Overcoming Addiction After Injury

When I was in the Army I was shot by a sniper in 2007. I was in the hospital for three months. I was on a constant morphine drip and when I got out of the hospital I was prescribed morphine pills for my injuries. However the pills were not enough. I often found myself trying to go back to the hospital, saying I needed another surgery. I was addicted to the morphine and didn't know it. I couldn't get more surgery, so to compensate I started to abuse my morphine pills. I was in a unit for injured soldiers and we all had a different type of prescription. We started to trade our pills to get the desired high we were looking for. We would trade Vicodin for Percocet or morphine for Adderall. What made me stop is the death of one of my best friends. We were all taking...

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Taking Steps and Making Choices

I was barely 17 and I was an alcoholic.  My life revolved around drinking.  I hit the ground running at 14 and I came to a screeching halt when my mom told me I needed help.  I didn't fight her because I knew she was right.  I missed most of the second half of my senior year, but I was in recovery and learning to live for the first time.  I left a lot of damage in my wake and I lost a lot of time.  Alcoholism runs in my family, so I grew up around addiction.  I also learned that I suffered from mental illness -- Panic Disorder -- but I couldn't talk about that during that time.  My experience changed me for the better and 35 years later, I'm still a work in progress.  Was it hard?   Absolutely, but I learned to dig deep and I learned to accept that I...

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Recovery Happens

If you asked anyone five to ten years ago where I would be in ten years, you would likely get answers like “in jail,” “strung out,” or “dead.” Back then, I was stuck in addiction. Every move I made was somehow connected to getting my next fix. Heroin is a powerful drug. And while it didn’t start there, that is where it ended up. From the age of about 13, maybe even younger, I was always looking for something to numb the pain of life. Something to make me feel good. Alcohol, weed, LSD, whatever I could find. I had no fear. Then, sometime in my mid twenty’s, a bad car accident led to a pain management doctor and a lot of opiates. For me, taking pain pills was like being fully charged and then some. My mood was fantastic, I was productive, no pain, no problems. I was addicted before...

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Alcohol Feen to Sobriety Queen

I can remember the first time tasting it and being hooked at 23 years old.  All the feelings of insecurity, doubts and fears after the first taste were all removed.  Alcohol had me feeling like SUPERWOMAN and I didn't want that feeling to ever leave me.  From that day forward, everything I did included alcohol, from partying to going to the movies.  It was my BFF, my man, my everything, for over ten years.  It had given me what I thought was important, but it had stolen more than I could've ever imagined:  thousands of dollars supporting my weekly habit; sexual engagement unprotected, often with strangers; dignity; self respect; family members dying as result etc.  I lived my life this way for over ten years, self-medicating.  Alcohol, the substance I started drinking and then ultimately became addicted to, was causing more pain than I was trying to mask.  The substance I...

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The Perfect Storm

I was born into fear.  Dad was a violent bully and alcoholic and mom was a victim. When I would escape the house I was tormented in my small town for being different.  I knew I was gay at about age five.  Hair Salon Barbie was so much more fun than Tonka trucks and GI Joe ... well, maybe not GI Joe.  I started getting drunk daily on my Dad's gin stash at age eight and discovered pot by age nine, all to drown out the fear of more beatings, molestation, incest, bullying and suicidal attempts, all of which were a "normal" part of my life.  Between a long line of family history of addiction and all of the childhood trauma and the torturous anti-gay bullying, this recipe became the perfect storm for my self-victimization.  From my teens to 40 years old I was immensely self-destructive and perpetually suicidal -- most...

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Conquering My Demons

I had been surrounded by alcohol my entire life.  At the age of 14, I had already began drinking hard liquor.  Having high school friends when I was in middle school made it easy to get peer-pressured into drinking.  I also lived above a bar/restaurant where my mother worked for 20-something years, so I was exposed to alcohol and alcoholics growing up.  When I was 18, my father (who was an alcoholic) passed away.  That's when I hit rock bottom; Depression.  I started drinking on a daily basis.  I had established friendships with my co-workers at the time who were older (of course), and I would give them money to buy alcohol for me.  From 18 to 23, the addiction got real.  I had gotten alcohol poisoning several times, blacked out, made poor decisions, got into dangerous situations, and really lost myself.  On July 4th, 2014, something clicked. I made the...

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From Park Ave to Park Bench to Serenity

In ten years, by my mid-40's, I went from having a successful law practice in New York, to living on the streets in West Florida. All as a direct result of addiction. I was in and out of recovery. Clinically, I was referred to as a "chronic relapser." I always believed in a "higher power" which to me was God. Yet, until I surrendered to Him, my efforts were, at best, half-measures. They availed me nothing as The Big Book of AA states. I wanted serenity more than anything. The natural high from it could never be achieved with alcohol and/or drugs. I have that now, and the peace I feel is beautiful. My path was with a Church of my beliefs and support groups they offered. I try to put God first in every decision and action. If I'm irritable, restless and/or discontent, I seek God. Though I no longer...

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Recovering in Your Early 20's

My name is Julianne and I am a recovering alcoholic addict.  Growing up I always felt like I was less than and uncomfortable in my own skin.  Alcoholism runs deep within my family, so growing up I was terrified of drinking and drugs.  However, something changed when I was in college when I took my first drink.  Overnight I became a daily blackout drinker.  One day, I took a pill to study and within three weeks I was a full-blown prescription drug addict.  Four years later, at 23, I had run my career to the ground and lost everything good in my life.  I was a shallow, empty shell and hated myself.  Something had to change but I couldn't go more than four hours without a drink before getting sick.  Wanting my life back, I checked myself into treatment.  I was scared that getting sober meant I was kissing my 20's...

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From Meth and Heroin to Sober and Free

My name is Roxie Landon.  I have been sober and in recovery since December 20, 2011.  Today, I love my life!  Before December 20, 2011, however, I was completely hopeless.  I thought my life would never change.  I believed the lie I told myself, I wasn’t good enough.  I graduated high school at the top of my class, and I could have gone to college and had a promising future.  I chose a life of drugs and alcohol instead.  During my addiction, I had two beautiful children, I didn’t use drugs while I was pregnant, but the moment I had each of them, I continued to party.  I have used every drug you could possibly think of, but in the end I became an IV drug user; a trip that lasted for ten long years.  I walked away from my kids.  I said they were better off without me, but the...

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A Story of Success

My name is Roberto Brunelli.  After 25 years of struggle and suffering from chemical dependency I have been recovering for seven years.  I went from jail to being homeless, starving and cold.  I was humiliated and despised by society.  I suffered a lot, but I am overcoming drugs.  I graduated from college (Social Work) and I am the founder of FEBRACI (Brazilian Federation of Involuntary Therapeutic Clinics).  Today I fight and defend the guarantee of fundamental human rights in the treatment of chemical dependents in Brazil.  Roberto Brunelli CollaresSober since October 2010Ribeirão Preto, Brasil

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