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After a Relapse a Young Man Finds His Road to Recovery

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When It Started

My name is Joel M., I have been sober for 20 months after my relapse. Before that I was sober for 18 months. My story starts at the age of 13. I tried my first bowl of weed and my first cigarette. I was really into sports so I didn’t smoke either very often. It went that way until I was 15, and then I started smoking pot almost every day. I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. That year I dropped out of high school. Then when I was 16, I started to try other drugs (i.e. acid, shrooms, and cocaine), but the coke really grabbed me. That led to smoking crack.

When My Addiction Escalated

Then one day when I was 17, my friends and I were at an apartment and a man came over with crystal meth. I still remember what he said. “Why would you spend $20 on a bag of coke when it only lasts for 20 minutes? And this $20 bag of crystal will last you for hours and hours?” The very next day we quit coke and took up crystal meth. For me it went that way for 7 years. I was a daily user. I smoked the stuff. Then at 24 I had a daughter on the way and her mother said to me that I wouldn’t see my daughter if I keep on doing meth. I took her seriously. I quit the next day. BUT I went about 2 weeks and I figured it would be cool to have a drink. Well I just moved from one crutch to another. I remained a progressing alcoholic until 2012. By that time, I had gotten so bad I was buying a half gallon a day at least! I had to take shots at night just so I could go back to sleep. I was terrified of getting sober because I knew the DT’S would set in. So one night I had taken a big pull off of my bottle of vodka. That was my drink of choice. It was cheap. Anyways I sat down on my bed afterwards and was watching TV. About a half hour went by and I started to feel weird.

Then it progressively got worse, it felt like my body was systematically shutting down. I was terrified because I have never felt that way before. I thought I was going to die!! It got so bad that I decided I needed to go to the ER. When I went to stand up my legs gave out on me. I fell to the floor. I managed to barely get up and made it to the stairs. I yelled for my father to call 911 because something is very wrong. Luckily I lived 2 blocks from a hospital. When I got there they took me straight back into the ER. That’s where things went real bad. It felt like hours had went by but it was just about 20 minutes. I felt like I was slipping away and I was looking up at the ceiling and it went dark. On account with my dad, he said I was staring up at the ceiling and I took a breath in and let it out and that was it. I quit breathing. He said he jumped up and listened to my heart there was no beat. He said he pushed on my chest a few times and I came to. The unfortunate thing is I remember all of this. When I came to my dad said “you died”. I thought I just passed out or something. Not more than 5 minutes later I felt that slipping feeling again and that time I told my dad to get someone!!!! And then it went dark again. My father ran out into the hallway and fortunately two paramedics where passing by. They immediately started working on me. When I came to again, I was looking up at all of these people staring down at me. Again I remember all of this. With that being said. The doctor’s did my blood alcohol level and I was at a 4.2 and that was a good hour after I took my last drink. The thing was to me I wasn’t that drunk, I was functional. The doctor was amazed I was talking to him coherently. He said and I quote “you should be dead”. Technically I died but I came back. That was in August of 2012.

Road to Recovery

I went to an inpatient treatment. They saved my life!! I found my higher spirit, learned yoga, and meditation. And took every ounce of the program seriously. I was tired of living that way, the life of an addict. I did so well until I got with a woman who smoked spice, to make a long story short I started smoking it too. Well that was a huge mistake, with my addictive personality the drug grabbed me by the balls. One day I wanted to go get a jar of spice, but it was my last $20 and I was approaching my turn to either go left or get spice or go right, straight to the liquor store, well I went right. It started with a pint and within two weeks I back up to a half gallon. But this time I made the decision to put down the bottle because I sat in my solitude and booze and played the tape all the way through in my mind. At that moment I went upstairs and poured out the rest of my bottle, set a doctor appointment to get Librium and blood pressure medication. So I did. Then a week later I hit the gym and got a job a month later. I’ve been sober ever since. I know without a doubt that I CANNOT do anything mind altering. I’ve accepted this. I’ve learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable. My life has changed for the good soooooooooo much. Today I am blessed. Dream job. Now all I want is my dream woman. One day at a time. I’ll take another 24.

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18 thoughts on “After a Relapse a Young Man Finds His Road to Recovery

  1. I’m so proud of you!!! My son Isabel addict as well and he’s going to start residential treatment soon. I’m hoping his story turns out like yours ! Best of luck to you always ! You’ll be in my prayers!!! You are awesome!!!!!

  2. I’m so proud of you!!! My son Is an addict as well and he’s going to start residential treatment soon. I’m hoping his story turns out like yours ! Best of luck to you always ! You’ll be in my prayers!!! You are awesome!!!!! Take care?

  3. I would like to thank you for sharing your story. If you can help even one person’s life through honesty and humility that it takes to share your journey, then your sharing is not useless. I am so sure that your sharing WILL save some valuable lives, because we all matter.God bless you on your journey.

    • Your spirit is what will carry you when you can no longer walk. To lose your child it must have been devastating. I’m positive that his spirit is what carries you as he would never wish his pain on you, his mother, who gave him life. Look out the window, or take a stroll. You may be surprised to see how many places your son will show through in spirit. Janet, I thank you for your words and send you good vibes.

  4. You are lucky and strong. My son died alone in a dark dismal motel
    In the worst side of town with a heroin needle in his arm.

  5. Thank You for sharing your story. I have a story of my own and it’s not pretty either. I now have 6 months clean from smoking Meth! I go to out patient groups 3x a week and see a counselor for a one on one once a month. I lost someone dear to me from Meth. He died in my arms. That was my opener. It’s work to stay clean i wont lie, but clean i will stay! Thank you Gail

  6. I no how you feel I’m 54 and a coke head and pot smoker. Iv been arond drugs my who life. I’m trying to change. I’m not in good health. My bones are diseased. The orge. I gets to me on crack about 2 times a month I. I no that it’s killing me. I keep telling myself I’m not going to do it again but I do. I keep relapsing. I was clean for 3 years. Iv started back. I no I can quit but I need help. Its hard I wish I had never done crack. Iv done different drugs but I’m having a hard time With this. Maybe talking about it well help

  7. I am the
    Mother of an addict..ur story truly touched son went into rehab yesterday…I pray every day that he has the strength to overcome his demons…thanks for sharing and stay strong!!!

  8. So proud of you for being one of the few who come out on top one day at a time, so many don’t! Keep up the good job one day at a time! Many prayers your way!

  9. What an amazing story. Kudos to you for your strength and determination, also for your recognition on how it affects others in your life.

  10. I’m so glad you found control over addiction. I’m watching my daughter slowly slip away. She is only 32 years old. She is starting to shut down. Many broken bones over the years, and lots of heartache. This Monday she will go to yet another treatment center called Lakeplace Retreat in Minnesota. I pray this time it works! She does have a college degree, and I pray she will use it one day. She also has a beautiful 2 year old daughter. Because of a civil commitment is the only reason her daughter was born healthy.

  11. Very touching story I am a recovering alcoholic for 14 years and it’s been the best years of my life I have met a wonderful husband and I have had many blessings. Keep up with the good work one day at a time.

  12. God bless you. I have been sober 15 years. Before I got clean I was a functioning alcoholic who blacked out on a regular basis. I could have died several times but I somehow made it thru. Your story was very touching. Thank you and good luck and keep doing whatever it is you do to stay clean . I went to so many NA meetings over the years and it rally helped me to stay clean. Thank you

  13. Hey man. Best of luck to you. I’m an opiate addict (pain pills and heroin), but have been off of them for 3.5 years now. You got this! If you need to talk email me

  14. Clean an sober 24 years,started smoking weed (Medical)about 21 months ago.I have a debilitating spinal desease,so I qualify for medical marijuana.Was told long ago, in recovery,if you start again you will pick up were You let off. This is “NO BULL”.I’m high 75% of the day.The sativa gives Me energy to tackle work around the house I would normally put off as long as possible.I was depressed and had an anger issue when I first went into treatment.I do now take medication for depression.So I am not plagued with worthless issues. Will I continue to smoke (now 71 years young)??? Time will tell.

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