substance abuse

‘Do you have a son in Idaho?’ I instantly knew my son was gone. He took his life after a silly argument.’: Father says son’s death by suicide feels ‘unreal’ after his struggle with mental illness, alcohol and substance abuse

“I heard a knock on my door. I opened and saw a young policeman. He told me he had a phone number I needed to call. I quickly realized we had trouble. The officer claimed he didn’t know what it was about (doubtful). I called the number – it was answered by a person at the Boise morgue.”

‘Yes, Lizzie. It’s true.’ I fell to the floor, grabbing at the carpet. ‘My brother is dead,’ I screamed through loud sobs.’: Woman loses little brother to Fentanyl-Laced Heroin on Christmas day, now uses grief to ‘create change’

“It was Christmas Day. A friend of mine randomly sent me this message: ‘I’m so sorry to hear about Randy. God Bless you guys.’ I had no clue what he was talking about. I quickly went to my brother’s Facebook page and saw ‘RIP’ and ‘Rest Easy’ over and over again. I found out my brother was dead from a Facebook message.”

‘How did I end up here?!’ I awoke in jail to the sound of a cell door slamming, no idea what happened the night before.’: Man beats life-long addiction, says ‘as long as you’re still breathing’ there’s hope for recovery

“I lost everything. I stepped out of jail with a few one-dollar bills and 3 cigarettes. I was missing a shoe, had blood on my shirt, and one of my fingernails was completely ripped off. I had taser burns on my arm and chest, and zero memory of my arrest. I faced the biggest decision of my life. I had to fight.”

‘I love you, sweetie. I’ll call you Friday.’ Those words will forever haunt me. I received a call from my mom when school ended. ‘This is the hardest thing I’ll ever tell you.’ I fell to the floor.’

“My heart sank. I could tell by her voice I had to get home. I still hear the words as she fought back breaking down. ‘We have to go. We have to get there!’ I remember having thought, ‘He seems better. He seems more like himself.’ My dad was back. Boy, was I wrong.”

‘Whatever. Clearly it’s the police officer’s fault.’ I crawled out the sunroof knowing my parents would murder me.’: Woman finds sobriety after 11 years of alcoholism, now ‘the person drunk me desperately wanted to be’

“Stressful day? Wine, please! Getting married? Drinks on me! Someone died? Dang, let me buy you a beer. Relationship problems? Shots! Sunday Funday. Manic Monday. Tipsy Tuesday. Whiskey Wednesday. Thirsty Thursday. 16 years old was the first of my many nights sleeping in a bathroom, remembering nothing. It didn’t stop for 11 years.”

‘My wife must regret spending her life with me. If she met someone different, she’d have perfectly healthy children,’ I told myself. ‘He is one of 34 people known to have this.’ My heart sank. ‘What? In the country?’ ‘No, in the world.’

“I remember thinking, ‘Maybe we just aren’t the best of parents.’ Little did I know my wife was secretly researching and had discovered a condition. One day, she showed me a video. My heart sunk. I felt dizzy. Straight away, I knew this was what our boy had.”

‘I wasn’t the stereotypical addict on the streets with no teeth, begging for money. I had children. I was functioning. I’d get up, eat, go to the gym. Then, I’d go on a bender for days.’

“I’d do whatever I could to distract myself from the fact that I felt alone. I always wanted to stop, but I didn’t know how. People around me knew, but never said anything. It made me feel like it was okay. I didn’t realize I needed to change until I lost my children. I decided if I couldn’t beat this and see my kids again, I’d kill myself.”

‘I didn’t have a job or a house. My son was put in foster care. I lost everything because of alcohol.’: Father beats addiction after hitting ‘rock bottom,’ celebrates 3 years of sobriety

“I relapsed and spiraled downhill very fast. I stopped going to my drug and alcohol counselor. I started cancelling visits with my son because I was ‘sick’. I felt so hopeless and unworthy as a parent and human being. Then, my case manager showed up and reminded me I was in it for my son. I literally broke down and cried. I told her to leave, and she refused. ‘I will be with you for anything you need.’ She reassured me I had the potential to do this.”

‘People look at me and my 4 kids and assume I’m just giving mom some ‘kid-free’ time. I just laugh.’: Man becomes full-time dad after emotional divorce, realizes kids need ‘all of him’

“I began to get random phone calls about my wife’s nighttime activities. ‘She’s my soul mate. She’ll come around,’ I’d tell myself. She started hinting at divorce, but I’d stop the conversation dead in its tracks. Then, she stopped showing up. The defining moment for me was seeing all of my kids asleep at the front door, hoping to see their mom if she happened to come home that night. My babies needed me to be strong for them.”

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