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Letters from Crystal Meth Users

  • Feb

    If You Are Struggling With Addiction

    My name is Carissa and I am a recovering meth addict. I guess I should start at the beginning of my life. I had a rough childhood. My earliest memories are of watching my older sister go through drug treatment and running away from home. I was always very scared for her and wanted to protect her. So early on in life I was educated about drugs. It didn't stop me from choosing to go down the same road. I started stealing alcohol from my friend's dad‚s fridge when I was 13. We would sneak across the field and drink some beers. I liked the feeling it gave me but more then that I liked that I was getting away with something that I knew was wrong. I drank occasionally until I got into high school and was friends with people who could drive. Then drinking became an every weekend event.

    I was 16 when I first tried pot. I loved the way it made me feel. From that point on I drank every weekend and smoked weed everyday all day. I would smoke some in the morning before school and then at lunch go smoke in the bathrooms at the park and of course continue when I got home after school. Me and my 2 best friends did this day after day until we all graduated from school. In 1998 after graduation the 3 of us moved to Eastern Oregon, about 200 miles away from our families and all the supervision that we had. We all got jobs and moved into a 3 bedroom house in a nice neighborhood. Our house was the house that everyone came to party at.

    Not long after moving in I met a girl and a guy who I knew used crank. I was curious mainly because I knew it made you lose weight and I felt like I was so fat. Looking back I was not fat...I wish I was that size again. So on September 7, 1998 one of my best friends and I left with them to try dope for the first time. I can't say I loved it the first line....I think it was the third line that night. After I was really high and stayed up 3 nights I started to come down. I felt horrible so I decided to start drinking. I got sick and the girl who I had gotten it from told me if I got more dope I would feel fine. There is where it began. I didn't take a second look back.

    The friend that had tried it with me didn't do it often with me. I started staying gone all the time or I had lots of people in and out of the house while everyone else was sleeping. I lost weight and I felt great. But I was naive to the underworld of drugs and meth. I quickly became aware that not all people were to be trusted. Anyway, my 2 best friends decided that they wanted to move back home so they left. Shortly after I went home too. I was home sleeping and eating for 3 weeks but everyday I wanted to go back to Hermiston. I felt at home there, like I finally found my place in the world. I knew that I was doing what I was made to do...I was supposed to be a tweeker. It was what I was good at. So I made my way back to Hermiston and began my period of moving from one man's house to another. I gave my self respect and self away for a place to stay and a continuous supply of dope. When I got sick of that guy or the dope ran out I would move on to the next much older man.

    During that time I had started getting these sores on my hands so I was always hiding them. A guy that I was hanging out with for a few weeks saw my hands and begged me to go back home and clean up. I never had sex with that guy and I guess for that I respected him so I went home, but not before I begged him to give me some dope so that I could get high again. He gave it to me and I took it to a friend's house and partied. I met this guy named Jeff that night. He was tweekin and so was I. We talked all night and I ended up sleeping with him that night. Sex had become somewhat meaningless at this time and I used it to either get what I wanted or as a way to try to make someone hopefully care about me. All it did was leave me feeling like crap about myself and used.

    I did leave to go home the next day. I was supposed to stay for a week or so. It was Christmas time. I stayed 2 days before I called some guy to come get me. I made promises to the guy that I wanted to move in with him but when we got to Hermiston I had him drop me off at Jeff's house. I moved in with Jeff and his roommate. I soon found out that Jeff didn't do dope. He just smoked weed and so he didn't want me to do dope either. I tried to do what he asked. I smoked lots of weed and stayed in the house 24/7. I was afraid to leave because I knew I would go straight to the dope. Jeff had a great job and was very sweet and caring. I didn't like him all that much and I was not deserving of a good guy. I liked them mean and troublemakers. I ended up getting high and telling him to take it or leave it.

    He asked me to leave and I moved in with the couple across the apartment complex. I started getting high all the time again. In January, just 5 months after snorting crank for the first time, I shot up. Everything changed from that point on. I started stealing and lying. The couple I live with just snorted it so I would shoot up somewhere else then come home. Denise (the girl I lived with) told me one day that she wanted to try shooting up and so I had this guy do it for her. The very next day she kicked her husband out and had Mr. Dealer move in. She ended up overdosing, had a heart attack and a stroke. You would have thought that I would quit. Nope! I tried to do the same thing to myself because I felt so guilty about what happened to her. I was not happy anymore. I never once thought that it was because of the dope. I just ran from one bad situation to another bad situation; always trying to run away from my unhappiness. I was now down to 85 pounds. Carl (the guy that Denise kicked out) came back because Denise was in the hospital from the overdose. They were not sure she would ever be normal again. He asked me to leave with him. He didn't want me to be the next one in the hospital. I said yes but that I couldn't go to my mom's because my arms were really messed up. I didn't want her to see me that way. I move to Lebanon which was not far from my mom and lived with Carl and his mom.

    I was clean from crank but I couldn't get through the day without drinking beer. From the time we woke up we were drinking. I could not look at myself in the mirror. I saw someone who should have been in the hospital not Denise. She had 4 young boys who needed her. It was all my fault. I didn't cry about what I was feeling or about Denise unless I was all alone. I was in Lebanon for about 3 months. Denise got better and her and Carl got back together. He wanted me to live with them again but I could not look at her anymore. I ran right back to Hermiston. I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do. I had a little over 1,000 dollars so I wasn't worried. I went to a guy‚s house that I knew I could score some dope at. That is where I met my daughter's father, Rob. I stayed there. Spent all my money on crank and was back to shooting up and stealing. As it turned out Rob was wanted in Umatilla so we went to my mom's house. I didn't have any connections so we just smoked weed. During this time was the first time Rob hit me. I don't know why I didn't leave him then.

    I found out a friend of mine was doing crank so I had her hook me up and it started again. Not long after I found out I was pregnant. I continued to use and then my mom kicked us out. Well she kicked Rob out and I chose to go with him. At 11 weeks along I had a miscarriage. I had no feelings about it at all. I just kept getting high. We were homeless and strung out and eventually the cops caught up with us. Rob went to jail for the first of many times in the four years we were together. When he got out we moved to Eugene with my sister, who was selling and using heroin and I had found out that I was pregnant again. I had stayed clean while Rob was in jail because I knew he would beat my ass if I used without him. We moved and agreed to not do crank while I was pregnant. We were smoking weed and he was drinking a lot. I later found out that he was using heroin also but kept it from me because I would have left him immediately. Well staying off crank didn't last long. Rob started doing it again and I soon followed. Before I knew it I was bad off. My hair was falling out and I had stopped going to the doctor's after I found out I was having a girl. I asked and begged and cried for Rob to just stop. I knew that if it was around that I could not say no. I was having a breakdown. I use to put all the blame on him for my using while I was pregnant but I know I could have left the situation. The more I used the more I felt guilty and then the more I used. Finally in July the cops raided our house and arrested a lot of people from my house, Rob was one of them. I gave the rest of the dope away and left to my mom's house.

    No one could even tell I was 7 months along. I slept and ate and gained weight quickly. Rob wanted me to move back to Hermiston because that's where he was in jail at. I did but I moved back home in the beginning of September. Also while we lived in Eugene the abuse that Rob put on me got very bad. I almost died one time when he was choking me. I know part of what kept me with him was that I wanted my child to have a father unlike me. Once Rob got out again I had already had Destiny. But not long after he came back things got bad again. Eventually I told him to take care of his probation and then we could be together. He cheated on me and we broke up. He was not a father to Destiny. I was crushed but glad to start my life over. I moved to Albany and got a place for me and my baby girl. I was doing good for a while. Then I met the wrong person and started hanging out with her. I didn't know she was doing ice. I quickly got back in it but only smoking it. Then I met another person and another person and I started slamming it again. My house got out of control. Destiny was 2 at this time. I was having my mom take her all the time or I was ignoring her the rest of the time. I lost my apartment and gave my mom my daughter. I went out on a binge and hated myself. I wanted my daughter but I wanted the drugs too. I was torn. One day I realized where I was and what I was giving up being there. I left and didn't go back, but I still thought that I could do dope. I got put in treatment classes three times a week due to Welfare giving me a UA. I also met a guy named David who was trying to stay clean. We ended up getting together and he moved in with me and Destiny. I graduated classes and got a job. I have been working there for over a year. I just recently had my 2 year anniversary with David and from being clean. My life is good. I can look at myself and not feel all the shame and guilt. I am working on making up on the time I lost with my daughter who is now 5. I hope that someone who is struggling with addiction can read these words and get some hope from it.

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