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Meth Addict's Personal Stories

  • Feb

    I Can Quit When I Want

    I Can Quit When I Want

    I am a methamphetamine addict. It would be more precise to say, "I was an addict." I quit using September 14, 2001. I am very ashamed of what I did for five years. It has taken its toll on me and millions of others. I was using one to two grams of glass per week intravenously. I am now in an intensive outpatient program. I go to therapy every day, individual counseling on a weekly basis and medical psychiatric counseling every other week. Meth addiction is very difficult to control and nearly impossible to stop.

    One, I had recently been fired from a job I loved. My employer and boss retired. My boss's son inherited the business. The son fired nearly everyone. I took it personally and it hurt my pride and sense of self-worth immensely. I felt worthless.

    Two, my wife was going through some severe physical problems that were undetected. She had thyroid and diabetic problems but refused to see a Dr. All I knew was that she deplored any intimacy, made excuses for not having any sex, gained weight and lied to me. I thought she was getting ready to leave me. By this time, I'm feeling defeated.

    Three, my best "Friend" says "I've got something to give you energy when you go workout at the gym." Not wanting to be a square or uncool person, I decided to try just a little. Thinking, "Just a little bit won't harm anything."

    It began with just a little bit once in a while then every weekend and eventually every day. I worked as a professional and kept my usage hidden VERY WELL. I began living two lives my normal, professional, family life, my clandestine, after hour's life of depravity, insanity and denial.

    For years, I told myself, "You can quit any time you want. You're not hurting anyone. Not dealing, not selling, not cooking, and not influencing others. You're OK" I lied about everything especially about control of my addiction. I reasoned that I must be OK since I go to work every day, pay my bills and look the part of a good person. Good hygiene, clean clothes, regular haircut etc. But my head was full of Meth induced perversion and despicable depravity.

    Rehab can be a positive experience. I'm in a rehab program and I'm learning a great deal about reality. It's more than learning how to quit drugs. When a counselor asks "How do you feel?" they don't allow rehearsed answers from Dear Abbey. But they search into places that identify the causes of addiction - not just the symptoms. Like most of life, what you get out of it depends on how willing you are to do what needs to be done. Right now we need encouragement and love more than anything. I have learned a great deal from my rehab and I'd love to share. It is a VERY fragile time of life.

    I entered the program on my own. I had tried to quit many times and finally realized what A LIAR I was. I began the first week in July 2001. I slipped up twice. The last time, I did a quarter gram of glass the Friday after the terrorist attacks. I've been clean since then. I pray to God and hope to heaven that I stay clean forever. It is very difficult. I have exceptionally good counselors. They know every lie, every scam, every excuse ever used by drug addicts. Sometimes I feel they are overly mean when they make us clients feel so ashamed and guilty but ultimately that is what it takes to defeat this addiction.

    We have random urine tests. They are not scheduled or announced ahead of time. We may be in a meeting when suddenly a staff member comes in with a box of labeled bags containing a plastic jar and leads us one by one to the restroom to get the Urine Specimen. They check for Amphetamine, Cocaine, Opiates, Marijuana, and Hallucinogenics. Stay clean or stay away. For those who are not earning a good income the program is low cost or free. Honestly, I feel very fortunate to be in this because I was seriously trapped in my addiction. I was desperate. Big Time.

    Among The Things I've Learned:

    1. You won't get any more out of the program than you're willing to put in to it.
    2. Recovery is humiliating. You can't be "cool" and go through successful recovery.
    3. You'll lose face or lose your ass. Take your pick."
    4. You're not responsible for your addiction, but you are responsible for you recovery.
    5. Meth addicts forfeit all ability to love.
    Stimulant Treatment Outpatient Program.

    Quitting Crank after five years of daily use is really difficult. There are moments when I feel it just isn't worth it. Sometimes I think it would be so easy to run out and cop a half-gram of glass and feel good again. Instant feel good. Then I come to my senses and realize that I danced the dance and now I'm paying the Piper (or fiddler). The last time I shot my arm full of crank was on September 14, 2001. I am determined I will never do it again. By now I'm sure that there may be some who read my posts and get sick of it. OK, I can't blame you, but it does an awful lot of good for me. Just writing this stuff gives me another edge in the encouragement category. I have friends in rehab who deal with it in different ways. That is also OK. But pounding this stuff out on a computer helps me to increase the number of clean days behind me. Meth addiction is the epitome of selfishness. One in thirty addicts in a treatment program will stay clean. I fully intend to beat those odds! It takes as long to recover as it did to quit. For example: If you used two years, it takes two years to recover.

    Look at the left letters going down - DENIAL.
    Even kNow Its' A Lie

    God Is Merciful.

    Although meth affects everyone in a very diabolical manner, there are some subtle and some not so subtle differences among individuals. For example: I recently read a number of posts at the "KCI"? Message board and found that many users have skin problems. Then I checked some friends who are in my rehab group and found that it is not uncommon. The problems are usually imaginary parasites or other pseudo-hallucination type difficulties. I never encountered this. I had a lot of trouble with my mental state of being regarding sex. I would fantasize and allow my inhibitions to decline steadily. Although I was careful about staying away from actually acting out these fantasies, I realized also that even the mental deviancy was quickly destroying my ability to think in a decent and rationale manner in my straight life." I knew I was in big trouble but it was a lot more fun lying to myself and everyone else. I'd look in the mirror and say, "What a loser!" then go cop and say so what, "I can quit any time I want."

    Hello My Friends,

    I'm a recovering meth addict in rehab. I started visiting this Board and Chat room in the late summer of 2001. It has been a very real and very important part of my recovery. There is a zeal and passion for those affected by this insidious chemical. For those of you have been, or are addicted, you are fully aware of its power to totally own you, to imprison your soul and keep you from showing up for your own life.

    Those of you who think it is easy to "Just Say NO," I guarantee, that for most, quitting is about the most difficult task a person could attempt. Once the drug has enslaved the user, the addict will easily decide that death is a better option than living without the drug. That may seem strange and bizarre to a normal person but to the addict, meth is the only thing in life.

    Now, I am crying in my soul for the families and loved ones who are affected. Today, a couple fathers came on board pleading for understanding and help. Last night a young teen age boy came looking for help for his brother whom he loved dearly. A few nights ago a husband came into the chat room, devastated about what he discovered his wife and mother of his children was doing to get meth. These people are innocent souls who have been viciously attacked by the fate and hate created by meth addiction. Two of my best friends just told me how they slipped after months of clean time. I've never been much good at crying, but I'm learning.

    The women's stories are more numerous and more tragic. If I'm learning anything in this recovery, it is no more prominent than the fact of destruction and pain and how much I feel for these people.

    Here is a bit of 'my story.'

    I was on a five year meth run. Three things contributed to my use at the beginning.

    1. I lost a job I truly loved. A job I had dedicated my life to. It was incredibly painful and totally destroyed my self-esteem.
    2. My wife was having some medical problems and neither of us was aware of it. She had hypothyroidism and is now on medication but at the time, we didn't have any knowledge about what was happening. All I knew was this. She was always complaining about being tired. She avoided intimacy. She showed absolutely no interest in me as a sexual partner. We argued over little things and seldom agreed on anything. There was no closeness at all in our relationship. I thought she may be getting ready to leave me. This increased my low self-esteem and brought me deeper into an already abysmal valley of depression.
    3. I was a fitness enthusiast and spent a good deal of time working out. So when a 'friend' offered something that would help increase my physical stamina and help eliminate depression, it seemed like it might be a good idea. So I did a line, a few days later, another line. And that's about all it takes. A year later I was using daily. Two years later I was injecting it a couple times a day. I was VERY careful to conceal my usage from everyone. I am a teacher and kept my job through the whole thing and was never caught or suspected.

    After about three and a half years of use, I knew how badly hooked I was. I knew I was a slave with no escape. But I had no idea, not a clue, about any possible method of quitting. I intentionally got careless and left my paraphernalia laying about so my wife could catch me. I was hiding when it happened, but I could hear her. It was in our basement where I did it. She began sobbing and crying out to God in Prayer. It really broke my heart to hear her. But I was enslaved and had no way of breaking free.

    I tried to quit, over and over. She and I would throw it away, destroy the needles etc. Time and time again. But I'd go back to it. I wanted so badly to quit. But it was impossible. I continued to use at a maintenance level. This way I could go to work and earn enough money to keep paying the mortgage, bills, and buy dope. But things kept getting worse. We decided to see a marriage counselor. I lied to her, the counselor, on a regular basis though. Then in June of 2001, I lost my job, for a reason totally unrelated to drug use. But I decided that God was going to give me a chance and I'd better jump at it. I figured I didn't have much more to lose with the counselor so I told her about my drug use. She demanded that I either get into a rehab program or she would quit being our counselor. I finally went to rehab for the second try.

    It is called S.T.O.P.

    It stands for Stimulant Treatment Outpatient Program >br /> I entered in early July, had two slips, at the beginning, and did my very last hit forever on Sept. 14, 2001.

    In summary, I strongly believe that the fervent prayers of my wife contributed more than anything else to my recovery. I have done a great deal of wrong. I owe her everything. Am I fully recovered? Not even. Meth addiction has no mercy, not even after the addict has quit. My days are plagued with cravings, anguish, Jonesing, desires to use and the long slow process of chemical restoration in the brain and central nervous system. The damage I have done is huge. The emotional turmoil and pain is very extreme. The rest of my days will include a passionate obsession for thanking her, pleasing her, and showing my gratitude for rescuing me from the inevitable hell and destruction that I was courting.

    The party's over - I'm just trying to find my way back home. But, I'll be there soon.

    Here's Another Bit Of My Story.

    I graduated from High School in 1962, then served four years in the U.S. Air Force, with numerous awards and an honorable discharge in 1966. At that time the Viet Nam war was in full prominence, the world was getting ready for hippies; Beatles and Stones dominated rock, I was searching for meaning. An idealistic youth. I was introduced to Marijuana in 1966. No big deal. In 1967, the Hippies of Haight Ashbury in San Francisco received a great deal of press from Life Magazine, Time, The Saturday Evening Post etc. Early in 1968 I was introduced to the 'other drugs.' LSD, Speed, hash, etc. I liked them and used them but didn't allow them to rule me. The idealistic portrayal of the Hippie lifestyle got a hold of me. Timothy Leary with, "Turn ON, Tune IN, Drop OUT." Others like, "Flower Children," "Make Love, Not War," "Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll." "Peace, Love and Happiness." The magnetism of it all was too strong and I left my home, family, job, motorcycle, roots etc. to come to San Francisco and be a Hippie. It was great. From 1968 until 1974 - my Hippie years. By 1971, I had entered college and was making good grades and steady progress.

    In 1974, my father died and I decided to go straight. I put all my energy into becoming a good person with values, integrity, virtue and noble righteous pursuits. I continued my education, earned a Master's degree in Education Administration, joined a church and became very involved in education and religion for the next twenty to twenty-five years. In 1978, I married my wife, Karen, to whom I am still married. From 1974 until 1995, I never smoked a cigarette, never drank liquor, never used drugs, and led a totally clean life, abstaining from drugs, crime, sin, naughtiness and similar activities. In 1980, I met a friend. David was my best friend for many years to come. He and I had a great deal in common. He was an automobile mechanic and racecar enthusiast. I shared those interests with a passion. His wife and my wife were very close friends. His kids and my kids were very close friends and they are still close today. David and I would do many things together with our children, camping trips, fishing, taking the boys to the motorcycle races every weekend, baseball games, picnics and more. Our sons were classmates in school. David's kids would often stay over at our house and my kids would often stay over at their house. We were as close as family and often, even closer.

    David had a good job. I had a good job. He had a good wife, so did I. He loved his family and I loved mine. He bought a house and I bought a house. We did many things with each other and for each other.

    In 1994, I lost my job, but I got another within a few months. In 1995, David started using methamphetamine. I don't know why. He asked me if I wanted some. I really didn't but I wanted to stay friends so I took one line. A few days later he offered another then another. It didn't take long. Within a month or so of occasional use, I was hooked. David was my connection for about three years. He was using a lot more than I was by this time. We both knew how degenerate we had become but really didn't care anymore. Then David lost his job, then his home, within a few months, he lost his wife, family and sanity. By this time, I had new connections and had to battle addiction on my own. My wife knew what was going on by now. David kept getting crazier, accusing me of an affair with his wife, blaming everyone else for his problems, threatened to kill me and eventually robbed me of four to five thousand dollars' worth of tools and equipment from my basement and garage. This was the spring of 2001.

    In June of 2001, I got fired, found myself jobless, with two months' severance pay, about six thousand dollars. Totally depressed, jobless, hopeless, friendless I went on the biggest meth binge of my life. I was sitting in my basement and realized, I am but a heartbeat away from losing everything - just like David. I wrote a suicide note and went to a rehab program. I told the intake counselor, how I felt and where I was. My wife continued to pray, never gave up, and God answered her prayers. I did my very last hit of meth on Sept. 14, 2001 - three days after the terrorist attacks. I graduated from rehab on July 10, 2002.

    Love Sfj

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