Archive for the ‘Loss’ Category

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I moved out on my own I was finally free.

I signed a lease and boom, my own pad, my own apartment. I was so excited to finally take on the responsibilities of being an independent man. First thing’s first, a new T.V. I went to Best Buy, opened a credit line and got the biggest and baddest T.V. they had, well at that time, the Sony Wega. Lets get a virtual cinema surround sound system while I’m at it. I was a carpenter so I made a sweet set of custom maple speaker stands for the front left and right speakers. And let me tell you, that T.V. and surround sound system made movies alive!

I went out and got myself a little kitten. I couldn’t have a dog there so I figured a cat would be comforting enough. I opened up multiple credit cards, bought myself a really nice laptop, got some furniture, got a new truck, a new motorcycle and a new girlfriend. Things were great, really great. I owned my own business at the time and was making a lot of money, had a great reputation and made a lot of new connections. I held parties all the time and had friends over a lot too.

A few years went by, things were going good. I was successful and busy. I had a lot of new ‘friends’. I was really making a name for myself in the new town I was in. Until one day it hit me, like a ton of bricks… Oxycontin. Yes, the old school ones where you peel off the coating and go at it.

Someone had come over and introduced me to my new girlfriend, my new chemical romance. Now, I was drinking here and there, popping Valium and sniffing Ritalin, maybe some ecstasy once in a while, your typical weekend party moments. But nothing was more incredible and more euphoric than this form of oxycodone. I bumped a 10 mg line on my glass kitchen table and fell in love immediately. The sun came out in my living room. My smile went ear to ear. I leaned back and said to myself, “Why do I even go to the gym? This is great!”

I couldn’t believe the rush of happiness and strength I got off that one little 10 mg pill! It lasted quite a few hours too. I was just in simple amazement by what I experienced. Well, obviously that connection hung around for a bit. I put everything else aside that I tried and focused on my new obsession. I started using Oxycontin just on the weekends for a few months, I honestly thought it was so good that I didn’t want to waste it.

I noticed myself thinking about it during work. I also noticed how it freed me from stress and problems that were running through my mind. It took me away while still being here on earth, it helped me function better and perform better, so I thought. Things were still going great.

I started using during the week and I went up from 10 mg to 20 mg per bump. Cocaine came into the picture during the weekends too. I really didn’t like the cocaine and noticed that I needed to take a couple of oxy’s to counter the speeding rate of the coke. So I would do them after my bag ran out so I could sleep, after 12 hours of blowing cocaine up my nose, it was needed.

I would wake up pretty messed up, fighting with my girlfriend, getting in arguments with my friends. I was showing up to my jobs later and later. My landlord was getting complaints from my neighbors about me being too loud and saying weird things. I was like, whatever. It’s normal, I’m a free man living the dream! Everything’s gonnna be alright.

Well, I went from 10-20 mg a day to 40 mg. Then 40 mg to 80 mg. In just over a few months too. I had multiple connections. All my ‘friends’ were doing it too. Actually, just about everyone I knew was doing them. They were so easy to get and available 24-7.

Time goes by and my little mental vacation habit turned me into a full blown addict doing well over 1000 mg a day. I tried stopping in the early stages but nothing ever worked. I accepted myself as an addict too, I accepted myself as a junkie and justified my problem daily. I was railing two 80 mg Oxycontin for breakfast and an 80 every hour just to function. I was smoking cigarettes every 2 minutes too, close to 3 packs a day.

Now what I’m about to explain happened within the 3rd year of me abusing oxycodone. My entire run of being an addict lapsed 10 years, but the downward spiral started right around my 3rd year.

I started to not show up to work. I would take deposits on jobs and never show up on some of them. My girlfriend was fed up with me showing up late, lying and cheating, malnourished and unhygienic. Not being a good boyfriend at all so she left me. I would be late to any family gathering because I had to ‘pick up’ before I got there.  Credit card statements and bills we not getting paid.  I was getting threats of being kicked out of my apartment, I had 3 of my surrounding neighbors move within 6 months of each other due to my recklessness. Things were changing and I saw it, and not for the good either.
A few more years go by and I am stealing money from family members, stealing from stores, hustling anything I can to make a few bucks to go get high. I wasn’t making the money I had because my reputation was getting destroyed so my daily intake of oxy’s were dropping day by day and I was getting dope sick.

During this time of being dope sick, not showing up at work and hustling and thieving my way to get high, my truck got repossessed and I had to leave my home. I sold everything, my T.V., the surround sound, my lap top, my guitars, my couch, my motorcycles, my credit cards were maxed out by cash advances, I almost sold my cat… I became that guy that needed to ‘borrow’ money and things all the time. I bounced from home to home, even moved to the south for a year to get away and quickly realized that my problem followed me everywhere. I became homeless because my pride didn’t want to fix anything. I didn’t understand how to mend a bridge and didn’t care.

At this time I’m having full blown panic attacks, insomnia, skeletal pain, bicycle legs, hot sweats, cold chills, nightmares for the 2 minutes I may have got from a nap, diarrhea, heart palpitations to name a few. The flu had nothing on what I was going through. This spiritual and physical pain I was going through was something I wouldn’t want on my worst enemy.

Finally during my 10th year reign of self destruction, after losing everything that mattered to me and all my personal possessions, I became suicidal and did not want to live anymore. I was beyond depression and beyond mental illness. I was incredibly dope sick and needed out. Getting clean on my own was impossible and I knew it. I had no structure and not an ounce of effort to find any. My only hope was in a pill which I could no longer get.

I lost all my hope and all my faith.

I hit rock bottom.

I admitted myself into a 6 month rehab program at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.

I will have 5 years clean this November 11th 2016. Today I am grateful for everyone at rehab, church, friends and family who offered admonishment, support, encouragement and their time to help me.

I have learned so many things in Recovery and still do to this day. I learned that we are all human and that we all may fall. I also learned that I can not judge another person when they fall. I’ve learned to give back and to help others. I’ve learned that we are all in need of a Savior which we so constantly search for on a daily basis. I have learned that God puts us through things for reasons and that we all have a purpose. I have come to know Jesus Christ as my Savior and understand that my purpose here is much greater than what my mind could and will ever conceive. I have learned that this life is not about me, it’s about others. It’s about sending a message that our Creator, in whom we are to glorify, loves us unconditionally and all He wants is for us to surrender our ways and to live according to His Word.


God is very real, miracles happen every day. I lost it all and got so much more back from nothing.

To be at total peace and to live in His harmonious Grace is the most overwhelming gift one can ever use.


Become Free. Become the Difference.

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I was having breakfast this morning at a local diner. I sat down on my stool and ordered my food and a few moments later a couple of EMS employees sat down next to me.

No big deal. I kept eating my breakfast. But as I looked outside at their ambulance I started thinking… “I wonder how often they come across overdose victims and if they think it’s (the drug epidemic) getting better or worse?”
So I asked them that very question. They both looked at me with eyes wide open. “It’s getting worse.” the girl said, “As a matter of fact, we now have to triple our doses of Narcan from 2 mg to 6 mg to bring people back.”

She went on saying that the majority of calls were to help people who have overdosed on Heroin. I asked them what happens after they bring them back to life. They said that they leave the hospital like nothing happened. If there is no crime involved, then they are free to go. But what about the harm they caused themselves? What about giving them treatment? They said it’s their choice to get treatment or not. I’m like, they are not able to choose!!! They’re addicts!!!

So it’s ok for them to overdose and die, for an ambulance to show up where they are, bring them to the hospital while reviving them with Narcan during the ride, treat them temporarily to ensure that they won’t die in their care, then off they go? And no post treatment? Is it just me or does it sound like something’s missing?

Overdosing isn’t a crime. Being high isn’t a crime. OK. But almost killing yourself should be or at least should be a sign of self endangerment. Which in turn there should be a forcible treatable solution. How can we expect a change in our country if all we are doing is temporarily fixing the problem? We are bringing people back but with no long term solution. It’s not like it was a mistake that an addict slipped a needle in their veins. They didn’t trip and land on a syringe. Nobody was running with a full needle of heroin and bumped into an addict.

An addict is an addict because he or she is addicted. I was an addict because I was addicted. Bad too. I wish I was forced into treatment a lot earlier than it took me to find out what the bottom of a rock looks like. Before I lost absolutely everything, including almost losing my life and my soul. I lost faith, I lost hope and I lost complete sight on life.

Drug addiction is extremely dangerous. It’s life threatening. Drug addiction is devastating to the addict and to every single loved one of that addict. Am I wrong?! Then why aren’t we (our government) reinstating drug overdose victims to a program which will forcibly help and vigorously open the eyes of drug addicts? Health care took care of the Narcan and the hospital treatment, why can’t health care pay for the detrimental post treatment which is needed to keep an addict alive? They helped bring them back but they won’t keep them back.

In order for the next generation to be strong and fundamentally stable, especially with the knowledge of what substance abuse can do to a loved one, we need to induce treatment. We need to stop this self exterminating generation and take action.

Obviously our government is a little lacking in the substance abuse epidemic area. There are changes being made at local police stations for 30 day treatment rather jail time, police officers and EMS drivers are now carrying Narcan to help bring people back, politicians are finally talking about the incredible damage that drug addiction is doing to our loved ones. But we need more than that.

We need us, you and me, to step up and offer help to a loved one struggling with substance abuse. Give your time, learn, explore, do your research if you are unaware of the consequences. I’m sure you have a loved one struggling, an addict dying, a family member or a friend decaying and wasting away. Step up to the plate and plant a seed in their life.

Tell them that God did not create them for this purpose. Tell them that God has far better plans for them if they seek Him and turn from their ways. Get them into a good spirit filled church. Bring them to a meeting. Offer them a real one on one nonjudgmental talk.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and are seeking immediate treatment, please call 888 831 2327 for a treatment center near you anywhere in the United States. They will help locate a center for you.

Become Free. Become the Difference!

tyou-are-still-here

Hey!!! How are you?

I’m just making my way through town today and thought I would come by and say hello.

How is everything? I miss you.

Don’t you miss me? I was there for you every step of the way. Through heartache and loss. I was there for you when you needed me. I comforted you every day. Gave you a place to hide, a place to erase the guilt and the pain.

I offered you a way out every time.

You fought for me. You stole for me. You lied for me. You did whatever you could to satisfy me. I was on your mind every second and every minute of every day. You even dumped your girlfriend for me. You ignored all your friends for me. You divorced your spouse for me. You sold your belongings for me. You put all your priorities and responsibilities aside for me.

You made up every excuse in the book to cover for me. Remember?

You got rid of everything for me. I was your number one! You told me you couldn’t live without me. You told me you needed me, that you would never leave me. You told me you loved me!

I was all you needed and you know it.

Remember that time you went to jail for me? I know I couldn’t be there with you but I just wanted you to know that I can take you back there again. What? You were helping your best friend and they put you behind bars?! Who do they think they are?
Listen… me and you go way back, I would do anything for you! I would even kill for you.

I would even kill you if you wanted me to.

I took over your mind, your body and your soul. You owe me more time. All I want is a few more runs, just me and you, like the good ‘ol days man! Come on. Lets go out tonight and get lit up. One more time bro. Me and you. What do you say?

How dare you turn your back on me! You liar!
Tell me why then did you do all these things for me?! Why did you put me first and your friends and family last?

I was there for you all the time.

Yes, it cost you everything but hey! Nothing is free my friend. You were pretty happy when we first met! We got introduced to each other from your old pal there, you know the one, who isn’t around anymore because he was too weak to be one of us. I had to get rid of him. Listen man, he didn’t have what it took. I only had him around to get to you.

I would do anything for you.

This may sound harsh but I don’t keep the weak around, only the strong. Like you. You’re strong. So strong that you are living your life without ME?. You think you’re happy with that “God” you constantly talk about. You think you’re fine with your new friends, walking around with a ‘Purpose’. That’s BULLSHIT and you KNOW IT!!! Addiction is just a term used by the weak, it’s just an excuse!
Get over here now! Just because you ended up getting sick and suicidal doesn’t mean I had anything to do with it. All those physical and mental withdrawals were on YOU! You lost your faith and your hope? That’s not my fault. You should have tried harder for me, my job is just to make you feel better about yourself.

I put my all in and I deserve your all!

You know what? Screw it, I kill on a daily basis. I am a murderer of the weak. I destroy lives. I am on a mission to take away loved ones from their friends and their families. I am THE manipulator. I am THE liar. I trained you, I gave you lessons on how to serve me and now you owe me your life. The only reason you are still alive is because of ME!!!

I’m sorry. I lost control there for a minute. Listen, forget all that, I’ll always be here for you whenever you need me. Remember, I’ll be waiting for you with unconditional torment and pain, I mean, unconditional love.

Love,

Your Poison.

P.S. The first one is on me ūüôā

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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.”

Black-Friday-Line

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let’s get all excited to meet up with family and friends most of us do not even want to see. Sad but true. If we were that excited to see our friends and family we see on Thanksgiving, we would probably see them more often right?

A time for harvest and celebration of gratefulness, giving thanks and overly warming others with comforting propaganda. A time to eat a ton of food that will most likely knock you out for an hour or two. If you’re of Irish or Italian descent, the gossip has already started in the kitchen.

It IS a great time to catch up and spend time with family and friends. Eat some great home cooking and just take a break from life for a few and relax. But the main reason for this holiday is in its title ‘Thanks’… ‘Giving Thanks’.

Welcome to America. Home of commercializing anything that makes money and ups ratings. ‘Black Friday’… Shop until your wallet’s empty. Camp out in front of a huge chain store as if you wanted to be first in line to be touched by the Pope. Trample over anyone and anything that’s in the way when the floodgates open to get that ‘once in a lifetime bargain’.

Anyway… back to giving thanks and being grateful. I thank God for work. I thank Him for being able to do the things I was not able to do. Simple things. Like remaining opiate free. Not so simple yet so simple. Things like not having to wake up in the fetal position, dope sick. Like not having diahrea flying out my back side due to withdrawals. I thank Him for the people in my life who are productive and beneficial to my success. Success as in a forward movement, not living in the past and overlooking where and what I was but where and what I am today, strong, confident and alive.

I’m thankful for the littlest things. Things I dare not say because most of you just won’t get it. I got a heater switch fixed in my work truck. It made my day! I thanked God. I’m STILL happy and thankful for it. I bought a new pair of boots; my smile is much bigger because of them.

I’m also able to do the best I can at work; to perform at my fullest. I’m thankful for the ability to show up to a job and complete it within a scheduled time frame. Thankful for the ability to keep moving forward to the next job, building integrity and trust with clientele.

Why so thankful? Why so thankful for the small things as well as the big things? Why do I resort to thanking God for everything I have? Well, who else am I going to thank?

There was a time where I was a slave. A slave to an addiction. I gave my life to it and I lost everything. Literally. Homeless. Lost. No faith. No hope. Complete emptiness. On a suicidal road to a second death. So when my life turned around, I gave birth to a whole new sense of living, a whole new sense of self-worth and a whole new method of understanding gratefulness; what being grateful really means.

See, I gave up. I surrendered. God pushed me toward this place called the Cross. Where I fell to my knees and fully surrendered MY ways, MY wants and MY needs. I asked Jesus to come into my life and make me new. And why it took so long to do so, I do not know. It’s free for crying out loud. I always knew it was. It didn’t cost a dime. Just took willingness to understand that my ways got me no where and that His ways are True and will guide me as I move forward. I always knew He was there and always knew He was willing to forgive me of my transgressions and wipe them out as far as the east is from the west. But this is my story. The path I chose.

I’m thankful to be alive to be able to be thankful. So why do I thank God? I thank God for His Son paying the ultimate penalty for my wrongs. That because of what Jesus went through for me, I am able to live, through Him. I am able to live and enjoy His Grace and His Mercy on a daily basis with thanks and gratefulness because of Him. This is why I thank God for every little thing that I have that goes good, that goes bad and that simply goes.

“Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am Strong”
Let the poor say, “I am Rich”
Because of what the Lord has done, for Us… Give Thanks.”

Become Free… Become the Difference!

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It seems to be a regular announcement. I’m hearing it more and more. A friend. A friend of a friend. Someone’s family member. A loved one. A loved one over-dosing on heroin or some other familiar drug.

It’s sad. You will read in the obituary, “Died suddenly” or “An unexpected death”. A young girl. A young man. No one wants to admit that their child or family member has lost their lives to addiction or to a foreign chemical. Well, it’s not so foreign any more. It’s becoming an epidemic. I will soon update my past blog on ‘Drug Statistics’ very soon.

Not because I want to. Because I have to. We need to become more aware of what we are doing to ourselves and we need to start taking it a little more serious.

Many of us in my community lost a friend to drug abuse, she left behind two children.  It kills me. I hate hearing it.  It breaks my heart in so many ways.  Children going on without their mom.  Without guidance.  We can not be replaced.  We were put here for a reason, for a purpose.

Losing our lives to a chemical due to our own lack of self control was not what God intended. ¬†We need to become more aware of why we resort to chemicals; destructive chemicals. ¬†Why this generation feels the need to self medicate. ¬†Why we ‘think’ we need medication for our anxiety and for our other thought processing issues. Seriously, we are living in a pill popping society and a self medicating world. ¬†There are more mental symptoms than there has ever been. ¬†But that is a whole other blog.

A few weeks ago, between my friends and people I know, I heard of 5 people in one week found dead or that were unable to be resuscitated. ¬†They are dropping like flies. ¬†I mean, it’s unbelievable. ¬†Especially when it’s someone you know and someone you had thought highly of and that had so much potential.

Now they have shots such as¬†NARCAN (naloxone), which are used to revive people, well, it reverses the effects of opiate and opioid depression. ¬†Another words, when someone is overdosing, it will remove the high and wake them back up; in most cases. ¬†And they, the pharmacies, are making more and more versions of these ‘Overdose Remedies’. ¬†You would think this would be great right? ¬†They’re saving lives!!! ¬†Not so much. ¬†They are just putting out a fire that is destined to restart.

Now addicts almost have a reason to overdose. ¬†They think that they will be fine. ¬†Often, if an addict is living at home, a ¬†family member will have a ‘shot’ at hand, kind of like an EpiPen, ready for that quick wake up.

So where is the lesson being learned here? ¬†“Oh, Johnny has a problem and we’ll be ready when it happens. ¬†There’s nothing we can do, he’ll never change.” ¬†That is called enabling. ¬†That is exactly what we should not be doing. ¬†Addicts need help. ¬†Plain and simple. ¬†Every chance we get to hold an addict accountable is life saving.

We have a voice. ¬†We have the ability to hold people accountable. ¬†We have the power to say no, the power to not enable people and to just sit there and watch them get devoured by their lack of self control, destroying themselves with chemicals. ¬†They don’t have self control? ¬†Be their self control. ¬†Don’t just watch them decay. ¬†Help them. ¬†Find out how to get them help. ¬†There are so many detoxes and rehabilitation centers all around us. ¬†They don’t want to go? ¬†They don’t want help? ¬† Research treatment centers. ¬†Talk to someone who has been through the destruction and has made it through. ¬†Have someone who has been through the ringer talk with them. ¬†Do what ever it takes. Pray without ceasing! You pray for them every day. ¬†Pray for a way out. ¬†Ask God to intervene in their lives.

This needs to stop.  Lets lead by example and step up to this wave of self extermination.

Become Free… Become the Difference.

Our minds chatter,  our brain cells clash and our body follows.

Myself and many others lost a friend to substance abuse recently.  It’s difficult.   The first question that pops in my heart is WHY?  Emotions clog reality and I come up with an obscure conclusion.   But this has become a regular event.   Losing people to drugs and alcohol like it’s a sport.  My reactions are getting shorter and less infected. 

But I notice that I am on edge for a few days after getting news like this.  Deep down I really do care and I really am disappointed.  I’m at a loss for words,  constantly questioning the reasoning behind why we do this to ourselves.  I mean,  I was there and I know exactly what it’s like getting recked and destroying my life.  Not caring about ANYTHING but myself.  Pushing the limits of my sanity and brutally killing myself day by day.

I haven’t forgotten.  I will never forget.  I am reminded daily of my destructive past.  What it’s like to lose all hope and all my faith.  And I mean all of it.  I was so lost when I was using that I didn’t know what was going on.  Like a plane in the clouds, having pills as my control tower.

So I’m on edge a bit, reminded of the true reality of addiction and what its soul purpose is.  Did I lose touch with or stray away from my past and my reason for staying clean?  Was my recovery on a little sabbatical?  Did I need to hear of another loss to ‘wake me up’?  No.  But it’s like jumping into a pool and realizing the water is freezing cold.  You tense up and become very alert.

Sadly, it’s not the person who has died who has to live with the pain.  It’s everyone around them that loved and cared for them.  The one’s that tried to help.  The one’s that turned their back on them when they couldn’t deal with the stealing and lying and the irresponsibility any more. 

Some people may have saw it coming.  Some of us aren’t that surprised because we knew the path they were on.  We tried, counselors tried,  the program tried,  even they tried but just couldn’t get it.  So that’s it.  Another one gone.  What are we going to do.  What CAN we do.  Live and let live right?  To each his own.  Ain’t none of my business.  I have priorities and one of them isn’t wasting time with a bottom feeding addict.

Those excuses get us nowhere.  We need to care.  We need to be good examples for our children, our friends and our family.  We can’t give up on people.   You know, encouragement goes a looooong way.  Tell them that they do not have to live like this and that they CAN do better and that it is in them to do better.  Offer help without enabling or feeding their addiction.  Tell them that they were created for a purpose and if they ask you what their purpose is,  tell them that their purpose will be revealed once they come clean and begin surrendering their addiction. 

And don’t talk like you’re hanging with one of the guys.   Get down to the point.  Hit a nerve.  Piss them off if you have to.  Be truthful.  Be honest.  Give them something to think about next time they decide to use.  But be sincere,  speak from your heart.  If you don’t love them,  tell them that God loves them and tell them that they are not alone,  that there is hope. 

Let them know that people do make it through addiction.  That addicts do come clean, that we do admit we are wrong and that we do indeed need a Savior to free us from our bondage and our strife!  We need to surrender DAILY, put ourselves second and start walking with our heads up knowing God is with us,  and when He is with us,  who can stand against us?

Love is action, faith is action, helping is action; take action TODAY.

“O LORD my God, I called to You for help and You healed me.” Psalm 30:2
He is amazing, take a walk with Him and see. ūüėČ

Become Free… Become the Difference