Wednesday, 22 May 2013

My World Came Crashing Down
Since I started speaking publicly about our family’s experience, I’ve met so many wonderful people in person, through emails, over the phone, and on social media sites. One particular email moved me to tears. It is from a young lady named Claire who is battling addiction. She so eloquently tells her story about the struggles of being an opiate addict and trying to get help in an underfunded system. Her story is representative of so many people needing treatment.

Her name and some details have been changed to protect her identify. I have permission to share this with you as she wants to help in this fight too.

WARNING: The first email will move you to tears. Her follow up email will break your heart.

Dear Rose

I have been reading your articles and I am truly inspired by your courage to come out and tell the Island about your struggles.  My name is Claire, I am 22 years old and I am an opiate addict. My addiction started about 3 years ago and since then everything in my life has deteriorated. I have been to jail, I am on probation, I almost lost my life in a car accident, I have lost jobs, I have lost friends, and I have lost myself.

I have been desperately trying to get help for sometime now. I have been to detox 6 times this year and began (but didn't complete) the Strength program twice. I have come to realize my only way out of this addiction is to be inducted onto the Methadone program and I am currently attending a readiness program. I have completed the required amount of meetings and I have to wait until a spot opens but that could be months away. I don't know how much longer I can wait. It's so hard living everyday wondering how you will get your next pill. I have a child and because of my addiction I have to have supervised visits.

I want you to know that it's people like you that give me the strength to share my story and reach out for help. Thank- you for everything you have done to help us suffering addicts. I want my story to be told so I can help someone like you, who has helped me. I want the media and government to realize how much of an epidemic this problem really is. I want more resources and more programs made available to addicts in need, and I am hoping by me sharing my story, it will make even a small difference. It is my generation that is sick and my generation’s responsibility to speak up and make a difference, one story at a time. My story isn't over yet but hopefully it will be soon.

I promise you that once I am better I won't just move on and forget. I will help fight this battle and help make a change so another addict doesn't have to wait or be denied treatment like I have been.

Once again, thank-you.

Yours truly, Claire

Here is Claire’s follow up email that came two weeks later:

Hey Rose,

Sorry for taking so long to get a hold of you. I wanted to tell you that I have completed and accomplished all the meetings and requirements requested for the Methadone readiness program. At my last meeting I was told that my name would be brought forward at the next meeting on Friday, April 26th. I thought it would be the end to my terrible way of living. I was so relieved and proud of myself for not giving up. Due to a staff shortage, there are no more meetings.

Today, I called someone at Mount Herbert to ask her how the meeting went on the 26th and to find out if I was accepted into the Methadone program. Well her response was anything but positive. She informed me she has no idea what will happen with me or my group. My name was brought up but, unfortunately, they do not have the funds and amount of staff necessary to have anyone inducted onto Methadone this month. My world came crashing down in front of me. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

What is wrong with the government? Even though I did the work, showed the motivation, put in the time, met all the requirements they asked of me, and now, after all that I was told, they can't afford to do what they promised me from the beginning. I don't know what I am going to do now. I don't even have meetings anymore that I can attend. This problem at Mount Herbert needs to be addressed because, for those people on the Island struggling with addiction, Mount Herbert is our only source of help and tools for recovery.

I want to help anyway I can, Rose. You can share my story with people so we can start to make awareness. Thank you so much for your support.

Thank you!


  1. Bless your hearts stay strong

  2. You have more strength than you are giving yourself credit for. To come this far took a lot of strength. Think of your child and the life you can have with her. Keep thinking positive.

  3. methodone destroys your body hardly any person who goes on ever comes of it and when they want to there body has all ready been deteriorated its sad that thats the only people want these day ive lived on this island my hole life and i started opiates when i was 17 and started needles when i was 19i understand that this island needs more help but i have went threw this all i went to strength did ever single thing they told me to do and i got threw the sickness after strength i went to talbot and stay for 7 months doing every single thin they said i go to meetings daily and im soo happy i never went on methodone it is hell i have friends that have ben on it for years and there falling apart recovery is possible you have to work for it soo be thankfull your not on methodone and tuff threw it n go to na or aa meetings all the time methodone will will NOT fix you only make u sicker ill have a year in next month and it because of the meetings soo all the best i just think you are gunna ruin ur life on methodone my name is kyle buote and i approve this msg

    1. LOL , You Dont have clue about methadone, Nobody HAS to stay on it forever, AGAIN that is there choice, I have been on it now for 10 months and soon to be off and havent had a problem. I never went on a high dose and methadone isnt a "quick fix" it hellps with the withdrawls and craveing but you have do to the rest yourself. You really need to be informed about what t=you are talking about. For some people meetings are a trigger! Also just BECAUSE you have chosen that path dosnt not give you the right to judge anyone else for taken a diffrent path . THAT is one of the MAIN things you learn in recovery . SHAME SHAME..I have heard from several people now that you do nothing but bad mouth methadone and think your the only one with a story .. GOOD FOR YOU that you did that way . BUT SHAME on you for talking about something you have no iinformation on . YOU SEE people on it well not everyone is the same. I do not get high on it nor do I abuse it or have gone up any higher , I know 5 people that have come off it now and are living there lives . They now have methadone books mabey you should read one. YOU shouldnt be aloud to judge because that is wrong JUST BECAUSE some people ABUSE it dosnt mean everyone will. You need to realize that you cant EXPECT EVERYONE to take the same road you have. .....This girl deserves what she is asking for and she knows her body and herself , soo if she wants to be onn it then nobody should say those things to her.

  4. Thank you all for your encouragement for Claire.

    Kyle, I've heard really great things about you. Congratulations on your recovery. Keep on working at it. You are an inspiration for many.

  5. this will be a hard journey but be strong and tell as many people as you can and let the story out ,I heard you have to call in the morning to see if there is a bed at Mount Herbert's to help you but just to fined out there is no room for you shame on them ..

  6. I find it funny that the girl in this is has had her name changed due to privacy reasons yet she posts on facebook that this is her story, I am too an addict and have been addicted to opiates for a couple years now, never went the IV route which im glad for that, but I stopped doing pills on my own without methadone (just a cheaper replacement). If you want to quit then quit, go through the sickness like you have times before and stop crying and sulking about it looking for attention, for people to feel sorry for you, aswell stop feeling sorry for yourself and go do something about it, I agree thats pei's system is messed up. But methadone is not the answer. its stronger then any other opiate you might be using.

    1. Hi there, thank you for visiting the blog and commenting. I just wanted to comment on a few things that you mentioned.

      1. Sometimes people do things anonymously and become empowered. When that happens, they want to share it with their friends. That is likely why you saw it on "Claire's" Facebook page. I did that myself in the beginning too before I had the courage to attach my name to my story publicly.

      2. It sounds like you are in recovery. It so, congratulations!

      3. When I started this blog, it wasn't to make people feel sorry for me or my son. It was to raise awareness of the issues that addicts and families face in their journey. When I heard Claire's story, I thought it was representative of a lot of people's experience so I asked her if I could share it on the blog. She very kindly agreed. Because she did, many more people have had their eyes opened. This is important for so many reasons.

      Thank you again!

  7. Don't stop believing
    Believe in your self !
    Believe that there is Help out there !
    Believe that there is Someone out there that
    Believes in YOU!!

  8. Claire, please don't give up. I have a daughter in the same program and I absolutely dread her finding out that your group hasn't gotten methadone, as she will be devistated also. Please, please, please don't give up trying. I know how hard this is for you but the rewards for you and your child will be so worth it. I will pray for you.

  9. Two good friends got summer jobs at a convenience store. These two girls were such good friends, they were like sisters - always together in one way or another (in person/on the phone/texting/emailing). It hardly seemed like work when the two shared the same shift!

    One afternoon, a young man came into the store looking for a certain brand of cigarettes. He did not initially look suspicious - except for the long leather jacket and gloves he was wearing; it was a cloudless 30 degree afternoon in the middle of summer!

    It turned out that the particular brand of cigarettes was no longer being produced and the store did not have any more to sell. As per protocol, the girls explained this to the customer and suggested another kind. This did not go over well with the customer; he began to yell and throw things around the store. When one of the girls tried to calm the man, he pulled out a gun from one of the many pockets in his jacket and pointed it at one of the girls' head. Before the other girl was able to activate the soundless panic alarm, the irate customer spontaneously pulled the trigger; his hostage crumpled to the ground instantly.

    When the police got to the store to investigate the shooting, they encountered one teenage girl sobbing over the lifeless form of another. "It's all my fault!" she cried, "I should have hit the panic button earlier. Now look, my best friend in the entire world is dead."

    As the days progressed, the girl became more and more silent and kept to herself; her face was devoid of colour and the bright smile that once shone on her face - the faces of the two best friends. She refused to eat or care for herself; there was not a night that she did not have horrendous nightmares of being attacked herself or of experiencing the hostage situation over and over again and watching her bff be shot dead by a single bullet.

    When her parents finally got her in to see a counsellor, the girl was encouraged to write out the events of that day in as much detail as she could; she was then instructed to read it over and over again until it no longer evoked the tears and anger that it initially did. When she could do this, her therapist then asked her to compose an email for her friend as if she were alive and well; in it, she was to express everything she felt about what had happened at the store: her guilt/sadness/fear/anger/etc. Once she composed and "sent" it, the girl was instructed to write the response that she envisioned that her friend would compose: how would she respond? Would she cast blame on her friend? Would she criticize her friend for her actions/lack thereof?
    Once this task was completed, the girl felt a sense of relief like no other. She was then able to open up to others about the incident and talk freely about the awesomeness of her friend. She began caring for herself - indulging in the manicures and pedicures and deep hair conditioning that she and her friend used to do. Remarkably, the nightmares and the flashbacks never returned.

  10. Please SHARE this WITH appropriate OTHERS.

    “One example of the principles and practice of Self Help”
    “The Therapeutic Process”
    + Regarding Reoccurring Negative Dreams and Flashbacks.


    A father and son, living on the West coast of Canada ( in the Vancouver area ), loved to go sailing between the mainland and Vancouver Island. The father, over the years, had
    upgraded from a small boat to a larger sail boat and the son was intending to follow his example, but, at the time of this example the son only had a small boat.

    One day the son went for a sail in his boat and a major storm came up which caused his boat to capsize. The son drowned on that day and his body was never recovered.

    As result, the father kept having a reoccurring dream regarding the loss of his son and the lack of closure. ( no funeral for closure because the son's body was never recovered )

    In the dream the father would go out in his sail boat to where his son had drowned and he would dive over the side and swim down to the bottom. When he would get to the bottom he would find a treasure chest and when he opened it up it would, always, be empty.
    ( it can be said that the father treasured his son )

    At that time, I was a co-facilitator of a therapeutic group in which the father ( as a participant ) told the story of his reoccurring dream and to address the problem the following potential solution was proposed to him.

    Write up his story including his emotions, feelings, appreciations, anger, resentments, positives and negatives of the relationship with his son and with his death, etc.
    Buy a small tree ( hopefully his sons favourite kind of tree).
    Take the write up, the tree and some pictures of his son ( + small personal objects / reminders of his son ) and take them to his son's favourite place.

    NOTE: His son's favourite place was up on a forested knoll over looking Horse Shoe Bay on the North Shore of Vancouver where he could see the marina that he and his father used to dock their sail boats.

    The father was to take the write up, the tree, the pictures and the personal
    objects to the knoll.
    Dig a hole for the tree / then read your write up ALOUD..
    Set fire to the papers ( write up ) pictures and personal items.
    Let the smoke go up into the air, the ashes and personal items fall into the hole.
    Plant the tree over them. ( burying them and the problem in order to gain closure )

    The father never had the reoccurring dream again...

    NOTE: People and their family members can, by using these principles and practices, gain closure in relation to various kinds of personal and family issues = loss of a loved one, abuse, addiction, PTSD ( especially reoccurring dreams ), suicide prevention, anger management, beginnings and endings, unfinished business, closure, etc.

    Some guidelines:

    Use your own imagination and creativity when you apply
    these principles and practices to your own personal + family issues.
    This can be done alone and/or with others who can appreciate their attendance
    and find value in the process.

    NOTE: This therapeutic process can stand alone and/or be an addition to
    existing individual or group therapy programs.

    Helpful hints:

    1. You can bury and get over your own personal / family issues and start an anger free life.
    2. Planting ( a living memorial, a bush, shrub or a crop ) represents hope for the future.
    3. “The obstacles in life, often, become precisely what is required”...

    Warm Regards, to family members dealing with the loss of a loved one(s) and related family issues ( past, present and future ).

    Author James L. Halstrum ( The Stone Shadow )
    P.O.Box 1326 Montague, PEI C0A-1R0 + Phone 902-838-2218

    Note: If this helps and/or saves the life of one person, I'll be pleased.


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