“When I was a young child I had many hopes and dreams, I wanted to go to college and play sports, meet the girl of my dreams, get married and maybe have children. But then at the tender age of eighteen I found something that made me feel better that anything I had experienced before, crack cocaine. The euphoria was unbelievable but what I didn’t know is that it would take everything I owned, and then it took my soul. It took away all the moral and values I had when I was young.
I went through numerous rehabs and went to jail numerous times. What crack didn’t tell me was that it would take away every hope and dream I had. My addiction told me it would stick with me and make my problems go away, including feelings, it took my soul away, and once it was done with me it tossed me away like a piece of trash.
I am not the only one, millions of people suffer from the disease of addiction and most need help to stop, without this help most will end up in jails, institutions and even dead. How many people do you know that have lost their battle to this disease and lost all their hopes and dreams?”
As I look back there are so many issues, situations and people that led to my addiction. My anxiety and depression played major roles. My mind would be cycling and I could not get it to stop so I would get high. I felt depressed and felt like there was nothing to do to change it so I would get high. My depression played a big part because I have suffered from it for so long and did not know how to handle it anymore. The drugs were my escape. It was hard for me to stop because I have an issue saying “NO” when it was offered to me and even just the sight of it gave me the urge to use. I just felt hopeless all the time and when I used I could forget about all of it. I would also use because my life had a lack of meaning. I did not have a job, I was not going to school, I had nothing to live for. Nothing seemed important. My preoccupation was with drugs. I though drugs were needed in order to have fun. My difficulty solving problems without getting overwhelmed also led me to use. There were people in my life at the time that contributed to my using. The people that I was socializing with were those who were using drugs. My boyfriend and I started hanging out with a new group of people that consisted mainly of others who misused drugs and we just fell into the trap. My old friends all left for college, so I was left with my new negative influences. I am totally aware that it was no ones fault but mine. All I can do is try to work to overcome my drug addiction.
I have been using drugs since I was 13 years old. I got drunk for the first time at 11 years.
I have been to over 20 rehabs in 16 years, all ended with me relapsing.
I began using drugs and alcohol because of social anxiety. I felt “different” and was petrified to talk to anyone. Drugs and alcohol gave me false courage. It also lowered my inhibitions which led to my low self esteem now and then.
I have two young sons who are a victim of this premature, because of my heroin addiction. I am tired of saying I am a mom, but not being a mom, a daughter, sister, aunt for that matter.
My entire life has revolved around the getting and using of drugs. Many suicide attempts and unhealthy relationships have compounded my addiction now I am a dual diagnosis. I have lost my education, my spirit and my health due to the addiction that I have.
Today, I am hopeful that Synergy will help me fill the void inside my heart. I am excited to learn how to love and accept myself.
My family is also excited about the holistic view of this program. They have never supported me in treatment as much as they are now. That means the world to me!!!!!
“I remember smoking my first joint by the wood stairs when I was eight years old. That summer I asked my father who owned a bar and gas station, if my brother, cousin, and myself could have a beer from the fridge in the garage. He said “drink all the beer you want” as he laughed.
As I walked I walked away in front of my family telling them I would hate the taste, my brother, cousin and I two to three beers each. We all enjoyed feeling the grown ups at the party at our home on the lake. Some more partying, some more drinking, except we no longer asked, we just assumed it was ok. Then one day my dad caught us in the garage getting drunk and screamed at us with out cousin being told to get his “god damn ass out of the garage”. My brother and I were beaten as per usual and sent to our rooms which was worse because it as noon on Saturday and we knew we couldn’t leave until at least a week, except to eat and use the bathroom. My brother and I never, ever got the message. We always drank and smoked pot from that day on.
I had a friend who let me grow marijuana with him and I sold it to fellow students and high school students who were right directly next door to our junior high. I would hide it in the drop ceiling in the boy bathroom, then carried it in my gym bag, then I got into a fight in one of my classrooms and was told to go to the office. I refused because I had a half a pound of weed in my gym bag, needless to say the principal came down and got me and said “bring the gym bag”. After finding my stash he called my father and he was there in no time. He walked into the office, bitch slapped me across the face and kicked me in the shin. The principal stood up and said “Mr. Millard I am not going to have any of that in here” my father screamed “sit the F*** down, I am running the show here”, he turned around and kicked me and slapped me again!
I was suspended for ten days, I pushed and shoved all the way to the car. He took me straight to the barber and shaved my head which was past my shoulders, then he took me in the car, punching me on me my legs and ribs, slapping me on my face, the whole way home. When we arrived home he made take my door off my bedroom and screamed at me for hours. This didn’t work, I drank even more, I felt worthless and I started working our like a mad man, running four miles a day, lifting weights and rowing my boat around the lake. I was training to kick some a**!
I was suspended ten times for beating up people by the ninth grade. I was drinking a fifth of whiskey a day with my friend doing the same. This was the only time I made the honor roll. Nobody knew I was drunk, I sat calmed and listened. I quit smoking pot in the tenth grade due to paranoia and not being able to approach or be around girls. My drinking continued yet I excelled in sports and fighting, I was brought up to varsity football as a Sophomore and was kicked off the team for coming to practice drunk. I also made the varsity basketball team as a sophomore and was kicked off for the same reason.
After high school I continue to fight and drink for a short time until I was arrested twice for beating up people and was charged with drunk and disorderly. My life was out of control. Then things went from bad to worse, my mother left my father and I decided to move in with her, she told me that if the porch light was on I could not come home. I spent many night sleeping in my car. One night my father jerked the door opened and asked me what the hell was I doing? I told him the truth. He said “come back to my house, your mother is smoking crack and dating a drug dealer”. This just floored me because my mother never drank or drugged, she was a health nut athlete. I started drinking to the point of black outs and fighting every time I went to parties, drove on the road and knocked a janitor out cold in a small bathroom.
In 1986, after that I knew I had to leave Michigan. I moved to Florida and got a job and became sober. Obsessed with working out four hours a day six days a week drinking was now binge drinking only on the weekends. My life was better being away from all the drunk friends, and my mothers crack problem. In 1989 I got married to an Irish girl whom I had gotten pregnant. We had met a year earlier and partied like rock stars.
I was a good father and loved my wife, my drinking was still there but I would never black out, I only drank once every other weekend, six to eight drinks tops. My marriage ended in divorce due to my wife cheating on me, I was devastated. I had also been having major health problems since 1990 due to a surgeons negligence, leaving a clip on my bile duct for four days during gal bladder surgery, resulting in fourteen operations including bypass surgery.
I met a Christian girl in 1997, lived a basically clean life, sang at our church and loved all my kids like crazy. We grew apart in 2000 due to the fact that she never worked once in three years. I paid child support and supported her and I working seven days a week. By then I didn’t want a relationship. I was scared of women and didn’t have any long term relationships for six years. Partying the hardest I had ever had before. I was so lost and lonely and I felt I would never meet someone. I always met very beautiful women all the time but would be afraid to get hurt. I hurt a lot of people so I would just go out and get drunk. By then my mother had been using crack on and off for twenty years and was really ill and was now drinking hard because her twin sister died of cirrhosis of the liver from alcoholism that year yet she continued to drink. This drove me crazy and made me feel like a piece of s***!
On February of 2006 I received a phone call from my first love, Cathy who lived in Orlando. I went to visit her two weeks later for a drink. We sat at the dinner table after not seeing each other for twenty years, put our head together and held hands, it was beautiful. Like we were in 1982, we dated for a year, long distance. She saw my drinking problem and instantly put and end to it, and I stopped, she cheated on me. Heartbroken as I was it only lasted about a month. We lived so far, 182 miles apart with careers we couldn’t possibly leave, we both knew in our hearts it would end we just never talked about it. The night we broke up I drank until I blacked out. Did that for two weeks on and off and then decided to get a second job to keep myself on track, I did that until November of 2007, when I met Kelly.
We met at a bar and moved in together two months later. I drank with no control because she didn’t know me and my problem. She never really once got intoxicated, staying in control yet having fun with me. I soon learned after falling in love that I had made a mistake. She was cold and unloving. I was left to do all the house work and responsibilities around the house. Laundry, dishes, mop the floors, garbage, mail, etc. The worse problem was the loneliness I felt. I couldn’t leave, my heart was so in love with her. She didn’t go out to bars and didn’t cheat on me. For once, someone faithful. I had to put up with her faults. After a year of this and her being gone from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and sleeping all day and sometimes three days in a row I would get so lonely, I would tell and justify in my head looking back now, that I can go and have a couple of drinks, but it would turn in to twenty or thirty. Sometimes missing work.
I have put her through a horrible time I have been hurt as well but take full responsibility for her leaving me, yet, I found myself so hurt and lonely. I am focused and so grateful that I convinced my case psychologist to put me in PHP instead of IOP so I could get the tools that I needed to take this plan I have, one day at a time”.
“I was born at Lenoir Rhyne Hospital in Hickory, NC. on July 18, 1988 weighing about 14 ounzes. My grandfather called me “hugey” and my whole famly thought I was going to be fat. My first word was “Ma” on May 14th, 1990. I don’t remember much of myself as an infant.
I began attending middle school at Viewmont Elementary, were we had a guinea pig as a pet in my homeroom class. My dad owned three dry cleaning stores in North Carolina and I would help him after school everyday on weekdays. On the weekends I would usually be at my moms place of work, The Church of the Ascension. She taught Sunday school and she was my teacher, so I was always on my best behavior.
My father was very into golf and became a Pro at Lake Hickory Country Club. We played in a lot of father and son tournaments when I was younger and we were pretty succesful. I also enjoyed playing tennis and took lessons and practiced with my family and friends.
I moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1999 and began to attend a small private school called Out of Door Academy, I shortly got kicked out and started to attend Cardinal Mooney, were I did pretty well in school. I enjoyed playing the bass and practiced all the time.
I started smoking that marijuana in the ninth grade and experimented with a lot of other drugs as well as partying and drinking on the weekends with friends. I got kicked out of Mooney on my Senior year for failing a drug test and got charged with possesion of marijuana and a knife in my car. I then finished high school at Sarasota High, This was easy and I graduated with a good GPA and shortly after I went to Gainesville to start college. There I did very well, eventhough I was smoking pot daily and drinking occasionally.
My life became unmanageable when I returned home to Sarasota and all of my friends were doing pills and hardcore drugs. My life went downhill and I went from snorting pills to smoking oxycontin and then came shooting them. I was heavily addicted to the rush and tried quitting on my own many times without success. My mom knew there was something wrong with me but I denied it, until she saw track marks on my arms. She tried to get me clean by sending me to detox, which I relapsed from immediately.
After realizing I couldn’t recover in Sarasota, my mother decided to send me to Synergy Group Services, and I couldn’t be any happier. I came here on December 2, 2009 and now here 24 days of sobriety under my belt and for the first time in many years I am enjoying being sober. I am going to be staying here for another month and plan on staying in West Palm Beach because the change in environment has been really good for me.