Addicts Reveal 3 Light Bulb Moments That Changed Their Lives
Everyone who has come out on the other side of an addiction problem has a story. Some are dramatic – you know them – a person gets into a car wreck, is arrested, maybe gets beaten up. Some are quiet; a little voice inside your head tells you that for the sake of your children, your spouse, yourself, you just can’t go on the way you have been. The stories are all different. Here are the life experiences of three people who knew they had to change.
Most of the names and identifying factors have been changed.
An author, radio guest and presenter on addiction with 22 years’ clean from IV meth use, Scott Spackey was once involved with a sinister, organized gang of addicts, counterfeiters and criminals. “I had my ‘moment of objective clarity,’ he says, “in 1994. The catalyst of my rock-bottom moment came when I was changing my son’s diaper. I wanted to go far beyond death in that instant — I wanted to have never existed at all.”
Below is the rest of his story.
“I began doing drugs when I was 13— pot and alcohol. By 15, I was taking acid and a few pills and some coke. By 17, I was injecting cocaine and heroin (speedball— cocaine mixed with heroin), and by 18, shooting coke or speed was pretty regular. By 20, it was an obsession and running my life more than I thought it could or would. I used off and on, never getting more than a month clean at a time for the next 10 years.
“At 28 years old, I became a father. By the time my new son was 8 months old, I was working construction and living in a one-room apartment. I was separated from my wife of six months, who was also severely dysfunctional (violent, drunk, etc.). I was miserable, again, but not more than usual. I was tired of dope and the patterns of it, but it didn’t seem more extraordinary than any other times I’d been miserable from dope — until I was goofing off with my baby son, who was lying on the floor getting changed and playing patty cake to get attention. I looked at his hand. It crossed my mind that no matter what I did, his little hand was going to grow: that his hand would get large like mine someday, and he was going to get older, and, much like I had done with my own father, he was probably going to look up to me, no matter who or what I was. He was going to want to be like … me. In an instant, I saw myself the way he would see me if he were cognizant and aware: a dope fiend — and nothing more.
“I went into a three-month isolation and ‘white knuckled’ my detox and abstinence.”
Here is R.B’s story about her experience with disordered eating.
“My eating disorder developed around age 15 and persisted until around age 29.
My ‘eating disorder voice’ was always louder than my ‘healthy voice.’ When I was about 28, my ‘eating disorder voice’ weakened and wavered for the first time, and I suddenly began to question everything about my life. While recovering from an over-exercise injury, I sat around with a cast on my right leg, desperate with anxiety and paralyzed with the fear of gaining weight. Too much time on my hands led me to examine relationships, work, happiness and love. Things were not looking good. Too much time had been wasted, too many opportunities lost, too many friendships abandoned, too many calories counted.
“But still, I was not ready. I continued on in my eating disorder for another year or so until a combination of events fell into place, becoming the catalyst for my recovery. One, I went to work for family who insisted that I seek out help and provided me with the resources to do so. Two, I began to date and fell in love with someone from work, and this time I wanted things to be different. I sensed immediately that this relationship could be extraordinary, and so I began to fight for it. To fight for my ‘healthy self.’ To fight for the life I wanted. I wanted to have a healthy relationship. I didn’t want to stay home to avoid any situation involving food. I didn’t want to be fixated on exercise. I was so tired, and I had already missed so much. I had visions of a ‘real boyfriend,’ of nonchalantly eating food with friends, of trying new things, of getting married, of having a family. And so I began my work.
“I feel that eating disorder recovery is a spectrum, and I now fall somewhere closer to the edge. My family inspires me to challenge old habits and unhealthy ideas, and because of them I can now model health, strength and love every day.”
Alcohol was M.B.’s drug of choice. Here is the story about the moment he knew he would stop.
“I was sitting in the back of a police car in December of 1986 and I knew that I was going back to prison. ‘How had it all gone so wrong?’ I thought to myself. I called my first wife and she asked me which bail bondsman to call and I said ‘Don’t call anyone. The Man upstairs is trying to tell me something and I have to sit here till I can figure it out.’
“To this day, I know these words came from an ecstatic experience with God. I knew at that moment that I didn’t have to continue a life of crime and drunkenness. I knew that ‘a power greater than myself’ could restore me to sanity.
“This was a deep knowing, rather than a feeling. It was something that ‘I knew in my bones,’ as I like to describe my own soul’s knowledge. Since then, I have kept up my program of maintenance for my recovery from criminal activity, alcohol, etc., all the ‘ism’ parts of alcoholism.”