As the founder and publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and its family of websites and resources, I have had the privilege of working with many talented and dedicated individuals willing to share their wit and wisdom in the name of raising awareness, stopping addiction related stigma, supporting recovering addicts and helping men and women still suffering get the addiction treatment they want, need and deserve. Norma Garbarek of New Age Recovery, an online recovery group on Facebook we now work with (See “New Age Recovery Merges With Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide” for more information) is no exception. Thus, we are pleased to announce that Norma Garbarek (who goes by Norma Jiean on Facebook) is our newest recovery advocate, writer and blogger for Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers. She will also remain the lead administrator for New Age Recovery.
All About Norma Garbarek
Norma Garbarek owns and operates a personal blog called “Diamonds Break – Almost Broken” where she documents and shares her personal experiences, stories and thoughts related to addiction and recovery. Below, is from the “About” section of her website, which we feel will help you get to know her better.
I am a woman in recovery, I am also now fortunate enough to be advocate for those seeking support to find the path of recovery that works for them, and that is what I absolutely love about my online home group New Age Recovery. I say online home group because my entire life is, and has been unconventional. In all honesty I never went to meetings, I really never knew that this beautiful world of people who have been through the darkness, than found a single light of hope somehow managed to blossomed into the most beautiful souls I have ever met. I started getting involved in the recovery community almost two years ago now, when I went through a very intense detox at home in my bed alone with no one but my children.
Honestly before my addiction I was extremely judgmental, and had no patience for what others call a “junkie”. I remember getting so frustrated, and upset with my mom, as it seemed her whole life was one big addiction or another. However something changed in my life, on August 6, 2006 I awoke in my home to find my mother, my best friend, my better half dead in our basement of a overdose. At the time I was 26 years old, and had two beautiful children ages 4 and 5. They loved their grandmother so very much, and the irony of this tragedy is that for the first time in my mothers life she was clean and sober. For the first time in MY life she was my support, and she was the one who held me up while I struggled through a horrible divorce, and pushed my way through college.
Losing my mom inevitably broke me in ways that words can not explain. At this time I started down a long path of destruction. It started with drinking alcohol daily, and surely lead into a 8 year addiction to opiates. My drug dealer was in fact my pain management doctor, whatever I asked for I usually got.
The ironic part of this story is that I was all set to begin my nursing career six months before I found my mother dead. You see, I grew up in what most would call “the ghetto”, we didn’t have much at all. I have two siblings that I grew up with in my mom, and step dad’s household. We used to use humor to get through the tough times… we use to always say “why do we have jelly with no peanut butter, or peanut butter and jelly without bread”.
I remember walking over to my friends house at dinner time because she had what appeared to be the perfect family. She had a mom and a dad; they both worked great jobs. They had their kids in every sport you can think of; they cooked dinner each, and every night; and get this they actually sat at the kitchen table and ate it? This was so foreign to me but I craved that in every sense of the word. So her and I would make little plans where I would just happen to be around at dinner time, and it was beautiful… they treated me like family and they fed me, they cared about me.
Her mom use to make her take Flintstone vitamins, (you know the chew-able ones) and she would pretend to take them, and save them for me. I suppose this was around the time I started to find my passion for writing and music. They had a piano in the basement, my friend would sit with me for hours playing the piano while I wrote lyrics and sang. Their home was my escape of what the reality of my childhood was.
In my home I had an abusive step dad, he was in the Vietnam War and they say he was diagnosed with PTSD… I am not sure if this is why he was so abusive mostly towards my brother. I have a memory of my brother trying to crack an egg to cook it and he accidentally dropped it. My step dad smacked him so hard and called him names. It was like he just couldn’t do anything right for my step dad or my mom. He was physically abusing my brother, and mentally abusing the rest of us. He would never let us have the blinds open in the house, we were not allowed to have friends over, he use to unplug all the house phones and hide them so that we could not have communication with the outside world.
I remember I would always get nervous when there was a knock at the door because we were never allowed to answer it until he went upstairs and peeked through a hole in the blinds. Even then sometimes we were not allowed to answer the door. So we had an abusive step dad, and a mom who used drugs to cope with the misery of her soul.
When I was fourteen I moved out on my own, I just left and they did not even care or try and stop me. I tried to leave the situation and ended up having to take my mother into my apartment and go on a constant search to find her treatment. My siblings and I must have got her into treatment a dozen times but she would always find a way to leave, she had every excuse in the book. I now know that the problem was that she did not love herself enough to want to get better, she only did it because I would cry, beg and even force her.
When I turned 24 my mom was finally sober. She was amazing in every sense of the word, and I was in college, the little hood rat who came from nothing was making something of herself, and the drug addict mom was finally sober. I used to hear my mom on the phone bragging to all of her friends about me she was so proud of me, and damn that felt good. I think I wanted to prove to her that change is possible no matter the circumstance.
After her death, I kept all of my current classes, actually I did not tell any of my professors what I was going through for months I hid it and I was in shock. I just walked through my days in a fog; all I could think was “I am doing this for you mom”. And somehow, do not ask me how, I did do it! I graduated college! My girls were there, my dad, my step mom and a few close friends came. When I went up to receive my diploma I searched into the crowd for my moms face… and I started to cry. Everyone thought I cried because I was happy to obtain my degree, but the real reason is I cried because I could not see her, and I could not feel her with me. As usual I put on a fake smile, held my head high never to let anyone know my heart turned to stone.
More About Norma Garbarek and Her Duties
One of Norma’s passions is writing and she does it well on her above referenced blog. She will also be using her writing talent here by writing educational, personal and inspirational content for this blog, our clients and multiple related resources for our community. Norma will also be showcasing her creative side by fashioning original memes with inspirational messages that our members, readers and visitors can all relate to.
Norma will also continue leading the flock in our online Facebook recovery group “New Age Recovery” by encouraging members to share their stories and contribute their wit and wisdom as it relates to addiction and recovery. As a result of Norma’s dedication and gentle touch, New Age Recovery is and will continue to be an environment that promotes support and encouragement without judging anyone, in particular their choice of addiction treatment and recovery.
Norma is currently working on writing a more detailed version of her addiction and recovery story for this community. In the meantime, I thought we’d share one of her recent writings from her blog called “Foolish Tears”. This blog was written for her deceased mom on Mother’s Day and is a reflection of Norma’s passion and heart.
One minute I am eating peanut butter toast made by your beautiful grand daughter for her mom for Mother’s Day. Out of no where tears start falling faster than I can catch them. No emotion no sobbing just tears, as soon as they start to dry to my cheeks more and more come pouring out of my eyes. Just as soon as I thought I could handle this Mother’s Day without you like the “strong one” the universe proved me wrong. It is 8am; I went to sleep last night feeling so brave about today. How can one single moment change the way I planned on looking at today? How can all of these years pass by without you and I feel as though I just lost you yesterday.
I try to calm myself by saying my emotions are selfish. I tell myself I am crying because “I” miss you, “I” want you here for me. I say this because I know you are at peace, I know you are no longer in the pain of the cruelty of this world. You are in a place where people do not judge, you are in a place filled with love that is never doubted or tested. Some days I long to be with you and I know that is selfish as well. I know that my time here on earth is meant to be. I know I will be with you again safe in your arms when God decides it is my time to move on…. I wish just one day a year I could escaped the judgement of this world and come to you in your place of pure and utter understanding, and love.So for this moment I will close my eyes and imagine I am there. I will escape my mind and meditate so deeply I will feel you holding me. This is all I can do in moments like this…. until we meet again. Undoubtedly selfish…. for your love
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MOM Your Daughter, Norma
The Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide Family Welcomes New Age Recovery
Recently, Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and New Age Recovery have merged in order to provide more support and encouragement to those in recovery; men and women still suffering from addiction in need of treatment and their families, friends and loved ones. Providing ongoing support and encouragement is part of our mission and being a part of New Age Recovery will allow us to encourage and support even more people.
New Age Recovery is a large online recovery group on Facebook started by a well known recovering addict and advocate named Brandon Kutchera. Brandon has put his heart and soul into creating and cultivating growth of this community for a long time and for that, we all own him a debt of thanks and gratitude.
To learn more about the recent merge, visit “New Age Recovery Merges With Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide“.
The Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide online recovery community and family of websites which includes Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC) was born from a single “God inspired” idea to reach and help as many people suffering and recovering from addiction, and their families.
While the primary focus of Heroin News is to inform and keep the public up-to-date on the latest news on the heroin epidemic, addiction and recovery, the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers or NAATC raises the bar and sets standards for addiction treatment centers and drug rehab facilities ultra-high.
The entire Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide community went from a 1 to 1.5 million reach per month to a 1.5 to 2 million monthly. We attribute the success of the upwards and explosive growth of this community to the dedicated individuals who help to encourage and support those who find us, our members/followers and our recommended sponsors. We couldn’t and can’t do it without you!
Special thanks to our team of recovery advocates, our members/followers and our recommended sponsors for believing in us and for helping us reach the masses and save lives!
Need addiction Help?
Our online community helps men and women suffering from drug and heroin addiction who are sick and tired of being slaves to addiction get the help and treatment they want, need and deserve. For those ready for a chance, fill out our brief treatment contact form.
Written by William Charles, Owner and Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News, the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC) and New Age Recovery (Facebook Group)
We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.
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