Archive for the ‘Relapse’ 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!

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Some of you may have read this before and agreed with it or disagreed with it.
The highlighted area is what bothers me.

If we believe we have a disease, that there is no cure, that we can’t beat it and that we will always struggle with it, then we will never get better.
God gave us the ability to conquer anything. How do we do that? We surrender to Him daily. We remain humble and admit we have a serious problem that is not only an addiction but something deeper that we need to fix.
I refuse to accept that addiction is a disease. We are able to overcome, we are able to succeed and we are able to let go.
This is why I named this site Become Free. I was an addict for over 10 years. I struggled with heroin, opiates, cocaine, benzo’s, anti depressants and God only knows what else.
My daily intake was over 1000 mg’s of OxyContin a day. I got to the point of suicide and absolute complete depression.

Then one day I gave my life to Jesus Christ and I haven’t been the same since. It took time and perseverance. It took rehab and wonderful people in rehab to help me. Over time I became free from my bondage and my slavery to drugs. I had a renewal of my mind, I gained my self control back and I am a new creation.
In order to believe I have a purpose I must believe I was created. As a book glorifies an author, as a painting glorifies an artist, so are we to glorify God.
And you know what is awesome, I’m not alone. There are so many that are living the same way. Freed from addiction.
You have to want it as bad as you wanted your poison.

I didn’t learn to deal with my addiction, I learned that I was in need of a Savior. I learned that I was created by an Almighty God that loves me no matter what I do. I learned that giving up MY ways and living according to His Word, I am set free!!!!!

Listen, God is either real or He’s a fantasy. You either have a purpose or you do not.

You have a choice to believe it or not and that choice is going to determine your lifestyle.

Become Free, Become the Difference.

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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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Does a cloudy, stormy picture like this make us miserable or are we already miserable and this triggers it? I think storms are awesome and beautiful myself…

I’m no doctor. But I can tell you, that through perseverance, dedication and remaining grateful for what I have simply makes me happy. I actually love life and everything it has to offer.

I’ve heard quotes like this one, “The seeds of depression will never take root in a Grateful heart!” How true is this? I sit back often and reflect where I was, where I could be and where I am. Yes, I have days where I am stressed out but it’s temporary. I feel anger, sadness and loads of pressure with the daily struggles of life but I constantly tell myself that I have a God who is greater than any problem I will ever have.

Usually when I’m driving to work first thing in the morning, I daze off a little and remember where my life used to be. I put myself where I was, depressed, tormented and enslaved by addiction then quickly I snap back to reality. I usually say to myself “Thank you Lord for your Grace and where I am today” or “What a sick way to live”… those are my two replies usually.

Then I thank Him for saving me and I reflect on what I am grateful for. I go over every little thing I have and am so thankful because I know that if I were still living in addiction, I would be so miserable and depressed; barely living, just floating around like a zombie, hustling and haunting anyone with money and seeking enablers.

I see people who claim and hold on to bi-polar, anxiety and other excusable issues. I see people who are so stressed out. I see people who are constantly complaining and are just absolutely miserable. I don’t know if it’s because they haven’t experienced what it’s like to lose everything. And I mean everything.
I don’t know if it’s because they haven’t fully surrendered their old nature and allowed a change to take place. I don’t know if they are just so stubborn that being humble, teachable and grateful are nonexistent in their daily vernacular, that they are words they probably do not understand.

I used to be on the quick acting Ativan, Xanax and many other long term anti-depressants as well. I actually still have panic attacks but they are getting so much better. Yes, the hyperventilating, “where did THAT come from”, no warning, “I’m gonna piss myself” panic attacks. They suck. I actually went to a respiratory doctor, had x-rays done and he said, “Everything’s fine, it’s all in your head Mike.” “Oh, great, that’s just wonderful, thanks Doc.” I said to him as I was leaving the hospital with a confused look on my face. Now what am I supposed to do? I think I may have even laughed at myself the whole ride home!

“So not also do I have an addiction problem, I now have a mental issue!? Great.” That’s what I was dealing with. Totally freaking out over everything. This was a time before I got help. Before I tried. Before I put any effort into anything. I was still lost. I didn’t even know how to persevere, I couldn’t, I was so weak. My choices were wrong and my addiction belittled my sense of who I was.

Well, 3 years coming up with one very short relapse after 10 months, after a surgery I was not even close to being prepared for. Glad it happened though. I am stronger from it. I knew what to do, who to talk to and where to go, thanks to time in rehab and thanks to the people who offered time and served as lighthouses in my life, God I am so thankful for them.

It took time, clean, no drugs at all, not even Tylenol or Advil. It took time to persevere and gain a strength that I have never had before. A strength that keeps getting stronger as each day goes by. I persevered by remaining teachable. That I am and will always be a work in progress. That I will always have the ability to learn and grow. That I do have the capability to be humble and close my mouth when I am supposed to. To thank God for a paycheck, for family, for friends. That listening to others speak and understanding that it is not all about me. That accepting others for who they are and where they are in life, without judgment, puts my life into perspective. That I do have something to offer. That I am strong enough to overcome obstacles and achieve my goals. That I do indeed have the power to say no, but not only say no, but to tell someone that they do not have to live this way, and offer advice, plant a seed, and move forward.

Thank you Lord for this gift. As I continue to be humble, remain teachable and stay grateful for what you have given and continue to give me, I am looking forward to a happy life with You and every blessing You are going to offer. The biggest blessing is hoping I touched someone’s life in one way or another.

Become Free! Become the Difference!

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This question is asked when we are at the crossroads. Maybe a friend, family member or a counselor will ask this when life is simply unmanageable or when we realize our way just isn’t working.

How Bad Do You Want It? Do you even know? Are you sure you even want it? Unfortunately, I got way past the point of wanting it, I got to the point where I needed it. And I knew it. It was either death by self or some form of help.

Asking an addict how bad do they want to get better is like asking a non addict how bad do you want to stop breathing. Ironically it’s that serious. In an addicts mind, the drug use and substance abuse is just like breathing fresh air.

Now, if you are not struggling with drug/substance abuse, you can stop here. This is for people struggling with drug addiction. This is for the stubborn ones who think they are fine. The ones who think no one knows.

Remember when you were last clean? That may take a few seconds. How about this… remember the last time you looked in the mirror and were proud of yourself? How about the last time you kept a promise?

Ask yourself how bad do you REALLY want it. Take a second and look back at the damage you have done. To your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your kids; to yourself. How about those REAL friends you had, yeah, the ones who don’t want to be around you anymore because you’re messed up. It bothers you but you know deep down inside you did this to yourself. You made your own prison of solitude and confinement. I know, you can’t wait for that next high.

You are so deep into your addiction you forget what it’s like to have real friends. You forget what it’s like to actually get 8 hours of sleep and wake up relaxed and at peace. You forget what it’s like to keep a job and be honest, to save money, to pay bills on time, to keep promises you have made, to think like a normal person.

Don’t you want to know why the voice that tells you to use is the same voice that ridicules you after you do? Remember when scheming new ways to hustle and get high were non existent? When checking peoples medicine cabinets for prescriptions, stealing money out of purses and selling the stupidest things to get high became a new hobby? What about all the thoughts on ways to get money to get high? I bet you don’t have to think too deep on that one.

Is “I Am A Full Blown Addict” on your resum√©? Ever tell anyone the exact nature of what you do and how you do it? Ever discuss your methods with anyone on what your brain patterns are like and what you go through every minute of every day? How about the withdrawals? We both know what happens when you are dope sick. One word, autopilot.

How bad do you want it? How bad do you want your life back to where all of this is behind you? Think about it. You are either high or hurting right now. Either way, you have a choice every day to choose.

I am telling you that you do not have to live like this. As bad as you want to get high is how bad you need to want to get help and change. Get on your hands and knees and ask God for help. Get right with Him. Admit you are wrong, admit you are selfish and are in need of a Savior. Get to meetings. Find a detox and a rehab where you can gain knowledge on why you do what you do. Get back the basic principles on life and back to living the way you are supposed to, with purpose. There are resources all around you, you just need to start looking. Surround yourself with productive people. People who will not enable you and pull you down.

God loves you so much, He is always there, waiting with open arms. Do what ever it takes to stop this destructive lifestyle.

Here is a phone number to call for a detox or a rehab near you in the Unites States. Make a call. Be responsible and become free TODAY. 888-831-2327 or visit http://www.drug-rehab.org.

God is bigger than your addiction.

Become Free. Become the Difference!

How To Become Free

Well, it is at first. ¬†Then again, at first, we are not addicted. ¬†So when does addiction take it’s power over us? ¬†How far into our habitual¬†obsession do we need to go to see the decision making become automatic; into it’s predestined pattern? ¬†

Yes, we have the power of choice.  We choose to experiment.  We choose to hang out and commune with the right people and the wrong people.  We have a decision making process which makes good choices and bad choices and we have to deal with the consequences either way.

We constantly hear of people, friends and family, overdosing and dying from substance abuse. ¬†“Oh, they made a bad choice. ¬†What were they thinking? ¬†They chose that path; they made their bed now they have to sleep in it.” ¬†I hear it all the time. ¬†Usually from people who have never experienced addiction and the power it has over us. ¬†People think it was our choice to suffer and become thieving junkies. ¬†That first day when we experimented with our long term poison, we weren’t saying to ourselves, “I can’t wait to screw everyone over and destroy my life and every bridge I have ever walked across.”

Addicts made a choice one day to use. ¬†We made a choice, for whatever reason; depression, stress, a loss, childhood trauma, whatever. ¬†We chose to take a mental stimulus to impose happiness in one form or another. ¬†We also chose to take a dip in it at the end of every stressful week. ¬† Which became a couple times a week, to every other day, to every day. ¬†Has addiction set up it’s scaffolding yet? ¬†Not yet.

mhYqfi4Believe it or not, our minds are still at peace. ¬†We are happy. ¬†We’re feeling really good and enjoying the high. ¬†It enhances our abilities and helps to see positively; it’s a new hope! ¬†Well, that’s how it seems. ¬†We don’t know whats going on yet. ¬†As far as we are concerned, it’s just something we are doing, like brushing our teeth, with magical toothpaste.. we do that every day right?

sad-woman-silhouetteSome time goes by. ¬†Something tells us we may have a slight problem so we try to stop. ¬†We try and quickly realize life¬†isn’t the same without this chemical. ¬†Our thoughts change, our conscience tells us one thing and we compromise with another. ¬†There is a¬†mental battle going on between what is right and what is wrong. ¬†What we used to spend time on, our priorities, important things, very¬†important things, we no longer have a care for and become secondary. ¬†Then we get depressed because we are trying but we are not able to choose.

Something either tells us or moves us to constantly feed this compulsive obsession. ¬†It’s needed. ¬†We persistently depend on it. ¬†Now addiction has moved in and it is renting space we just don’t have. ¬†It has become our engine, being fueled with chemicals. ¬†It is the mainframe of our thinking, the electrical system for our thought process and like a cancer it grows and grows and surrounds our thoughts like a vine wrapped around a telephone pole.

Every choice and decision we make from here on is like flipping a coin. ¬†We are lost in a maze with no solution; we have no idea how we got in and have no clue how to get out. ¬†Integrity, motivation, self control, and happiness are all out the window. ¬†Hope and faith are so far away we can’t even come up with any words to define them. ¬†We are on a self centered path of destruction and we don’t care who or what is in the way. ¬†Emotions and feelings are for the weak. ¬†“Just give me what I want, please, I need one more…”, is a daily mission statement. ¬†Scheming, lying, cheating and manipulating are now our new characteristics. ¬†We are on auto pilot and we are so far in, well, lets just say it’s like a tunnel in the shape of a circle, it’s a vicious cycle of disappointment and regression.

Welcome.  This is drug addiction.  You can relate to this or you can relate this to someone you know.  Some of you may even be able to relate this with addictions other than drugs and substances; the thoughts and the obsession.

Choices and decisions are not of our own. ¬†We are not thinking clearly. ¬†We are lost. ¬†We are addicts and in our addiction, getting high, fueling up, our doses, our outcomes and our thinking become compromised. ¬†No quote card on a website is going to make us better. ¬†We are under siege, we are being controlled by something else. ¬†It’s not us. ¬†It’s not a choice any more.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or drug addiction, there is hope.  Constantly offering help to a loved one is difficult and they may hate you for it, but when they come around, they will love you for it.
This is why there are detox and rehabilitation facilities nation wide.  There are people willing to offer help, resources and information on treatment for people struggling with addiction.  Call 888-831-2327 for a Treatment Center near you, anywhere in the United States, 24-7.

Most importantly, keep them in your prayers.  Do not give up on them. Pray to God Almighty that He intervenes and breaks their addictive behaviors and sets them free!

Become Free!  Become the Difference!

is

Trust is like a skyscraper, it takes years to build and only seconds to destroy.

We trust our mail man to deliver our mail to the right house. We trust our accountant to get our numbers right. We trust our bank teller to deposit our money into the right account. We trust that car pool or bus driver in the morning to get us to work in one piece. We trust that website we just gave our credit card to. We also trust that same credit card company not to jack up our interest rate to 29.99% for no reason at all.

We trust our tires to stay inflated while we are going 75 mph around a turn on the highway. We trust our washer machine to wash our clothes and not leak 30 gallons of water everywhere. We trust our roof on our house to hold up the weight of snow that builds up over the winter. And during that same winter, we trust our pipes not to freeze. We trust our insurance to come through after an accident, we trust our healthcare provider to support us when we need it and we trust our schools to contact us when something happens to our children.

We put trust into so many things, it’s crazy. Like the chair i’m sitting on, the computer i’m using and the glass of water i’m drinking. Trust is built all around us and we make it and break it on a daily basis. We trust our parents. We trust our children. We trust our family. We trust them to be there when something happens. We trust them to love us and show affection in a certain way, every time.

So what happens when this trust is broken? It becomes easy to trust someone when they have built up trust and can be trusted, but what happens when someone breaks that trust, that for so long, has always been a foundation on which they stood?

What happens when a father, or a mother, a brother or a sister, a cousin, a nephew, a niece, or a loved one, a best friend, a girlfriend or a boyfriend decides to relapse? And through that relapse, overdoses and dies.

It’s a selfish act. And we get angry. “You were responsible to me, to our kids, to our family and you threw it all away. You made a suicidal decision and thought of no one but yourself. You put yourself first and everyone who loves you second. You not only killed yourself, you killed us, as a family. Things will never be the same.”

Who was there to help? Was this person working their recovery on a daily basis? Did tragedy strike and all went out the window? Did some past trauma from childhood come back to haunt them? Whatever reason it may have been, we all are responsible for each other. And the first person to say they are not is a true definition of a egotistical, self centered, narcissist. I know we can’t control everything, but we can make a difference. Are you constantly looking out for number one? Yourself? Or are you planting seeds in someone’s life?

We are CALLED to love each other and to look out for each other! You think something is going on with someone, inquire. Intervene, ask questions, offer advice, offer help, do not judge, show compassion, show an unfailing love and concern, offer assistance. Offer what ever you can offer to help try to save a lost soul, a drug addict, a family member, an alcoholic. As much as you think that person doesn’t deserve it, you are judging them while they are down; they need help getting back up.

I have lost a handful of friends in the past two years and if you are an addict, you most likely have too. I have also lost family members to drug addiction. There were many times I didn’t step forward and offer help. Today I can. Today, I believe God uses me and many others to help save some people from personal destruction. Losing is the worst feeling, but to gain, to watch addicts turn their life around, to watch people accept Jesus Christ into their lives and watch them grow, is the best feeling in the world!

We lost an actor, a great actor to drug addiction. I didn’t know him personally but I sure know what everyone around him is going through. Please keep his family, the one’s who are living the pain, in your prayers. Please keep anyone you may know who is struggling with substance abuse in your prayers and if you can, reach out to them, love them and offer yourselves to them in any way possible.

Become Free, Become the Difference!

‚ÄúA new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.‚ÄĚ John 13:34-35

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one‚Äôs life for one‚Äôs friends.” John 15:13

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Here’s my view on medications that supposedly help people ‘wean off’ from opiates and/or opioids along with long-term narcotic addiction.

Just to draw the fine line between opioids and opiates, in case you’re wondering… An opi’oid is basically a synthetic form narcotic NOT derived from opium which obviously influences opiate receptors and an opi’ate is a drug CONTAINING opium which also influences opiate receptors. There are many drugs that are fully an opioid, that are fully an opiate and that are both. They both have the same euphoric effects and side effects and are both narcotics.

Ok, this is crazy, the same FDA approval and the same legislature that allowed opioids in the first place also allowed medication to help block and to help ease the side effects and withdrawals of these narcotics. Kind of like a store selling cigarettes and next to those cigarettes is an electronic cigarette with a pamphlet on how to stop smoking.

Now I’m not going to get into the chemical displacement and neurological effects and imbalances about these drugs because I am not a doctor. However, I am going to tell you, from much experience, what this stuff does, how it effects addicts and how it can be potentially dangerous.

To start off, people with an addiction or a dependence to opiates/opioids need help, plain and simple. Being an addict, our thought process, our decision making, and our lifestyle has all been compromised. Life is unmanageable. So with this said, a doctor giving Suboxone or Methadone to an addict to administer to one’s self, is ludicrous. That’s like giving a baby a loaded gun to play with. Even if a parent or guardian administers these pills to an addict, the addict will most likely figure out ways to beat that system real quick.

SUBOXONE- (Buprenorphine/ Naloxone) There are many pharmaceutical companies that make them. But the most used and abused are Suboxone’s. These orange, and orange tasting, sublingual tablets are supposed to be dissolved under your tongue. When an addict is withdrawing, these block the receptors, take the cravings and withdrawals away. Well are supposed to.

From my experience, I have taken Suboxone and I still wanted to get high. It did help with withdrawals but because of my addiction, I wanted more. I usually took Suboxone when I was broke and knew for a fact I wasn’t going to be able to come up with an Oxycontin, a Morphine or some Heroin. But there were times where I had taken an entire 8mg Suboxone and a rare instance would come up where I was able to get my fix. It took 2-3 times the dose it usually took to get high because the Suboxone blocked my receptors, not allowing me to get high. But eventually I did, which is dangerous, very dangerous. Even though I didn’t feel high, the extra doses of narcotics were in my system.

I have heard of people shooting Suboxone. I have heard of people sniffing them, chewing them and even smoking them. Wow, what an addict will do to manipulate things. I have even heard of addicts not feeling any better or different after taking Suboxone. An addicts mind can alter many things so it does happen. I remember taking them and still feeling very anxious and uncomfortable. I wasn’t in a program and had absolutely no guidance at all. I bought the Suboxone’s off the street and took directions from another addict.

METHADONE- Basically takes away the pain and makes you feel really good. Addicts like this over Suboxone because it’s quicker, stronger and is an opioid. If you have ever driven into a city and seen a line of anxious people waiting to get into a building, it’s most likely a Methadone Clinic. The methadone is supervised and administered by tablet, by liquid and I think some places are even injecting it now.

Again, our legislature allows places like this to help addicts. You come from where ever you are, get in line, take it and you leave. They go by schedules and dosing. So eventually an addict is supposed to be weaned down to a very low dose and will have to stop. Methadone, like every other pill, is also available on the street. Addicts take them, like Suboxone, when they start withdrawing and also take them to get high.

If an addict is in a program and is being administered Suboxone or Methadone in a controlled environment, with supervision, then they can be beneficial. There should be a time period where they plan on discontinuing the doses. The problem I have with these medications is the simple fact that if a relapse happens, they are going to rely on them. These medications only prolong the main problem. Addicts are addicts for a reason. There is an underling problem which needs fixing. I wrote a blog on it here: https://becomefree.org/2013/09/04/drugs-subsidiary-to-the-underlining-issue/

I have friends who have been on Suboxone and friends who have been on Methadone for years. Not learning or growing, just getting them from a doctor and living off them. It is more difficult to come off of Suboxone and Methadone than it is off of Heroin especially if the addict has had no structure and support. If you abruptly take these medications away from an addict they are guaranteed to relapse. And being on these medications does not make an addict clean. It may be part of a Recovery process and they may not be using their drug of choice but by no means are they clean. Clean is clean, not just clean from our favorite poison.

COLD TURKEY- What do I think about it? I LOVE IT!!! Of course if you asked me that during my first two weeks I would have said no. It is the most mentally and physically challenging way to get better but it is also the quickest way. If you have ever been locked up or to a detox, you know. I made it a choice to stop cold turkey. I knew the program I was going into didn’t have a medication administering system.

Is it safe to stop cold turkey? I have never heard of anyone dying from opiate/opioid withdrawals. Either has the program I was in. You just get dope sick and freak out for a few weeks. You can’t sleep, you get bicycle legs, diarrhea, hot and cold sweats, shivers, twitches, heart palpitations, skeletal pain, blurred vision; I mean there are more but you get the point. Stopping cold turkey on your own is extremely difficult. I think the statistics are one in a million and if you have done it, man, that’s awesome, I’d love to hear from you!

Stopping cold turkey while in a program is so beneficial. There are others to talk to, to relate with and counselors to consult with. There are classes and many opportunities to catch up on getting down to the nitty gritty on why you are in there.

What I liked about stopping cold turkey was realizing I needed to fill in a void. A void I have had for a very long time. I filled my void with God and came to an understanding that I need Him daily in order to stay clean. He is my lifestyle. I learned so much while I was in rehab and I am so thankful for the Salvation Army taking me in. Prayer and constant reading of my Bible gave me peace and an understanding along with the spiritual principles and knowledge I gained from the program I was in.

My recommendation as a recovered addict, addicted to opiates for 10 years, is to stay away from the pills that are only going to elongate your problem. Most likely the same company that made your poison is offering you the antidote . Does that sound right to you? Find treatment, a detox and a rehabilitation that administers spiritual principles rather than more drugs. Call upon God daily and accept His son Jesus into your life. I guarantee you will not only see what is really going on, you will become as grateful and hopeful as me and many other recovered addicts alike.

We were not designed to be on dangerous, mind altering substances which lead us to death. We were given this life to conquer it, not for it to conquer us. God gives us the strength to beat addiction and to overcome any obstacle life throws at us!

Become Free. Become the Difference!

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This was taken on December 29th at Gillette Stadium, the New England Patriots vs. the Buffalo Bills. It was pouring out but it was still exciting being in the crowd and watching two teams battle it out. Talk about strength in numbers.. there’s nothing like the incredible roaring sound of 70,000 people!

You may have heard the saying “A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.”

It’s true, that is, if all the twigs are in good condition. If you have a bundle with most of the twigs rotted and deteriorated then this quote has no integrity. I mean, yes, even with weak twigs, the one twig will be stronger but eventually it too will be weakened. So to avoid destroying the single twig, a majority of the twigs used in the bundle must have strength in order to be used for its purpose.

In Recovery, especially in early recovery, we start gaining some strength. We start listening, learning and growing. We start going to meetings, we start surrounding ourselves with the right people and we start setting principles and boundaries that benefit us in many ways. We have the infatuation, the ‘Newly Wed’ syndrome, the ‘I got this’ attitude and man are we feeling like an indestructible, invincible suitcase of a million dollars.

This is a very delicate stage in our recovery. We are like a single twig with maybe a few other twigs but not yet a strong, mended bundle.

Six months go by, maybe even a year, and maybe even quite a few years go by and all of a sudden we look back and we have stopped doing what was making us strong. We stopped going to meetings and we stopped sharing. We stopped listening. We stopped being humble and teachable. Most of all we stopped being grateful for the things God blessed us with. We had become part of a bundle of strong and resilient twigs. Once with the know how and perseverance, once part of a community of believers fighting the same fight, in agreement, in harmony.

Now we are back to being a single twig. Battling a war against addiction all alone. Becoming lost and seeking advice and comfort elsewhere. Unprepared and lacking in strength, we make drastic decisions which alter our path. We are led astray and become uncomfortable with life. The blame and shame game is back to round one. Everything we learned seems to just be simmering on the backburner in our minds. We lose focus and start asking God why and how.

Then a little voice with a huge influence persuades us to make a phone call and take a ride… Fill in the blank, you know how it goes.

We may be born again, we may have 20 years under our belt, we may be stronger than ever and we may even have God right by our side but the war is never over. We may think it is sometimes but it is not. This is why we need Him on a daily basis.

The devil does not enjoy seeing us prosper. He doesn’t want us to succeed and become clean. He wants to destroy us and make us feel worthless and useless, without purpose.

Our strength comes from God and God alone. He uses others to strengthen us. He gives us people in our lives to make us whole. God gives us people to talk to, to share things with and to celebrate life with. He opens doors and opportunities for us. God has given me and you purpose and gifts to help others, to reach out, to become one in His name. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19,29

“Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.” Mark 6:7. Power in numbers? There sure is.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body” 1 Corinthians 12:12

We were not created to battle life on our own, let alone Addiction. We were created to battle it together, side by side. We need each other for support and for encouragement. Keep persevering through God’s grace. Keep God first in all you do and become part of the bundle that when together is indestructible! And when God is with us, who can be against us?

There IS Strength in Numbers…
Become Free. Become the Difference!