Maybe you have wondered where I’ve been these past months. I’ve been wondering too. And now I think I owe it to y’all to tell you why I’ve been off the grid.

I was abusing drugs again and I got addicted. I got lost, really lost. I fell down hard. I made a lot of mistakes, and they stacked up and weighed me down and ALMOST took me out with them once and for all. But here I am.

I am standing on my own two feet today. But it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty. It’s embarrassing to think about and talk about, let alone write about. But, when I started this blog while incarcerated I was really honest about what got me to prison and the changes I went through while there. So I will be honest now too.

I came real close to losing everything I’ve worked hard for over the past five years that I have been out of prison, and I am sure I came close to losing my life. In hind site, I should have seen it coming. It started with a few opiate pills. Oddly, opiates have a way of making me feel a little energized. I won’t lie – I like how they make me feel. Of course, as my occasional recreational use went on, I needed more. So I took more and took them more often. Soon I had a good little daily habit going. But I thought it was a manageable habit. Then one day, my source had Oxy’s for me. And yeah, they were way better. Stronger. I liked them and I got pretty dependent on them. Somewhere during this time I also started back up with the meth. I was working a lot of hours. Six or seven days a week and sometimes rather than resting, some artificial energy seemed the best choice to power through. And, when pills weren’t available, speed helped me weather the storm of withdrawal symptoms until I could get more.

I felt I had it all under control. I was managing everything.

One day my Oxy source dried up. Not a good day. I was by then pretty seriously addicted to opiates. I needed them to keep going to work and keep functioning, there was no way I could quit without withdrawing and bringing attention to the fact that I was using again. I was getting in the weeds.

To avoid those weeds, I took what any addict will tell you is the next logical step – I waded in deeper. Started injecting heroin and injecting speed too. I was all the way in, right back where I was before prison. In my current mental state, I STILL thought I was keeping it together. But things were falling apart pretty quickly. I started getting to work late, once or twice a week. I started having issues with my boss and my coworkers, about all kinds of things. I was spending most of my time by myself when I was at home in the evenings, instead of with my wife and family. I was lying to people, about money and time and where I was and who I was with.

Of course, I was also having some marital issues. Some, of course, were caused by my drug use, but honestly, some were just regular problems. But the problems weren’t getting solved in the right way now because my response now was to go out and do some more drugs, rather than try to work anything out. I started leaving the house when we got into an argument, and this started happening more and more often.

I got a serious infection in my blood stream from the IV use and that ended me up in the hospital. The doctor confronted me with all the crap he found in my blood work so I checked myself out of the hospital. And then I quit my job. The last week of 2016 and the first couple weeks of 2017 are a blur. Now everyone tells me they knew something was gone real wrong, but I denied, denied, denied. I was screwing up everything, my health, work, relationships, and life were all falling apart and I looked like a skull and bones walking around with dirty nails and sores all over me. It was pretty damn bad.

One morning I passed out hard. Late that afternoon I woke up and a family member confronted me. I was so tired… tired of it all. I guess it was just the right timing because I came clean and then called my wife and told her everything as well. Then I started to withdraw. It was a pretty shitty couple of weeks. I don’t really remember a lot of it, I was out of my head for a good portion of it. I was seriously delusional and really sick. I hallucinated. I threw up every day, many times. I couldn’t keep anything down. I was very mixed up for most of it. It was bad. It was bad enough that for the first couple of weeks, I moved out of my house and in with a family member who thought they could tolerate the mess that I was. I stayed up all night some days and slept for hours on other days. Finally, after several weeks I was accepted into a Suboxane clinic and the Suboxane definitely gave me a chance to be off the heroin but I really did not like the side effects. I was able to go back home, though. I weened myself off the Suboxane pretty quickly. Although some people stay on Suboxane for a year or more, I don’t think that is for me. I avoided meth use by locking myself into my own house once I got back home, and changing my phone number twice. I holed up with the family and tried to reconnect with my wife and kids. Things started to feel normal about four or five weeks in.

I’ve started a new job already, and I like it a lot. To add to my troubles I received notice that I had to move just a couple weeks ago too, so right now I am looking for a new place to live. Not easy in my area. And, my truck broke down. I got that back yesterday. I am feeling a lot better physically, eating regular, sleeping pretty good, and overall I feel I am doing about as well as possible.

I know I still have hard work ahead. But I am grateful for today. I am grateful my wife stood by me and I am grateful I am still alive, to take care of my family. I am glad my mind is coming back after a few weeks of not being so sure it would. I am optimistic about my future again. I feel I can do this. I also have a new respect for the pure hell these drugs can put you through. I don’t remember withdrawal being as bad as this was. I WANT to remember though, so I don’t repeat this again. I don’t know if I could live through it all again. I think I came pretty close to cashing in this time.

So, folks, that is my story today. I’m back and I am going to spend time on here talking about this. I want to talk about drugs, what they made me feel, and why I let myself get sucked in. I want to talk about what has been working for me so far to stay clean. I want to talk about the triggers that make me feel like using. I hope it helps someone to share my story, maybe saves someone the trouble of going down this path themselves. I know talking about it is good for my recovery.

Well, it’s good to be back. Hope y’all are doing OK, and I wish you all some peace today. ~ Magnum

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  1. Liz says:

    Thank you for your story

  2. Farah says:

    Glad to hear you’re doing better and got your life back on track!

    I had a quick question for you about your experience within tdcj – my friend is currently at Gurney and isn’t up for parole until 2020. However, yesterday he got a lay-in and met with ‘re entry’… All the guys and even the guard giving him his paperwork said that means he’s “going home soon” — is this possible? I searched on PrisonTalk and it seems when people had met with ‘re entry’ they were a few months out from parole, why would he be meeting with them if he still has at least 3 years to go? Just wondering if you could provide any insight or know anything about it. Thanks again!