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Addicted and Recovered (Jeanie A.)

Jeanie A. Addicted and recoveredTalking about addiction recovery can be a very tough issue for a lot of people and it is not an easy road to travel down.  Some people will tell you that they had to go through a horrible rehabilitation or halfway house experience, while others will tell you they quit all on their own.  I, just like everyone else, have a pretty sick tale of woe but, no matter what the story is, the first thing that you need to know about addiction, is that it is no easy task to just put the drugs down.

My parents divorced when I was two, and they were both alcoholics.  My grandfathers on both sides were alcoholics, and of course everyone in my family smokes cigarettes.  My uncle on my mother’s side was a heroin addict and had even been to prison for it.  I have always been around addiction so it has always been a normal thing to me.

My mother went through a string of mentally, physically and sexually abusive boyfriends, finally landing on my child molesting, step-father.  He was so much worse than all the others.  He combined alcoholism, racism, mental abuse, jealousy, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse all into one.  When the doors were open and the World could see he acted like the typical step-dad, but behind closed doors life was hell.

I walked the same path as my parents and some of my other family members but I started screwing up young.  At thirteen I was having sex and drinking, by fourteen I was an everyday weed smoker and by fifteen I was cutting myself to feel less pain than I did mentally.  Nothing could dull the pain that I was experiencing from being constantly sexually abused and living in the presence of violence all the time.

By sixteen there were almost no drugs that I hadn’t tried, I was sneaking out nightly, having sex with men in their early twenties, drinking like a fish, had figured out I was tri-sexual and would try anything once, and worked at jobs like Baskin Robbins to support all my habits.  This is when I developed my mushroom and ecstasy habit.  Ecstasy was the only thing that actually made me forget, about everything.  I quit doing other drugs, except for smoking weed, I quit drinking and started eating ex and mushrooms like candy. 

At seventeen, with three months left in my senior year, I decided to run away and my mother decided it was time to call my dad and send me to live with him.  I finished out my senior year and graduated in Pennsylvania, but the damage had been done.  I was in International Baccalaureate classes in Virginia, and would have graduated high school as if I had taken my first year of college in History, English, Spanish, Business Management and Social Anthropology, but, because I moved to Pennsylvania and they didn’t have the classes to match those, so I graduated with a general diploma and pretty much wasted my last four years of school in study hall and gym. 

Needless to say, I just wanted to forget some more, so I drank and I tried the drugs that I hadn’t tried, plus kept taking the ecstasy.  I decided to quit the mushrooms altogether, they were getting too expensive and I needed what money I had for all the ecstasy I could get.  I drank and kept doing drugs, then I met my fiancé.  He had a problem with heroin and Xanax, and he was prescribed Klonopin.  We partied together, hard, for about a year before we had realized how bad we had gotten.

It took one of our really good friends to come and visit us from the city for us to realize how bad we had really gotten.  He told us how disappointed he was and how he had been hearing things about us all over the city, horrible things.  It really struck the both of us.  What were other people saying about us?  What were our friends and family thinking we were doing?  Once we sat down and thought about it, we realized that we had been slowly losing friends and family members, we had just been too high to notice.

We decided we were going to quit, unfortunately for my fiancé, benzodiazepines are not drugs that you can come off abruptly, without comfort meds or without a lot of help and support.  The pain of withdrawal is absolutely ridiculous.  It feels, like nothing I have ever felt before.  I have had four children, naturally with no medications and one ectopic, and I would rather do that then withdrawal ever again.  Sometimes it feels like you’re on fire, then you’re freezing, next you’re puking everywhere, there’s severe stomach cramps, plus you feel like you just want to die.  With benzodiazepines there is a chance of hallucinations and seizures.  Now, I would recommend strongly, if you are planning on coming off any kind of benzo or ecstasy, that you do it with the aid of a doctor or hospital.  We did not because I had just gotten a paraphernalia charge for a marijuana pipe and was on probation, so, we did it own our own, slowly.

If you are an addict, and you do want to get off the drug you’re on, there are four things that I suggest you do.  The first thing is to admit that you are an addict, you do need help and that you are ready to quit.  If you are not ready, or cannot admit that you have an issue, then it is going to be difficult to maintain what you need to do to quit.  The second thing is talk to a doctor, do not be afraid of them, they are there to help you not hurt you.  The third thing is to form yourself a support system.

The last thing that I suggest you do is get some CBD oil.  CBD oil can be extremely helpful when maintaining the symptoms of withdrawal.  It helps to curb the bite from wanting the drugs, it helps with the pain and it helps with the chills.  My drugs were a lot easier to come off of than my fiancés were, but the CBD helped him a lot too.  It helped to ease his pain and his stomach cramping, plus it made his times where he wanted his drugs a lot easier for him.  The CBD even made him want to sleep and eat through his ordeal, which is something that is very rare to do when you are withdrawing.

The CBD also helped my fiancé with his symptoms from his Anxiety, Fibromyalgia and Marfan Syndrome, which made his withdrawal much worse than mine.  In addition to taking CBD and Melatonin, we took Aleve and Excedrin.  I also went out and got us CBD cream and balm, which both work amazingly as a topical pain reliever.  If it hadn’t been for CBD as a comfort med or supplement I do not think we would have gotten through it.  The FDA just needs to hurry up and approve it, there are so many people I believe it could help.

It is a struggle, especially with so many temptations all over the place, and knowing what drugs make you feel like, but then I see all these stories.  Parents nodding out in moving vehicles with their children in the backseat screaming, babies rotting in swings covered in maggots and meth houses a block away from Headstarts come into my mind immediately.  Cherish every single moment of life that you are living and breathing, as there are always people out there that care about you and need you, do not ruin your life and theirs by killing yourself with drugs.  Narcan should not be something that police officers, ambulances and the general public has to carry. 

Jeanie A., Kentucky