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The Voice Of The Addict . . . . 


I get many letters daily from parents dealing with the problems associated with drug abuse in their children or other loved ones. What has really surprised me though, is the response that I've gotten from addicts, some in recovery, some still in active addiction. Up to this point, I have been just adding them into the section called "Other Mothers Tears" .... but have now decided to start a page devoted to the "Voice Of The Addict." I plan to leave out names, but in some cases, if you do see a name, or a picture, it is only because the person sending it to me requested it to be there. I will never print someone's name or picture without permission, or unless requested to do so.


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I just started going through your web site. I am a recovering addict, and I married one almost three years ago. I don't have three years in yet, but I have the strongest desire ever to stay clean. My husband and I have been separated for awhile, he just can't seem to stay clean and I couldn't live watching it any longer.  I have been searching the web trying to find stuff on grieving, as I feel it will be the death of him.  It has taken him places he doesn't really want to be. He is across Canada now, in the clutches of his addiction.   I know it could never work between us, I have a lot of issues I need to work on too.  Co-dependency, control, my teenage boys and numerous other things I need to face for success in my recovery. None of which I can do without the Grace, Love and Mercy of God.  I have this fear he will not return alive, but I did have the opportunity to talk to him last night, he called. I had a chance to say things that I am grateful for because of our relationship. I could have been dead if not for meeting him when I did, I was on the verge of suicide, I really thought that was my only way out.  It was through him that I was introduced to the Lord. I only wish I could have made a difference for him. Addiction is a powerful enemy. I never understood how much so, until I tried to get straight myself, and watching him in his struggles.  Thank you SO much for your site and sharing your lif with many.

Hello,
My name is Jana....I have recently lost my beautifull sister to a heroin over dose. It is heartbreaking to say the very least. She was my only sister. My brother was lost as well to alcohol addiction. He had been drinking heavily and had a motorcycle accident. It was so odd that they both had severe head injury. My sister's due to heroin over dose. My brother due to the accident. I have a poem about addiction that I would like to submit if you do not mind putting it on your site.  If it can say it to just one lost and lonely addict then I will feel I may have done something worth while.  Here is the poem:

"powder"
I long for sleep,
but can it bring me rest,
or peace for a time at best,
I think not,
for theres no rest for the weary,
and its hard to see through eyes filled with teary,
salty liquid that falls on my page,
and I am so very aware of my age.
And I long to go back
to start the journey again,
to never have found
such a dark dark friend,
who torments the soul,
where the drug addicts go,
when they travel the road of snow white.

I should also tell you that I myself am an addict also, one who lived in denial for many years. Now there is no denial...only regret and new beginnings and hope. I have gone to the father and asked him for help and forgiveness. There's no way I will win this battle without the Lord. No one or thing can do it for me. I do not inject drugs. But had an illness and was given pain pills and valium and am still taking it and trying to keep it under control as I do need the pain pills and probably always will be a person who needs them from time to time. Its so scary for me. I wish I never even saw one little white pill. I'd rather have just tried to live with the pain now that I look back. But isn't hind sight 20/20
?



I am a recovering addict.  I have been out of prison for 9 days now. I found out that my husband commited suicide in February, and no one told me until I came home.  He was also an addict.  He had been in active addiction for 24 years, and was supposed to be getting treatment while I was there.  He had been addicted to crack cocaine, and anyone that has used it knows that it is the devils drug. The depression, the guilt, the shame, the insanity. This has made me even stronger in my recovery.  I lost the man of my dreams to this disease, not to mention my freedom, and my children. I now have to rebuild everything, and that's ok, because I know that as long as I don't use, and go to meetings, and work my program one day at a time, I don't have to be in active addiction.  I have learned to grieve without drugs.  I miss him very much.  I didn't get to say goodbye, however this loss in my life has made me more determined to stay in recovery. He was a good man when he wasn't on drugs, but we are all good people when we're not using. Thank you for listening.




My name is Karen.  Iím 17 yrs old and have been clean for three years this Christmas. Its pretty ironic how I came across your page. I was looking for a poem for my mother, I guess in some way to express so many things left unsaid. You see, I have been battling an addiction for 6 yrs so you can figure out I was getting high at 11. Although, thank God my drugs werenít as severe as others, I was able to destroy everyone and everything around me. I realized through the last years that addiction doesn't discriminate. I come from a middle class family , two wonderful parents and a brother who too, is battling for sobriety. I have always been intelligent and mature for my age. In some ways I grew up too quickly. I don't wish upon anyone the things I have seen or felt. I must mention I don't regret what I have done, because I wouldn't know what I know today. I regret hurting the people who have stuck by me forever and putting myself in situations no child should endure. I am writing to you hoping in some way that I can heal a small portion of your heart. I hope you truly don't blame your self because it isn't you.  ~ KAREN
 

The following two letters are from a female addict named Mel.  She wrote the first letter upon finding my site, and the second after she realized that my own daughter, Kathy, had passed away.   - Vicki

 
MEL'S FIRST LETTER - Hi all. I am a beautiful (on the outside) intelligent, slim, and loving 24 year old female who some might think has everything in the world going for her. But one small problem impedes me... I am a heroin addict. God the pain and horror my family and I have suffered over this awful gut-wrenching, mind crushing prick of a disease/addiction whatever you wanna call it.

I am a middle class Australian girl who loves her caring wonderful family with all her heart, but sadly fell into heroin addiction without abandon about 8 years ago. My mother and father have been through the works, rehab, detoxes, helping with money then food etc etc etc. Thank God I have managed to scrape myself out of the gutter and get clean on methadone a couple of years ago and have not taken heroin for about a year, but am so so scared that this may yet happen.

All I can say is it is possible to be clean after years of addiction. Before I went clean (well as clean as methadone means) I had a $1000 a day habit and was having to sleep with several men every night for my next day's fix. I am now at UNI, and while not totally happy, and still fighting the cravings, I am clean for now and wish you all the best. If anyone needs help, support, an insight into an addicted mind, or whatever please email me at badcats@dingoblue.ney.au

I am here,
Mel
 
MEL'S SECOND LETTER - What can I say except I am so so sorry.  I am glad you have a God you can turn to for comfort. I am glad you have the knowledge you did everything you could to help your daughter. But I am so sorry it ended like this.

Maybe this is a good thing for you to hear: as a 24 year old heroin addict who has been using drugs since she was 13 and heroin since 15, your page made me cry harder than most things have ever made me cry. Your pain echoes my parents and God I am so sorry for that.

I wish I could be perfect.
I wish I could stay clean for ever.
I wish I was a better person.

But I am clean for now, and at UNI after using and being a prostitute for a very long time. It is so very hard, most people seem to hate me if they even guess of my past. A bad woman is a bad woman in their opinion. But please never question sharing yourselves online, you have offered me not only sadness, but hope that I can do someone proud, even if I save my parents from feeling some of the pain you felt and never find my own place in society, even if I live clean but unhappy for the rest of my days, your story gives me another perspective and it will take a huge amount to make me use again.

Thanks again,
Melanie
Australia

I would just like to encourage someone and let them know that I was on drugs for 21 years. It was not until I gave my life to Jesus and obeyed his word, that he delivered me from drugs. I have now been clean for 8 years and am a Deacon in my church. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.


 

 

"My brother's body died last night, the rest of him long ago.  He died at the hand of heroin; and why, I'll never know."

John's Picture

I wrote those words over a year ago, and am no closer to understanding the "why" now, than I was then. I do know that it's pointless to wonder why, for I myself am a recovering alcoholic with 14 years sober last January, and still don't know why I did that to myself and to all who loved me. Oh ... I know the chemical and psychological reasoning behind it all; but what makes some of us head that way while others with the same genes and same proclivities ... do not?

My brother, John Digges, III, certainly never intended to grow up and be a junkie. He had loftly ambitions, and few were beyond his reach. He was a most wanted son and a delight as a child. He had a thirst for knowledge and he absorbed and retained the strangest assortment of facts with relative ease. He was tall, dark and handsome and attracted women -- lovely women, classy women -- with ease. He was at home in any surroundings, from a campfire meeting to a diplomatic dinner. But that deep, dark hungry hole that lives inside every addict ... always screamed for "MORE!" Johnny was a heroin addict for over 30 years. That is an incredibly long life-span for those with his addiction.

Johnny wasn't a wasted addict for all that time. He had many clean and sober periods, most of them though, while he was incarcerated. Although, he also did some of his best dealing and acquiring while behind bars! I am not taking his inventory here, nor telling his story behind his back. He has shared it openly at AA and NA meetings. He was involved in a horrible accident while under the influence. The other driver was killed. It was late at night, there were no witnesses, so none could say for sure which of them had run the redlight. But Johnny could never be sure that he hadn't, and he carried that uncertainty and guilt with him as long as he lived.

During his clean years, Johnny did drug counseling for the state, and even ran state-funded halfway houses during periods of sobriety. He has helped to turn around countless lives. This only serves to make his death MORE puzzling, because he certainly had all the tools! He seemed to be able to help everybody except himself.

Paramedics had resuscitated him countless times. One of the last times, he was found unconscious in his car. They did the CPR bit and had him relatively stable, when they got a call to rush to a robbery scene where a police officer had been shot. They told Johnny not to leave, they would be back quickly. Right! Give an addict a "thou shalt not" and he immediately MUST. But ... not Johnny. He drove immediately to a rehab, rather than to his connection. He would do anything to stay clean and sober ... everything except ... not use again. We all know we have "one more high" left in us. What we don't know is .... whether we have one more recovery.

The next time Johnny was found unconscious, we don't know how long he had been out. He was taken to the hospital and there he lingered for three days on full life support. This beautiful, caring, compassionate man that was my baby brother, was no longer in the bed! What he never would have wanted to see happen, did happen. His overdose nearly killed his Mother, too! She was his biggest fan, his most ardent supporter, and (of course) his most faithful enabler! Knowing that you have financed your child's last "trip" has to be the most heartbreaking feeling any parent can deal with. It matters not that if you had not given them the money, they would have found it somewhere. It matters only that the flickering flame deep within your darling child has been extinguished forevermore.

 

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I received the following letter from a female addict, my own daughter, while she was still in active addiction. It's heartbreaking to look into the mind of an addict, and even more heartbreaking when it is someone you love so much. - Vicki

The streets are awfully cold at night, even in the summertime. Mindless zombies, robotic like, either headed toward or away from the crack house. As I walk, I feel the hole inside my chest, so large, I can feel the wind blowing right through it. Imagine finding a little joy in a patch of a field no one knew about. Where I could relieve myself and even catch an hour or two of sleep. Or ... the day I made friends with the guy who ran the adult video store, where, for $5.00, I could go into a locked booth .... and sleep in safety. There is even a 24 hour restaurant where the cook, who is a member of NA, will feed me once a week. And of course, the manager of a local fast food restaurant, would always trade food for "rock" (crack) ... but who of us was willing to do so.

There is absolutely no loyalty on the streets. You find a dealer and stick with him so he'll look after you, for a VERY small time, while you're down.  The girls NEVER stick together. And almost every "trick" is dangerous in one form or the other. Beaten, raped, robbed, deserted far away, any or all of the above. One could only be so lucky to find their way out ... like my friend Lisa did. She died from an overdose .... her suffering is over.

It hurts to think the streets want us more than our families do. We do what we do to numb the pain, as a result, we feel such shame, and there goes the vicious cycle, never ending, unless an "angel" steps in. Mine must be very angry at me. He probably doesn't have a single feather left. There are no concrete walls, steel bars, or magnetic locks that are worse than having one's hope taken away.


I just came from your site and it touched my heart so because I also have battled drugs for 15 years.  Tears are rolling from my eyes, knowing all the pain I caused my own family due to drugs and all the pain I caused myself because there was no where for me to turn until I found the Lord!!!! Praise God!!!
 
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I received a link to your page from many wonderful people, one of which is a dear friend of mine. In some small way, I thought maybe I could help by saying that I truly know what addiction can do. You see, I am a recovering addict myself. My life of drugs started many years ago with one glass of wine when I was ten. It ended eight years later with one needle in my arm and all the hopes of my life in ruins. I could tell you of the horror, but you already know that .... of all the wondering and worry .... of "where's my son ... my daughter ..... it's 3AM for God's sake" but you have felt this pain. I know, because I have seen this in my own Mother's eyes. I have seen things in my life that no young person should ever have the misfortune of witnessing. The war that lived and ruled my life was waged also on my family, it has no bounds.

Most of all, I wanted to share with you from the deepest part of my being what helped me the most and what I hold dear to me to this day. My mother never gave up on me. Yes, she stopped enabling me, but unlike everyone else who looked at me with nothing but disgust, she always let me know she still loved me and that she would never stop caring, no matter what. So if I were to say one prayer for all the still suffering addicts in the world, it would be that they have someone in their lives like my mom.


Just like your daughter, I am an alcoholic/addict. I have been in and out of treatment centers and psychiatric wards for the last 16 years. I am 38 years old. When I allow the chemicals to take over, I destroy myself and everything in my way. I have not spoken to my mother in 3 years. My son is so afraid when I allow myself to go where it is I go when I allow my disease to take over once again. He says it makes me act crazy. Do you know what it is like to see fear in your child's eyes. Especially when it is what you are doing that is scaring him. His whole life is turned upside down when I go back out and use. I have not had a drink or a pill since July. During this last bout, I was in a treatment center, a psychiatric ward, and jail all in a matter of 3 months. I will keep checking your website. I can only speak for myself, but I want to say I am so sorry to anyone who my addiction has affected. In January, a 37 year old friend of mine finally gave in to her addictions. She took a bottle of pills and ended it forever. I think she just got tired. That's what they tell us will happen to all of us if we don't surrender, but I guess we think that it will never happen to us. I just wanted to let you know that your site has inspired me.

I received this letter from
the same female addict, that I 
mentioned above, my own daughter.  This letter was written from her prison cell one year before she died. - Vicki

It's sad to see full grown men begging people for more "rock", or once beautiful women crawling on the floor looking for some that they swear they dropped. I have seen both, crying in agonizing failure and I swore that I would never do such.

However, late at night, behind the dryers of the laundromat, I have allowed myself to leak water from my eyes. I don't cry for me, I cry for my child and for my family, and all the zombies.

The dryers are warm, but a female can't stay there long; the woodsmen come out, and do the unimaginable. It's safer in the book store, if you have $5.00.

The crack house won't let you in without money, and won't let you out if you still have some. I just wish the ground would open up and swallow all the dope houses into the guts of hell.

I don't know what day it is, but I never knew "out there" either. Do you understand? With no car, and no phone, it was like I was in a cage, locked. The silence was deafening.


I just wanted to say what a lucky and blessed person your daughter is to have a mother who cares and understand so much. That in itself is a great triumph. I too, am an addict, suffering a relapse after almost nine years clean. One of the great battles I fight besides the addiction, is the gut-wrenching tearful fear that I could lose my Mom and Dad, and little brothers over this disease. My parents have never been able to comprehend it as a disease or a fight .... in their eyes, it is just a "simple choice" to do or not to do. Still, I have accepted their self-imposed perception and worked very hard at healing the pain and betrayal they have suffered from this regardless of their perception and I truly love them all deeply. I am once again fighting demons I had hoped never again to face head-on. The good news is (yes, there is some) is that I have a loving husband now (of 1 1/2 years) who is doing his darndest to hang in there with me. I fought this alone with God's help last round, and now with my husband's love and God's help, I feel that I can beat this. I'm sorry this is so long-winded, but your site just brought tears to my eyes thinking how lucky your daughter is, lucky and truly blessed. I have lit a candle for myself on your candlelight page. What an incredible page! I know that many people will be helped by your willingness and efforts. I wish and pray the best for your daughter. If more people worked as hard as you at loving ... even through adversity .... maybe addiction never would have been, and maybe someday, it can be abolished through the love and caring of God ... and people like you.

I am an addict in recovery, drug free now for 13 years. Everyone had lost hope and faith in me. It took me years to get to where I am today. I have two children .... they saw it all ... lived it all. You know the drama ..... missing for days ... hospitalized. My breaking point was when I was laying in the hospital, all hooked up to every machine there was ... seeing my daughter .... crying and glaring at me. It was not love or sadness in her eyes. It was "hate." She looked down at me and said, "why don't you just f-----g die and leave us alone!!!" I was 36 years old and was literally dead. I wanted to cry when my daughter said that. I wanted to scream ... I wanted to feel ... but I felt nothing but fear ... knowing the end was near ... and that I had to do something. I have God in my life now and he helps me take it a day at a time, giving me the strength to go on, he removed the desire from me. It is up to me now to keep the positive attitude and constantly work on myself. I still attend 12 step meetings. My biggest fear became my reality. My son became an alcoholic. I need not say what that did to me. I've put his care in God's hands. Today, my wonderful son has 1 year and 2 months sobriety, and life just gets better, as long as I live right.
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I am a recovering addict. Actually, Vicki is my sister and I am the brother she mentions on her opening page. I've suffered through 26 years as a drug addict, the last 17 years on heroin. I've lost everything I ever had due to my drug use but mostly I lost myself and my self-respect. I've been in prison 4 times as a result of my addiction and it wasn't until I gave my life to Jesus Christ that I finally found some hope. I've only been clean for a little over a year now and I know there are no guarantees, but I know that as long as I remain close to God and keep Him first, I will never have to return to the HORROR I once lived.   I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Phil. 4:13

 
Yes, the letter above was written by my brother, my baby brother, whom I dearly love.  He was clean and eager to stay that way when he wrote this letter, but that was several years ago.  He didn't make it though, and he went back to prison.  But today, by the grace of God, he's out of prison and doing well.   "One day at a time."   - Vicki
 



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