Posts in Overdose Awareness
Bandwagon
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I’m recently back on the bandwagon and in the NA program. Granted it’s only been a few weeks but I’m doing it and that’s what counts most. Basically what I’m trying to say is no matter what ppl may say behind your back, no matter how many peers doubt your success, no matter how many obstacles may challenge your persistence – don’t back down!

I’ve been falling off and getting back on this bandwagon for as long as I can remember but I know as long as I keep at it something is bound to give. Look at it this way – if you keep trying, something might ‘click’ & ‘stick’. If you stop trying and persistence doesn’t persist then where are you? – in the same dead end place you were before you even tried – nowhere!

I could go on rambling about the many reasons that not giving up is what counts but I’m afraid this would turn into a book. So I’ll close on this note: ‘My worst day clean is always better than my best day using.'

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Mom
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MOM
Did you know a mother is the most important person in a girl's life?
Well what happens when a girl's mom isn’t the mom she's supposed to be?
What happens when a girl's mom is dead inside?
Leaving the girl to always worry and wonder how much longer her mom will last before she dies on the outside too?
I have the answer to these questions.
It hurts.
Your heart feels like it is being torn to shreds every time you think about it.
It's painful.
The pain's so excruciating that sometimes you wonder how you're still surviving. Sometimes you just want to jump out of your own skin, and run as far away as you possibly can.
It's sad.
Sometimes you cry. And sometimes you can't, because you've already spent all your tears on it.
Sometimes you feel so alone.
Sometimes you just want your mom to tell you everything will be ok...
Sometimes you wish you would wake up and it would all be a bad dream.
But you won't. And it isn't.
When it's hard to get out of bed, I still have to. When it's hard to go to work, I still have to.
When it's hard to live for myself, I find it in me to do it anyways. Because I have sisters. And they need me right now.
So I live on. Life goes on. And I make the best of it.
When my Mom falls deeper into addiction, I work harder on recovery.
Because that's all I can do.
Is survive and stay strong

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31 reasons why I am grateful to be clean
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1. I can love myself again
2. I can be there for my sisters
3. I’m healthy
4. I have a choice about the things I do
5. I have my own place with no roommates
6. I have money in the bank
7. I have emotions again
8. I can take custody of my sister when the time is right
9. I’m not dying
10. I am capable of respecting myself now
11. I can buy nice things
12. No hospital trips
13. No trips to the holding cell
14. I have a clean house
15. I can follow through with my plans and my goals
16. I quit smoking
17. My family doesn’t have to watch me destroy myself anymore
18. I can keep my promises
19. I have a decent job
20. I have my physical appearance back
21. I believe in myself again
22. I take proper care of my Kitty
23. I have nice teeth
24. I have nice clothes and tons of shoes!
25. Ppl aren't stealing from me every time I turn my back
26. I can say to myself "I did it!!!"
27. I can connect with other humans again
28. I can sleep every night
29. I pay my own rent and bills
30. I can spend Christmas with my family
31. I can do anything in the world now that I am clean

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Dear Mother,
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Dear Mother,

Thank you for never being anything but on my side and doing what was best for me, even when I didn’t believe that you weren’t doing it to spite me. I’ve come to see that you were always right. I’m sorry for my cruelty and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. Thank you for letting me learn things the hard way, but also thank you for always knowing when I needed you most and never turning your back on me in those times. There’s nothing more that you could have done to try and save me and I’m so grateful that you’re understanding that I’m not ready to get better. I love you mom, forever I’m in your debt.

Xo
-Daughter of yours, 2018

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A Poem I Wrote in Treatment
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There was nothing good about you
You tore me apart
You hypnotized me
You were my answer to all my faults

I'll never forget what you did to me
The pain and grief you caused
I can't believe how blinded I was
To see right past all of your flaws

At first you were a miracle
I was fooled by your disguise
You murdered my friends, you were murdering me
And I still stood by your side

If something was wrong,
You were there for me
No matter where I was,
Who I was with
What I was doing
What I had done...
You were there...

No matter how good I felt,
Or how bad I felt
You
Were
Always
There.
You never left my side...

Until I said goodbye.

I never expected what you did to me
When I chose to say goodbye...

You left me
ALONE BROKEN
CHEWED UP HELPLESS
SPAT OUT BETRAYED

You left me feeling DEAD inside

You did this to me
We were supposed to be friends
You stabbed me in the back

Well friend, I promise you one thing only.

I chose life, not METH

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My Choice
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I am an alcoholic and a drug addict. The reason that I am writing this is because I did something today that I never thought I would do in a million years. I ran into an associate of mine that I knew for quite a while. He had asked me if I wanted to go smoke a joint with him. Now, I have been clean and sober for a period of 22 days thus far. This period of sobriety was all my choice, and my choice to boot. The next thing I knew I was walking to the C-train with him. I can’t as much say what got me thinking this, but I started thinking about the consequences of me smoking a joint. Then I started thinking about what I’m really going to get out of it. The first thing I thought about was my girlfriend and how she would react to me being high. I knew right away that she would be pissed off. The thing that really gets me is that 22 days ago I wouldn’t have cared if she was mad or not, but for some reason this was a big concern of mine. I then really started thinking about what it would be like to be stoned, and I couldn’t think of anything positive about it. I realized that I don’t need drugs to feel good. I actually feel worse when I’m high because I know that I would feel alright with it while I was high, but when I come down, I know that I’ll start feeling guilty, ashamed, and I know that I wouldn’t be able to see my girlfriend while I’m high because she’ll know right way and I know that she’ll be choked. I then started thinking about what I’ll get out of it. Then I came up with the end result that nothing good would come out of it. It was then that my associate had said to me, I guess it depends on how much you want to smoke a joint. To tell you the truth I don’t really know what the conversation was that we were having that made him say those words but those nine words struck something in my head that made me realize that I really don’t want to risk all that I have worked for over the past 22 days for one simple joint. I feel real good about that because I have finally realized that drugs and alcohol don’t have the hold on me they once had. I’m finally starting to get a grasp of my life and it feels really good. I know now more than I have ever know, I do have the power to make choices. I also feel real good because I can honestly say that I made the right choice for the right reason. I don’t want any part of my life that I had with drugs and alcohol. I mean specifically being afraid that people are watching you, that people that love and care about you don’t exist, and with my sobriety comes love and respect from my girlfriend, and if that’s the only thing that I get out of this sobriety then that’s good enough because I wouldn’t trade that for a million dollars, or for anything else.

- Anonymous 

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Mental Recovery
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Mental Recovery

Although I’m stuck in what would feel like jail
I am refreshed and happy but really scared
I don’t know what’s going to happen out there
In a world that is not fair
I know I have to fight my way to the top without anything like a crutch
I know when I finally get there though
Ill be happy that I got help from the people that I know
How important it is to be straight and clean,
To succeed inner happiness that I’m finally getting in me

Hey, my name is Mike, and I would like to tell you something important to me. I have a drug problem that was controlling my life. I was powerless. I took drugs to try to kill my problems and all it did was make them worse. I needed help, so I went to treatment. This is the best thing I did. The poem up top is how I felt when I was there. I’m doing great now and I highly recommend going to treatment. So, if you have a drug or alcohol problem, please get help, because it will be the best things that you can do for you and your loved ones!

-          Smiling Brighter, 1995

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Leap of Faith
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Have you ever had to face your phobia? Well my phobia has lived with me for the past 13 years. It’s there when I wake up in the morning, it’s there when I go to sleep at night and everywhere in between. Can you guess what it is? It’s addiction and it’s the scariest thing I have ever encountered. Imagine being suspended off the highest building you could possibly think of with no safety nets, no support, nothing. Just empty land around you and if you were to scream no one would possibly be able to hear you. That’s just it, the only way to overcome addiction is within yourself and I have realized that now, that’s why I am choosing to take the leap of faith, the first step into this building, and check myself into detox. It’s been frightening, but there is nothing more frightening than living in a constant battle between bad and evil. There is no good, the only light or glimpse of hope is me. And with my potential I am brighter than any darkness or obstacle that will ever come in my way. Today is the last day I will live in darkness, for tomorrow will be light.

-          January 2018

 

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International Overdose Awareness Day: Reading List
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Killer High: How Canada got addicted to Fentanyl -  https://tgam.ca/2rLIg1J

 Fentanyl contributed to hundreds of deaths in Canada so far this year - http://bit.ly/2xvudNL

 April saw 2nd highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in B.C.  - http://bit.ly/2wKioVN

April’s ‘Welfare Wednesday’ single worst day for recorded overdose calls in B.C. history-
http://bit.ly/2pp9Uh6

Harm Reduction: http://bit.ly/2eVMTyi

How Many Drug Overdoses Are Actually Suicides? - http://bit.ly/2xJCywX

Video: Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid Perform "1-800-273-8255” - http://bit.ly/2eVKLGM

Calgary supervised drug consumption site gets $1.2M from province as overdose death toll climbs Safe -  http://bit.ly/2uKdk3P  

Listening Project: 13 Funerals in 1 Year - http://bit.ly/2xWU2bx

Listening Project: Suicide Girl Poem - http://bit.ly/2xS9X9k

Listening Project: Our Son’s Story - http://bit.ly/2fP7k3m

 

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Our Son's Story
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I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of a nightmare that doesn’t end and I can’t wake up and I feel unable to direct how it plays out. I’m the parent of a drug addict. An addict that has messed up his life so badly that I fear he could decide that suicide is the best answer. He has been in and out of jail, stolen from people he would have never stolen from before. His addiction has taken a hold on him and caused him to do things that ‘normal thinking’ people can’t believe someone would do. My son hit a huge low/rock bottom a couple of weeks ago, which in turn, has caused me to hit my huge low/rock bottom. I can’t control when the tears come and they always come when I talk about what happened.

Two weeks ago my son, who was out on Day Parole and living at a Rehab center, decided to accept free drugs from a so-called friend. He overdosed as a result. His friend gave him Meth and Heroin and even though he was doing well in his rehab program, he still choose to do it… He almost died.

I asked him in the hospital, where he lay handcuffed to the bed, “Why would you do this?”

He said, “I just wanted to get high…I didn’t think this would happen.”

I asked him, “Do you think you’re special? Why would hundreds of others die from overdoses, but you’re immune to it?” He had no answer.

He is currently back in prison, hoping to God that he can get out of jail and back into his rehab program. I don’t know what his rehab center will say to him, but it looks pretty bad when you almost die in your bed, while others around you are fighting daily to stay sober. The drugs my son took were laced with fentanyl, the exact same drug that has claimed the lives of 241 people in Alberta this year so far. I know you hear these numbers in the news, but what you don’t hear is that these “people” are someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father. These people belong to families. Families that love the addicted family member furiously and would do anything to stop all this. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything to help them, we are completely powerless.

My heart just breaks knowing I can’t do anything. I picked up my sons belongings from his rehab center last week and this week I went through it all. I felt so helpless of the situation that I washed and organized everything so I felt like I was helping him somehow. Maybe for me, it was a form of control or maybe what I did was unhealthy, but I had to do it for me. All the other times he’s gotten into a mess, he’s lost all his belongs, so this was the first time he’s had anything left to show for.

I cried over the half empty cardboard box, with a pathetic amount of clothing and personal belongings in it, but I had to remind myself that he was still alive! That was what counted the most. In his box of belongings, he still has his suit. He told me once that he had received this suit from his rehab, and that someone donated it… I suppose for job interviews?

My husband asked, “Is it for his funeral?”

Every time I look at the suit now, or even think about it, I break down. No one should have to start planning a child’s funeral when they are only 23. I suppose lots of parents have, but how many parents plan for a death before it has actually happened?

How many have to plan for a death that could easily be prevented, if they would just stop doing drugs?

How long will I have to walk around in fear that it could happen today, or tomorrow? Maybe the next day… you just don’t know!

He’s in prison right now, so you think that would help leave me at ease, because at least he is safe in there. It doesn’t help and he’s not safe. There are as many drugs in prison as there is on the street. In fact, it’s almost easier for him, because he doesn’t have to walk as far to find it or be accountable to his family for taking them. I could cut off giving him money in prison, but then I get no phone calls. If he has no money, he will find other ways to get drugs, so I suppose that’s why most of his “pen pack” that I sent him is gone. It’s been used in trade for drugs. (A pen pack is a one-time-only package of clothing, books, radio, tv, etc. that an inmate gets in prison from their family if they choose).

My husband told me the other day he understands why some couples break up when their child dies because ours isn’t even gone and our marriage is under so much pressure he fears that we could split up. I’m so preoccupied I don’t even notice... I’m stuck in this foggy nightmare.

I can’t even imagine what the pain would be like if he dies, because we are “lucky” enough that he is still with us, still in this nightmare, but still have our son alive.

-A Parent

 

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Suicide Girl
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Suicide Girl Poem

My best friend told me a secret today…
…He was going to hurt himself today…
…He was going to end his life today…
The saddest part
Is that a small piece of me
Had the nerve
To wish that he did…
That’s horrid, I know. But might you ask why?
Simply because, if he were not here right now,
Then I would have the will
To end my own life as well.
Pathetic,
Am I right? 
It’s sad how I am beginning to realize
That I am not still standing here today
For myself.
I am literally breathing
For everyone else. 
I have no intentions to “live a full life”. 
I don’t even have any intentions
To live.
My only intention is to make it through each day
In order to be here for the ones
Whom believe that I am the only one
They really have. 
I live to this day
So that the people I love know
That they have someone
Who will always listen.
I have not the strength
To end my own life.
Per say I did though,
What if I did right now? 
Then let’s say that my friend, who puts
All of his problems and insecurities into
A spoon and burns them to the point where
He can hardly recognize them anymore
To then command the narrow beak
Of his beloved syringe to inhale his liquidated substance;
Devouring it with ease.
He works his veins to show themselves
Once more again
Before he plunges thy very same beak
Deep within his arm,
And with one push the burning sensation of
The monster which he created attacks every cell through out
His blood stream; he
Can feel no pain at all! 
He has the courage to do anything again! 
So he decides to use that courage to do as I, 
And with one breath
He breaths the risk,
And with that exhale
He releases an almost-beautiful
ribbon of silk
About as red as a precious lovers
Luscious lips,
Or the wine he drank to the
thought of her.
That ribbon flows into a gown,
Leaving his skin as pale
As the December snow
Without even a note to explain why. 
They’ll ask what pushed him over the edge,
And I wonder who else -
Other than he and I -
Would see that it was the ending of me
That surely pushed him to death.
Do you understand now,
Why one might live their life
Despite seeing there to be
Nothing to live for? 
I will close my eyes to rest tonight,
And tomorrow should I regain sight
I will only move forward for
you.


Z.N 

 

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13 Funerals in 1 Year
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In the past few years, use of opioids has risen and so has the number of deaths. Myself, last year alone, I went to 13 funerals for drug overdose. I was only 18 years old. I have watched so many people go down this path, it is sad and scary. In the past two weeks alone I have seen 3 people overdose; at the mall, on the train…

It starts out harmless right it’s just a pill? No, that is wrong. Opioids have some of the worst withdrawals. This pill feels equivalent to the needle.. We now have people who can’t get through the day without it. I worry funding shelters only increases the issue.. We need to fund more treatment centers and real rehabilitation, for some people it’s the only way for them to get off it.

M.L

 

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