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Old 11-15-2005, 03:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Birmingham,Alabama
Posts: 879
Arememom HB User
SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction

I went back and found my thread on my journey into and back out of the horrible world of crack addiction. By reading this, SusanGene, I can only pray that this gives you some insight.

Any Crack Addicts Out There Like Me?


I have been reading and posting replys on this board for about a month. I'm a recovering crack addict (clean since Aug. 17th). I started smoking crack about 9 months ago. I'd never been addicted to anything in my life. I smoked pot off and on over the years, but never had to have it. Drank some, but didn't have to have it either. I'm also a medical professional and knew better. What is wrong with me? I had so many things bad things happen in my life in the last two years, I couldn't cope I guess. And I didn't get the real help I needed. During the last two years the following things happened: My mother died, my step-father died, both my twin sons who are in the army were in Iraq . One was there 14 months and the other 6 months. And both were there at the same time during that 6 months. A mothers nightmare. Not knowing any minute if the Army would show up at my door with bad news. I moved out of the state I'd lived in all my life to start a new business with my significant other of 9 years. I found out my significant other was on crack the day I found him with a women in our business office (she was totally naked). I walked out and cleaned out our business account and came back home. I moved into the old home place my mother left me. I hated that house and have been very depressed living there. It is in terrible shape and I can't afford to fix it. I lost my business ($40,000.00). My significant other had taken thousands of dollars out of the account. I had enough money to move back home. Over a peroid of a few months, my significant other finally talked me into letting him come back. And a month or so after that he talked me into smoking crack with him. What was I thinking? Well I can tell you, I'm one of those people who went over the edge quickly. In the span of 6 months, I had quit my job, didn't care about my house, my looks or life in general. Just wanted the drug. I became suicidal and homocidal. I pushed my whole family and old friends away. Rock bottom came a month ago. Just three days after I had decided to get clean and help, someone turned me in to DHR. DHR has taken away my daughter. My family and old friends are back in my life. My best friend of 31 years has custody of my 13 y.o. daughter until I get myself straightened out. I'm in outpatient rehab, NA, parenting classes, TASK (drug testing random). I'm living with one of my best friends from 7th grade. She and her husband are recovering addicts with 16 years clean. I can't even live in my own house because my ex-significant other won't get out. I am in the legal process of having him evicted. With all this said and done, why do I still think about smoking crack again. People say it's normal and the craving will get less and less. I smoked about $500.00 the last night before I quit. I quit cold turkey. Nothing to help. But I never had any physical withdrawl. And for the first two weeks I never even thought about wanting to smoke again. But in the last few weeks I have thought about it. Not like I wanted to go get some. But if I could in the future without going over the edge. I know that's not an option for me. It makes me mad at myself. I say to myself, "Have you lost your mind?". I keep hearing that crack is the worst drug to quit doing permanently. And I'm beginning to believe it. I had always been thought of as a strong woman and my family/friends were in total shock and disbelief. I take responsiblity for my actions, but I would have done almost anything for that man. I could have said no, but saying no to him was very hard. During our 9 years together, he was great also, until the drugs. He had kept his drug habit hid from me for over a year. I don't consider myself stupid, but how did I not know? Of course he wasn't like me. He could smoke a little throughout the day or night. He'd save some for the next day...I smoked it until it was gone. I can't sleep at night until late (that's not new, I've always been a night owl). But I'm tired now and am going to bed. Tell me all those things I need to hear, I feel so alone tonight.

Today I'm 91 days clean. Happier than I've been in many, many years. My life is coming together. I have goods days and bad days. That will never change, such is life. And today, I know I don't have to use. I attend CA meetings everynight, outpatient rehab 2 x week, parenting class (only 3 left), working on getting a job, clean drug screens.....all of this in preparation to get my life back and to be reunited with my child when we go back to court in January.

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Old 11-15-2005, 03:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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SusanGene HB User
Re: SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction

Hi, and thanks for posting that. I cannot IMagine having twin sons in the war. It would be unbearable.
My daughter appeared to have everything she ever wanted and more. This is what I don't understand. She has good looks, brains and personality with a family to be proud of. Her stepdad, my husband, built a new 2 story home for her so her son could "get a decent start in life." It didn't work. He never charged her a dime. Then she got her real estate broker's license. She was so overjoyed she cried. She got a job w/a large national firm and quit in 2 weeks saying they "weren't nice to me." With Ebay , she was able to pay her utility bills. So for 3 years, I'm serious, she has driven around visiting her "friends" (translated "dealers") and would just hang out. Her father in another state helped her w/getting her old car traded in for a new one; she made the payments but kept driving around, smoking pot and etc, meeting men who she would describe as "almost ready to get arrested" types. We never understood why she liked them. One of the carpenters who was building the new house is the boyfriend who moved in w/her for 3 years; he is an alcoholic. We got to know him well; very smart man.
When they met, he was going to AA meetings which she stopped real fast. She wanted cocktails at dinner. He moved in with her 3 yrs ago, he got drunk frequently, then about six mos ago she introduced him to crack. He's still smoking far as we know and drinks a lot. So, they broke up because she refused to stop visiting these men. After that , she really went downhill and lost all this weight. Now she's got a model figure. She was very angry at this man who "dumped me" as she put it to the point she'd call his MOTHER up and even drive over there. Somewhere she met this very quiet guy, very calm, who is a HEROIN addict, in recovery. WE've met him and like him ok; he seems awfully quiet and tells her , "no yelling, please." He teaches what is nationally known as, "A Course in Miracles." Well, the ex boyfriend kept calling and she kept calling him too and then 2 nights ago she went over to the ex bf's house and smoked some crack, told the new bf about it and he just left. So I figured today she'd be either in bed all day crying (she has a history of this) or be w/the ex bf but instead she has gone to these peoples' house who do Releasing. Took her son with her, of course.
She is supposed to be "cured" by sunday?? I hope it works but its difficult for me to be encouraged after all these years.
Good Luck to you and be strong! You've been through so much!
Susan Gene

Old 11-15-2005, 04:36 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Birmingham,Alabama
Posts: 879
Arememom HB User
Re: SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction


It's hard for me to believe that she'll be cured either. It's just my belief that there is no cure for addiction. I believe I must treat my illness just as any other illness. Use the tools and/or medications for life. My medication is for depression. My tools are the internet/website recovery places such as this message board, CA/NA meetings, sponsor, recovering addict friends as well as non-addict/non-using friends, family, working the 12 steps and lots and lots of prayers. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Keep us posted. Encourage her into a 12 step program if you get the chance. There are people there who's drug of choice is the same as hers/mine, that have been clean 20 years. So we know it can be done by following the steps "One Day At A Time".

Old 11-15-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: south florida
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Mischeif HB User
Re: SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction

Dear Arememom,

I am so glad to have had the chance to read your story. I can relate to so much of it. I was using drugs recreationally for a while and I don't know where the recreation ended and the addiction began. I went from club drugs to crack over a period of 7 years. The crack was for the past year or so. In the two years prior to my sobriety date, I watch both my mother and my grandomther die. I did both their eulogies. I was the executor of both my mother's and my grandmother's estate. During that time, my finace had been diagnosed with panic disorder, agorophobia, and had been involuntarily commited twice. I still took him back, he was "sick." I took care of everything inside and outside the home. He couldn't even go to the store. I own my own law office, so I had five people depending on me for their income, and numerous clients depending on me for their freedom. Like you, I was the person who everyone thought had their sh** together, I was the rock, the pillar of strength for everyone I knew but me. I gave to everyone I knew, and there was nothing left for me to take care of myself. It was too much and I needed it to stop, so I used nearly every night for the last few months. And I, too, kept smoking until it was gone. I tried to pace myself, what a joke! I tried to make a time I'd stop, so I could get to work the next day, so I could make $$, so I (we) could get high. It was terribly exhausting. I'm still catching up on finances and sleep.

I did not lose any of the material things that many people do before they hit bottom, so I hope this was my bottom. But regardless of how much stuff I have to lose, I am no different than anyone in those rooms. We are all fighting for our lives, and that is no joke.

You don't have to lose it all to have a fresh start, you just have to be willing to work a program and dedicate half the energy to that that you did to getting high, and you will have a life beyond your wildest dreams. Now when people come to me for strength and guidance in any area of life, I give what I have left after I have taken care of myself, and I am much more confident in my ability to render any kind of advice, personal or professional. I am so new (58 days, but who'd counting?), that I know it will only get better from here. If this much can change in less than two months, then I know I am on the right path. My Higher Power has given my some wonderful gifts, and the promises are beginning to come true. It is amazing, and the results you see are proportionate to the effort you put in. I know this is the right path for my life. Regardless of the fact that I will always be an addict and have cravings, I do not have to act on them. I have the choice, and all I have to do is ask for guidance and I will be shown which choice is the right one.

Have a great day!

Old 11-15-2005, 09:14 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Birmingham,Alabama
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Arememom HB User
Re: SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction

Hey Mischief and SusanGene,

I had to laugh Mischief, when I was reading about you now give to others after you take care of yourself. Me Too!!! But you know what, it's really freaking out my adult children, extended family. I've never been the "me, me, me" person. And now that I come first, they don't know what to think. My closest family (one of my two sons, my daughter) and my closest friends are beginning to understand because they talk to me ongoing. And the friend that I'm living with is also talking to them as an oldtimer recovering addict. She is able to tell them what I'm doing and why? She can tell them that I have to do these things forever if I'm to stay clean. That has really been a God send for me. She is also there for me when I have to deal with or choose to ignore others in my life such as my other son, ex-husband, ex-boyfriend and sister. They are the ones who don't understand, don't want to understand and are so self righteous, they've never done anything wrong in their life. Yeah right!!! I'm putting them on my resentment list and probably on my amends list too when I get that far.

People (normies) have this preconceived idea of what a crack addict is and looks like. Boy are they wrong. Crack addicts come from every walk of life as we know. At my home group we have doctors, lawyers, nurses, secretaries, business owner, teenagers, Yoga instructors, contractors, painters.....the list goes on and on. Some look like hippies, country rednecks, business suits.....

My friend that I live with, sayes I'm not the typical crack addict. She and her husband both have 16 years clean and over many years they have taken in many people to help get clean and back on their feet. She said I'm the first one who came here with money. I had $210.00 in my pocket. I weighed 170 lbs (had lost 27lb over 8 months). But still overweight for my height/frame. Even though I lost some things. I didn't lose my home. Many lose everything. Thank God I quit work and didn't lose my professional lisence. Never went to jail... Lots of things worse could have happened to me. I too have faith and turn over everything to my higher power daily.

Tonight I didn't go to a meeting. I was tired and it's windy, raining here. I hate driving at night in the rain. Our meeting is from 8-9pm. At 9:12 my phone rang and it was one of the young women from my home group, calling to check on me because I wasn't there. I assured her I was fine and we're going to get together and go the the H&I Panel tomorrow night. It sure made me smile , touched my heart and made me teary that she (and others there) are truly concerned about me. I haven't missed a nightly meeting since I started CA. That's what the fellowship of CA/NA/AA is all about. I truly love life in recovery and as I've said before, I truly believe that God has led me here for a reason.

Old 11-16-2005, 01:20 AM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The OC
Posts: 86
now&then HB User
Re: SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction

I have no doubt God led you here, Arememom. Your experience, strength, and hope as well as your chronicles of living in the solution are an inspiration and much needed here.

One of the reasons for AA, CA, and the wisdom of others is to raise the bottoms of those thinking about crossing over out of the problem and into the solution and those who've recently done so. Without this support structures, many go several "floors" lower than they have to and some unfortunately get off at the last floor, the ultimate bottom (in the basement, about 6 feet under).

One has to hit one's bottom. I didn't lose the stuff but that's only because my wife became masterful in dealing with Mr. Hyde. Basically, if I was 4 hours overdue without a phone call, every account and card was systematically shut down with the exception of a gas card and a phone card (they still have those?). My bottom was being physically, emotionally, mentally, & spiritually bankrupt. It turned out these were the real losses. I obtained a little humility through a process known as humiliation. The loss and pain was great. From that wreakage came the Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness to work the 12-steps.

Today it is not my life, but it absolutely is my way of life, an avocation, as it is referred to in the big book of AA. Today, I continue to make the program #1 and everything that comes 2nd comes 1st class.

When last young in the program, I was immediately put to work on the 12-steps. Got the 1st nine done in about a year. Been working them ever since. Another day in paradise (it's amazing what looks good from the vantage point of the gutter). Life has never has been perfect, but I can go on trudging the road of happy destiny anyway.

By the way, congrats on the 7,862,400 moments of sobriety (woop, there goes another moment!). Read the 3rd step prayer (if you're not already familar with it), especially the last part of it.

Happy day,

s.s. in the OC

Old 11-16-2005, 06:29 AM   #7
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Location: U.S.A.
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SusanGene HB User
Re: SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction

Originally Posted by Arememom

It's hard for me to believe that she'll be cured either. It's just my belief that there is no cure for addiction. I believe I must treat my illness just as any other illness. Use the tools and/or medications for life. My medication is for depression. My tools are the internet/website recovery places such as this message board, CA/NA meetings, sponsor, recovering addict friends as well as non-addict/non-using friends, family, working the 12 steps and lots and lots of prayers. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Keep us posted. Encourage her into a 12 step program if you get the chance. There are people there who's drug of choice is the same as hers/mine, that have been clean 20 years. So we know it can be done by following the steps "One Day At A Time".
I didn't really mean 'cured.' I meant that she'll stop drugs since her bf is very much into NA meetings and I assume that these people that 'heal' are very knowledgeable in instruction on how to stay clean. But I still am pessimistic since it's such a brief episode that she'll be going through. Plus, I have never heard her express any desire to stop. In fact, she always acted like she felt terrific after a xanax induced nap. She'd say, "I took a 3 hr nap and I feel like a new person!' That's one of the reasons it's so hard to stop tranquilizers:
the SAME reasons you started using are STILL there when you stop. And you find that, yep; you're nervous and they calm you just like always. You can't sleep and they relax you to sleep like always. So most go back to taking them. With crack, it's different. Why? Because when coming down off of that stuff you feel lousy, from what I've read, and want more. The one and only way you feel bad coming 'down from' xanax is Only If you take too many.
If you take one or two there is no crash. So it's less stigmatized. For instance, most so called "respectable" people will openly say, "I need a valium" or, "I got my valium prescription renewed" whereas with crack there is a MUCH more secretive, "underworld" approach. I hear of crack arrests with handcuffs - even see them on tv - but where have you seen a person get arrested for having a valium in their car??
Susan Gene

Old 11-16-2005, 08:04 AM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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mrscartagena HB User
Smile Re: SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction

Hello to everyone, I hope that we are all doing fine. My prayers & best wishes to all. I myself have been addicted to drugs for well over 17yrs. If you can believe that. Off & on, been to treatment 3 times, psych docs (5) different ones, all with the best intentions & wanting to be well & sober again.
On the other hand I have held in so much pain & anger along with a ton of guilt.
My story of course would surely take too much time to read & post here. But I will try my best to post a little about me daily. Right now, since I Have been clean for 2 days, its hard & I get mad easily & cry. So my emotions are somewhat difficult to control.
I am dual diagnoses as well. So I have several other mental & physical issues that are being dealt with.
I think that with support & dedication, I know I can do this...
Take Care everyone!

Old 11-16-2005, 08:27 AM   #9
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 720
BeginAgain HB User
Re: SusanGene - My Story of Crack Addiction

Hi mrscartagena - welcome. Please start a new thread so we can keep track of you. Congrat's on your 2nd day...glad you made it back.

Who among us doesn't have other issues? How many are truly "dual diagnosis" and just don't know it because they were never diagnosed? I think co-occuring depression, bi-polar disorder, etc.. are pretty common in addicts - maybe not 100% - but I'll bet it's up there. Either it doesn't get diagnosed because we are self medicating or we fear admitting to ourselves that there might be another problem complicating things?

I am now on anti-depressants for the first time in my life - but I probably needed to be long ago. I can certainly tell a difference in how I feel.

Just wanted to welcome you. We will look forward to getting to know you.

SusanGene - your daughter won't stop because her boyfriend is in NA. We addicts don't stop for ANYONE but ourselves. Maybe for a little while to keep up a good appearance to the person we want to impress - we might even fool ourselves into thinking we are doing it for them & will stay clean - but sooner or later along comes a bump in the road, a rift in the relationship, a spat or a disagreement - it's as good an excuse as any to use if you're not there for the right reasons. We must be sick and tired of the circle of self destruction, somewhere at a personal bottom and entirely ready to reach out a hand for help.

I sincerly wish there was some magic solution and we could wave a magic wand to fix every addict who is suffering and every family member being pulled along with them. I certainly can sense your frustration and pain - it can't be easy for you to ride this roller coaster and pray every time that this is the last time.

I've never heard of the "releasing" ritual you speak of. I'd be interested in what is involved and the success rate if you know anything about it. Always interested in learning about new things to help treat addiction or ease the process in any way. You never know when it will help someone else. So many different things work for different people.

My husband used to speak of "sweat lodges" - there is a large Indian Reservation in his home town near where he originally got clean & sober 15 years ago. He used to go to these lodges and pray & meditate and the sweat lodge apparently was intended to help remove the toxins from your body. Interesting concept - he certainly swears that it helps you feel so much better during the detox process. He's always talked about wanting to build one here to help others.

Also there is certainly a stigma here relating to prescription drug abuse and addiction. There is a HUGE market and whole culture that revolves around the use, sale and abuse of these drugs. Similar to what you might hear about a crack addict. Believe me the only fundamental difference is the drug of choice - the disease process is the same, the withdrawl can be just as difficult and the pull to relapse is very very strong. In my line of work we certainly see lots of people who are arrested for driving under the influence of prescription drugs, even ones that were prescribed for them legitmately. It is also common to see someone busted for having a valium, lortab, xanax, or other controlled drug in the car - especially if it is tucked in their wallet or an unlabeled bottle - even if they can prove that it belongs to them by prescription. We've seen many crack addicts who are housewives, professionals, attorneys, truck drivers, teachers, CEO's - I'm not sure anyone or any class of people is immune. Crack is an epidemic in the area where I live and I am sure in many other towns and communities.

God Bless. We will pray for you and your daughter and keep you both in our thoughts.

Last edited by BeginAgain; 11-16-2005 at 09:17 AM.

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