I’m Tiffany, & I’m an addict.

Hey you! I plan on writing many blogs detailing the dark, filthy trainwreck my life had become once the disease of addiction took ahold of my soul, however since this is my first post in this category, I thought I would take this opportunity to give you the 411 on my specific addiction….

I have a very vivid memory of setting my stuffed animals up in a row and teaching them about turtles. I explained about their shell, the way their heads ducked inside when they were scared, and the way they either lived on land or in the water. My treasure trolls never paid attention in class, so I usually had them in detention writing they were “sorry” over and over for interrupting my class. I had a passion for teaching and knew that when I grew up I was going to be the greatest teacher this town had ever known.

My dream, was to become a teacher, and at NO point, upon being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up did I EVER respond: A lying, thieving drug addict.

I didn’t want to be that. I don’t think anyone does, so HOW does this happen over and over to countless friends and loved ones? How do people who were straight ‘A’ students, or like myself, Captain of the High School cheerleading squad, ultimately end up in a trap house shaking uncontrollably while the dope man takes his time gathering the drugs I’ve just purchased with money I’ve just stolen out of my sisters wallet after she invited me over to hang out?

How come the girl next to me can take a pill for the first time, and never have the desire to try another, but when I take a pill, I am immediately thinking about the next time I can try one again.

Apparently there is something in our brains called a “reward system“. Evidently, back in the day, this came in handy when people were new to the earth. When they ate food, or had sex, the dopamine in their “reward system” spiked, that caused feelings of wanting to do these things again. I believe the “reward system” was put in our brains to continue procreation and encourage the human race to feed themselves on a consistent basis. After all if people were repulsed by sex, no one would have done it and humans would eventually fizzle out right?? This is the same reason that when you see a big a** delicious piece of chocolatey cake you get friggin excited, and when you eat that bad boy your “reward system” is like HELL to the YES….

The thing about our “reward system” is, it also releases dopamine when drugs travel through it, record levels of dopamine in fact. For someone like myself, when my “reward system” starts pumping that dopamine out, I never want it to stop.

Imagine you go to get a professional massage. You are on the table, waiting for the massuese to begin rubbing the warm oil between her hands. You know that at any moment, she is going to place her gifted hands onto your tired, achy, sore muscles and gently knead the stress you have been carrying away until you are completely relaxed. You are waiting with anticipation for her to begin….THAT feeling, is what it was like when I first started using…

The anticipation of knowing that the minute I took that pill, my days of stress and worry would disappear and I would become completely relaxed. If you could get a professional massage everyday, you probably would. I wanted that feeling everyday. I had a choice between feeling bored, annoyed, anxious and stressed, or feeling happy, relaxed, careless and free. Once I realized I could feel that way all the time, I never wanted to stop.

Eventually my “reward system” responded by lowering the amount of dopamine it produced, the only way I could feel that wonderful feeling I initially experienced was to do more than usual. My body built a tolerance. So I doubled the amount of pills I did to show my body who was boss…..

I didn’t know about withdrawl when I first began taking these magical pills. I was unaware of the consequences at that time, hence, my continued use. One night I was lying in bed and I got a feeling similar to that of growing pains. Remember when you were little and your muscles and bones were growing and that shit hurt?! That’s how I felt. I called my best friend and she told me it was most likely because I hadn’t taken a pill that day, and if I took one, she is sure I’d be fine. So I did. And she was right.

That was the night….. That night I stopped using because I wanted to, and started using because I HAD to.  I found, that when I stopped taking a pill for an extended period of time, my body revolted.

Imagine laying in bed, and all of a sudden it felt as though your bones were breaking out of your skin. Your muscles were twisting in on themselves as your body became drenched with perspiration. Despite feeling as though you were sitting in an oven, your body was prickled with goosebumps. Your nose begins running and your eyes watering. You clench up into the tightest ball you can make and begin rocking to help alleviate the pain, to no avail. You attempt to sleep, in hopes of time passing without you being conscious, but the severe physical pain your body is in doesn’t allow it. You have diarrhea and vomit leaving your body at the same time, but you dread having to get out from under the covers to use the restroom because the cold air feels as though someone is repeatedly stabbing you with thousands of microscopic needles all over every single inch of your body. You are forced to be awake every second and feel every ounce of this torture. Seconds seem like centuries…….and this feeling will last for weeks, even months, until the drugs are completely out of your system…

Or. …….You can feel better within seconds…..all you have to do ….is take one pill and all that pain and anguish instantly……disappears………

It’s as if you are underwater, the remaining air you had in your lungs just dissipated, so you begin hiccupping on whatever miniscule traces of oxygen you have left. The surface of the water is a mere inches from your face, all you have to do is stand up and you can inhale fresh, clean air into your empty tired lungs….

That is how it feels during withdrawl…..the pills, in essence, are my water surface….

I know it was my choice to begin taking the pills. I know it was ignorant of me to not fully research the consequences of my actions…but once I began, it became virtually, impossible….to stop….

If you know someone who is suffering from addiction and you are thinking to yourself “why the f*** don’t they just stop?” ….Try walking up to someone on an oxygen tank and saying to them “hey, why don’t you just turn that damn thing off?”….

That’s how it feels to be an addict. If an addict has a job, a family, a home, a vehicle and they have the choice of going through weeks and months of physical and mental agony, or taking just one more pill and postponing the pain for another day.  They will most likely choose the pill, every time.

Don’t be judgemental, be empathetic. Don’t be hateful, be emotionally supportive. Don’t lose hope for them, pray for them, and don’t write them off as a lost cause, because change is always possible. You cannot talk a drug addict into getting clean. They must experience enough pain, desperation and heartbreak to decide to fight with all their might to beat it. No one on this earth, including children and judges, can make an addict become willing to stop if the journey of getting clean seems harder than continuing on the dark path of addiction. This is why many of us have to hit rock bottom in order to stop. If things haven’t gotten bad enough, why would we? It’s torture.

If you are a parent,spouse or child of an addict,….you have to know this isn’t your fault. Its ours, and theres nothing you could have done differently aside from chaining us up in a closet, (and even then we would most likely eat paint chips off the wall…jk…kinda). Don’t give us money, give us love and support and please believe me when I tell you this……that this is ALL you can do.  There are no “right” words to say to us..no “right” things to do or not to do…love us from a distance if you must but please, don’t stop loving us.

I am grateful that no one wrote me off as a lost cause…It was the love and emotional support of my family that kept the hope in my heart alive as I fought the demons permanently residing in my head, that so desperately attempted to take my life from me.

I will never be able to be a school teacher (damn felonies) , but when I got clean I made a promise to God that I would take every opportunity I was given to teach others about how recovery and the program worked for me, and that it can for them too…. My life isn’t where I expected it to be, but I believe in my heart of hearts, that its exactly where it was always meant to be…..

 

 

 

 

20 comments

  1. 😭erggg can’t talk, you just swirled all that shit up like it just happened. So, I’m thinking your going to write a book or be a stand up comedian fucking rock star. Thank, thank, thank you for so openly writing, making videos and posts. I wish I would have seen some of this when I first became a mom, I would have felt so much better, like I was not alone. I just really appreciate your stuff and had to tell you KEEP GOING, your FUCKING AWESOME!

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  2. Dear Tiffany, I just read your blog. It hit home and touched my heart. I experienced A lot if what you wrote, only I am not an addict. My son is. The pain and worry I felt will Always be with me. I love my son and for a long time actually helped his addiction, not KNOWING that , that is what I was doing. Financially it nearly broke me. My SON an addict. It couldn’t be. He was a father, a faithful mate,a hard worker, and a wonderful SON. What did the Dr. Mean an overdose??? Over and over again! I loved him before I knew and tried loving him 10x as much after I became aware. It was that love and getting on my knees daily, nightly praying to our God. My son is now clean. Living many miles away, with his children, who are now grown. I do not hear from him very often. We were always so close. After those couple Of years flying to his home ,..more often than not ,the first flight out, pleading, crying,trying to understand. Well, it took some very tough love, but he is alive. Why, he chooses not to really talk to me except on Holidays and my birthday and Mothers Day,…well I will never know. I just thank God every day that he is alive. My heart goes out to every addict, alchoholic, and their families. It is a terrible disease. But a whole lot of Love and faith in our God, is what it takes for everyone touched by this disease. God Bless you and continue writing your blog. It truly touched my heart. A Warm Embrace, Rena ..(.Mother of truly a very wonderful SON and man who battled this demon.)

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    • Wow Rena, thank you so much and what a powerful story! In my opinion, the only thing harder than being an addict, is loving one. Especially your child. Watching them change into someone you barely recognize anymore, watching them self destruct and being virtually powerless, unable to help or fix them. The pain you carried must be enormous. I am so glad to hear that he is better and able to be there for his family. Perhaps he may be carrying some shame still, unsure of how to reconnect with you due to the guilt he feels. Perhaps not. Either way I pray that you all may be able to begin anew and be apart of one another’s lives, because life is fleeting, and we only have one go of it. Your comment meant a lot to me and I’m sending you love and hugs!!!

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  3. You. Are. Amazing! Thank you for sharing this!!! My ex-husband is an addict as well…. he became one after we separated and disappeared from our lives for almost 2 years. I spent countless days and nights messaging him, pleading for him to fix his life and come back to his children. I left voice mails all the time, even sent him texts written out as my 5 year old daughter spoke words to her father asking why he won’t answer the phone or text us back. He hit very rock bottom in December and called me up asking me to come get him and take him to rehab. It was the HARDEST thing I ever had to do…. to agree to drive 2 hours away and drop him off another 4 hours away and then drive 3 more hours back alone. It was hard to even agree to help him after all he put us through….after all, he left me to pick up the pieces of my daughters crying night after night for 6 months because their daddy just stopped seeing them and wouldn’t talk to them. I thank God that He gave me the strength to still show him love and help him. He has been clean for almost 5 months now and in a month and half the girls will see their daddy for the first time in exactly 2 years. Reading what you wrote from your perspective has really helped me. He’s not a many of many words and has never been able to put into words what it was like for him. This helps for sure! Keep being amazing ❀

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    • Oh wow. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to give you perspective from the addicts side. 5 months is incredible and I pray that your family is able to be whole and happy again! Please keep me posted on how it goes with the reunion
      You are one strong momma!!! ❀❀❀

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  4. I absolutely love your truth! Looking forward to reading everything you write and watching all your videos. Your story will change lives, your amazing and funny, and you are definitely a teacher. Great work!

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  5. I am so glad I found your FB page and blog. My 20 year old son is a recovering meth addict. I blamed myself so many times. Like you, he didn’t say, hey when I grow up I want to be a drug addict. He was an athlete, smart, and flushed it all down the toilet for drugs. I love your reading your blog, watching your videos, and reading about the struggles that have brought you to where you are. I can’t wait to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for your open, raw, honesty!! As I struggle through this thing we call life, reading your blog posts have helped me so much! As I said before, I have a daughter who is recovering (actually spent 2 years in prison), a son who is an active addict of anything he can get his hands on and I’m married to an active alcoholic. Reading your posts and seeing my daughter where she is really gives me hope for my son and husband!! You are an absolute ROCKSTAR!!

    Liked by 1 person

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