Stories of Recovery: Jasmin

My father actually died from opiate
overdose. My mother died from cirrhosis of the
liver from hepatitis C, which she contracted from IV drug use. And there’s
been several other overdoses in my family history, people that have passed.
So it’s just been, it’s always been a part of my life. It’s never been
something that I didn’t know about. I think the first time I started treatment
with UCS was, like I said, around 2011. I came here. Then, it was strictly just
pain pill use. I had always sold pills for people, but when I had a back
injury when I was in sixth grade and I was given vicodin to help with the back pain.
So I had used opiates off and on from the time I was in sixth grade until I
started coming to UCS. I had some clean time after that. I graduated the program,
had some clean time, several years. And again, the pain issue started to come
back. Worked as a CNA for seven years, so with that I had some more back pain
issues. So I got back on the pain pills and ended up back here at UCS again. This
time I’ve been here since November, this past November. I had two and a half years
of clean time. My mother passed away in September which led me to
relapse in November. My biggest problem is grief. I have a hard time dealing with
grief. I’ve had a lot of death in my family and it’s always been hard. I’ve never known how to deal with it. It was just,
you know, everybody kind of goes into themselves and deals with it the way they deal with it, and we don’t share with each other. As family we don’t share with
each other and teach each other. It’s just, you know, you go over there and deal with it and I’ll go over here and deal with it. It usually has to do with drugs
I actually, the last time I was here at UCS, my mother was also here as a patient. And that was kind of a toxic relationship because when we had problems we would medicate each other. She would come to me and say, “jazz I’m going through this” or whatever, and
I’d say oh okay well let’s go find some pills, or well I have some heroin, you want some heroin? Instead of talking it out or trying to
find a solution for it, we would medicate each other and that’s just how
our relationship was. And now that she’s gone it’s like I have to find a
different way to deal with these things, because I don’t want to pass that on to my children. I have three daughters myself,
and a grandson now so I don’t want to pass that on. I look at things
differently when I have something going on that that I don’t quite know how to
navigate. I know that there are people that I can talk to, I can call my
counselor, I can come to one of my groups and talk to peers, I can talk to any other counselors that hold the groups. Our therapy, it’s been a godsend. It’s been a godsend. I never knew that I could be creative and draw, and you know things like that before I started coming here and going to groups. Actually before this time I never really took advantage of the groups at UCS. I would come in, dose and go home. But now that I’m taking advantage of the groups it’s giving me a different outlook on recovery and getting better. Art therapy has been awesome. I’ve formed a relationship with my children, they’re
older now. My girls are 21, 20 and 17 and they’ve been around. I’ve never been away from my children so they’ve seen my journey, they’ve seen the drug use, and especially with their grandparents. So they’ve seen
all of that and it’s a giving me a chance to teach them that there’s
another way to live, and that that doesn’t have to be a part of your life.
You don’t have to let it be a part of your life. Me and my kids are so close
now, we are a lot closer now than we ever have been. My daughter’s gonna let
me have my grandson for the summer so that’s exciting, I would never have seen
that happening before. I’m very excited about that, I can’t wait. It can be
done, it can be done. Doesn’t matter how many times you have
to start over, as long as you take the steps to start over.