Other Stories of Addiction/Recovery

Waking up in Withdrawal Every Day

My story isn’t special or unique, but unfortunately, it’s all too common. So here it is. My father-the functional heroin addict. I don’t know what sent him in the quest to chase the dragon. I don’t know much about him at all. My mum, naive as she was then, had the mental fortitude to get us away from the situation when the violence started. She did everything she could to let him have a relationship with me. He just didn’t want me. Which he told me to my face when I was two. Mum had taken me to ocean city for the day and that’s when we caught my dad cheating with his soon to be NEXT wife. He looked at me during their fight, pointed his finger in my face and said, “I don’t want THAT.” Not her…”that”. And he maintained that opinion my whole life. He wouldn’t even dance with me at my wedding. Left me standing on the dance floor. I was humiliated.

My whole childhood was peppered with addicts and abusers. Mostly my mums family. Brothers, mother, etc….even abuse from our CHURCH. We were quite literally abducted so they could “re-educate” my mother. Let’s skip ahead to age 19. I’m at my job and in walks this ginger deadlocked heavenly creature. I knew right when our eyes met, my whole world was going to change. I had no idea he even did drugs until the next year- after we were engaged. He told me he had a problem in the past but went to rehab. That fall I found a needle kit in our car and he started going to NA, gets a sponsor and starts working for his sponsor. (At no point is he working his steps).

Let’s cut to March 2001. We had a small tiff but made up. He asks to stay the night. I tell him no because he has an important meeting at 8am and my house is 40 minutes further from his job. He leaves my house at about 11:30pm. That’s the last night I ever had the chance to tell him how much I loved him. How he was the moon and stars. I called him at 830am because he’s very forgetful. He lived at his mother’s house still, when he wasn’t staying with me. His mum answers the phone and goes to wake him up…..and I’m met with screaming. A very specific scream. One that I would soon be on my knees wailing myself. According to EMS David had left my house, went home and immediately shot up in his bathroom. Five other kids died that night. All from the same stuff. All purchased…. FROM HIS SPONSOR! EMS said the needle was still full in his arm. To this day, I’m not entirely sure his manner of death. Two days later, I found a letter. In the end it doesn’t really matter, I guess. He died because of incredibly bad choices.

Meanwhile. Through all of this- I’m sick. I’d always been sickly for this reason or that. But as an adult, things are just getting worse. To save time I’ll insert details early. Turns out I have lupus and psoriatic disease. So, when I say I’m in pain…. I’m in PAIN. (Know that every Coheed tour, every weird science show, was a labor of love and I cried the whole way home and for days after, every time.) So, along comes good Ole PAIN MANAGEMENT to save the day!!!! Before I know what’s happening, I’m on percocet, morphine sulphate…at one point methadone and ambien? Topamax… Keppra… Cymbalta… I’m a walking pharmacy. I could take an actual handful of percocet and be completely unaffected.

Life has a way of fucking you and then kicking you while you’re down. My partner and I lived with my mum and her husband and after 20 years they split (good!) She left and he left. Leaving me and my partner to immediately be responsible for all the bills and upkeep of the family home. I completely fell apart. My partner gave ZERO fucks. This was Finally his chance to take his leash off and treat me how he wanted to all along. He started messing around with taking me to the doctor/pharmacy, etc. And if that wasn’t enough-my doctor retires.

I decided enough is enough. I was so sick. So tired of waking up in full withdrawal every day. I no longer cared if I lived or died. So I camped out in my bedroom and went cold turkey. I spent a week in that room. I won’t go into details (I know Josh doesn’t need me to) but suffice to say, for me, it was enough. I’m glad I went through it all alone and afraid. I don’t think I would have ever stopped if someone was always there to make sure “doctor day” always worked out. Once was enough. I’ll never go back to what I was.

I’m paraphrasing A LOT. there’s so so much more to this story. But I honestly don’t know what to say or where to begin. To be honest, this is really the first time I’ve let some of this out, and I just really wanted to participate. I believe in this project. I dunno. How do you look into the mouth of madness and jot it down in a tidy paragraph?
I’m praying for you Josh. I’m so proud of you. We’re all rooting for you. …….. We’ll keep fighting for yoooooou!

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