Our country is experiencing a drug epidemic. 100 people die a day from drug overdoses. Heroin is taking out entire cities. People are becoming hopelessly addicted to pain killers. Meth labs are everywhere. But all is not lost. There is hope. There is healing. Today we are sharing with you a story of one of our friends, Brett Oglesby. Brett’s story is one of devastation and fear, but also hope and inspiration. This may mirror the life of your loved one. We want you to know that addiction can be treated and a fulfilling life can be had. Brett is proof. Read on.
How many years sober are you?
God willing, I’ll be sober 2 years in January.
What was your drug or drink of choice?
Oxycodone was my drug of choice, but I also used cocaine and alcohol.
Where did you get your drugs? How did you pay for them?
One of my buddies had a really great job and made a lot of money. He didn’t want to mess around with getting the drugs, even though he wanted them too. So he would give me the money, and I’d go get them and then he’d give me half just for getting them for him. Thankfully, he’s in recovery too.
How did you know that you were addicted?
I hadn’t taken any opiates for a few days and I went to a friend’s place to drink. When I went to bed, I couldn’t sleep and then I started having convulsions. I really didn’t know what was going on – until the next day I realized I was into opiate withdrawal and having Restless Leg Syndrome.
It scared me. I really never thought I was dependent on anything, but I was. Shortly after that, I tried to quit cold turkey – no treatment or anything. I couldn’t sleep for weeks. It was awful. I knew I was addicted. What was your rock bottom? How did you feel?
I know exactly what rock bottom is: It was Christmas Day 2012. I had been sleeping on my couch. I was so hungover from opiates, I woke up and I couldn’t even lift my head to watch my 4 year old daughter open her Christmas presents.
There’s a lot of my life that I don’t remember, but I remember that. How did you get into treatment? I called into work three days in a row. I wanted to get fired so I could force myself to make a change. When I got fired, my wife kicked me out. I had no job, nowhere to go, and no money. That’s when I was finally ready.
I moved into a halfway house, and it was a rough one. But I was desperate. I just did not want that life anymore. It was the single hardest thing I ever did in my life.. I wanted to leave but I had no where to go. What was the biggest struggle you faced after treatment? It was about 6 months into my recovery. I had gone over to my dad’s and we went for a three mile hike. When we got back, I decided to take a quick shower in my dad’s bathroom. Sitting on the bathroom counter, there was a bottle of Oxycodone – my drug of choice – from a surgery my dad had a while back. When I see it, I don’t care who it belongs to or where it comes from, I’m going to take it. It doesn’t matter what else is going on.
I picked up the bottle and opened it. I romanced the bottle and the pills in my hand.
That’s when I started praying, “God don’t let me do this, don’t let me do this.” Slowly, I was able to close the bottle up, put it down and get in the shower. I kept praying the whole time I was in the shower for Him to help me. Eventually, I was able to finish up and walk away.
God is the only thing that can keep me sober when my drug of choice is in front of me.
What was one great lesson that you learned from treatment?
The greatest lesson I took away was to be able to love myself. In treatment, I had men around me that loved me enough that I could get to that point to love myself.
What would you tell someone about treatment to inspire them to go?
The road you’re going down, there’s only three outcomes. You will either end up in jail or an institution. You will accept help and treatment. Or you will die. That’s it.
How do you know that you’re never going to relapse?
I always believed in God, but treatment is really where I found God. That’s what keeps me sober. Everyday I wake up, I hit my knees and pray.
My life is just too important: pain is a great motivator.
What else do you want to say? If I don’t put recovery first, I will lose everything. I will lose my daughter, my job, everything that matters to me. That’s what keeps me going.