Other Stories of Addiction/Recovery

“Spirit” Sparks Nursing Career and Empathy

I see it as a sign, a golden opportunity, or maybe even a higher energy, when a chance like this pops up literally the day after I was talking about this with my wife.

I was a victim to opioid abuse for about two years. It was during a time when I was working so hard to better my future, relationships, and career, and in a moment of weakness I let what was to be just a “recreational thing” consume me every day. What was worse is, I didn’t have anyone (or too much fear) to talk to about it. I had parents that wouldn’t understand and partner (at the time) that would knock me down for it. I figured, “well this is me now, but I also know I want to be a success story, so I’m going to push through anyways.” It was by far the hardest two years, especially because it was during a period in which it was going to be my last chance to make something of myself.

Even when I wanted to stop, I couldn’t handle the withdrawals, so I consumed more. I took it all… Morphine, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Norco, Haldol, Percocet… you name it. I became an isolated, suffocating shell of a human. My mind and body were no longer connected. My bank account was tapped out. I had an automatic excuse that everything is just better under the influence, and that this “change” is better than who I currently was.

At times of wanting to stop the suffering I thought about my love for music, my two dogs, my guitar, and how my nonexistence would impact those around me that I know truly cared. Believe it or not, I was in my car about to go to class and “You’ve Got Spirit, Kid” had just been released. I broke down and cried over and over. Coheed has been the biggest staple of my life. It’s not just because I’m writing this to you. I’ll never forget the day I first heard Time Consumer. My name “Matthew good night” screamed through my speakers, and the rest is history. I listened to “You’ve Got Spirit, Kid” over and over I was 5 min late to class because I never turn off Coheed without the song being over.

After that song, I turned to the one person in my school program I could take a chance on to talk about my daily struggle with consuming multitudes of narcotics. Then, I had an emotional breakdown and breakthrough. It was clear I needed to quit. Afterwards I got on a plan. I introduced fitness back into my life. I became more expressive with my internal demons and voices. I started to taper down on my opioid consumption because going cold turkey was out of the question. I wrote more music and approached my writing process from a new perspective. I graduated from school and became a nurse. My addiction, in the end, made me a more empathetic and passionate nurse. I’m married now, with a beautiful family… fit, healthy, and full of life and energy. I don’t take any day for granted, and I make it a point to tell those in my life how much I love them. I found my best friend and partner in my wife. She, herself, has gone through her own addictions and we fight our battles together now.

I left a lot of details out, but I guess I’m scared if it’s too long this may not get read. As you are someone that had struggled and gone to hell and back with your own addictions, I’m beyond thankful for you giving us a chance to write in like this. Thank you for sharing your stories. It’s been so helpful and inspiring over the years to see how you rose and overcame. I look forward to October in Portland and for S. S. Neverender. Life is too precious and beautiful to waste away. These days I, myself, try to be an ear for anyone that wants to talk about the skeletons in the closet. Be safe and love always. Thank you for your continued passion and voice in music. 

1 thought on ““Spirit” Sparks Nursing Career and Empathy”

  1. I hope the author of this letter reads this comment. I wanted to tell you that Josh reads EVERY submission. For the sake of time, he has to reply to a limited number of them, but he reads and appreciates each story.

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