About Me

ErinI figured I would let everyone out there know exactly where I’m coming from by sharing my own story. It’s therapeutic for myself and also it will help others identify and see they are not alone. Just keep in mind that while my story probably differs from yours, you will see that there are some similar tones. Progression, Isolation and hopelessness.

My Downward Spiral
When I was nine years old I tried my first beer and my first cigarette. Both were disgusting to me but my older cousins were doing it so I was going to also. I can’t remember ever feeling a buzz at that age. This occasional drinking continued as I got older.

When I was about 14 I discovered marijuana. Since I really didn’t like alcohol due to it making me feel sick, this was my drug of choice. I smoked all the time…all the time. There were 3 of us that hung out after school and would get baked. We had a blast.

Then we started getting high during school. This wasn’t always as fun because most of the time I got paranoid that one of my teachers would know what I was doing, but I still did it all the time. My grades definitely suffered because of it. I was the type of kid that could skip homework and still get a good grade on tests. I often think now what I really could have amounted to if I actually did my schoolwork.

Around this time I also started experimenting with drugs from the medicine cabinet at home. I used to take more than the recommended dose of cold medicine to see what it would do. I can remember a couple of times feeling really crappy, but that didn’t stop me. I also found some prescription pain medication which I started to take. None of these experimentations were shared with my friends. I had already begun to isolate.

I managed to graduate from high school and I went away to a two year college. It was then that I had started to use other street drugs. I surrounded myself with people that were exactly like myself so none of this seemed out of the ordinary. I ended up dropping out of school after the first year.

I moved into an apartment that I shared with a bunch of guys. One of the guys that we let stay there was a drug dealer so instead of paying us cash for rent we could get drugs from him anytime we wanted for free. Since I didn’t have a job or any spending money, this was a good set up for me. Some of the drugs that I have used while I lived there was LSD, Exstacy, Christal Meth, Ketamine, pure MDMA, Crack and Cocaine.

I got pretty heavy into Cocaine and I decided that this wasn’t right. I am not living the way that I should be and I decided that the only option for me was to move back home with my parents. So that’s what I did. Without telling them the reason, I just moved home to start over fresh.

Because of the fact that I hadn’t kept in touch with anyone at home when I moved away and also because I had just left all of my “friends” that I met in college, I had no one. I sunk into a depression. It was around this time that I discovered my mother had been prescribed kalonopin (benzo). I took huge amounts of this drug. HUGE amounts. I remember a time that I had took so many that I was starting to get nervous. I was kind of nodding out and I remember having difficulty swallowing but I honestly didn’t care if I didn’t wake up. So I just went to sleep. I was only 19.

Well I did wake up and somehow I got myself out of my depression funk that I was in. I got a job, made some new friends and I met my husband. Life was good again and I was feeling like a normal person… for now.

I started to use exstacy again pretty heavily before I had gotten pregnant with my son. This went on for a while because it made me feel good about myself and it was easy to get at the time.

Once I got pregnant with my son I cut out all of the alcohol and drugs. I lived clean and enjoyed life again. Once I had my kid I was right back to taking ecstacy and drinking every weekend. But once again something got me out of these habits and I went back to living like a normal person.

Then came my anxiety attacks. I was starting to have them and getting into a depression. I had been taking some sort of sleep aid every night. I was abusing Tylenol PM and Nyquil. I was taking them earlier and earlier every night and it was really start to cause problems in my marriage. I went to the doctor and was prescribed an anti depressant and…kolonopin. The same exact drug that I had abused and nearly killed myself with previously.

Of course I didn’t take the kalonopin as prescribed. I was supposed to be taking it 3 times a day but I wouldn’t take it during the day because it made me too tired. I would save up all of the pills and take them when I got home from work. When those stopped working I would then add another sleep aid to it. Anything to make me just pass out and not have time to think about anything.

My husband and I separated, I moved back home with my parents. We were sharing custody of my son. This was very difficult for me. I was used to spending all of my free time with him and now I didn’t have him with me. This is when I tried oxycontin. I would spend $20.00 and would get something in return that made me not worry, not care, not even really be aware of anyone but myself. I would take it and then just go to my end of the house and lay down in front of the TV and just veg out. This may not seem fun to others but to me it seemed perfect.

Slowly I had to increase the amount that I would take at one time so the $20.00 that I was spending turned into $40.00 and then $80.00. The once a week turned into every other day, then everyday and then sometimes twice a day. I was caught. I couldn’t get out of this.

Within this time my husband moved into my parents house with me. Even though I promised that we would be completely honest with each other I kept this horrible secret from him. My family knew that something was wrong with me but they didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t get the words out to let them know. I was so afraid that my husband would leave me and take my child away from me. I was paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t leave my house, I couldn’t talk to anyone about anything because I was afraid they would see that I was messed up. This went on for months.

Finally, I decided that I was going to stop once and for all… on my own. I quickly realized that this was more serious than I thought. My body was going through withdrawals. I was really panicking now. On the second day of me not using my husband came home from work to find that I hadn’t gotten off the couch all day. I was still in the clothes I went to bed in and I was really down. He asked me about 15 times, “what’s wrong?”. My response 14 times was nothing, I’m just having a bad day. Then finally I blurted it out “I’ve been using drugs for about a year, I’m addicted”.

Once those words were out of my mouth I felt a release that I honestly can’t explain in words. I’m not going to tell you that once I told someone I felt better and everything was great, it wasn’t. I was scared of the repercussions. As the night went on and things got more and more serious I did have a few times that I wished I hadn’t said anything.

My husband was very clear with me, either I go into a facility to help with the detoxification or he would leave me. I wanted to do it on an outpatient basis because I was so afraid of the unknown. He wouldn’t have it. He insisted that I check into someplace that could help me. I agreed that I would call my primary care physician the next morning and if he thought that I needed to go into a place then I would do that. Honestly I am so grateful for my husband. Without him I probably would have detoxed at home but I would have picked up again. I know I would have.

The Climb Back Up
I went into my doctors office the next morning. My husband went with me even though he was so mad at me and pretty disgusted with me. I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like everyone could tell what I was there for. I just felt like a piece of garbage.

My doctor agreed with my husband that I needed to check into a facility that could help me through the withdrawals and also set me up with aftercare. He called the hospital that he was affiliated with and told them I was coming. He then told me to go to the emergency room, they knew I was coming and they would take it from there.

My husband and I left my doctors office and he wanted to bring me home to get some clothes together. I told him that there was a good chance that if I went home first I would talk myself out of going and I asked him to just drive straight to the hospital.

So I stayed in the lock-down psyche word of this hospital for 5 days. I went through withdrawal symptoms that made me feel like I was literally going to die. I was so ashamed of myself I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror until about the fourth day there.

Throughout my whole stay I was forced to speak out loud infront of people I didn’t know and tell them my inner feelings and fears. At first it was very humiliating. They really know what they are doing though. I got so much stuff off of my chest that I had been holding in for so long. What was really great was that all of the people in there were going through the same stuff. I realized that I’m not alone in the way that I feel. I’m not a weirdo, I’m just an addict.

Once I was released from the in-patient treatment I continued with out-patient treatment for 10 days. I had to take drug tests a couple times per week and was pretty much in group therapy for drug addicts. I honestly looked forward to going everyday. The people that I sat around the table with and discussed feelings and problems with were having the same feelings and problems. It made me feel accepted. It made me feel that someone understood the problem of addiction as well as I did. I ended up graduating that treatment plan.

I started seeing a therapist that specializes in addiction and I started attending narcotics anonymous and alcoholics anonymous meetings. I have been going to meetings ever since. I’m still working on my steps and working to restore my family’s trust in me. This is a struggle, no doubt. But anything worth having is worth working for and that is exactly what I intend to do.

33 responses to About Me

  1. That’s an amazing and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Thanks for Sharing. Oxy’s were my downfall after surgeries of my spine. My story is your story.

  3. Thanks for sharing. This is a great website with a lot of good down to earth information. I am interested in doing something similiar. Any suggestions?

    • George,

      Get and use a sponsor. That is the first thing I’d do. I started my web blog as soon as I got out of rehab and kinda regret posting all the “pink cloud” ideas. Recovery is discovery, and in time, the words will flow from you naturally. Oh, and no matter what…DONT PICK UP!!!!

      🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing that. The power of the 12 step programs to change lives is incredible (it saved mine). I’ve seen many that never “get it”, but once you do life is never the same again. A girlfriend of mine had just been elected chairperson of her church Council, and she asked me if I believed in miracles. I just looked at her, and she said “Oh, that’s right, you are a miracle”. And I’ve seen many other miracles as well. Now I’ve seen another. 🙂

  5. This is a great story. I am so alone. I have no one to talk to. I know you guys don’t know me from “Adam’s House Cat”. I really need some prayers.

  6. James,

    There is always someone to talk to! Feel free to contact me or anyone in the rooms!

  7. Thank you. Your story helped me not feel so alone in this time of despair and hopelessness. Best wishes and Love to you and your family.

  8. roshan>thank u sis..feel great….sharing is caring

  9. I think I need advice. I need help or someone’s opinion. I just don’t know what to do anymore or how to handle this.

    • offering help ..what story can we share?..i been worse ..went to hell and am coming back..can share the recovery experience:-)

  10. awesome story….makes me realize i’m not alone either!

  11. Your picture along with telling that you attend anonymous is breaking tradition, (anonymity at the level of press, radio, and all forms of media.)

  12. anonymous meetings

  13. Surfed around.
    You cover a lot of topics and have an easy, breezy style. Compliments.
    Friendly advice: remove photo and have no traceable info as it violates 11th Tradition.
    Very easy to become egocentric ==> death.

  14. Addiction Recovery August 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Love the fact you’ve come out the other side of all that wiser and a better person for it. Good to have you in the rooms of AA & NA with me.

    Big love from Cape Town, South Africa.

  15. God bless you..everyone has their own war..but inspiring it is ..thanks for sharing.

  16. wow , just read that it sounded like it was me !!!!!!!! inspiring to say the least !
    x

  17. Why would you move into an apartment with all guys? Sounds strange?

  18. this story sounds so much like mine I have tried so many times on my own it never stuck. On my power Icannot I am working a program again but I am struggling and not being honest with myself or my sponsor. The drinking jas been since last Feb. But I have back probs so of course I staarted abusing them and can not stsy on what is prescribed I constantly abuse them O have let my spopnsor wife and myself down I am considering going through treatment although financally cannot afford it. I just needed to to reach put to someone. Thanks for allowi g me to unload

    • Rick, if you’re interested in making your chronic back pain disappear (literally disappear!), I suggest reading the book Back Sense by John Sarno, MD. The basic premise, which is extremely well supported, is that chronic back pain (neck pain, headaches, etc.) is a physiological reaction to emotional distress. Sounds crazy, right?

      I’ll tell you this, some years ago I had such bad back problems I couldn’t sleep for probably 12 months plus. Ok, so I slept a bit, but nary a comfortable night and perhaps never all the way through the night. I bought an expensive we mattress, tried this, tried that. Nothing! Eventually I went to see a doctor and then a specialist. I underwent some diagnostics, like x-rays then an MRI. The diagnostics showed I had bulges, herniation, foraminal stenosis, and the list went on. Pretty bleak! But, I had my answers… or so I thought. I was prescribed anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, a regular course of physical therapy, all with the aim of avoiding dreaded back surgery. None of it worked, at all. One day during all of it, I ran into a therapeutic massage therapist in my office building. I quickly told my back pain story for her and asked about setting up a regular course of massages. She, very selflessly, suggested I read Back Sense. I bought the book that day. By the end of Chapter 1, I felt some relief. Very shortly thereafter, but before even finishing the book, I was back pain free!!! In the years since, I’ve had the occasional tension in my back. It may last a few hours or even a day or two, max. But that’s it! I now have the knowledge and in this case, knowledge is the cure.

      I’ve recommend this book to a number of friends and acquaintances. Each has taken my suggestion, read the book, and enjoyed it’s profound effects. I even have one friend whose chronic back pain was so debilitating, he ultimately went through with back surgery. No relief! None! The pain persisted. I unfortunately hadn’t seen him for years, so I wasn’t able to spare him the misery of surgery and all that entails. I implored him to read Back Sense. Willing to try anything, he bought the book that day and has been pain free ever since!

      Back pain is not due to physical damage. It’s in our minds! Crazy, but (I believe) absolutely 100% true!

      As for treatment (not the kind for back pain), if you can’t afford it, get yourself into a 12-step program. Treatment is good for giving you traction to start a program, but the only thing that keeps us sober long term is working a 12-step program.

      Good luck in getting your life back. It’s yours. I think you deserve it!

  19. My story if very similar to yours.. I am blessed to have found this site today.. Your story inspires to keep moving forward cause today I know I deserve it and I’m worth it.. In time I would also love to share my story in hopes of helping someone like you have helped me by sharing your story… Thank you..

  20. your story really moved me.i have a strong pain pill addiction that needs to just end.i am scared about tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.i can no longer afford my habit.i am no longer getting a prescription from my doctor.i had a hysterectomy 3 months ago that got rid of my major pain.i only have chronic leg pain to deal w/.i have been taking pills for at least 4 years. how does it end and stay gone?

  21. Hello, my name is Marie from addiction services. There is a new center that just opened in Ontario, Canada. They offer Medical detox and short and long term treatment with medical staff on site.
    I was wondering if it would be possible to write an article on the facility and post it on your blog. It would give you a unique content. It would also help the facility to be known and more people would get help.
    Let me know if it would be possible,
    Thank you
    Marie- michelle

  22. Hi my name is Niall and I’m an alcoholic. Our stories are different but I received a huge amount of identification from you. Go raibh míle maith agat Erin

  23. Great step 1 example story. We all are addicts in one way or another. I honestly believe that a generic 12-step overview should be taught to kid’s starting in Middle School and then refreshed in High School. Imagine how many lives and money that would be saved if just a quarter of the kid’s were educated that they are NEVER ALONE.
    This blog is a prime example of the right use of the Internet.
    Come back…because it works if you work it….and YOU ARE WORTH IT.
    God bless.

  24. Thank you for sharing your story. I have been struggling with addiction to marijuana for 20 years now. Like you, it started at 14 and then escalated into a cocaine addiction at the age of 20. I used marijuana to break the cocaine addiction and have managed for the most part to rebuild my life and now have my own successful business, which some (most) days is so stressful that I just come home and smoke more pot. Thankfully the cocaine addiction only lasted 6 months, but I sure made a mess of my life in that 6 months and I am still paying for it 15 years later by having ruined my credit which has been a struggle to rebuild and also have a felony on my record because of this brief stint. Even though I have rebuilt my credit, the felony makes it extremely difficult to get business loans because the question is asked on the SBA application. I have had more than 1 banker promise funding and then turn us down after seeing my answer to that question. The constant financial battle makes it really depressing to own my business although it is successful and well respected. I feel like I am on a never ending treadmill and have used marijuana to dull the feelings of hopelessness. I have tried so many times over the years to quit and have lasted no more than a couple months. I crave it and then smoke it and then wish I hadn’t. Then I come down and the hopeless feelings start again so I go smoke again. I want off this roller coaster and am once again trying to kick the habit, but it is very hard when those around me do it still. I have thought about going to NA meetings, but am scared to because the business that I own is well known in the community and I would be devastated if anyone found out about my past. So far today, I have not smoked and woke up feeling like a big piece of shit. I am feeling better now that I have read your blog and am going to try to kick this habit once again.

    • Kay,
      I hope you’re in a better place. When I saw your comments about quitting, then craving it and smoking it and feeling like shit, it really reminded me of my own struggle. I noticed you posted in Oct 2012, I quit smoking pot in Sept 2012 and I am still clean. It was the biggest challenge of my life. I quit drinking alcohol 15 years ago, but it was much easier because I came to the conclusion that alcohol was garbage, and I still loved weed and smoked all the time. Quitting weed was hard, and made me face life FOR REAL. No more daydreaming, no more zoning out. It meant shitty days were going to be felt…it was time to put on my big boy pants, and at times it sucks! I use exercise as my main substitute, and I focus on getting rest and eating healthy. Best of luck to you, life is better this way.

  25. Wow what a victory, I’m really encouraged. I’m hooked unto cannabis, whenever I stop there is a relapse. I stopped six months ago and I’m today 4 days into it again, I deeply need a permanent solution to this thing. Its unfortunate that I do not know if there is any rehabilitation program in my city. Why is it very hard to will oneself out of cannabis addiction?

    • David,
      My post to Kay above you pretty much sums up my story. I know how desperate you feel. I hope you’re able to overcome this, and live the great life that’s out there.

  26. Molly Walker Lloyd July 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I really liked reading your story…you are so right when you say that every addiction story is different but with similar tones. As I read the article on yourself, I found myself relating to much of what you were saying and the way you first got into the drug scene and later progressing to a full on addiction during your marriage. Although we try to hide our lifestyles from our husband’s and family, I know now, that they usually are aware the whole time, but are waiting for us to fess up and admit it to ourselves. Good for you for suggesting that your husband just drive directly to the hospital because I know with my own story, I had every excuse under the sun and could change my mind from minute to minute! I look forward to reading more of your blogs and following your posts. Thanks for your sharing your story!

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