Recovery Spotlight: Carl C

In 1982, I was born into a life of addiction and crime surrounding my parents. Growing up the use of drugs in our household was not uncommon and was pushed upon my siblings and myself by our mother. At the age of 12 I started smoking weed. By 14, my mom introduced me to perc’s. My memories as a family all are surrounded by using. I saw happiness in my mother’s eyes when we were getting high. I never understood why she was always sick; I quickly learned myself with the more my want and need to get high grew. Our family trips consisted of meeting up with dealers to get more drugs as our family household became unstable when we were not using.

Fast forward to 18. Still waist deep in addiction I had my first child, a beautiful little girl. She made me want to change, I would have done anything for her. I tried to quit for her but quickly realized that the sickness I would endure was not something I was ready for and returned to using. In 2004, my daughter’s mother left taking my daughter with her leaving me alone to deal with the repercussions of my actions. I became depressed and self-absorbed and surrounded myself with individuals that I could easily get high with and who always had drugs easily available.

In 2006, I met my now ex-wife. She knew very little about my past when it came to drug use and even less about my drug use at the time, as I did not want to be judged. In 2007, we decided to get married when the news arrived that she was pregnant with my second child. I continued to lie, cheat, and steal from the people that mean the most to me to feed my addiction. I got really good at hiding it which started to scare myself. I’ve done fentanyl patches, perc’s, Vicodin, and oxy but when I found heroin that was it; heroin replaced any drug. When I was high on heroin I was untouchable but when the high started wearing off you could have buried me where I stood. The sickness I felt was one I had never felt before and never wanted to feel again. With money in my pocket and a dealer right down the street I could keep my habit going. I worked to support my family and stole to support my habit. Getting high was my top priority, getting money to get high was number 2. I stole from friends, family, bosses, and strangers. I’ve been arrested a handful of times trying to get money to get high. After my dad died in 2014, my addiction to heroin became worse. I threw all cares out the window just for that fix.

Heroin came before anyone or anything; my ex, my kids, even myself. I let it control me which led to my arrest on 8/29/2016, just minutes before leaving work to meet my dealer. On my way to jail we drove by the gas station where my dealer was and as I looked at him I thought to myself thank God this is finally over. I was in jail from August 2016 to January of 2017. During that time, I got clean, I dealt with detox and emotions that I stuffed deep down inside. All of which came rushing back as I sat there by myself with nothing to do but think. During my time in jail my then wife and kids came for a visit only for her to tell she was done. What hurt me the most about that visit was not the talk of divorce; I deserved that. It was the look on my sons’ faces that will forever be etched into my memory. No matter the wrong I did, to them I was still their hero and at that moment I knew I would never be able to make up this missed time with them.