Addiction & Recovery

This will be hard to write, and even still I will not explain all I have been through yet. Trigger warning to anyone who might read this: I will be discussing addiction, self harm and mental health issues. If you do not want to read about these things I respect that, so there is the warning. This is hard for me to write even though I have been sober from these things since May 2017. I will include photos of me during my worst parts, and they will not look like me. I will share photos of me where you would never guess I was an addict, and finally I will post photos of me today and in recovery. Recovery is a life long thing, and I can not speak for everyone, but for me, it is always in the back of my mind. I think back to the things I did, the pain I caused and the things I lost…and it keeps me up some nights. Even though I am in recovery, I will never be able to forgive myself, and my guilt for some things will follow me to my grave. Every day is an improvement, but memories never go away.

My addiction was not something that happened overnight, like most people it was gradual. In 2012 I started taking opiates because my cramps became awful. At first it was only a few during that time of the month, but then I noticed I really liked the way they made me feel all around. It got to the point where I started taking them daily, and when I did not have them I felt like garbage. I want to add in my teenage years I did my fair share of substances: snow, ice, x, drinking and obviously I smoked). So doing things like this was nothing new for me, but the amount I was taking was getting higher. Eventually I separated from my boyfriend at the time, we will call him “C”. I was so unhappy and had been for a long time. I ended up beginning a relationship with Adam, who had just returned home from college because his mother was passing away from cancer unfortunately. We smoked, drank, took bars here and there a pain pills here and there…nothing too bad. After his mom passed, he ended up moving in with me and we both kind of just wanted to let loose and have fun. We started getting a lot of different things and constantly getting lit. For him I assumed it was him numbing up to cope with the passing of his mother, for me I just got caught up in the way I felt. My creativity was flowing, I was happy, we were in love and having fun all the time. The defining moment where my addiction took an ugly turn was a day I remember like it was yesterday…

We could not find any regular pain pills and Adam came back with a pill called “Opana” [ᵃⁿ ᵉˣᵗʳᵉᵐᵉˡʸ ᵖᵒᵗᵉⁿᵗ ᵒᵖⁱᵃᵗᵉ, ᶜᵒᵐᵖᵃʳᵉᵈ ᵗᵒ ʰᵉʳᵒⁱⁿ ⁱⁿ ᵖⁱˡˡ ᶠᵒʳᵐ]. I had never heard of it, but in those days I was down for whatever. I know at this point it might seem like I had some sort of influence coming from my bf, unfortunately that is simply not true. I am a very headstrong person, and this was not only something I liked to do, we fed off of each other in our addiction. Not one person was more toxic to the other, we were both just at a point in our life where we did not have responsibility or drive. I should have had the drive to be the person to pull him out of this slump and find a different way for us to cope with our lives, but I did not…and I can not change that. So we took some of it (please note I never have used any form of injectable drug in my life and I never will- that shit grosses me out and terrifies me, so no-that is not how we did it). Man, it was amazing! I had never felt so fun, happy and creative in my life. We we doing Opana for about 3-4 months and never got dope sick because at the time we had a steady supply (from someone who will remain nameless, but I will never forgive them for continuing to give it to us). Then we ran out for a bit, and I had my first taste of being dope sick. Holy shit, I had never felt so awful in my life… If I knew then what I know, that would have been then end of it. Little did i know the small time of sickness I had would pale in comparison to what I would go through a few years later.

Fast forward to spring of 2014 where we took our first vacation to Canninbis Cup in Colorado. Turns out at some point during that vacation I became pregnant. I will say this as far as that goes. A few weeks before we left to go on vacation we knew we would not have our pain pills with us, so we just smoked a lot to cope and weaned off….How I wish that would have been then end of it. We stayed a little over a week, and when we got back I had to work a ton so we still were not taking pain pills at this time, just smoking. About 6 weeks later I was at work and got very sick and threw up, a friend suggested “you’re probably pregnant”…. Shit, now that I thought about it, i had not had my period in a while. She immediately took me to the store and I took the test at work, it came back positive before the minute was even up. So many emotions went through me. What am I gonna do? Is Adam going to leave? Do I keep it? Am I ready for this? I called Adam crying and I said ” I am pregnant, and I do not wanna give it up. I am not going to, I want to keep it”. He was in shock I am sure, and said ok and that was pretty much it lol. I knew during my pregnancy I would NOT take anything and risk harming my unborn child, I am not that big of a piece of shit- so do not worry, this story is not going there. I stopped smoking and doing everything else and we let it set in that we were gonna be parents. Us… the two dumb kids who used to play on the trampoline in his backyard in our swim suits. Our moms have been best friends since they were teenagers, so we were not strangers. I quit my job and things went downhill. We had to move to Austin with my mom, things never go well in the house with me and her and sure enough WW3 happened. So we moved out of here and went to live with his creep brother, his gf and their kid in some one horse town called Cuero. I knew that that was not going to work, especially with me pregnant so we came back to my moms. We went with his bro to go visit another family member in La Porte. Me and Adam decided we could not live with my mom anymore for many reasons, so we told her we are going to live with this other family member- which she knows and was NOT happy about at all. Forgive me, I am trying to be as thorough as possible because this is important. So we are living there and still saying sober, and I start to have panic attacks over my pregnancy. If you have read my other posts you would know that I was raped shortly before I became pregnant, so the doctor was giving me some time frames of conception. I put two and two together and realized that it could have been the rape that caused the pregnancy. I had not told Adam at this point because I was too scared, and did not want him to leave. I have been raped before and been blamed by other people, why should this be any different? So I started having dreadful anxiety attacks. The person we were staying with would give me quarters of Xanax, and I thought just a few pieces every now and then won’t hurt. Then a huge situation happened with my doctor, a psychiatrist and a hospital…. That is a story for another day. Any ways, moving on… I stopped everything and finally told Adam about what happened. Come January 2015, I was induced due to having high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and my over all health (high risk pregnancy). I had my son vis emergency c-section . Thank goodness as soon as I saw him there was no question he was Adams. He has the family hair, they looked the same and I saw the man who raped me, this child could not have belonged to that man. All was good and thought we were complete….

After we had been home for a while and I healed up I noticed that my back was constantly in pain. When they did my epidural, which they did twice they had messed something up. I ended up going to a doctor and she said I nerve damage, which was rare- but it does happen. The pain was in my back and constantly shooting down my leg (it still does this). So they prescribed me pain pills. By this time me and Adam had own our apartment in La Porte, but ti was still near said family member who used to provide the Opana. The pills were not cutting it and Adam was always working at a construction job, so I was mostly alone. For some reason my body never produced milk, so I was never able to breast feed. The combined with the fact that I was going though PPD was killing me. People hear PPD and they only think of the kind they show on TV, but there are so many other forms. So at a certain point we started getting the Opanas again, and started taking them in small doses. After a while a thing called tolerance happens and ours hit hard. We used to be able to make one pill last 3 days, we were up to a pill a day(split between the two of us). So people think opiates and they think people getting fucked up and nodding off, this was not the case with us. We were very alert and very active in parenting, If you saw us out and about you would never think we were on anything. It got to the point where we kept using them because we wanted to keep being good parents. We wanted to not be in pain and be able to take our son to play, to the park and all type of places. We wanted to have the energy after working/staying up with my son all night to keep going strong for him in the day. I know what you are thinking, “that is an excuse”…. You’re right. At this point we were not only addicted to opiates, but we were even in denial with ourselves about why we kept taking them, almost like justifying it you know? When we could not get Opana we would get Morphine, Dilaudid, Vicodin or somas. There were a few times throughout our time living there that we stopped, or tried to stop. It would last a few days, even a week or so…. Then the sickness would kick in. We had no way to go through the withdrawals while trying to work and raise a toddler. Here we are and it is 2016 and we have been taking these extremely potent pain killers for over a year daily…. I wanted to stop, he wanted to stop- but addiction does not allow that. People can judge, but until you are feeling those feelings that come from withdrawals …. you just don’t know.

Fast forward to March of 2017… The darkest days of my life are fixing ti take place. The things leading up this this are not something I am ready to discuss with the world yet- and I don’t know if I ever will. Luckily I was fortunate that my mother allowed my son(who at the time was only 2 years old luckily) to have a “vacation” with her, unfortunately for me she lived 3 1/2 hours away from where me and Adam were living. This will be the hardest part to write because I know we brought this on ourselves, and I know it could have been prevented….

We were staying at a family friend of mines house in Clear lake, and we were beginning the withdrawal process. So here we are after taking an insane amount of opiates daily for the past 2 years, along with benzos (so we could sleep) and occasional snow. The second two were a breeze for us personally. We had already been weaning off the pain pills for about two weeks by taking suboxone. Suboxone is a brand name for a medication used to treat opiate addiction. It uses Buprenorphine and Naloxone, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist and works by blocking the opiate receptors and reduces a person’s urges. Naloxone can help reverse the effects of opioids. In short it is used to help reduce cravings and help prevent withdrawal symptoms. What we did not know was coming off of Suboxone would be equally as painful. We had one last strip and I did a load of laundry, and the last strip we had was in an open package in my pocket. So this was it, we had no choice but to go cold turkey. To be dope sick is the worst experience I have ever been through, and I have been through a lot in my life. I always heard it is the worse in the first 72 hours, so we braced and prepared for that. What I did not realize was that since we had been taking them so long, out body would take way longer to push it out of our system. Not only were we already in the process of WD from opiates, now we were in the process of WD from the one thing that was meant to help us with it. I will give you a quick breakdown of what they say it is like **72 hrs- Symptoms are at their worst. Body aches, pain, insomnia, mood swings, nausea, vomiting and vomiting out the other end, sweating, freezing and RLS. Within a week these are supposed to fade and basically lead way to depression, this is supposed to last a few weeks. This will eventually lead to more cravings and topped with depression**. Had this of been how it went, that would have been better than what we dealt with. What many people do not get about addiction is many of us want to stop, but once that sickness hit you- it takes over you. It takes control of your physical body and your brain. The physical pain we went through is something I would not wish on my worse enemy. The mental pain was enough to truly want to die. Not only were we going through of all this, we also could not see our son because he was hours away. This might have been for the best, because I would never want him yo see us the way we were. Like I said earlier I will post some photos at the end of this and show you the transition…. So I was severely depressed because my son is my life, but like I said earlier I know I brought this on myself. We had tried to go to a rehab center, but all of them turned us down for not being “bad enough off”, so there is a serious issue we need to tackle within the system. There were a few nights I honestly thought I would not wake up after I went to sleep, I was so sick. Adam handled it a little better than me, or maybe he was just trying to be the stronger person. All I know is with my trauma, my BPD and fighting this addiction / withdrawals all I could think about is how I would never see my baby again. I will be honest with you, we stayed in that room for weeks, at least 3… We only came out to go the bathroom or attempt to eat food. After that it got slightly easier, we did start to drink because that helped to numb the physical and mental pain. All that was doing was just forming a band aid over a wound that needed stitches though. I would say after about 2 months, we finally started to feel semi-normal again. We started getting back into the habit of doing everyday things. I can tell you that I wanted the pills so bad, even just one to make me feel better for a bit. After that we came to the city where my son was to live here.

It is December 2020, and we are still sober of those things that almost killed us and lost us everything. We had a home, we had a nice car, I had a job I made good money at… You know what they say though, sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom for people to truly see how bad things are. We had definitely hit that point, and we were lucky to come out of it. Please understand for me as I said in the first paragraph, this is all still very fresh for me. The guilt I have over all of this will forever be in the back of my mind. People ask me “Do you still think about opiates?”…. I will answer you honestly, I absolutely do. I do not think about them daily, but I think about them frequently. I have some friends that tell me I should just keep this to myself, because why would I want to share one of the worst times of my life right? Trust me when I say this, the things I have shared in this blog are only about half of what went down. No, nothing ever happened to my son, he was always taken care of extremely well and provided for. There are some dark events that happened, and those are probably ones I will take to my grave with me. After we were in recovery I noticed many of my friends were passing away from overdoses. Not only did they pass from OD, but it was because what they got was mixed with Fentanyl. Some had pain pills that were pressed with fent, some had heroin, some had snow or ice with it in there. I can not help but think what if that was me? My son would not have a mother or a father… He would grow up and when he was at the age he could understand what happened, he would not only be ashamed/embarrassed of me- but he would resent me. Worst case, he would blame himself or he would not feel adequate because he would feel as if we chose drugs over him. That is the only motivation I need. My son is my world, being away from him that short amount of time hurt so bad…. I do not think I have ever cried so much in my life. I may or may not edit this at some point, I do not know why it matters… Literally no one reads my blog, but I have it as a reminder to myself, to the truth of my life and to push me to be better.

I am going to post some photos below. The first one I am going to post is mty most current photos, and the scrolling down you will start to see the addiction me.

December 2020 – Sober from opiates for 3 years 6 months and 22 days
Summer 2016 – I weighed a little over 80 lbs. I was taking opiates daily and working all night on uppers. To even look at this photo makes me wanna cry.
Fall 2015 – I had just slipped back into full blown opiate addiction using Opana, Morphine, Dilaudid and Vicodin. I can almost see myself being disappointed in myself, but I was so far gone- I could not stop though I wanted to.

If you or anyone is going through addiction. If even one person reads my story and it gives them the story to tell their own, my job is worth it. It feel great to release things, and there is always someone willing to talk to you.

SAMHSA National Help line – 1-800-662-4357