In sharing my story, I often mention getting arrested and having to spend 30 days in jail for drug possession. The reason I do is to bring to attention how low my life had gotten due to the sexual abuse I endured as a child. I was in so much emotional pain, the only choice I saw was to try and cover the pain by ingesting as many narcotics as I could. This led to multiple arrests and the aforementioned time incarcerated. I didn’t even know until my last arrest report came out, but I had the following drugs in my system…cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), methamphetamine (speed), GHB, ketamine, and heroin…all at the same time! It was a miracle I was even alive.
At the time of the arrests it felt like it was the worst thing that could happen to me. That is until it was clear I was going to jail, the only issue was for how long. Then came the day when judgement was rendered, and that seemed like the worst thing that could happen. That is, until my first night in jail.
And so began one worst day after another. While there, I encountered times where I didn’t know if I was going to make it. On two occasions my life was threatened and was moved from one cell to another until they thought I was as safe as I was ever going to be. I spent each of those 30 days wondering if I would make it out alive and scared out of my mind.
Then came the day of my release. Truly one of the happiest days of my life. Over the next few months I slipped on and off the wagon of drugs. I woke up one day and realized that if I was ever going to hope to have any chance at a future I had to get clean…for good.
So my dad helped me with a home-style rehab. He put up with all the nasty things I said to him, he helped me as I got sick for a week and all the while wishing I was dead, or had a “fix”. I spent a total of two weeks of the “worst days” of my life going through withdrawals and all that comes with getting narcotics out of your system. Then after about a month, I was free from the drugs within my system, now I had to get the garbage I wanted out of my head. So I started attending NA, and with the help of my mom, a friend and an amazing sponsor, I was able to work through all I needed to and can say now, I’m 8 years clean.
So why am I telling you all the details of all of the “worst” days of my life? Because if it weren’t for all those worst days I wouldn’t be where I am now. Now I am happy to report my sobriety from narcotics. Today I am working with my fellow survivors of childhood sexual abuse and helping them to find their own healing path. Today I work with some of the most amazing people who give of their time and talents to help others. And “today” would not be if all those “worst” days had not happened.
I couldn’t see it at the time. I never foresaw where those days would lead. All I knew was I wanted to live, or at least didn’t want to die anymore, and so I did what my program taught me, I took one day at a time and stayed clean “just for today” and it eventually led to now.
I’m telling more of the details for my fellow survivors to know there is hope, there is healing, and the light at the end of the tunnel is NOT an oncoming train. If I can get to where I am now, they can too. Together we can truly heal. I’m living proof.
The other reason why I’m being so revealing is due to a comment made by one of our readers…It caused me to have one of those Ah-Ha moments and led to this article. So I wanted to share with you the genesis of my thoughts:
“Thank you _______ for the reminder to be the encouragement for those in pain, the cheerleader when they succeed, and the friend when they just need…This was because _______, thankfully, reminded us to not only respond with comments to those with good news or progress in their healing and life, but also when the news wasn’t so good or as uplifting. As a matter of fact, it’s those times most of all they need to hear from us that they are not alone and we are here for them.”
So with that in mind, remember to share the good, the bad and the ugly…in doing so you never know which of your fellow survivors you might be helping, and assisting them in turning one of their “worst” into a “best”.
Copyright © 2013 Together We Heal
November 8, 2013 at 10:26 am
Thanks for this Dave–it’s a great way to start my day!
November 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm
Hi Elaine, I’m always encouraged when I read a comment like yours 🙂 it lets me know I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be. Thank you so very much and let me know if we can be of help. Peace be with you always.
November 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm
Thank you so much for what you shared. I imagine that it wasn’t easy to put your intimate reality out in public, yet I wonder how many lonely moments you have ended for a survivor reading it. What I love most about your post, is that it is based in strength, love, and growth. I think that most survivors are in part and of NO fault of their own, “carriers” of the false belief that THEY are the responsible ones. This is a basic ingredient, unconsciously or consciously, for a “victim” mentality, and has all sorts of tragic consequences. When I read your beautiful, heart-warming post, I asked myself why are you different? What flame burns inside you that drew out such greatness, and how can this flame be lit in the fireplace of other survivors? It sounds like at some point, you made a decision to get better, and started to swim upstream, although I’m sure, you could not see the end in sight. What you must have come to, is the realization that you were fighting through all the layers of pain and swimming upstream, to get yourself back. It is THIS determination, borne of true humility, that makes you such a “Moses” for the lost and wandering sexual abuse survivors. No one can really lead anyone out of a personal cave of darkness, unless they have wandered, stumbled, hid, and fought like hell to save their own life. It begins with that one decision; that one acorn that grows into some kind of beautiful, powerful, graceful Oak Tree. One who can only be a torch – bearer; a beacon of hope to those that may not even know what love means. Thank you David. For being such a humble and great Moses of our time, in this area of sexual abuse recovery. I love you very much.
November 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm
My dear friend and colleague Rivka,
I don’t even know how to express my gratitude for the kindness of your words. Just know how much I appreciate them and you for all you do to help fellow survivors of abuse. Your are a blessing to me as a person and to TWH as a group.
November 9, 2013 at 12:05 am
Reblogged this on Flip It Right Side Up.
November 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm
Thank you so much for reblogging! Feel free to share any of our posts. We want to help as many of our fellow survivors as we can.
November 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm
I have been on prescription drugs since 1985, starting off with Lortab and now I am on MS Contin 100mg, twice a day along with anti-inflammatory and nerve pain relievers and an occasional breakthrough pain medication. I get tired of the feeling it makes me feel, but I have tried to reduce the strength and it starts hurting again, so I keep taking them as the doctor orders. I have been told that I am not abusing them I am dependent on them, so it is supposed to be OK. There is nothing else they can do, I had two surgeries, but it has not helped. In my mind I want to stop, but when I do, I go through a small part of the withdrawals you went through. I feel guilty sometimes that I don’t have the faith I need to have to allow God to heal me. I have been prayed for so many times and anointed with oil and have had them lay hands on me and prayed for and nothing gets better. It is a vicious circle for me. One day I pray that I will have the good day like you had after having 28 years of the worst days of my life. God Bless You and Keep You. May you continue to make a difference in others lives so that they will be able to say that they are living good days now and not the worst days of their lives. You can and have made a difference for some, especially those who have begun taking drugs to take away the suffering of being sexually abused by someone that is supposed to love them. They will realize it was not their fault.
November 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm
I hear you Rodger,
I too have extreme difficulty with pain. Mine is my back. I’ve already had four procedures with at least one, maybe two more to come in the spring. My hope is that it will finally relieve at least some measure of pain. From what I hear you say, I’m sure you can appreciate when I say the following…at this point, ANY relief is better than none.
Please try not to feel guilty for having to take medication that is your only way of relieving the extreme pain you have. Since the doctors have tried all they can, it’s not your fault, just like it wasn’t mine when I numbed myself from the psychological pain. Know you have someone here who truly understands and cares.
If you would like to talk more, don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com – or if you want, I can email you at the aol address listed. I would be more than happy to talk with you especially since it sounds as though we’re going through such similar situations. Maybe we can help each other out. And if nothing else, I know how important it was for me just having someone to talk with about it at times.
Please know we as an organization and myself are here for and with you. On that you can always rely.
November 10, 2013 at 10:09 pm
Oh I meant to say something Rodger, you are 100% right about how many people who get addicted to drugs do so because of the damage done to them. That’s why I bring it up so often. In the hopes that the loved ones of addicts will take a moment to try and find out the “why” behind what is going on. I truly believe that if this was looked at more deeply, so many relationships, careers and lives could be saved. Thank you for pointing out what is an extremely important message for others to hear.
November 11, 2013 at 8:33 am
Reblogged this on Compassion and Kindness are free!.
November 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Your courage certainly benefits a greay many of us. Thank you again and again. Sincerely, Derick Rogers V.P. Business Development.
November 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm
Thank you Derick, I’m just trying to do all I can to help my fellow survivors and educate the public on matters of CSA in any way I can. I feel as though it’s the only way to make sense of what a monster did to me, just as these sexual predators have done to so many others. In doing this, I want to take away the power from them and reclaim it for all survivors everywhere.
November 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm
Hi Dave, What a story! You are such a miraculous survivor. We’re all grateful you made it so that you can help so many others. Take care my friend, Margie
November 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm
Thank you Margie. You are always encouraging and uplifting with your words and actions. I’m grateful to call you a friend and colleague. Have a great week!
November 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm
Yes, together we can all heal and I am so glad that you are with us today, sharing your story, striving to heal and help others.
November 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm
Thank you Kerri, and so am I! (glad that I’m here to share that is)
November 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm
As a teen, I owned two albums, soundtrack to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and Simon $ Garfunkels Bridge Over Troubled Water.
I appreciated the article and you reminded me of two albums that got me through some rough times! I’m so glad I found TWH! I don’t have to be alone anymore. You truly get it!~
Thank you so very much!
Pingback: Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse Nov/Dec 2013 Edition | Kate Is Rising
December 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm
I am never glad to hear when someone comes into the justice system like this but I am so glad at the decisions and choices you were able to make. You have so much to be proud of, in being willing to face what the drugs had pushed down. Your courage and bravery is really a wonderful example and I am so glad that you choose to share this, as difficult as that must be, it shows us all your true character so well, a truly caring man. Thank you.
Good and healing thoughts to you.