In relation to the Whitney Houston story (revised)

I can relate to the Whitney Houston story and I am not rich nor famous.

There are many other non rich and famous peoples lives who ended like Whitney’s.

Whitney Houstons death saddens me not because I am a fan which I am not, even though I think she had immense talent, but because I can relate to her story and my life could of ended like how hers did. Another thing about this is that it could of been prevented. Along with the other celebrities and ordinary people who die from prescription overdose.

My story in a nutshell;  my self-destructive lifestyle started in the year 2000, a downward spiral that broke me down into pieces. A girl I met back then introduced me to drugs (who I also allowed to use me for years for the drugs, I was buying her out for friendship) and I became addicted for five years. I partied hard, almost every day and because of it I lost really good jobs and wasted lots of money on my bad habits. I’ve also done things to support it and along with the addictions it brought on a whole lot of other problems.

Not only did I do the illegal kind, but months leading to the 11 months of intensive ‘rehab’ it was then I  became addicted to prescription drugs, I didn’t care of the outcome, I had so many demons, it destroyed me. I managed to get painkillers from my doctor. And like Whitney’s addiction I also mixed prescription drugs; Valium, Lorzapam, Percocets and Morphine with alcohol (not all at once). One time I took oxycontin and percocets together, taking them both is lethal because they’re powerful painkillers. I did all that to mellow out and fall asleep from the high being up all night to 7am.

No one took me to the side and said “hey, you’ve got an addiction, you need help”. I drank 1.14 litres of vodka a night 3 or more times a week and stayed up to the wee hours of the morning most times to 8am. I was so messed up I reached an all time low. I was not in peace with myself nor did I love myself to stop the self sabotage, I didn’t think I deserve anything good in life, the voices in my head that had been in scripted  since I was a kid.

I would show up to work with major hangovers, and call in sick many times. There wouldn’t be a weekend that would go by without suffering from a hangover. My addiction got out of control that while clubbing I caused scenes and I was an ass.

I was the only one that realized I had to sought help before it was too late. Something within me yearned for help, in a way to be saved, I didn’t want to end up dead. I knew that if I didn’t get that help at that given time I would be six feet under.

Why did I want the help ? What did I have to live for? I ruined everything. I thought I didn’t deserve a good life. I didn’t have a family (kids etc). My family (parents and sister) lived in the US  at the time, they never came around nor even called.

My addictions got worse, I started to have liver problems, was hospitalized, many times vomited blood, I engaged into risky behavior for which I should be blessed that I’m STD free and above all that I’ve been incarcerated. My weight fluctuated up and down and all that took a toll a toll on my body at the time. But things and people bounce back.

The ‘devine intervention’ was a godsend. Someone up above was looking down and gave me the strength to fight those demons. The strength to carry me through. And it did.

And look, I am still around and  being sober never felt so good.

I’ve been clean for 6.5 years now, I have no inkling, no desire and no triggers whatsoever. As if I am a different person. The old Joey has been left behind. All my life experiences has enabled me to deal with life’s challenges, the ups and downs, the stresses without the assistance of substances. My life experiences, my intense ‘rehab’ which I worked hard on myself made me a stronger person, I built myself up. And the daunting rehab wasn’t one of those celebrity kind where you go for a retreat for a couple of weeks in a hosh posh cozy mansion. It was institutionalized 11 months of intense hard work and it wasn’t easy.. I had to open to share my feelings with other men, and that was difficult because of trust issues. It took a lot of soul searching, bravery and perseverance to successfully combat the addiction.

Not everyone is as fortunate, months after I left I heard that those who I knew in there relapsed and have died from overdose.

I finally respect and take care of myself. I finally saw the light. As corny as it sounds, I knew that through those dark clouds there’s always a sun that’s hiding underneath it all.  I have my moments where I’m an ass. But most times I am grateful that I am still here, alive and healthy.

Well, I did suffer a concussion and root canal a few weeks ago.

But that’s nothing compared to what I’ve been through.

I wish Whitney’s story and every other person’s story alike did not end the way it did. Whenever I hear these stores it really hits a chord and for some reason it affects me. Because it doesn’t have to end the way it did. Only if they had the courage, strength and realization that there is hope.

All I know is that everything I’ve been through has turned me from a weak to much stronger person, which in turn is why I’m cured from any addiction.

So if you know anyone who has an addiction, if you really care for that person enough, stand up to them and get them help, because if they don’t they will end up dead sooner than later.

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