Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Voice of Recovery

Today is the day for the letter V for the April Blogging Challenge. I am excited to be hosting a special guest posting, Jay Rosen who is a voice of recovery. 

Jay is but one of the many voices of those who have suffered from a drug addiction and also found the way to recovery. Those who read this blog love to hear stories of success. On March 27, 2017, Jay was one year free and clean from his addiction. 

Congratulations! Jay reached out to me last month wanting to tell his story. 

Here is Jay's Story: A Personal Story of Addiction & Recovery:
Our own personal journeys in recovery are irreplaceable to others but I personally found it rather ordinary to myself and not with extraneous drama…or so it seems.

The first time I actually endeavored recovery, it was basically a detox state of affairs, and I felt that would undoubtedly take care of all of my substance abuse installments. How funny is that? 

I had a reasonably legitimate run with opiates, predominantly Vicodin, which I tuned to by and large due to its easy accessibility. I was taking about 8 extra-strength tablets per day; a fairly insubstantial inclination in comparison to some other more stout acquaintances I later came across in the ensuing years. 

A girlfriend put me up for a few days and I arrived at her pad with a small prescription of Clonidine, which I had read (in John Phillips autobiog, Papa John) helped with opiate withdrawal symptoms, along with a few Valium and a 6-pack of beer (hey, I had a problem with Vicodin, not a substance abuse concern …) . 

The Clonodine worked quite well and put me asleep for large swatches of the day. After three days, I pronounced myself ‘cured’, and made it home. I felt great like I really accomplished something. I did precisely nothing, except temporarily get off Vicodin, which lasted a few months. 

Several years later, my problems were a bit more advanced, and I had a full-blown heroin habit, and why aren’t you surprised here? An old friend helped me get into an actual program via a musicians aid organization.

 It was full detox, as well as several months of sober living. I believe I was on the way to some form of sobriety and ended up with about six months clean from all substances. 12-step meetings, being of service and continued therapy and meds certainly helped, along with a sense of community. But eventually, I had to move out, and did so with a fellow musician, who it turns out was very, very helpful. 

He taught me that I really wasn’t hitting my veins correctly when injecting smack. I learned how to register…and eventually also gave up the registration to my car, which was sold for $300 to (properly) fit in my arm.

I continued on this rough patch for several years, eventually found myself being busted with my dealer and spent a few months at the pleasure of Los Angeles Country, in a 4th-floor walk-up. Upon release, I ended up at a faith-based drug program in LA. It wasn’t really out of choice, I just had nowhere to go. I learned, though, that I was actually ready for treatment.

The main aspect of this treatment that worked was the basic fact that it was nearly open-ended, and I initially stayed in treatment for a full year, and then began working at the facility. It was the time that I needed, and this was provided for me here, and I feel like I made the best of things. 

I asked Jay if there is something you could tell those who are actively using, struggling with addiction or struggling with recovery what would you tell that person?

He tells me, 

"The key to a successful is recovery is truly WANTING to get clean.  Prior to hitting "rock bottom" I had said I wanted to get off my DOC (drug of choice) but in reality, I didn't. You have to truly want to live sober and understand that the substance no longer makes you feel the way you wanted it to.  And in fact, understand that the addiction is PREVENTING you from feeling the way you want to feel, which for me, is happy and normal.  Until I fully understood that the addiction was keeping me from a sense of clarity and calm, I was not prepared to stop.  

And lastly, for those in treatment, you have to truly believe that your brain will return to a normal balance and you will feel positive, as you did before you started using.  Until I came to my last couple stages of treatment, I didn't believe that I would ever feel "right" again.  Despite what my advisors and doctors told me, I thought I'd always feel the "black cloud" that comes with addiction and withdrawal. But once I had enough time to really get the drugs out of my system, and give my brain a chance to reset, I saw the light and came to fully realize that I could get back to 100% - or pretty darn close to it."  

Thank you so much Justin for sharing your story today with the readers of The Chronicles of Loving a Heroin Addict and for wanting your story told during the April Blog Challenge. I hope you stop back tomorrow to read my post called, What Is Heroin?

Credits for this post
Article courtesy of Muse Treatment Los Angeles
Letter pic Blogging A-Z

© 2017 Gossip Girl

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