Voices of the Fellowship

The Literature Committee always welcomes submissions from fellows relating their experience, strength and hope. These personal stories will be published as collections for the benefit of the entire fellowship. Please contribute your own experience with the Steps and life in sobriety by clicking below:

 


Below are selections from the stories of members of Crystal Meth Anonymous. 

All The King's Horses

“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” So says the old English nursery rhyme. My story has a different ending than Humpty Dumpty’s. Crystal meth shattered my life, and thanks to the program and fellowship of Crystal Meth Anonymous, my life has been put back together again.

I already led a double life before crystal meth. As a shameful closeted gay man, I dared not reveal my secrets to my family, friends and coworkers. As the son of Holocaust survivors, great expectations were placed on me, and I did my very best to meet these expectations. I was a successful doctor, married a nice Jewish girl, and gave my parents the grandchild they wanted. At the same time, I couldn’t deny myself the clandestine, anonymous sex with men that I craved. I thought I had the solution to my predicament: leading two separate lives and making everyone happy, including myself. Eventually the lies and deception became too much to handle, and my solution stopped working.

Read more: All The King's Horses

Employment and Professional Licensure in Recovery

When I stopped using, I found myself nearly unemployable. I was a hard worker and often worked two jobs. I was a chef and never had difficulty locating a kitchen that was eager for my skills, but after 9/11, employment requirements changed and felons were not wanted.

I contacted a temporary culinary employment agency and worked  a variety of jobs for relatively low pay. Not great, but it was steady work. I was fortunate that, in time, I was able to be assigned to a long-term contract which lasted nine months. This created a small amount of consistency in my life and I was able to feel comfortable for a while. I was excited to learn that the company wanted to hire me full time and I started to make plans in my head for my life going forward. The formal interview went quite well but the subsequent background check resulted in the job offer being rescinded. 

Read more: Employment and Professional Licensure in Recovery

My Name is RJ

My name is R. J. and I am a grateful recovering crystal meth addict. People always ask me what RJ stands for. I used to tell them “Rolla Joint”. Soon it became “Rampant Junkie”. Today it is “Recovery Journey”. But it certainly was not always that way. Cue flashback nightmare sequence music… January 27, 2015. After verbally detonating on my 79‐year old mother when she opened a piece of my mail, she simply says, “That’s it. I’m calling the police.” I thought she was kidding. She was not. 

In hindsight it was the bravest thing I had ever witnessed my mom doing. A few minutes later two officers arrive and try to detain me after I flip out. That’s what happens when you’re strung out on marijuana, Percocet, Xanax, valium, Molly, GHB, and Crystal Meth Amphetamine. One grabs my arm, I swat his arm away, scratching him across the face. I get knocked down. As the cuffs go on, I shriek, turn my head, and bite one of them on the arm…hard.

Read more: My Name is RJ

Returning to a Professional Career

The first time I used crystal, I went to work high.  The night before, I had been out celebrating my birthday, and two guys at the bar offered me some “crank.”  One bump turned into several lines, and the night stretched into the next morning.  I can’t tell you how much we did, but I knew that night something had changed.  “This could be a problem,” I told my friend.  “I like this too much.”

My plan had been to party that night then nap the next day before my 5:00 pm shift in the emergency room.  Of course, I couldn’t sleep at all, so I was awake the entire day before bouncing into the hospital – miraculously right on time.  I was worried at first that the shift would be a struggle, but I still had enough crystal in my body to last through the night.  Far from the disorganized disaster that I would later become, that night I was incredibly focused.  I saw far more patients than any of the other residents, but the part that was really surprising was how much more fun it was to practice medicine while tweaking.  I left the next morning believing the lie that would nearly destroy my career – the lie that I work better on crystal.

Read more: Returning to a Professional Career