Stories of Recovery: Matt

Five or six years ago. And I was using the
night my dad found me overdosed. Well, overdosed but I’ve overdosed twice. I
guess once I really was dead, and the time of my dad I made it through it.
But I’ll still call it that because I was out so long and so bad that I fell
on my wrist, and my wrist was paralyzed for three months. I couldn’t, like my hand
was like this, and I could move my fingers but I couldn’t do this at all
for three months. I had to wear a brace. I was really scared, it
made me feel powerless. I couldn’t hold a bottle. People had to carry
stuff for me. I liked treatment here to actually be clean. Like to just use, to just have methadone and be clean from opiates but still be doing
like meth and stuff, which is what I was doing,
I liked that because it was just like in and out. It wasn’t real personable. Like
they weren’t really checking to see how I was doing. It was kind of like I could
just come in, pay my money, get my dose and leave. I could go do whatever I
wanted. Where here, if you “drop dirty” you have to see the counselor.
I feel like I like it here better because it’s much
more, like to actually get you healed, not just to give you something to help you
with the opiate part of it and then go do whatever you want. It’s
like overall drugs, to keep you clean and healthy overall. I’ve
put on 42 pounds since I started coming back to methadone. I was way skinny, I
was like 135 like, I’m like 180 now. So I mean, health-wise, it’s been really
noticeable. Kate was my mental health therapist. This place is like a
family to me really. I was just embarrassed that I had fallen back down
and I needed help again. That’s why I didn’t want to come back here. The other place
wasn’t taking insurance, I have insurance so that was a big part of it
was the payment. I couldn’t afford to pay the ten dollars every day, and they were
on me all the time like, “we need the ten dollars” you know. I needed to come back here because of the money. Then Theresa came
back and she’s like, “I want you here.” So I came, and on the first day I
came I was so worried and embarassed about coming, but everybody was just like
“Matt!” I mean the pharmacist, everybody knew me, and everybody was
talking to me, and hugging me and glad to see me. So now I’ve been back here for
maybe three or four months. And everything’s been going good here.
I meet with Theresa once a week, and everything has been going good as far as
that’s concerned. I want to be a drug counselor now. I’ve worked a ton
of jobs in between these last few years, a lot of construction type jobs and jobs
that just… I was always smart, and book smart and articulate. It’s
not meant for me really. I’ve done them, it was really hard for me
to learn the hands-on, trade jobs. It didn’t come natural to me. And the more I
talked to Theresa and Ellie, I just started realizing that
number one, I don’t want to be on a rat race for money my whole life. I’d
rather find something that makes me happy outside of just money, and helping
people makes me happy. I know that my story, because you know I went to Dowling,
I had never done a drug or been high or drunk until I was after 18, and I’ve lost so many people. Two of my best friends that I grew up
with, they died. And then I’ve got just a whole, huge group. I know 30-plus people
that have died in the last eight years. I mean the awareness, and just the
world is changing and it’s affecting. Like I said, those two friends I
mentioned that died, they’re from well-to-do families. The money,
like we all went to Dowling together. I was the the poor friend, the lower
class, and so it really just showed that it can affect anybody. And I think a
lot of people are starting to see that now, and people are starting to care and
it’s opening up. It’s a growing problem and so they’re gonna need more
counselors. I think it’s better, not that people can’t be a good
counselor that haven’t lived it, but if you have lived it and can conquer it,
and then be a counselor I think that you’re the most well equipped.