Life After Dealing With Death
Posted by Daniel Wittler on 7th Feb 2019
My last few years of being an active addict are still such a distinct memory in my head. It was such an isolated time of my life where I tangibly felt that I was in a world of my own. I felt so separated from anyone that had been in my life because I had cut off communication and mostly lived in my head while I wandered the streets looking to get high again. When I did get when I need I would stay in my bedroom for days. Days without leaving the room not even to go to the bathroom. The sick thing is that I loved it, it was comfortable to me, I like to call it my ‘cocoon’. At the same time I was a ticking time bomb, something had to give, nobody lives like this for very long.
I didn’t touch a drug until my first week of college. One night a friend put a joint in front of my face and I didn’t think twice about it, after all I wasn’t living with my parents anymore, how could I get in trouble? From the first moment I was stoned I fell in love. It calmed down my mind, made me laugh, made food taste great. After that first experience, I wanted to be stoned day and night, and I pretty much was. I lasted two years in college, apparently you need to actually go to class to be able to stay, I was much too busy getting stoned and playing video games. I moved home after those 2 years, in my mom’s basement and I felt like I took a huge step backwards. One night, a friend of a friend had some percocets he was selling, I bought a few, and that was when I met my true first love, opiates. Every worry or anxious thought I had melted away, I was social and funny. This was the miracle pill. From that night on my life revolved around getting more opiates.
It didn’t take long before I hit a major wall, which was my mom noticing money being taken from her bank account. I told her I was hooked on drugs and it floored her, she couldn't believe it. She was under the suspicion I had been smoking pot but nothing like this. Thus began my first of several journeys to detox. The next five years of my life were a terrible cycle of, going to treatment, moving to halfway, getting kicked out, being homeless and then hopefully again making it to treatment. My poor mother, she was notified every single time one of these life changing events happened to me. I would get some time and then go back out, I would try other drugs thinking it wasn’t my problem. No matter what I did, everything around me would crumble.
That brings me to where I began in this story, isolated in that room that my mom was paying rent for in South Florida. As I said, something had to give while I was living that existence. To last like I did for even a few years is very lucky. It was March 17, 2015 when my mom called me around 11 AM and informed me my dad had died of a heart attack. He was 60 years old. I was devastated. After attendlosing someone in ing his service I attempted to get my life back together while at home, renting out yet another place my mom paid for (god bless her) but instead I stayed pent up in my room crying myself to sleep every night. After about 2 months of that, I got a call from my mom who said I could go to treatment, my father had left behind money. I thought about it for about 10 seconds and said yes, please. I was as hopeless as I had ever been.
Hopelessness is a double edged sword. At the same time that I had absolutely no faith in myself or my capabilities, it brought me to a place where I would listen to just about anyone else and what they told me. I was well established that doing things my way never work. I was too beat up to argue with anybody so when I went to treatment this time I just listened and did everything I was told to do. I am still sober to this day because of that. I really do find things to be that simple in order to flourish in recovery. The most profound thing I will tell people I try to help is, “Shut up and listen”. Once I gave up my way completely, which is what I find to be surrender, that is when I opened up to a new way of life and begin to feel the benefits of it. It was the times I still hung on to what I thought I needed to do and what I thought was the right thing that I stumbled and ultimately bottomed out again. Please, if you are struggling, ask for help from someone you trust and more importantly, do what they instruct you to do. It’s the sole reasons am still alive and recovering to this very day.