Suffering Addict Shows For Christmas

But just for today….
Leave your judgments, questions, and whispers in your car when you walk in and see the chair that has been reserved for me for all these years that has sat empty is occupied today.

 

Hey… Yeah… It’s Me…
Yes, good to see you too..

Here I am in all my glory.
The black sheep of the family.
The let down.
The disgrace.
The addict.

I’m not really sure why I showed up today.. I can feel all your eyes resting upon me with every move I make. I’m not here for your entertainment, I do know that much.
Seeing everyone I haven’t seen since I was a kid is a bit overwhelming to me right now.
Please don’t push me into a corner and surround me with your questions.
And please, don’t offer your advice unless you have walked the crooked mile that I am on.

In your mind it is so simple, just stop doing drugs. Go right on out there and get yourself a job tomorrow and buy that little house on the corner by the end of the year.

It sounds great.. just so puke perfect. When you are talking to me about what I should do with my life, keep in mind that it is easy to sit back and preach to someone when you have never encountered even the smallest of my problems in relation to your perfect little world.

I know that it makes for a good conversation starter.. but I am not living anywhere permanently, and I am not employed. Truth be told, I am wandering through this world relying on dope to keep me numb, so that I do not have to feel any emotion whatsoever.

I don’t have time to explain to you “how it makes me feel when I do drugs” or “when I am going to get myself together”. I’m broken.

What I do need from you right now is to be shown some respect, even though I know you do not respect me at all in my current state of mind.. please.. be a good sport and pretend.

I need to look around and see the faces of my family, enjoying their Christmas time together.. not blank faces and glares from those of you who think you are better than me because of the decisions that I made, and still make.

I’m probably not going to have much of an appetite, considering that my stomach is filled with anxiety and I don’t really eat much these days.

Please don’t insist on loading my plate with all the things you want me to try, I am not going to eat the things I know that I like, much less something that you are forcing me to take.

Let’s all sit down and just be family. Just be here, together.. laughing and cutting up about old memories, and let’s pass around all the new babies.

Don’t pull me to the side with the “Can I talk to you for a minute” scene.. and take me outside to tell me how I need to do this or that. You don’t know what I need. I’m not me.

When it’s time to pass out presents, don’t make excuses of why you would have got me this or that.. but… Listen carefully, I do not want gifts from anyone in this room. That is not why I am here.

The greatest gift that you can give to me right now is a taste of normality.
Look at me and talk to me like I never fell off the wagon.. like I am not a junkie.
Let me remember what it was like to be me. Before my demons drug me into the life I live now.
If only for a moment, let’s pretend that I am me again.
Let’s act like I can look you in your eyes with confidence while we carry on a random conversation about the news, or sports, or the weather.

I need to find me.
I am so lost.

Please don’t bring up my past, or the life that I lived before.
Do not ask me when I am getting my children back from CPS.

Befriending me in order to get me to open up to you about my life and then using my words against me later on will cut me to the core. Let’s avoid that at all costs.

Please do try to include me in things.. Invite me outside to play tag football with the rest of our cousins. I am an addict, not a stranger to our family traditions after Christmas dinner.

And last, but not least.. don’t feel sorry for me.
I am grown.
These are my choices, and my consequences.
And I live with them every single day.

But today.. I want to feel normal again.
If only just for the afternoon.

Even though you don’t understand…
Help me remember what it’s like to be me again.

And if you happen to be present in one of the emotionally frail moments and breakdowns that I am bound to have happen sooner or later, the longer I am here.. Just sit here in the silence with me. Don’t ask what’s wrong. I’m not sure.

Maybe I just miss me a little more today.
And maybe tomorrow I will keep one of those promises that I make to myself every day when I try to get clean and stop using.

But just for today….
Leave your panoply of  judgments, questions, and whispers in your car when you walk in and see the chair that has been reserved for me for all these years that has sat empty is occupied today.

I am here.
That’s all I need for now.
Love,
The Still Suffering Addict

My friend: Danielle R. Gilliam, we will get through this.

RecoveryRadio.FM Review

These guys are all forces in the recovery community but together WOW, you can expect lots of inspiration, differences of opinions and thanks to Bobble every topic will be explained so that everyone will understand completely.

 

December 1st RECOVERYRADIO.FM went live out of Palm Beach, Florida. Three huge names in recovery are hosting the show, RJ ViedJames Sweasy and Bobble. These guys are all forces in the recovery community but together WOW, you can expect lots of inspiration, differences of opinions and thanks to Bobble every topic will be explained so that everyone will understand completely.

The show runs for three hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 pm to 11 pm on

96.1FM for Pompano to West Palm / 97.5FM for West Palm to Jupiter/ 1340AM for all of West Palm County. You can also watch the show live on RECOVERYRADIO.FM OR on Facebook at www.facebook.com/recoveryradio.fm

If you aren’t familiar with these guys, let me tell you a little about them from my perspective.

RJ Vied is a Recovery Advocate who is a talented writer, speaker and all around genuine guy. I guess you could say he is the eye candy of the show…at least that’s what all the ladies are saying but don’t take my word for it, check him out yourself. You can follow RJ Vied on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rjvied. Don’t think that means he is just pretty to look at, this guy has a genuine passion for reaching the addict still suffering and supporting those in recovery. RJ Vied is a triple threat, intelligent, talented and honorable. The eye candy part is just a bonus.

James Sweasy is one of those magnetic guys that when they talk you just know you need to listen. Sweasy is from my hometown Louisville, KY and his no-nonsense approach to recovery has made him one of the most followed Public Persona’s in Recovery, and he is just getting started. Sweasy’s fans are die hard and with Sweasy’s creative video angles and call it like it is approach this guy going to be HUGE…ok he already is huge so how about Enormous. Relatable is Sweasy’s middle name. If you aren’t a Sweasy Fan, you need to hope on over to www.facebook.com/jamessweasy and learn you a thing or two. That’s what us Kentuckiana’s like to say.

Last but not least is Bobble. Bobble is a musician that is rocking the recovery world with his relatable rhythms and hip hop recovery music. I don’t know a bunch about Bobbleother than thank goodness for him being on this show. Sure enough, when I am scratching my head about some odd term, idea or recovery approach Bobble is quick to say, HUH? Please explain that so we all can understand it. You can follow Bobble at www.facebook.com/bobblemuzikRAW

I am going to give www. recoveryradio.fm a ten on a scale of 1-10. If you missed the show last night, you could listen to it on their website www.recoveryradio.fm anytime.

Be sure to check out their next show every Tuesday and Thursday. They encourage people to call in but remember this isn’t a podcast so no swearing or you will be disconnected immediately.

RECOVERYRADIO.FM is a great concept with incredible talent, I look for this show to have a long successful run. Congrats guys, we will be listening, that is for sure.

Christmas & Addiction

With some awareness and understanding, Christmas might be great again.

I love Christmas, it’s truly magical to me, in my mind.  Since being an addict for over 20 years, most of my fantastic Christmas’ have been fantasies in my mind.  The truth of Christmas for me always ends up the same.  I was clean last year and have had 4 or 5 clean Christmas’ during my 20 year run with opiates.  The crazy thing is it doesn’t matter, at least not yet, if I am clean or not.  Christmas always ends up making me feel like a subhuman.

These are some ways that Christmas would be easier for me, and this is using or not.  If your loved one is actively using or even new to recovery, they may not have something nice to wear to the get together you want them to attend.  A week or two before the event if you know they don’t have anything to wear, take a bag of hand me downs over and tell them so and so was cleaning out their closet.  Don’t mention they can wear any of it to Christmas, they will figure it out.

As a kid, we craved the approval of our parents. As we mature, very little changes in our need for approval (often beyond just our parents). So if you are the parent, family member or friend of someone struggling with addiction, do your best to let them know that they are cherished and valued. This underlying message opens the doors of communication and brings them that much more likely to confide in you when they are ready for help or just for an ear while they are on their recovery path.  If I ever look into my mother’s eyes and see something other than disappointment, it will be the happiest day of my life.

For the person abusing substances, as well as for family and friends, gifting can be tough. Before exchanging elaborate holiday wish lists, consider trading in material objects for “healing gifts.” This can relieve tremendous pressure that may be placed on addicts who are often just getting back on their feet financially and can’t afford to purchase presents. So you can do like letter writing to each other instead of gift exchanges.  Something where the addict can express their feelings and give a gift without it costing money.

You will be surprised at what a difference even a minor attitude change can make in behavior. Your loved one is likely under a lot of stress just keeping up with the rest of family or friends and staying in high spirits, so remind them of a phrase that’s said a lot in recovery: “It’s progress, not perfection.” It’s a valuable reminder for them to continue moving forward like they say one day at a time and, though it might not always feel like it, a holiday is just another day like any other in the broad scope of one’s sobriety journey.  If the person is still using and they show up to the holiday events that could be a big step in the right direction but make sure that no one yells out OH LOOK WHO GRACED US WITH THEIR PRESENCE, stuff that seems very simple but is huge to an addict.  Just writing this has got me in tears.

Don’t Hover:  Have the strength to let your loved one feel safe, even if it means giving up some control.  If they need to skip out on the customary touch-football game to go to a meeting or meet up with recovery friends, you should give them room to do that and permit their absence at this event. No accusations, no judgments. Period.

With some awareness and understanding, Christmas might be great again.

Video Teen Takes Of Dad’s Heart Attack Goes Viral

Teen streams video of  Dad while he is having a heart attack on Facebook Live. The young man makes no apologies.  He says he wants the public to see what it’s like living in a home with a parent who doesn’t listen to doctors, continues to eat poorly, and refuses to exercise.  So when his father had yet another “episode” as he puts it,  Markus Adams decided to pick up his phone to record instead of dialing 911.

“You can hear his friends in the background making comments like ” eat another twinkie or bet you wish you exercised now.”  One of the teens in the house did call 911 after several minutes passed.”  

The first responder on the scene was a police officer who also decided to snap a few shots of the man who by this point had lost consciousness.   Once the EMT’s arrived on the scene, the patient was rushed to the hospital where he made a full recovery.

 

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The hospital released a statement saying: these overweight patients typically have Type 2 Diabetes as well as Heart Disease.  They have noticed that as soon these patients are stabilized they get up and leave the hospital.  An ER Doctor said the most concerning thing to him is that these overweight Diabetics with Heart Disease are stopping at the snack machines before they even make it out of the hospital.

Even after almost dying because of the choices they continue to make regarding nutrition, exercise, medication maintenance these food junkies make those same decisions.  These Junk Food Junkies practically run across the threshold of the hospital, so they can continue smoking after being told time and again that if they continue, they will die.

How do you feel about this story?  Is it right for anyone to record a medical emergency? What do you think about Police Officers taking photos of people that are in danger of dying instead of administering care and comfort at the very least until backup arrives?

We don’t see photos or stories like the one told above online or on our evening news because it’s wrong to exploit people who find themselves in a life or death situation due to a disease.   Unless of course, the person being photographed or videotaped suffers from Substance Use Disorder and is merely dying of an overdose.

When people make excuses for mistreatment of individuals with Substance Use Disorder one of their favorite arguments is the “it’s a choice.”  What about the person with Type 2 Diabetes that refuses to stop smoking, drinking, eating cake pops and who’s idea of exercise is walking to the fridge?

The hurtful words used in this article were only used to give an example of the harsh tones and words used when speaking about not only those who suffer from Substance Use Disorder but also when speaking to those who love someone with Substance Use Disorder.  It just goes to show that words hurt.

No matter what your opinion on Substance Use Disorder, it’s wrong to take photos and videos of people who are in need of medical care.  There is no doubt about that; wrong is wrong.

Note: The beginning of this story is fiction.  I also wish I didn’t need to use the awful terms I used to describe people who struggle with their weight but I felt it was necessary to drive home how individuals who have Substance Use Disorder are minimized and shamed in everyday conversation.  Please know I don’t use these terms and don’t think it is right to be mean to anyone.  

 

Property of Holy Addiction Inc @ www.holyaddiction.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

 

JoJo Tears Up Over Late Father’s Addiction Battle: It ‘Broke’ My Family — But ‘I Just Couldn’t Give Up on Him’

“I knew my dad was struggling with narcotics when I was 11, 12,” the singer, 25, said in the moving clip, in which she reveals her father had to quit working and go on unemployment after becoming disabled

JoJo is sharing her family’s harrowing battle with addiction in hopes her story will save others from the same heartbreak.

The “F— Apologies” singer — who released her new triumphant new album Mad Love. last month — is participating in Vevo’s “Why I Vote” video series, in which celebrities including Kesha, John Legend and Andra Day discuss issues that have affected them personally and how seeking reform is driving them to the polls next Tuesday.

“I knew my dad was struggling with narcotics when I was 11, 12,” the singer, 25, said in the moving clip, in which she reveals her father had to quit working and go on unemployment after becoming disabled when she was a child. “After he stopped working is when he really got into narcotics. I never knew why he was out of it or why he would fall asleep at the wheel or why he would slur his words. I didn’t understand that, and my mom kept that from me because she didn’t want to upset me and she didn’t want me to look at him in a certain way, and I really respect that.”

JoJo has talked about her parents’ struggle with addiction over the past year, recently opening up to PEOPLE about her own drinking problem.
JOJO SPEAKS ABOUT HER DAD DYING OF ADDICTION
In the clip, she said her father’s dependency on narcotics put a strain on their relationship, and they were even estranged for times.

“I got a call when I was in L.A. that my dad had overdosed for the…I don’t know what number time it was and that he wasn’t gonna make it,” JoJo said, recalling a relapse in recent years that led to her to return to her native New Hampshire to visit him in the hospital.

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“He was hooked up to a bunch of machines, and he had fallen, and he was out of it; he didn’t know what was going on,” she said, getting emotional and tearing up in the clip. “Me and my aunts had discussed what we were gonna do this time: We were gonna practice tough love, and we were gonna cut him off because it was too much for us as a family to keep going through. But I looked at him and saw him hooked up to these machines, and I just couldn’t give up on him…that’s my one dad. I just couldn’t do it. In that moment, I felt, who am I to give up on you. I just decided that I was gonna love him, and I’m really glad I did.”

I missed you even while you were here. I will miss you infinitely more now that you’re gone. Thank you for holding on as long as you did. I know you tried your best. You are free now. I will love you always, Dad. I can feel you with me. Rest now. In PEACE. I miss your voice. I wish more people could have heard it. I promise I will keep singing for you. Joel
A year ago, JoJo announced that her father had succumbed to his demons and died at the age of 60, and today she’s speaking out to call for reform in how people struggling with addiction and drug abuse handled.

“I don’t feel that he had the resources or the tools available to him to help himself. I don’t want other families to be broken up and have their lives ruined as a result of addiction,” she added. “I really, really do think that there are ways to help. Throwing an addict in jail is not doing anything to help the problem…We’re wasting our money, we’re misusing our resources, and I think we’re hurting ourselves. It’s important to elect politicians who will make a difference with drug abuse and addiction because it’s affecting all of us.”

The singer added: “It’s hard, I guess, to have sympathy for a lot of drug addicts because we think that it’s their fault or they asked for it or something, but you do not ask to have your life shaken up that way and to have everything taken from you. That’s what addiction does: It strips everything from you…

“I see the way I lost my own father to addiction—and it makes me sad that people feel so distraught that they risk it all and end up losing everything.”

 

 

BY @NELSON_JEFF

http://people.com/music/jojo-why-i-vote-video-dads-addiction-broke-family/

The Media Is Doing Us No Favors, Tell Them To Stop

Recently I read an eye-opening comment. The woman mentioned that every news story about heroin has the picture of a dirty spoon, dirty house or some stereotype that people often associate with heroin use. Yes, some heroin users use dirty spoons and don’t keep their homes spic and span. The problem with these photos is that it perpetuates the mindset that, this is how heroin use always looks.

Let me explain why this is an issue. Let’s say a young lady is getting ready to a party and sees a story on the news or online about heroin.  In the story the users look like they haven’t taken a bath in a month, the room they are using in is in an abandoned home and things look pretty dire. The young woman, of course, sees this and takes a mental note. If we are lucky right?

When she gets to the party and has had a few drinks she gets offered heroin. The person offering it is a clean cut, handsome guy that has a nice home. Her mind will go back to that News story but in front of her is walking, talking, breathing, proof, that those things don’t happen to everyone. Those people don’t know when to stop, but he does…what can’t she?

This is a perfect example of how teenagers and young adults take that first step into heroin addiction.

Our News organizations need to do a better job of reporting on this epidemic instead of fanning the flames of the already deadly stigma that comes with heroin addiction.

Holy Addiction and Heroin Bulletin are asking everyone that reads this article to reach out to your favorite News stations and speak up. Tell them that it is wrong to use needles and dirty spoons in every News story.   Tell them that heroin doesn’t discriminate but with the photos of only dirty spoons and people that portray only the depths addiction can take you they are doing the public a disservice.  Those who will be mislead the most are our children.

There should be photos of silver spoons and well-dressed people in these photos because when that young lady gets offered heroin for the first time, she needs to be able to recognize that misery isn’t always dirty. Sometimes it comes in familiar settings and could be offered by beautiful people.

chalk-fullastigma

 

I Only Care Because Heroin Is Killing White Kids

Over the past year anyone following the heroin epidemic has heard people making statements like, “The only reason the news is using the phrase epidemic with the word heroin is that white kids are dying, now.” or ” When we were in the midst of the Crack explosion in the 80’s the crimes committed by black addicts were given heftier sentences.  No one cared that they were addicts.”

It’s not about who is dying but the amount of people who are dying that make it an epidemic.  The definition of epidemic is:

ep·i·dem·ic
ˌepəˈdemik/
noun
  1. 1.
    a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

It’s absolutely true that we have been wrong in how our government and society has treated drug related crimes and addiction in general.

My heart breaks for the families that have suffered under the cruel drug sentences handed out in the name of the three strikes law.  Most that fell into the three strikes category were addicts.  Life in prison for drug charges is deplorable.  Knowing what we know now about addiction makes thinking of the treatment of individuals with Substance Use Disorder in the past cringe worthy.

In the 80’s when crack cocaine became huge in the urban black communities, we all failed. Just the word crack in a courtroom made the sentence longer.  The worst part is that those people were suffering from Substance Use Disorder and are no different than those who today use heroin because of the same disorder.  The families that had loved ones who were using crack were forced to face these things without, support, and suffocating stigma.

The problem is that they were villainized while today we are pushing for courts, police officers and doctors to soften their approach to drug related crime. Now we don’t even want people to use the word addict or addiction.  The term that should be used has even changed.

If we could travel back in time and stop “The War on Drugs” we would.  Unfortunately, we don’t have that option.  The good news is that we are waking up to the truth about addiction and slowly seeing a shift in the treatment of addicts.  Social Media has moved mountains in fighting the views of addiction.

It also doesn’t hurt the cause that people in high places have been forced to look at addiction in a different light.  People of all walks of life have been rocked by the Opioid Epidemic and maybe that is why things are changing. We must take the good with the bad. No matter what, the ideas of yesterday needed to be history.  Let’s all fight to ensure that the ideas of today and tomorrow are correct for all of our communities

Placing blame does not change the destruction that unethical drug laws, did in black communities.  It does, however, make people think of hate instead of change.  So if you hear someone making the argument that we only care now because white people are dying just explain to them that no, we care because the way it was handled in the past was wrong.  The only thing we can do now is to make sure it never happens again.  In order for us to fix the issues that have and will continue to hurt people of all races, is by working together.  So, let’s do it! Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to any community ever again.  After all, isn’t that the best that we can do anyway?