Archive for the ‘Side Effects’ 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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What is significant about this picture? What stands out the most? What looks obvious? It’s a beautiful picture. The trees, the sky, the calm water. It may be a little obscure, color wise.

Yes, it’s blue. Everything in that picture is blue. Everything. You can’t hide it. It’s obvious to the naked eye. There are many different shades but all are of one color, blue.

When we are high or drunk, we think no one can tell. We think we have everyone tricked. We think it’s our little secret, especially when we are in front of family or others who are living ‘different’. Addiction gets us caught up in a fake reality. A reality which deceives us into thinking we are living OK. We take a glance in the mirror and give ourselves an “I look fine”. But in the reality we are actually living in, we are not.

I remember, after sniffing a couple Oxycontin 80’s, how good I felt. How powerful the euphoric wave was. How, when it was raining, the sun came out. All my problems went away. I could see clearly. I felt invincible. Like I could take on any task set before me and accomplish it in record time. In my mind I sounded philosophically correct. I remember my mind racing with ideas and thoughts that could out wit Albert Einstein. I literally could sit on my couch, stare at the wall for an hour and be absolutely content. It was actually fun.

I also remember how itchy I got. How I used to scratch myself everywhere. Constantly. Like I was getting jumped by a lynch mob of mosquitos. My nose. My back. My ankles. And how about my eyes? I used to take Visine drops to try and hide the redness. Little did I know Visine doesn’t hide the pins I had for pupils. Or the thousand yard stare. Or the paleness of my skin.

Jawwing and neck twitching from cocaine. Feeling like I could run a marathon but my body wouldn’t keep up. Going into the bathroom to wipe down a toilet tank cover to dump out another rail. That was an every 15-20 minute interval. Talk about geeking out. After finishing an 8 ball, all alone in my apartment, everyone gone… I didn’t know what to do with myself. Those 80’s I saved to come off the cocaine with were gone. My heart’s beating a million times a minute. Raging anxiety overcoming my mind. How about the weight I was carrying around? Or should I say the lack there of. My shirts were hanging off me. My pants were drooping. I had to drill another hole into my belt to keep my pants up.

I’m not even going to talk about benzo’s. You take them and you’re out. Nodding off. A slow slide to a deep nap. I’m sure a few of you can attest to what happens when you pop a totem pole while you’re driving. Not good.

Every drug has its ‘current’ side effects. Our behaviors change. Our patterns change. Our quirks change. We think we can hide what they are doing to our mind. What they are doing to our body and our soul. But we can’t. Especially in front of someone who has been through it already. I’m practically a professional at this. I can point out a user from a mile away. It’s crazy. And I see myself in others. What I thought I was hiding. How obvious it really is.

What was I thinking? How did I let myself get to such a place? Broke. Begging. Complaining. Stealing. Scheming. My mind wasn’t in the right place. I was on a trip to never ever land. A trip straight down into a deep, dark pit of despair.

If you asked anyone, that wasn’t using, how I was doing, they would have told you “not good”. They knew. A couple times people pulled me aside to talk with me about it but I played it off like nothing was wrong. “I’m FINE!!!”. “Go bother someone else!”. I fought and I fought the help that was offered to me. For years. “What is wrong with these people?” I used to say to myself. I really thought there was nothing wrong with me. That being addicted was just the way I was going to be the rest of my life. That’s how deep I was into my addiction. It controlled me 100%. I NEVER thought I would overcome this. NEVER.

Then something happened. One day… depressed, confused, malnourished, unhygienic, homeless, hopeless and with no faith at all I made a decision. “I can’t do this anymore.” I got help. I admitted myself into a rehab.

We all have to come to our own conclusion. Thankfully some of us are able to get to a conclusion. Alive. Addiction is a struggle I would not want on my worst enemy. It’s a battle we are not designed for. Many times, we lose. Many times we lose great people.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, there is Hope! You can get your life back. You have it in you to overcome your addiction! It can be done. You are loved. You have a purpose. And you have a God who loves you more than you will ever know. Seek Him daily! He created us to be more than conquerors!

“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

Believe. Become Free. Become the Difference!