Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Addiction


By now you know I am a recovering addict.

Or maybe you didn't so...I am a recovering addict.

Or better still.....hi, I am Jen and I am a drug addict.

Miss posted this gem last week and it got me to thinking.

I have a story.

People tell me they want to hear my story.

I don't believe them....it's just a story.

But, lately it seems addiction is all around me. It has touched more people than I ever knew.

So here is my story. And perhaps it will help one person triumph. 

I grew up in relatively normal circumstances. There were issues at home and issues in my childhood, but none of that is really important. I was married when I was 21 or 22...I can't remember. I was a terrible wife. I hurt that man. I got married to get out of my house to someone I did not love. We were divorced 2 years later.

This is where my story begins.

I took it upon myself to make up for all the time I lived straight laced as a teenager. I moved in with a friend and we partied. A lot. I dabbled in cocaine and pills at that time, but never really felt the addiction urge. 

Until him.

I met him at a bar. I had to have him. It took me year. We moved in together. Things got bad. He got hurtful and abusive. I started taking drugs.

My DOC (drug of choice) was Lortab. At my height....and I am not lying...I was taking close to 80 a day. that is not an exaggeration....it is a fact. I worked in dental offices so securing fraudulent prescriptions was easy. 

I stayed with him for four years. I left in the middle of the day. That is a story close and sacred to my heart. All I can say is this. God looks out for us even when we think we do not deserve it. He answers prayers, even if it is the first one you have uttered in 6 years.

I moved to Utah. Continued my drug use. Was fired from jobs, caught for prescription fraud....sent to rehab.
I detoxed at Lakeview Hospital, the same hospital were I had my daughter.

I was in rehab for 3 months. Graduated with flying colors. Relapsed within a month. 

I was missing the piece I needed to stay sober. 

On July 14th 2007, I arrived home from a vacation in San Diego. When I got home my mother sat me down and told me that she had called the police and they were on their way to arrest me. I understood. I took 7 Lortab and waited. 

I was arrested in front of my mothers small apartment. I don't remember much...except it seemed all of the North Salt Lake police department was there. And my mothers face.....she was broken. It killed her to see this, yet she knew...she KNEW it was the right thing. 

I was booked into Davis County Jail. That first week I was pretty angry. I got a tattoo in jail that is still prominent on my toe and is apparently a gang sign. So I can keep you safe in Ogden....or wherever there is heavy gang activity....

This next part....is deeply spiritual so if you get offended by God close the window.

One night....I sat in my bunk....in a tiny cell...with a toilet and a roommate. How did I get here? In a moment of "what else can I do?" I asked my Heavenly Father if he was there. I got an OVERWHELMING confirmation that he was and that he loved me and that I was being looked after.

That THAT started my TRUE rehabilitation. I took the 6 months I had in jail and used it. I read and studied and prayed. I practiced faith and humility. Jail is a weird place to become spiritual....but I believe that Heavenly Father's presence can be there. 

When I was released....I was a new person. I wanted to be sober. I wanted to live a life in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I admit, I had an easier time than others. I was a secret user so I had NO drug friends. I had to make friends. And I did. Great friends who helped me stay sober that first year. I met my best friend....who loved me for who I was and not what I had done. I did not date anyone serious that first year, even though I met my husband two months out of jail. That year I just worked on me. 

I worked my way back into the church. I was engaged two months after being re-instated and going through 
the temple again. The Lord was just waiting for me to get my act together and once I did....he blessed me with the best husband and a sweet little baby girl. 

It was and still is not easy. I have to work at it everyday. I had a friend once tell me that I was lucky because I got to party for ten years then I got to repent and find a boyfriend. 

Lucky?

Addiction SUCKS. I lost a lot because of it. I would give ANYTHING for those 5 years back to travel, work, live. I hurt everyone around me and making up for that is hard. 

Lucky?

No. But I am blessed that I was able to overcome.

So how do I do it?

Daily communication with My Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
Diligent remembrance of the blessings I have
Living an honest life
A clear knowledge that I do not want to go back to that place
Associating with those that uplift.... not drag down

That is how I do it.

It is not for everyone. 

But it works for me.

And that is what I need...for it to work for me.

26 comments:

Marci said...

Jen, thank you for sharing your story. I think you would be surprised at how much a "straight laced gal" like me can learn from your experiences.

Kim Millard said...

Thanks for sharing! I think the world of you and am so grateful to know you!

Jenna Cole said...

Jen you are the best! I remember the first time you told us your story. I remember thinking "Wow. This woman is incredibly strong. I want to be like her." I'm not lying! I look up to you, Jen! Thank you for sharing!

aubry. said...

i'm never not amazed by this story. details or not, i got the chills at least 8 times while reading it. as much as i got while listening to adele perform at the grammy's, so... that's serious business.

{and is it just me or are the word verification combos getting a little out of control? 'ratetabr maludin'}

{B} said...

That is a great testimony builder! Thanks for sharing! :)

Aly said...

jen, i found your blog through aubry's who i found through another friend aubrey. i have been super curious about your story. thank you for sharing it. you have worked very hard to get where you are. thank you thank you thank you for sharing your experiences.

Laura said...

This post made me cry. I have a sister who has a really similar story and started with a Loratab addiction which has now furthered into Meth and such for the last 20 years. She lives in prison for forgery, drugs, prescription fraud, mail fraud, you name it. She's never been able to find that missing piece that you talked about, even though we have wanted that so much for her. I'm so happy that you have found yourself and have a happy life and family now :)

e & a said...

loved reading this jen! you are a strong woman!

Melwel said...

I am crying...thanks for sharing your story. It is a wonderful and a wonder. I am blessed to know you.

Emilie said...

Awesome McAwesome-face.

And AMEN to "God looks out for us even when we think we do not deserve it".

Sharlee said...

Thanks for sharing this. This post moved me. It was beautifully written and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your testimony and your story.

Jillian said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story!! I can't even describe the emotions I am feeling right now, truly touched!! What a powerful thing to be able read. I wish I could give you a hug right now......and then I would just probably start to cry!! You are a remarkable woman, what a wonderful example!!

communikate. said...

thanks for sharing. i think that almost everyone has some personal connection to addiction wether it be food, drugs, sex, or debt.

the fact that you came out stronger is amazing.

Corrina Baker said...

It would be useful if you published a memoir. Check out submitting a manuscript at some point when you are ready. There are so many people that would benefit from hearing your testimony from a straight laced mormon girl gone awry and back again: http://deseretbook.com/pages/author_guidelines

HiLL said...

i agree with everyone. thank you for sharing, jen. it is a testament of you and the courage you have! that you found strength in the right place. you taught me that... to lean on the atonement. thank you! keep fighting that fight. you're a rock. xoxox

robin said...

i have been trying to comment on my phone all day but the stupid thing wouldn't let me! just know that i didn't want to be commentor #15. no way... i wanted to be #1!

thank you so much for this post. you are an inspiration. as someone who only knows about addiction through watching intervention, i can't imagine how hard it must be to turn your life around. it just seems so mind-blowing to me that you were able to completely change and leave that life behind. i am in awe of you.

my dad is in the branch presidency for the soledad (california) prison and he has such amazing stories of spirituality and redemption in the prison setting. i love what you said about heavenly father's presence being there.

thanks again jen.

(ps, i still want to hear about the pageants and american idol.)

(pps, oh, and corrina does have a point...)

ashmae said...

wow. thank you for sharing your story. I hope you keep writing.

Andi said...

I have heard pieces of your story here and there but never in it's entirety. your testimony is inspiring. you are a beautiful soul. and that precious girl baby...thanks for sharing.

Yakovich said...

Jen, You are amazing! I am so greatful I found your blog. You inspire me. It's nice to know that someone else has a story that has made them a stronger better person. Sometimes when I look back it's hard not to hang onto those guilty feelings.......I sometimes wish I could go to bed and wake up 25 years in the past just so I could do it over again but make different choices.
Thank you so much for telling your story. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger........that is so true.
I hope you have an amazing day!
Karen

jake veater said...

jen you rock. i have a sister in similar shoes and i cant help but hope her story ends similar to yours. you give addicts and families of addicts hope. so thank you.

Donna said...

Loved this. Thank you for sharing!

Amy said...

I wish more people would share success stories like this. It makes all of us better. I'm glad you are doing so SO well!

Laura said...

Jennifer,

I love you and your strength.

RONNIE said...

Good story. Thanks for sharing despite the fact that I am sure you were reluctant to.

maclamb08 said...

I truly enjoyed your story. I am a recovering alcoholic and a recovering heroin and cocaine addict, both of which I used through a needle. My sobriety date is October 11th, 2009. I would love to say that I did it, but as I'm sure you know, God does most of the work. But, I have to suit up and show up every day, and turn my will and my life over to Him every single morning of my life. I too did jail time. Nothing like six months, but I understand what experiences can happen in there if you are humbled and humiliated enough. I am grateful to say that I am a daily member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I talk to my sponsor daily, hit meetings daily, and sponsor other alcoholics and addicts daily. I have to repeat, this is not because of me. This is because God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself. From one addict to another (who also used to use 80 Lortab 10's a day, before i did Oxycontin and then heroin) I just want to say thank you for passing on your experience, strength, and hope to me today. I sure love you, though I don't even know you, but that is just the thing... I do know you. You are me. -Mac Lamb-

Jamie said...

Uhm. We live crazy close. And you have a lovely story - a heart-wrenching uncomfortable story and one that needs to be told. And retold. You're a brave girl and an amazing woman. Navy is lucky to have you as a mama.