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OK - Here's my story - Originally posted to the meth signs thread

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by cheffy, May 12, 2019.

  1. cheffy

    cheffy Member

    Well, after many, many attempts at writing down my own story, here it is! Sorry if it's too long. When I start writing this stuff it just gets bigger and bigger!

    I started drinking on my birthday at age 18, in December of 1976. I had two beers. I didn't know I was bi-polar and I had gone through that up and down cycle of depression for as long as I could remember, all the way back into my childhood. I sometimes questioned those feelings in my mind (why do I have to feel this way - why me, God???) but I didn't really understand what was happening to me. Later in life I found out that I was clinically depressed and had just thought my typical depressed state was normal. Back then depression was still a hush hush kind of thing. So anyways, I had those two beers on my birthday, and after the whole depression thing that I had been through, I remember thinking - 'oh my god, what an INCREDIBLE RELIEF!' There's hope! I don't have to feel down all the time! And that was it. All it took was those two beers. I became a full blown alcoholic and I went like 35 years - like 90% of the whole 35 years without a sober night. I was really into the jazz scene in college. I played in a number of bands, always drinking and smoking pot. Many times I'd drink a bunch then puke before going on stage so that I could play, and then drink even more afterwards. I'm still amazed that I could even function like that. Then I got a degree in mathematics and got a job with the DOD at the Pentagon as a mathematician with a top secret clearance. High level Clearance + Addiction = Not Good! From there, I went on to the private sector and worked on the B2 and F-15 radar countermeasures. I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging, I'm just saying what I went through and what impacted my life in terms of addiction. So, I had to be very careful with those positions, especially with the DOD because if they figured out what was going on I would almost certainly have lost my clearance, and then my job. I had started seeing doctors about the depression at that time too, which I couldn't tell anyone about except my wife, and tried a number of different meds for depression. Still, nothing worked so I kept up with the alcohol. I was suicidal at times, but ironically, the alcohol saved my life by just being there to use and to support me as a last resort (truly a crutch) in my bad times. And it did work for that. Fast forward 30 some years to 2007 by which time my wife and I raised two of the most kindhearted and ridiculously intelligent kids, my son with a physics degree from Hope, and my daughter with an art degree from University of Michigan (and she can actually support herself as an artist!!!). I finally stopped drinking in or around 2007 because I got what amounted to a lifetime supply of Oxycontin after a number of surgeries I had for arthritis. Some of those were not needed but I would fake the pain and ask for the surgery so I could get more, more, and more of the pain meds. That's how powerful addiction can be. The narcotics were way, way better than alcohol - until it got too far out of hand. I'm not the type who asks for help, but I finally went to my wife and told her I needed help. She knew I had depression and that I had the pain meds but didn't really know about the abuse. She was incredible in terms of taking the bull by the horns, getting me to the doctor for help, and supporting me through thick and thin. She was sincere about those wedding vows, for better or for worse. It took a while but I DID get off the oxy. I went through detox and rehab twice before stopping. It was probably the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. I was also treated again for my depression with some of the newer meds, and one I tried - Seroquel - kind of worked. It wasn't the best, but was good enough to help me turn myself around, so I've continued with the Seroquel.

    These days I'm still an addict - that will never go away for me, even if the depression continues to be contained. I'm free from alcohol and narcotics though, which is very important for me. I found something else I could take that's legal and gets me somewhat high. Or maybe I should say it helps to make me content rather than high. It works for me. So now I can make it through the day without much problem, and then at the end of the day I always find refuge in sleep.

    I have never conveyed this stuff, these thoughts, to anyone before. Not the whole story like this. It feels really nice for me to be able to tell you all these things, and reading these helps me to know that I'm not alone - Thank You for listening.
  2. cheffy

    cheffy Member

    @Joshstillclean - Response to your msg in Meth signs -
    OK - don't laugh - I take Benedryl now to get 'content'. Typically 26 to 28 25mg pills all at once in the morning. Keeps me going till about 3pm and then from 3pm to ~9pm I feel like ****, but I figure it's only 6 hours I have to put up with rather than all day long, and as long as I can do it again the next morning I can talk myself into staying content. It took a long time to get myself to the 28 pill mark. At one point I was taking 44 all at once but that made me pass out to the point that my wife couldn't revive me, so there were a couple of trips to the ER until she realized I wasn't going to die or anything like that. I was also falling at that dose and that was probably the scariest part for me, just realizing that I could go from standing to laying on the floor in a few seconds without any control. So I scaled back to where I'm at now, and I'm OK with it. I did get a medical marijuana card too, but pot doesn't do much for me either.

    Getting clean - I went through detox (for oxy) twice. When I went the second time I had just gotten put on methadone at the pain clinic a few weeks before. So I took a whole bunch - a lot - like enough to knock a horse down, and you know how methadone has a long half-life, I was high for the next 6 or 7 days, until I got out of detox. I got out on a Saturday and we lost electricity that same day because of an ice storm. Electric was out for the next 7 days with Christmas right in the middle of it, and that's when I actually finally detoxed for good (I had no more methadone). I was in pretty bad shape but I think having no electricity kind of helped by keeping my mind off the whole think to some degree so when it returned I had gone through the worst part and things worked out OK. I swore I'd never do narcotics again but if someone on the street offered me one I'm not really sure that I would say no. So I just have to be careful about who I'm with and all that. It's been a couple of years now, and so far, so good.

    @True concern - Regarding the math thing - 8th grade was about the time I started realizing what math even was. I never dreamed I would take that course of action that I did. It wasn't until 3rd year in college that I realized I needed to do something, and I figured math was a good general degree that would keep me working. It turned out to be a good choice and I had some very fun times with it.

    Thanks, both of you, for your responses!
    Dominica and True concern like this.
  3. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @cheffy many high achievers end up addicts. You have the double daily with the no polar added to the mix. Congrats on getting clean but I would think that high amounts of benadryl can hurt or even kill you. Are you getting any type of therapy? I think that would help. Hang in there
    Dominica, deanokat and cheffy like this.
  4. cheffy

    cheffy Member

    I used to do therapy but stopped recently because I wasn't getting help anymore out of it. With the benadryl, I started at 2 per day and kept raising it to 44 over time, and then back down to 28 per day which is where I'm at now. I am very careful with it. The thing is, I'm OK with it. It's not like narcotics or alcohol. it's just something without the danger of narcotics or alcohol that works for me. Kind of like taking aspirin when you have a headache. I know it's a large amount but I'm OK with it. It's really not that dangerous, at least with a 28 pill dose. It is however dangerous at higher levels so I'm pretty strict about keeping my dose down in the high 20's.
  5. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    I'm glad you're here with us, @cheffy. And I'm glad you shared your story. But do be careful with the benadryl. I've read that excessive/long-term use can cause short-term memory issues and even dementia.
    Dominica and cheffy like this.
  6. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @cheffy i truly enjoyed reading your story. very interesting. i'm glad you beat booze and opioids... but yeah, benedryl not that great and can be dangerous, as i'm sure you know.

    thank you for sharing part of your life story here. i hope you can go on to beat benadryl addiction too..... :)

    and, we are here to support you however we can.
    deanokat, Joshstillclean and cheffy like this.
  7. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion

    Hey cheffy, have you tried the benadryl on steroids its called hydroxyzine. (Vistaril) I think is the name brand. I'm actually allergic to benadryl bit for some reason I can take this. And a lot of people take it because its stronger. Just a suggestion.
    I had a friend who used to take benadryl with acid, he said it increased the intensity of his trip. And usually I could ride with him,when,we were on acid but when he took the benadryl I freaked. He was seeing roads that were not there. And we were driving through the Rockies in Colorado. Not a good place to see a fake road!
    So yeah if you haven't ask about Vistaril. Just a suggestion.
    cheffy likes this.
  8. cheffy

    cheffy Member

    You're allergic to benadryl? Benadryl is what you're supposed to take when you're allergic to other things - that's kind of scary! I haven't tried Vistaril - it looks like it's prescription only so I doubt my doctor would give it to me considering my history. He's taken me off of gabapentin and some other more minor drugs, and would like to see me quit using Flexeril, but I need the flexeril for back problems. Neither one of those comes anywhere near being a drug of abuse for me so I doubt he'd give me the Vistaril.
    I knew a guy that was smoking dope while driving through the mountains out west and went over the side. He lived, but that's about all. A lot of people think that if it's dangerous there will be barriers but there's a whole lot of roadway out there that's not protected.
    Anyways, thanks for the suggestion about the Vistaril!
  9. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion

    You're not joking. Look up pikes peak summit on Google images. I had to back a trailer and work truck DOWN THAT in a storm. A park ranger found me I had gotten through right before they were about to gate off that road.
    Its really dangerous out there.
    cheffy likes this.
  10. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion

    Just out of curiosity, I know the b2 and f-15(eagle) I'm assuming, were earlier models like mid late 60's. As far as the b(bomber)series, and f(fighter series) which had advanced targeting systems not only a decade later what type of work would a mathematician do with these aircraft?
    Im just fascinated with this stuff.
    I thought the scout and recon, like the marine force recon teams were mainly deployed for countersurveilance.
    Were you working with engineering teams?
    If you can even admit to working with the DoD on clearance required projects then it must be section 508 material now wouldn't it? If you can't talk about it that's cool. Just wondering again Im fascinated by this stuff.
    cheffy likes this.
  11. cheffy

    cheffy Member

    One thing to remember is that the work I did was done like 40 years ago, so I doubt any of it still applies except for some of the radar stuff. I wouldn't count on it being 508 - one of the things we had to do whenever we took notes and discussed classified stuff like in a meeting or a class, was put it in a burn-bag when we left the room (so much for taking notes...). so there's probably a lot of 508 stuff that got burned and then forgotten. With the clearance thing, mine has met the statute of limitations so no problem there. All the trajectories, radar solutions, weapon systems, flight path info for both aircraft and armaments, blast radius and power, cartography, etc., even down to determining the fuel level, all of these things use hardcore math. Engineers - usually electrical - can do these things many times as well and I have worked with those kinds of teams but have always preferred to work alone or with a very small group.
    deanokat, Dominica and Joshstillclean like this.
  12. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion

    Super envious.
    deanokat, cheffy and True concern like this.
  13. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    So whats up with the "New SpaceForce"?As if space wasnt weaponized decades ago but just to appear as if i didnt know that any thoughts on our new Military Branch?
  14. cheffy

    cheffy Member

    Remember the Star Wars plan under Reagan? This looks like an attempt at doing that again. My guess is that they're going to develop something like 'defense' stations (like the space station) that have stockpiles of weapons like missiles so they can shoot anywhere/anytime from space. We already have ground to air and air to air missiles that will take out enemy missiles and satellites, that sort of thing. We've flown an F-15 into low orbit and had it take out a satellite, so we have all the stuff we really need. It's just going to become a race to see who can set this stuff up first, just like the race to the moon. We spent a zillion $ to get to the moon and when we got there - OK it's over, there's nothing here to see so let's all forget about the race and start another in a few years!
    deanokat, True concern and Dominica like this.
  15. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion

    Did we really get there?
    That's rhetorical;)
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  16. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    OK so ive seen this online so who knows if its real or not but check out OCT 2013 supposidly we NUKED the entire darkside of the moon,if anyone rememembers at that time we were told it was an eclipse of sorts more accurately they called it "A BLOOD MOON" i believe you can see it through youtube or even just Google it but again they own all the information and media so who knows........I Miss Text Books,Pen and Paper,And Good Old Fashion Learn Through Time,I Hate Learn Everything Through The Internet
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  17. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    F/15 Took out a satellite in low orbit.....thats amazing so i can only imagine what the F/35 will be capable of once they get it completly fine tuned because thats one expensiv/advanced machine.

    And now the world has Supersonic Ballistic Missiles.......Just where will it stop?
    cheffy likes this.
  18. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion

    Ok yeah I found it but I sure don't remember seeing it then. I found it on three major networks supposedly streaming it live. I have never seen this.
    cheffy and True concern like this.
  19. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    Ya i remember the night because as they called for a "Blood Moon"i checked the calender and i remember learning in school eclipses of any kind are very rare and i was in 6th grade when the first one in my lifetime happened and was told i would not see another until i was 73 years old so i was expecting to see something but i knew it was not an "Eclipse"of any kind
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  20. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    Yes sir i rembember the Star Wars Thing,Heres another oddity most people dont realize but...Whats up with the U.S.and Russia working hand and hand in space exploration?I Know Russia has the most reliable Rocket to transfer humans to the ISS and i know we often send our astronauts up with the Russians even through the cold war,after,and currently
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