Archive for June, 2015

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About 5 years ago, a year after my grandfather had passed away, I visited his grave. I only visited it once.
It was a time where my addiction had full control over my mind, my body and my soul. I spent time with my grandfather before he went. Watching him suffer and lay on the bed helpless while I’m doing whatever it takes to get high.
I can’t even remember the last time my grandfather saw me not on drugs, when he saw the actual me, without having opiates running through my veins. Just coming in to say hi and leaving as fast as I could. It wasn’t fair to them, I’m sure my grandparents knew I was up to something. But they always told me that they loved me. My grandfather’s exact words “I love ya kid”… “Love you too grandpa.”

My grandfather had Mesothelioma. He battled it for many years. He needed oxygen to help him breathe better because a very low percentage of his lung tissue was working on its own. Many times he would choke on his food and gasp for a breath of air with all his might and all his strength. He would turn purple trying to breathe that gulp of air that would make everything ok. He struggled. He also had a great woman to take care of him. They were together for almost 60 years. My grandmother was by his side every step of the way and never complained once. They were both a great example of what a relationship should be and the perseverance of love no matter what the obstacle.

It’s about 3am and I pulled up to my grandfather’s grave. My truck is pointed to his headstone with my headlights on. I get out and walk up to it and I fall to my knees. I start crying. I scream out “Your grandson is a f****** junky”… “He’s a piece of S*** and he doesn’t care about anyone but himself”… “I can’t stop,,, I can’t stop” There I apologized for not being the man I was supposed to be. I apologized for losing control and destroying my life. I lost someone who valued life and struggled to keep it while I was sitting back abusing it.

I got back in my truck and continued living the life of an addict for another year and a half before I got help.

Last week, five years later, I pulled up to his grave for the second time. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. I know he’s not there but it was a place where something happened and I simply returned. I pulled up and there was an elderly woman caring for a grave literally right next to my grandfathers. So I didn’t stay long.

I said “Gramps, I just want you to know that your grandson is doing good, he’s doing really good, God, tell him I love him and I miss him and wish he could see the strength I now have. Tell him thank you for loving me the way he did.”

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This is a little personal. I wrote this to myself the day before I admitted myself into a 6 month program at the Salvation Army rehabilitation center. I gave it to my brother and told him to give it to me when I got out.
I was suicidal. I was at my rock bottom. I had no hope and I had not an ounce of faith left. I am sharing it now because it is not only a reminder of where opiate abuse left me, but maybe someone will read this and will be able to relate. I’m not even sure why I wrote it, maybe after almost 10 years of running around like a rampant junkie, I finally wanted help. Maybe I knew I was finally ready? Because if it wasn’t then, if I didn’t get help, I knew I couldn’t go on any longer. Even breathing was painful. I was done.
By sharing this I’m hoping maybe someone can relate and find a bit of solitude or enough energy to get up and get help too… It may not make much sense but It sure did 4 years ago.

“You’re back, congrats for making 6 months of sobriety. DO NOT let it get to your head. You wrote this withdrawing, sick, diarrhea, confused, afraid, helpless, down, pissed off, ALONE. You did this all to yourself. All to yourself. You want this all back? Start sniffing those f****** percs up your nose. Go ahead, your life will go right back into a hole again, a lifeless, useless, lonely f****** hole.
You want to keep your life? Stick to Christ, family and surround yourself with encouraging people. Stay busy. Love what you have because what you have right now is so precious. Trust me, I wrote this. I AM YOU.
Just a reminder of how you felt the day before rehab… sick, food will not digest, cold sweats, hot flashes, diarrhea, INSOMNIA, headaches, heartburn, nausea, blurred vision, quivers, skeletal and joint pain.
Here are the pains, repercussions of life around you… You feel mentally inadequate, alone, afraid, people will not trust you. You hurt your beautiful mother, your brothers, your father (who will never understand you, but hey, love you for you, and love him for him.) You lied, stole and cheated. You have come so close to going to jail, so many times God intervened.
You became a bum. A junky, a loser. You are so fortunate to be alive, to be reading this, a free, rehabilitated man.
Remember that 6 month journey. Keep your head up! Put this behind you. Stay strong. Help those in need.

Find what you love to do AND DO IT!

Love,
Yourself

P.S. DON’T F*** UP MICHAEL.”

I’m not too sure what pushed me to write this back then. I’m glad I did though. I read it once in a while and I reflect on where I was and what life was like being an addict. It’s like a book mark. When I see it, it puts me right back where I used to be for a short time. It helps me be grateful for everything I have. It helps me stay humble. It helps me remain teachable. I don’t ever want to go back to that lifestyle ever again. I can’t. I know it will destroy me. It will kill me.
I thank my heavenly Father above for the strength to keep moving forward each and every day. I hope this helps someone in one way or another.

God Bless you

Become Free. Become the Difference!