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Addiction, Recovery & NO SHAME

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  • Addiction, Recovery & NO SHAME

    My name is Crystal Oertle. I'm a 35 year old, single mother of 2 and I have been addicted to drugs since I was a child myself.

    The first time I did a drug I was 12 years old, and it was pot. It was the first time I had ever felt different, and before that, I didn't realize that I wanted to feel different. But I loved that feeling and wanted it again and again. I don't have an excuse for wanting to escape feeling like myself. I didn't come from a broken home, we weren't rich but we didnt want for anything, there was no abuse, there was no drug use or alcohol use in the house growing up, I lived on a farm that I loved.

    Playing with the animals was my favorite thing to do, unitl I realized I could alter my mind with pot. After experimenting with pot for a few years led to drinking some also. The next time an illicit drug was offered to me I couldn't help but to think what kind of a new or possibly better buzz this drug might give me. It was cocaine and I was about 15 years old then.
    Again, I loved how this made me feel.

    By my senior year in high school I was selling coke on the weekends with my boyfriend, snorting coke before school and I had found myself pregnant a few months before I graduated. I stopped using drugs while I was pregnant, had my son, moved in with the love of my life and never thought I might have a problem. I was a stay at home Mom. We didn't use every day at that time. But very quickly we started using every weekend. Pot, alcohol, LSD, meth. The relationship was on again, off again for the next 10 years with much more drug use involved.

    By my early 20's I was using pain pills recreationally. But, the first time I ate a pain pill, I knew, this was the buzz I was looking for my entire life. It did everything I needed. And really, not only did I not know about addiction, I didn't even care. I was addicted to the lifestyle too for many years to come. Over the next 15 years my use went from a vocodin taken orally to shooting a half gram of heroin into a vein in my neck because there were no veins in my arms left. I stole, lied, cheated, sold belongings of mine and my kids, sold cars, I did all the things people do in active addiction that was necessary for me to get my fix for the day.

    I damaged the relationships of my family members. I was in dangerous situations every day.

    I overdosed once and was given CPR to be brought back. I was in abusive relationships and had absolutely no self worth. Every time I used I didn't care if I died from it. I almost welcomed it. I could go on and on about the ins and outs of drug use. But it's no too much different from everyone else's. Some stories may be different to a degree but, if you've been a heroin addict, you know what that daily life is like.

    What I do want to elaborate on is that I went from wanting to die using every day, to meeting President Obama, sitting on stage with him and 3 other people, and I got to tell him some of my story of Recovery! I got to tell him and an audience of senators, police, nurses, doctors, recovering addicts how much my life has improved and how I owe that to my family support and using Suboxone as a tool in my recovery. You can view the video by clicking below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeyEdd4YuBc

    I tried countless times over the years to quit on my own and was never successful. This time I combined Suboxone, IOP, family support, and individual counseling. I'm the Mom I always wanted and needed to be for my children. Aside from meeting the President, I have done a TEDx Talk in Columbus, Ohio and I have been asked by CNN more than once to be on a live broadcast advocating for awareness.

    I got to ask Bernie Sanders about the failed drug policies that went to jail addicts instead of offer rehab. And I asked on Anderson Cooper's show why there isn't a National Database to track opioid prescriptions. I've done many local talks where I shared my story, local news papers have done stories on me. And I'm writing a book. And I don't say all this to brag. I say this because I believe addicts are some of the smartest and strongest people in the world and if they put their mind to something, there isn't anything they can't do.

    I started a website erasetheshame.com & a facebook page Erase The Shame. I belive that changing the way people perceive addicts will help a lot with them getting treatment earlier and more effectively. Shame and stigma prevent a lot of people from getting the help they need and I'm here to change that. I have dreams today, and it's more than wishing I get something so I'm not dope sick that day. I want to help people find their voice and their place in the world. Addicts aren't damaged goods. We are people, we are family members, members of communities and we all need to realize our worth. There are so many overdoses lately and that makes me that much more passionate about what I'm out here doing. I want families of addicts to not give up on them because I give a lot of my success to my family never turning their back on me. And it's what has helped me break that stigma and shame. They were never ashamed of me, so it never occured to me that I be ashamed of who I am and where I came from.

    For more stories and links to me talking to the President and the 8 minute TED talk I gave, go to my website erasetheshame.com I hope my story has inspired someone.

    Thank You for taking the time to read about Lil Ole Me.
    I am the Assistant Publisher and Forum Co-Moderator For Kill the Heroin The Epidemic Nationwide and Heroin News.

    Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide Facebook Page

    National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers Facebook Page

    Heroin News Facebook Page

    I am not a medical professional and all opinions I share are my own. Nothing I say should be taken as medical advice or replace the advice you get from a medical care professional.

  • #2
    Crystal,

    What a great story, like many of us, addiction took control of your life for quite a while but in the end, you chose recovery and have reinvented yourself. You even got the opportunity to meet President Obama and share your story for him, with senators and more. I washed your video and was very impressed, you didn't look nervous at all. I know you told me privately that you were nervous but you did a great job. I also know that you have another public speaking opportunity so I look forward to hearing about that as well.

    Thank you for sharing your story on our forum, I also posted a link to this topic on our main Facebook page for over 28,000 people to view. Thank you for sharing your story on our forum, I also posted a link to this topic on our main Facebook page for over 28,000 people to view. I am convinced that your story will touch multiple people so I appreciate you sharing.

    Also for your willingness to post a link to our website and the various resources and the appropriate section of your website.

    Keep up the good work!

    William
    Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers.

    Find a Prescreened Addiction Treatment Center & Drug Rehab Facility

    Visit our Heroin Addiction & Recovery Blog for daily articles.

    I do my best to educate myself regarding addiction and recovery related issue, treatment options, etc. however, I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and any advice you take from me is at your own risk and discretion

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank You!!! And thanks for adding to the forum!!
      I am the Assistant Publisher and Forum Co-Moderator For Kill the Heroin The Epidemic Nationwide and Heroin News.

      Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide Facebook Page

      National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers Facebook Page

      Heroin News Facebook Page

      I am not a medical professional and all opinions I share are my own. Nothing I say should be taken as medical advice or replace the advice you get from a medical care professional.

      Comment


      • #4
        Not a fan of Obama but that's still really cool u met him. I'm on suboxone too. Your story gives me hope cuz I just started

        Comment


        • #5
          Crystal I watched your video and was impressed that you did so good up on the stage. I was thinking about how you said your family had your back and that their support was what helped you the most. I started to think what has worked for me. I am a US Army veteran and us veterans always be each others backs. Support is so important to recovery. I feel very fortunate to have the resources for recovery. A lot of people don't. The VA hospital has been tremendous to my recovery. From doing 30 days rehab, IOP, counseling for my Ptsd and so on. Well god bless you in your recovery and be good to yourself.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh, I feel so awful for people that have nobody for support. Or their families use still so they can't go around them anymore. I try to offer my support to them because I don't know where I'd be without my family. I'm so glad that the VA is supportive of you!! ❤
            I am the Assistant Publisher and Forum Co-Moderator For Kill the Heroin The Epidemic Nationwide and Heroin News.

            Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide Facebook Page

            National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers Facebook Page

            Heroin News Facebook Page

            I am not a medical professional and all opinions I share are my own. Nothing I say should be taken as medical advice or replace the advice you get from a medical care professional.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes we have a lot of support. I get meds, counseling, therapy, 30day inhouse rehab, outpatient etc. I should know I've been in all of them .I am very fortunate and it's not taken for granted. My main concern for myself is that I have a lot of injuries from bullet shrapnel I received over in Iraq. I deal with a lot of physical pain and mentally. I have PTSD and a brain injury. I feel guilty surviving war but come home and try to kill myself with dope. Well enough of my ranting take care and be good to yourself.
              .
              Last edited by myofb1; 07-17-2016, 09:03 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't have a lot of support. I have no friends and I feel like I'm doing it alone.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do you go to outpatient treatment or anything? You said you're on Suboxone so I wondered if you go to a just a Dr. or if it's a treatment place? Where I go has the Dr. come to the building where we do our group IOP's it's kind of like a little family. We see each other so much. I think it's really crucial to have at least a couple you could call in a crisis.
                  I am the Assistant Publisher and Forum Co-Moderator For Kill the Heroin The Epidemic Nationwide and Heroin News.

                  Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide Facebook Page

                  National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers Facebook Page

                  Heroin News Facebook Page

                  I am not a medical professional and all opinions I share are my own. Nothing I say should be taken as medical advice or replace the advice you get from a medical care professional.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm just gonna add my two cents here, not that anybody wants it, but I've got to shout out on the mountains, as the Book asks us to do. Have any of you tried tapering / weaning / quitting suboxone??????? If so, just wondering. If not, just wondering. Is this a life-long medicine forevermore>? Just wondering how easy <or not?> it is to quit. Best to all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I will take Suboxone as long as needed. It is much better than the life I had in misery using dope.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Myofb,

                        And in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with that. If you honestly feel that you would be doing heroin if it weren't for Suboxone, I agree that you should stay on Suboxone. At least for now and until you are ready. There's no rush.

                        Best wishes,

                        William
                        Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers.

                        Find a Prescreened Addiction Treatment Center & Drug Rehab Facility

                        Visit our Heroin Addiction & Recovery Blog for daily articles.

                        I do my best to educate myself regarding addiction and recovery related issue, treatment options, etc. however, I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and any advice you take from me is at your own risk and discretion

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My life has done a big turn around since being on Suboxone. I'm holding a good job, got money in the bank, a nice car and Harley, the bills are paid, so yes I do great on Suboxone. Seems to me people don't want you clean their either jealous of your sobriety, or want you to wallow in their misery. So that being said I'm happy and that is all that matters. I will taper down when I'm ready. I am not going back to the life I've lived in misery.

                          Comment

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