A Moment of Clarity
One day it hit me that I did not want to do these pills anymore. I just wanted to be normal. These pills had taken control of my life for the last few years and I could not remember the last day that I had not had them in my hand. I thought that day sitting in my mom’s kitchen wanting to get high and not being able to was hell on earth, until I experienced the feeling of not wanting to get high and doing it anyways. That is hell.
I got my hands on some suboxone and methadone. I figured that would help me with the withdrawal I was about to experience. Kicking opiates is not a good time. I got my hands on some naltrexone. This wonder drug was supposed to help block the effect of opiates and help cravings. I had someone ship me these pills in the mail.
When they arrived in their white envelop I remember sitting in my bed at my little crappy college house and staring at it. I remember thinking that this was what would change me. This would make everything better. I think I kissed that pill before I ingested it. Incredibly dramatic, right?
Well, a few hours later that pill sent me into the worst detox in my entire life. I could not move except to vomit. I picture that pill ripping out every sliver of opiates in my body. It was awful. Thankfully my roommate was in college to be a nurse so she took very good care of me… by pouring me shots of vodka and handing me the bong to toke on some weed.
This was it. I was done with opiates. Sure, I would drink myself into a coma every night, take valium and Ativan to help with the anxiety and smoke weed every few hours, but no more opiates. I was on the path to being normal.
No More Opiates
I made it about 90 days without opiates. The longest period I ever went. My life changed in those 90 days. Not in a better way or a worse way just different. I attempted to go to 12 step meetings. I was not interested in being sober by any means just looking to stop the opiates. I would sit in the back of the room during the meetings and relate to the literature they read. At the end of the meeting they would always ask if anyone had a desire to drink or use today and if so please speak up. I would never raise my hand. After some of the meetings I would walk up when no one was looking and take a chip off the counter in celebration of milestones of not using opiates, then after the meeting I would figure out where I would be buying my Canadian whiskey bottle that night.
My drinking escalated heavily those 90 days. I would drink in the morning, during class and all night. I started to be sent home from work for being so intoxicated on the job. My life was turning into an even bigger mess trying to fill the void by consuming such large amounts of alcohol and anxiety medications.
One day I started a journal. I wrote how the thoughts of using OxyContin were returning in my head. I described the feelings of wanting to get high and what would happen if I gave in. Finding that notebook in sobriety it was interesting to look back at my insanity on paper and the way my mind worked. Nevertheless, my journal was right. Shortly after celebrating 90 days off opiates I decided to splurge on myself… with OxyContin!
The Vicious Cycle
The game was back in motion. After I started getting high all my old behaviors would come back. My roommates asked me if I was getting high again and I told them I was just really tired all the time. That by the way is the worst excuse in the world, but drug addicts think it is believable for some crazy reason. There is not an addict in the world who doesn’t use the “I am tired” excuse.
Trying to describe what life was like is extremely difficult. How do you put into words exactly what it is like to be a drug addict who tries to clean up their life and fails repeatedly? How do you describe what it is like to be a liar, cheater and a thief? Okay the best way I can describe how I felt was I would sit in my car, plug in my IPOD (for those of you who do not know what an IPOD is it’s a device that came out that was popular mid 2000’s that allowed you to put pirated music on it before Streaming music was a thing) listening to Pink’s song Sober on repeat. It was a song that described exactly the way I felt. “But how do I feel this good sober?” Yeah Pink. How do I? They really should have put some follow up information with that song but whatever.
I’m Sooooo Funny
Okay so I am smoking opiates again daily while drinking whiskey every single night till I fall asleep. One night after work my co-workers and my roommates decide to go bowling. I sneak in my own personal bottle of whiskey into the bowling alley because I am the only person under 21 there and can’t drink the drink specials. I am wasted. I have this amazing idea. The most hilarious idea since ideas are created. I wait until my 30 something year old boss goes to bowl an 8-pound pink ball down the dark lane with lights flashing as Mariah Carey tunes are playing over the loud speakers. I sneak up behind her and pull her pants down in front of everyone. In front of everyone.
Now in my head this was hilarious. What ended up happening was this woman wanted to kill me and forced me outside. I vaguely remember the team of people we were with splitting us up preventing a fight in front of the bowling alley in a handicap spot.
The party was over and everyone split up. Unfortunately, as the night went on so did my great ideas. When my roommates and I got back to the house we decided the only way to sober up was to eat some pasta from a box. I think she wanted the hamburger helper and I wanted the tuna helper kind, being the Jewish young lady that I was. The next thing that happened was a full-blown fight. I have no idea who threw the first blow. All I know is my shirt was ripped and my bedroom door was busted. Did we eat any pasta that night? I cannot recall. I would like to think we did.
I Need Help
What I do know is I broke down in my blackout and called my mother. I remember sitting in a fetal position in my ripped shirt on my bedroom floor calling my mother at some godforsaken hour sobbing that I needed help. All I know is this time my mother was not mad at me she just said, “ok let’s get you help.”
The next morning as I did the walk of shame if you will out of my room, I sat on the couch with my roommates. No one was mad. No one really talked about it. It was just another drunken night. I think we ordered Domino’s pizza my treat as we laughed it off.
A week or so later I found a private therapist in the town I was living in. I decided to go see one regarding my drug and alcohol use. I decided I would do whatever the therapist suggested either impatient or outpatient drug rehab.
In the morning of my appointment I woke up and took a shower. This is important because hygiene during this period of my life was not the best. I did my hair and makeup and out my game face on. Walking into my appointment at the therapist office my heart was pounding. I took a seat in the wood filled room. I just remember everything being made of wood and very bland. I filled out some paper work and waited to meet the male therapist.
After several minutes, he walked out to the waiting room to bring me into his office. I sat in a very comfortable oversized chair as he leaned back with his notebook and pen. I have no recollection of the questions he asked me all I know is I was there for around 45 minutes answering questions semi-honestly. I was as honest as I could have been at the time.
At the end of the session he stood up and walked over to a book shelf. He pulled out a business card and sat back down. “After our session, today I truly believe the best thing you can do for yourself is to go to impatient rehab. Here is a great place I recommend” and he handed me a tiny white card with brown and blue lettering on it.
Great. Rehab. I replied “thanks I appreciate your time today” as I took the card and put it in my purse and walked out the door back to my death trap of a vehicle. I sat in the car in the parking lot chain smoking cigarettes for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, I put the IPOD on selected my favorite Pink jam and rode home.
I Need Help But Did I Really Want It
At this point I already laid the cards out on the table. I told my mom I needed help and she would not let up. She wanted me to go to treatment. She knew things were bad, but till this day she never understood just how bad they were.
When I got back to the house I sat down with my roommates. We sat in our usual seats in the living room. Shaina on the couch with the dog, Ricky in the reclining chair and I on the other couch across from the coffee table. Without a word, I was handed a shot of whiskey and the bong. I sat there with them watching old Friend’s episodes in silence for a few hours getting higher and drunker as the episodes went on.
I had to be really messed up to have the courage to tell them what just happened. As the hours went on the obsession to get high kicked in. After a few text messages and phone calls my dealer would be on the way to the house to bring me Roxicodone. When he arrived, I met him outside to do the usual exchange and brief chatter. I walked in and went to my room. Out came the foil and a bic pen and the process began. I would light the pill and smoke the fumes holding it in until I was light headed. I would exhale the smoke and then take a hit of the marijuana bowl I had packed. I would do this repeatedly until I nodded out.
I had to go to rehab. I knew this. I almost welcomed the idea. I had two weeks left of my college semester and then I would go. That night I told my roommates about what happened that day and what my decision was. They totally supported my decision to get help to get off the opiates. Neither them nor I understood the gravity of the impact my decision would have on all our lives.
My parent’s wanted me to go to treatment right away, they frankly did not think I would be willing to go in a few weeks. My mom begged and pleaded with me to go but I declined. I told all my friends that I was going away for the summer to volunteer at a summer camp. It is almost funny looking back at that story. If you knew me, working at a summer camp is the last thing I would ever do. I could not be honest about what I was really doing I was too ashamed.
Getting Ready for Rehab
I called the rehab number off that little white card the therapist gave me and they told me I was accepted into the program and to come when I was ready. I finished out the semester getting decent grades. Till then it was party time.
The week before I left I had to go to my employer and tell them I was going to need to do FMLA the Family Medical Leave Act because I was going to treatment. Remember that boss that wanted to fight me for pulling her pants down in front of everyone?
Well when I told her what I was doing, she pulled me into aside and hugged me. She cried of joy. Such an awkward moment. Okay she did not pull me into her office she walked with me to the bathroom. So here I am a day before my 20th birthday hugging my boss in a bathroom at my job while she is crying of joy I am going to rehab. My life is jacked up.
As I made my rounds and said goodbye to my friends for the summer a strange feeling grew in the pit of my stomach. I knew things were going to change. I also knew that even though my intention was to come back that I might not be back. I packed up as much as I could fit into my little car knowing that I had no real idea the next time I would step foot in that house again.
I cried as I said bye to Shaina and Ricky. We had been living together for the last two years. They were my family. Not only did they teach me how to drink but they did teach me how to live. I grew up with them and we also grew apart due to my addiction. I loved them very much and I still do. I caused a lot of damage to both and I changed their lives forever which I will discuss later on. I got into my little car and started the journey to my parent’s house hundreds of miles away from the life I had created.
You know what the worst thing about when your loved one says they will go to treatment is? The period before they go. What a weird and uncomfortable period for everyone.
Ok I am the drug addict. I get high. I now know I won’t be getting high any longer after X day. So what am I going to do until then? Get High.
Now my parents. They know I am an addict. They know I am going to rehab. They also do not want me to get high, but if they say anything will they push me away from going to rehab still? Tough call for all parties right?
My Last Hurrah
I mean I got high. I spent hundreds of dollars the night I got to my parent’s house and I got high as I could. As I sat in my childhood bedroom smoking pills off tin foil I accidentally caught a tissue on fire and had to run down the hall to the bathroom to throw it in the sink. I burnt the shit out of my thumb. That is how high I got.
I went in to the fridge in the garage and drank a 12 pack of miller light in front of my parents. They were disgusted at my behavior and concerned, but they knew tomorrow was the day. I did not sleep at all that night. I just kept thinking about what I was doing and if this was the right decision. The next morning my mother got me out of bed and said, “it is time to go your bags are in the car.”
As my mom walked outside to sit in the passenger seat as my dad waited in the driver’s seat for me to come outside. Before I did I packed a bowl of the best weed I could find and sat on the porch and smoked a bowl. When I was finished I threw it in the garbage can outside and took a Suboxone under my tongue. I walked out of the house and into the back seat of the vehicle as I let the wafer dissolve in my mouth.
The drive was short. 30 minutes or so. I was nervous. We got there and it was close to the beach, 300 steps to be exact! It was on a brochure in the waiting room. The staff greeted me as my mother stayed inside while I filled out some paper work as my dad unloaded the vehicle of my items. After a few minutes it was time for my parents to leave. FUCK THIS. I am not staying here I decided.
As my parents walked to their car I begged them to take me with them. They told me they loved me and because of that they could not do that. They got in the car and drove away. After taking maybe 50 steps after the vehicle I stopped and watched them drive away.
The staff of the treatment center came to retrieve me. They brought me back inside and allowed me to smoke a few cigarettes before continuing with the paper work.
Well, I guess I am staying in rehab.