migraines, went to a neurologist and said “I’m a recovering addict and I don’t want any opiates”. He grinned, said “good, because you’re not going to get any”…was put on other type medicines.
Several months later, the detective called me and said that we were right….it was who we thought it was. Most likely, the one who held the gun to my head and hit me was the 14-year-old who went out, with others, the very next day and killed 4 people, including a 15-year-old innocent child, and also the dog. They’ll never get out of prison, but it shook me to my core…the same guy who held the gun to my head KILLED people within 24 hours.
Work had cut my hours, I wasn’t able to get therapy, and I sued Workman’s comp. Didn’t get a ton of money, but enough to pay bills and help dad out when our septic tank died. I quit that job as part of the settlement.
I work at a McDonald’s, and do part time merchandising work. I am in school, and making A’s. I’m 49, living at home with a pretty dysfunctional family (stepmom likes her pills and is a major codie, dad has become a codie to her and my 17-year-old niece we’ve raised because her mom died when she was 1 – car wreck, and her dad is in/out of prison with his own addiction issues)
I’m broke as hell, in my banking account, but I am a millionaire in recovery. I have friends and family I can count on (most of them from Addiction to Rehabilitation), and even if a lot of them are thousands of miles away, they’ve gotten me through everything. I occasionally have to take pain meds for legit back problems but I don’t abuse it. I don’t have a criminal record because my relapse wasn’t found out about by my PO (despite being pulled over by cops 6 times – HP had a hand in that), and when I was released, 16 months early from probation, I was 100% into recovery.
I’ve also made big strides in my codie recovery. I no longer want to save the world, and I can detach from the dysfunctional people I am around (most of the time). I think it took me working on my codie issues to help me move forward in my addiction recovery…the two are totally intertwined.
Though my recovery is mine, I owe a LOT to the people here at Addiction to Rehabilitation. My dad doesn’t understand what “that recovery thing you’re on” IS, but he’s often commented on the positive changes I’ve made since joining and he’s been amazed that “total strangers” have come through for me, time and time again. He even went to his first al-anon meeting!
Thank you, ((((((Addiction to Rehabilitation)))))) for getting me to where I am today.
Love, hugs, and prayers,
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