August 13th, 2015 was my first ever sobriety date. Dominic and I had just come off the streets, both agreeing to go to rehab. I had never been dopesick for more than probably 12 hours at a time throughout the years I was using and that was only when I didn’t have money or my dude didn’t have dope. So it’s safe to say I had never experienced the wrath of my body coming off of heroin.
On the morning of the 13th, my mom flew me down to Florida but our plane got stuck overnight in Atlanta so I spent the first 30 hours of withdrawal in a hotel with my mom.
Late afternoon on the 14th I got to my detox in Fort Lauderdale. I spent 4 days there then was shipped off rehab in Jensen Beach. I was there for 42 days and didn’t do shit. I laid by the pool, went to the beach, played pool and got fat. My counselors told me I wasn’t taking any of it seriously but I really thought I was. I did all the work and put as much effort into it as I could. Looking back on it, I was taking it as seriously as I knew how to. I wasn’t done getting high but I didn’t know that either. It was my first time being sober in years, I didn’t know anything but I thought I knew everything. The world was a very strange place for a very long time when I first got sober.
Anyway, I got out of rehab September 28th.
October 6th, 2015 was my first slip up. This by no means was a relapse, it was a 6 hour crack binge that made its way to my sober living manager who drug tested me the next morning and sent me back to rehab kicking and screaming. I don’t even like crack but I spent a whole other 28 days in rehab because of it. 😊
October 7th was my second sobriety date and was also my second intake date for rehab. I got out of rehab November 4th and lasted a whole 11 days in the real world.
November 15th was the first time I had done heroin since August 12th. I went on a couple day binge but that south florida dope was cut as fuck and my body, being used to St louis raw and Colorado tar, did not like it. I had my head in the toilet the whole time yet didn’t stop getting high until it was gone. I used my friend in the houses pee to pass our drug tests but I knew the managers of the house were catching on to me, and that place was horrible, so I moved to a new sober living house in West Palm Beach. I wasn’t planning on getting clean though. As sick as it sounds, I just needed a fresh batch of people to manipulate while I did whatever I wanted. Sociopath, ok.
So between Nov 15th and Dec 12th, I went from using every couple days to every other day to every night but still justifying it because at least I could still get through the day without it. I just liked having it to sleep. That was all. Hahah. The denial is now blinding. Anyway, I remember waking up on the 12th feining for dope and not wanting to do anything until I went to Del Rey to get my dope. I went to a noon AA meeting instead, my first one in probably weeks, and called my rehab when it was over. They came and got me a couple hours later for rehab intake and sobriety date #3.
Yes, I put myself back in rehab but this was more of a last resort thing. I was like one more tampered drug test away from getting kicked out of that sober living. Plus being homeless in Florida over Christmas sounded shitty so once again, I spent 28 days in rehab. My family and I agreed it was time to get me out of Florida so I found a sober living in Chicago and flew there the day I got out of rehab.
That was January 8th, 2016. Dominic died January 27th. I somehow managed to stay clean from when I went to rehab in December, through all of that and up until March 18th.
March 18th, 2016 was the beginning of my end. It would quickly become the first relapse I had that was going to send me running for the hills. My other relapses, if you even want to call them that, were extremely short lived and never even required a detox period to come back from. This run was bad. It changed me. It was the first time I was ever out on the streets without Dominic to protect my dumbass. Plus, it was Chicago which was unknown territory for me and I had to find a new plugs. Luckily nothing bad ever happened to me while I was copping besides some petty licks but fuck, I spent way too much time on the west side risking it.
By May 5th, I was homeless, living in a motel room paid for by a girl from my sober living (who is now my girlfriend) and balls deep into a fentanyl addiction because at that point, not even heroin was enough to fuel my aching bones.
May 6th, 2016 I was on a plane to Astoria, Oregon for treatment center #2, rehab visit #4 and sobriety date #4. I spent the most life changing month of my life on the coast of Oregon in a house full of crazy ass women. Someday I need to write about that month man, it was absolutely amazing. It was the first time I went to rehab wanting help. I mean, I didn’t want to get clean, I had my dealer waiting for me back in Chicago the whole time. But I did want help. I wanted help dealing with Dominic’s death which I had numbed out for months. I needed help to take a step back, be able to really look at myself and accept responsibility for all the things I was too entitled to do so prior. But it took a really long time for me to be able to accept the help I knew I needed.
At that point, I knew how to get clean. The past 3 rehab trips taught me that. They taught me all about addiction in the brain and general coping skills there but what they never taught me was how to deal with myself, how to quiet the war within me that fuels my addiction, which is inevitably how to stay clean. Astoria made me look at myself and fuck, it sucked but my world has changed completely from it.
I got out of that rehab June 5th and was back in Chicago the same day. I had a needle in my arm the next day. I went on a 10 day run, living in a motel once again, until my parents dragged my ass back to St Louis to live with them for the summer.
June 14th was my 5th sobriety date and the first time I was attempting to get back on my feet without rehab. It went well, until it didn’t.
I was back in Chicago with a needle in my arm by September 4th. I overdosed October 18th and didn’t stop getting high for another month after that.
My sobriety date is currently November 18th, 2016 and although it’s not long, it’s the longest I’ve ever been able to put together. This time sobriety wasn’t forced upon me, it wasn’t thrown at me, it was placed in front of me for when I was ready for it.
So what’s the point of all the shit I just made ya read? Well, 6 sobriety dates, 5 relapses and 4 rehabs later and I wish I could tell you I’ve figured out how to stay clean but I have no clue. Anyone who claims they do is just overflowing with ego. If you are in recovery, whether it’s with 45 years or 2 days, you’re vulnerable to relapse and so many of us forget that once we start doing good. There were numerous times I went into rehab ready to give it my all, there were months I spent working the AA program and fighting like hell to stay clean. Ive always had good intentions when it came to sobriety. I’ve always been willing to fight for it once I got a taste of it because I saw how good life without dope can be.
But we all know life happens. People die, old plugs show up out of the blue, shitty days drag on. All it takes is one thought to turn into another and you could be gone. All the sobriety you truly did work so hard for is compromised just like that and people may act like you’ve failed but you haven’t. I promise you haven’t. You can fall and stand up taller. You can burn yourself and heal, just learn from the pain.
We all know the streets will always be there, welcoming you with open arms but little do you know you’ve got the whole world waiting for you if you would just turn around.
– sorry some parts were slightly repetitive from my last post but the only way I can explain relapse is thru my own. xo –