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Experience, Strength and Hope?

I have over 2800 posts, 127 friends, 663 days off methadone, many hours with a therapist, doctor, addiction classes, group meetings, 12 step meetings, and physical therapy. I was told that it would likely take me take 2 years to actually get back to myself again and quitting drugs was not enough. Well, this last month or two has been amazing. I finally feel satisfied, so here's a quick version of how I got here.

I started drugs at 11, pot was my first drug, it was the gateway drug to alcohol. My dad is a severe alcoholic so that drug scared me more than the others.  LSD became my DOC by 14, I wanted drugs that really took me out of my life. My dad told me, "You can deal drugs and you can do drugs, but never do the drugs you deal." I would trip on LSD and sell methamphetamine all night by 15. I partied as a teen. AT 17 I took Datura in a Shamanistic journey. I realized in that experience that I didn't want to party with drugs anymore, but kept using them. I didn't want to do coke or methamphetamine anymore, so I guess that was a 4 year run as a youth. My shamanism lead to many hallucinogenic explorations, chronic pot smoking, binge drinking, and a quest for a better way to live and think. The sacred plants did open my mind and teach me many things, though I kept taking them after those doors of perception were already open. I suppose I was partying with a sacred frame of mind at that point. I had been on the fence about what was wrong with my mind and feelings, my cup never stayed full very long and seeing it half full was getting harder. My first kid was born when I was 30, that was when all the unfullfillment really kicked in. I started playing God.

I lived on faith, I've walked with no money and traveled around the world, yet the faith I had for myself was not so easy to apply to my kids. My scoliosis started getting worse and I was doing hard work as a landscape contractor. I needed to make money and provide everything for my family, my intentions were pure, but that was the thinking that lead to opiates. Hydro's, morphine, Oxy, I tried them all, but methadone didn't get me too high to work and lasted a long time. I was sold, for about 8 years I took methadone going from 20mgs a day at first to 250mgs a day at the end. I didn't realize what was happening to me. My childhood resentments, daily struggles, corruption I have witnessed all went away on methadone. I didn't know I was taking drugs for so many reasons, but it became the pill for every ill.

So, I finally realized I was in trouble and started trying to quit. It was about 1 1/2 years of trying it my way on my own, then another year of my wife trying to help, only to have me find the stash. I lied without thinking, then couldn't tell the truth, because I would be caught. We think we are so slick, everyone who matters to me knew exactly what was going on, way more than I did. My wife and family were giving up on me. I had a few respiratory arrests and scared my kids with some convulsions and my eyes rolling back in my head. I didn't blame them for giving up on me, I think I wanted them to in some ways. My wife told me after my second to last OD that she would never give me CPR again for drugs. I said good, let me die if I can't get it together. Then the night I will never forget as long as I live came.

My lungs stopped in my sleep, luckily I woke up. I could barely sit up and tried to be quiet to not wake anyone up. I got on the floor and was gasping for air, my wife asked if I was okay. I couldn't really answer, she knew I wasn't, but laid back down and ignored me. I can only imagine how hard it was to truly love me and let me die, which is what she thought she was doing. I was getting light headed and knew I may die soon. Then the kids sat up and looked at me, my heart was breaking. I drug myself over to a chair and leaned my chest against the back of it to manually pump my lungs. I couldn't inhale or exhale and was weak, not to mention obviously high. I think it was about 6 hrs I fought to keep myself conscious. Just as the dawn broke, I felt my lungs finally kick in and start to breath shallow on their own. Shortly after that, everyone woke up, surprised and happy I was breathing. That was my bottom you might say.

It is highly unlikely one could quit 250mgs of methadone CT, so I had to keep taking it after I knew I was gonna die soon if I kept using. Tried to taper, no luck, tried to get fast acting opiates to help detox, that didn't do it, I just kept trying different things, until I went to a sub doctor as a very last resort. I tapered down from 250 to 160 in about a month, then my doc gave me a bunch of hydros to take over 4 days, then went 48hrs with nothing and induced subs. While in full blown methadone detox, awaiting subs, I was jumped in the street and had my nose broken, lips busted up, and bruised ribs. Cops found me unconscious in the street covered in diarrhea, vomit, and blood. In that chaos, I just kept remembering my kids faces looking at me as we all thought I would be dead in the morning, it's a miracle I lived. Took subs 20 days, which is when I signed up for every single recovery option available around me and spent tons of time on this forum. I say subs saved my life, but in reality, it was the moment of clarity subs gave me to sign up for my aftercare that is what really saved my life.

So those who have been here awhile have seen me whimper, whine, go psychotic and depressed. I was mad at God, myself, government, culture, you name it, it made me mad. I would say that 10 months was when I felt like I could live with how I felt. Then at 14 months had a psychotic breakdown, I called it a nervous breakdown, but that is not an actual clinical term I found out. I was diagnosed bipolar 1 with psychotic mania tendencies. That was when I felt cursed, my childhood was rough, I've seen lots of violence and injustice, I'm an addict, but then there is this other thing I was born with. My resentments were dominating me, as my opiate receptors healed, my mania increased more and more. I kept saying, "I want to give up, I just can't figure out what that means."

I had no old sober me to return to, I am still sculpting myself out of the rock at the bottom. The dones suppressed my mania, and everything else. I had stopped self medicating by then, so I went to a doctor. I did as they said and took the meds they suggested, I still went psychotic, I'm not talking hypo mania, but full blown out of control of my thoughts and actions kind of maniac. People thought I may be an alcoholic, because I try to black out in that state, I don't even remember a lot of it, even if I haven't done a drug or booze. I used the meds to get balanced, really studied my CBT, then I changed my life to fit my mind, rather than change my mind to fit my life. So far so good. I work on recovery pretty constantly. My every thought and action is weighed by my recovery, it has to be. I am channeling my thoughts and have a plan for any future mania. I may not be able to do it drug free, but I am going to prove it without a doubt before I go back to any drug, though I am more open to the idea.

The last couple months totally drug free have been really amazing. I'm not happy or even satisfied all the time, but I seem to be able to hang onto the big picture better lately. It took 18-19 months to even believe I could heal all the way, my mind was a mess,  my heart was broken, and I sold my spirit to the company store. I am so glad I kept focused on other people's belief I could heal, it's so obvious now why I couldn't do it alone. If will power could do it, I'd of been fine, I am very stubborn when I set my mind to something. 2 years sounded so long in my drug induced insanity, 2 years to heal is a small investment to get my future back.

"Since I can't make life easy, I have to make it worth it." Finally feel this one.
21 Responses
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Avatar universal
Awesome post Weaver. Keep fighting the good fight, inspiring those around you.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hey Kare, I spent a lot of time meditating on what inspires me. I didn't feel inspired, so I looked at my values and ethics. I realized there are a few things I never lost through all my using. I love to write, so I have been doing more of that. I also have always wanted to build an example of sustainable living in a neighborhood, so I built work beds, compost, and started an aquaponic system to raise fish and salad year round. I do a small thing toward that goal every day. I also am reducing my family carbon footprint, with the goal of being carbon negative. I looked at my resentments and couldn't get over them, so I pass time by doing things to be part of the solution to those things. I have tried to turn my weaknesses into motivation and strengths in the hobbies I do. I will think of more, but much of it was trial and error, just keep trying things until something clicks. It was forced at first, but my hobbies are now a new way of life. Hope this makes sense and helps in some way.
Helpful - 0
8323481 tn?1405705654
wow is all I can say....thank you for sharing your experience strength and hope....what a great start to my day....bless you.
Helpful - 0
8442947 tn?1398147162
That's awesome lulu747! I love reading stories of recovery because it gives me hope. The other day I came across one of the most powerful statements I have ever read: "Your pain is not divine." It clicked. All of us (addicts) go through the same types of pain for extended periods and I know understand that I must rely on others to help get me through this. I can no longer do it on my own. It really is an illness, and that is something I didn't understand until this last month or so. It is so very humbling.
Helpful - 0
1926359 tn?1331588139
Weaver that was an awesome post.  I wasn't around when you found this forum but I'm thrilled to have found my way back here and read your inspiring story.  I think it should be testament to all addicts out there struggling.  Never give up.  There is always a way.  Life is a journey and you have to find out what works for you.  You gotta look at your sh^%.  No matter how dark, how scary...The only way to get past fear is to just feel it and go through it.  This is what makes us who we are.  Human beings are complex, miraculous, tenacious, and far more resilient than we ever give ourselves credit for.  I just want to honour you and your bravery in speaking your truth, owning your life.  I had this moment about 9 months ago when I was contemplating whether or not to tell the man that I was in love with how I felt.  I had no idea if he felt the same.  I was terrified of getting my heart broken as that was the beginning of my journey into my opiate hell.  I had been conflicted and terrified for months.  I'd been through such hell in my personal relationships...Abuse was something I walked into on a regular basis before my sobriety.  After two years clean I trusted myself (finally) in my decision making processes but I still did not trust myself in matters of the heart (even after a year of intense counselling) Then I had this moment, an epiphany...I realized that it didn't matter if I got my heart broken.  It didn't matter if I was wrong.  I realized that I loved myself, and after all the sh&* I had been through...I was going to be ok no matter what.
Turns out my choice was the best one I ever made and I am currently in the most fulfilling, happy, loving relationship with a man I have ever experienced.  And now I'm like "Duh, of course".  Because I am in the most happy, fulfilling relationship I have ever experienced...with myself.  Thanks for your post man.  May we all find this peace.
xo
Lu
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
Do some volunteer work, get into exercising, surround yourself with clean supportive people.  Many times AA or NA have activities you can get involved with.
Helpful - 0
8442947 tn?1398147162
I am starting to say goodbye to the pills and I was just wondering if there was a hobby or activity that you took up to help you keep your mind off the drugs? I am so scared but I feel like I need a new and healthy activity to replace my bad, old habit.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hey Dude great life story  not unfamiliar to most of us im glad you took time to share we will always be a work in progress witch is a  good thing I think anyone could benefit from what the 12 steps tech you... it should be taught at college any way thanks for all the help and incite here on the forum your a community asset your friend Mark
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I realized I made a lot if new friends and hadn't shared my story in awhile, thanks for reading it everyone. You all help me so much more than you may know.

Sarah, the day you said those words to me was one of the worst moments of my life, your timing is impeccable. I understood deeply what you said, and even if it hurts, it really is nice to feel again.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hey, T, you are such an inspiration!!!!  Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey with us all, and most importanly congrats on all your hard earned clean time!!!
Helpful - 0
7689249 tn?1408018598
wow that was an awesome read  loved it i can tell you are an old soul keep on doin what your doin and then some bless you man you so ROCK!!!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yes what an amazing story !!!
What a life you have had. Im sure we can all relate to you in some way or another.
Your an extremely smart person with such knowledge and wisdom. I so enjoy talking to you and reading your posts and comments.
You have come so far from the boy  you were, to the man you are today.
I know any hopes and dreams you still have today, in time you will have them all.
Your head and heart will see to that.
Your strength is a comfort of success to us all, dont ever forget that. We all need you to guide us into reality and show us all, that addiction is serious disease, and it doesnt matter who we are or where we come from,  that it can be controlled with the huge network of support out there and the faith and belief of our own self.
I will always be grateful i get to call you my friend.
Many times, you have helped me, to see me for who i can be.
Thank you as always : )  xx
Helpful - 0
7188197 tn?1399464311
You are amazing! What a story huh? I am sorry that you suffered that way. You are such an inspiration to me I cant even begin to tell you how much I truly care for you! Your a great person with a lot of wisdom. I am so happy for you that you are feeling satisfied. You DESERVE it!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you for sharing your story a wonderful inspiration!!! You have given me awesome advise!! Thank you!! Congrats!!! :)
Helpful - 0
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
I was given this advice a few years ago and i will repeat it back to you again.........Congrats on feeling!
Helpful - 0
5347058 tn?1381188426
An amazing journey for a truly amazing individual. You are an inspiration and I wish you nothing but continued success, happiness, and peace in everything you do.
Helpful - 0
6990909 tn?1435275816
Awesome post!  You have had quite a journey.  I thank you for sharing this with us as you are a true inspiration!  Peace and prayers to you as you continue on this amazing journey of yours!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Amazing story my friend -- you are a walking miracle and an inspiration!! The true gift of this story is how it will inspire those who read it to continue fighting their addiction... Thank you for sharing this!!!
Helpful - 0
4113881 tn?1415850276
What a journey you've had! Great post Tony!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Tony what an amazing post! What a long strange trip it's been, eh! So glad i got to be here to see you come into wellness. Your story is an inspiration for all of us. Many blessings going out to you! Sunshine daydream everyday! Love. MsD
Helpful - 0
4522800 tn?1470325834
Hi Buddy! First of all I want to think you for talking to be last night. After I hung up I felt such a burden lifted. I know what I must do..lol
You & I have been down almost the same road since I was 14.
When I first got on here I went through so many, many months with these changes. I would always get a hold of you because you were 3-4 months ahead. I would of not made it if you did not tell me it is all part of the process and you did the same thing. Now I too was told it would take up to 2 years to balance back because we started to use at a young age. Now we both are starting to balance back and I now look forward to even being a bit better in a coupe more months. This is all about the Mental and the Energy for both of us. It does get better and we must have and keep up the Faith and have a LOT of Patience for it to come around.
Thank YOU for being One of my Best Buds that has shown me the way and also always here when I need you..lol
I will Never Ever forget you Tony..I better stop before I cry..
Bless U my Friend
Vickie
Helpful - 0
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