Today I have 100 days clean from heroin. In a week, I will have the longest period of sobriety I’ve ever managed to put together. Now, most of you are here because of a blog post I made a year ago and if you have been following me since then, you know that my life since that article has been anything but stable. But in case you haven’t, here’s a recap…
JANUARY Moved from West Palm Beach to a sober living house in Chicago on January 8th. Dominic died the 27th.
FEBRUARY My post went viral February 20th.
MARCH – EARLY JUNE I relapsed on March 20th, went on a couple month run, got real dirty per usual.
I didn’t get caught til the week of May 6th when I ended up getting kicked out of my sober living and spent a week in a motel. Oddly enough I fell in love with my girlfriend that week but that’s a whole other story.
On the 6th, I was shipped off to rehab #4 in Astoria, Oregon. I spent the month dealing with Dominic’s death, swimming in waterfalls, doing way too much soul searching, hiking on the Washington coast and honestly, before you roll your eyes because my rehab sounds like a vacation, it wasn’t. That month changed my life.
For my discharge plans I set up a new sober living house back in Chicago and flew back the day I got out. As life changing as the month in Oregon was, I wasn’t done getting high and I knew that the whole time I was there but I hate when people say my month there was a waste because I relapsed the day after I got out. That was my intention the whole month I was there and I never denied that. But I still sat there, I still did all the work and listened to what they had to say. I dealt with Dominic’s death more than I ever had before and I dealt with a lot of my control issues. But the coolest thing I acquired there was understanding of my spirituality.
Let me just say real quick, I grew up in an extremely nonreligious household which I’ve always been fine with. So when I was first thrown into rehab in 2015 and they hit me with the whole AA and God thing, I was immediately turned off. But for a solid 10 months my recovery was based off the AA / NA principles so I tried, I really did. It just never stuck with me and because of that, I never once felt a sense of spirituality in those rooms.
I found my spirituality in crystals and meditation, I found it in a sunset on the beach in Oregon. My counselors at Astoria were the first people who told me it was okay for my recovery to look different. They were the first place that ever offered a new perspective to recovery. They took us to refuge recovery meetings, they made us take time for mediation and yoga everyday, they took us to the beach and wouldn’t allow us to talk to each other, we just had to sit there and take it all in. They took us hiking and to waterfalls and the zoo just to show us how beautiful life can be sober.
So yes, I relapsed the day after I got back. I mean fuck, I called my dealer from rehab and told him when I’d be back and to make sure he was good. But inevitably, that month changed my world.
Anyway, I’m rambling. I got out of rehab June 5th and was back in Chicago that same morning. I had a bed at a sober living set up but no intentions of staying. I slept there one night and never came back.
Again, I spent a week living in a motel (the same motel actually, me and the staff became real good friends). I of course didn’t tell my parents I was on the streets and it somehow took the manager of the sober living that whole week to finally call them and tell them I was gone. So for the time being, I was freely roaming the streets of Chicago. I don’t remember much but my girlfriend tells me it was a horrible week.
When I finally got the call from my parents saying that they knew, they came to get me the next morning.
MID JUNE – AUGUST I spent the next three months living under my parents roof in St. Louis. They let me come home under the conditions that the first month I was there would be treated like rehab and that I got on vivitrol again. I happily obliged. I did good the first month and most of the second but once I had gotten my freedom back and earned enough trust, my dumbass went on a month and a half long meth binge. Keep in mind, I hadn’t done meth in two years since I went absolutely insane in college because of my prior addiction to it. But, because I had been doing so good all summer, or at least they thought, we booked a trip at the end of August to see my brother in Colorado. By that time, however, I was struggling to hide my track marks and sleep deprivation. My mom told me numerous times that she knew I was doing meth but me being the schemer I am, I was passing my drug tests and she couldn’t prove I was doing it. Until she could.
The night before we were going on our trip, I went out to get a bunch of tweak for the drive to CO. When I was driving home a cop was behind me. I was high as fuck and obviously paranoid so I took the meth out of my normal spot and into my bra for easier access in case he pulled me over. Of course when I get home I forget about it and take my bra off as I’m getting into the shower. 10 minutes later my mom walks up to me with my baggie in her hands. I’ll never forget how mad I was that I got caught that way. I knew I would get caught soon, we were all just waiting for it, but in such a careless way? Ugh, still makes me mad. We still went to Colorado the next day and had an amazing time.
Looking back on it, we never really dealt with it because as soon as we got back from our trip, I told them I was moving back to Chicago. I had been having a long distance relationship with my girlfriend all summer but she had finally gotten an apartment for us and I knew if I stayed home I was going back on house arrest anyway so off I went. Oh, but not before doing some stl heroin first.
The day before I left for Chicago, I went out and bought a half g just for a lil taste. I hadn’t done it in almost three months so of course that sparked my addiction all over again.
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER I stayed clean back in Chicago for maybe 3 days. I spent the next month laying around my apartment getting high while my girlfriend worked her ass off and took care of me. We got kittens so I took care of them, cleaned and slept. Called myself a housewife.
At the beginning of October, my best friends were moving from St Louis to Colorado Springs and asked me to take the train down and help them move. I kept telling myself I would stop doing dope at least a week before I left so I wouldn’t be withdrawling around them, they had put up enough with my addiction.
Hopelessly, the day came to leave and I wasn’t clean. I did my last shot on the train down there and prepared myself for the next 72 hours. I think I only survived it because of the abundance of weed but being with my best friends in the mountains always helps. Regardless, that was one of the best trips I’ve had in a long time.
Before going back to Chicago, I went back to St. Louis for a couple days to see my family. I had lied and told them I was on vivitrol still and that I had been off dope this whole time.
I had been clean for the 10 days I was in CO but Saint Louis is never good for me.
On October 18th, I overdosed in my sisters bathroom. Paramedics swarmed her house as her four kids, my babies, watched them have to narcan me back to life. They rushed me to the hospital and I was released hours later. The details of my overdose are not something I can get into, this shit has already turned into a book.
I went back to Chicago two days later.
NOVEMBER My sobriety date is currently November 18th, 2016 so that gives you an idea of what I spent the next month doing. No, sadly losing my boyfriend to heroin wasn’t enough to stop me nor was nearly losing my own life.
November 17th was a shitty day. My girlfriend had lost her job couple weeks before so we had no money for rent. We were fighting like crazy and I was continuously getting high. I remember I came home that day and she got excited cause I wasn’t high. She could always tell immediately by my eyes. I smiled and said, no but I’m about to be. I went and did a two bag shot and I guess we fought all night. I don’t remember any of it but that was the last time I ever got high.
I’m not sure what came over me when I woke up the 18th but I ignored my dealers calls and I fought through my withdrawal.
DECEMBER Three weeks later I got the vivitrol shot and went home for Christmas with over a month sober. Let me tell you, Christmas was amazing. It was the first one in probably six years that I wasn’t high or in rehab.
2017 I started off the new year landing a full time at a daycare. I started working 8-10 hour days, Monday thru Friday. I found my place in the toddler room and have fallen in love with 12 lil shitheads. I paid off all our bills and have been able to keep up with rent. I’ve gotten vivitrol shots every month since December. I’ve gotten off of all the medications I was prescribed in rehab and am happier than ever. I smoke weed as a personal choice, I understand that many people discredit my sobriety completely because of that but that’s your problem, not mine. I’ve seen first hand how weed does not work for everyone and can quickly lead people back to their drug of choice. But I’ve been able to tame my anxiety and get off of seroquel. I now sleep semi normally for the first time like ever.
My life is falling in place but dear god, it did not come easily nor quickly. It took a lot of pain to find happiness and a lot of chaos to find peace. I’m living proof that sobriety, whatever that looks like to you, is possible no matter what you’ve been through or how deep your grave is.
If you read that whole thing, I applaud you.