Health & Wellness

Guest Column

A Story of Addiction, Part 2

Her high heels... Credits: TAPinto Montville staff

TAPinto Montville recently received this story from a former addict who lives in town. She hopes that by reading this difficult story, someone might seek help. She is writing under a pen name, but her story is true. In part 2, M Gard talks about how she started on the road to overcoming her addiction. After years of illness and a doctor who prescribed daily IV drips of pain medication, M found herself severely addicted to not only the medication but the escape it provided.

She walked into my life at just the right time…

And there she was, standing in her high heels, designer dress and white coat - and don’t forget the gorgeous shiny red Chanel bag. She was a hospitalist and saw several patients daily. A hospitalist is responsible for admitting and rounding on patients in their service daily. She heard about what had happened to me and my battle with addiction. I was a complete stranger, just another patient. She has no responsibility to me. She didn’t need to spend more than five minutes with me. I was just another name and room number for her to see on her long list of patients and responsibilities on a given day. I had no desire to talk to her. I had no desire to do anything. I had no desire to stay clean, admit my wrongdoings and take responsibility. I had no desire to be upfront and ask for help with my addiction. I had no desire to let her or any doctor into my life and know the severity of my addiction.

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At first I don’t believe I was even that responsive to her. At first I didn’t like her because she wouldn’t order me unlimited IV pain medicine. I needed to feel the rush that comes along with high of IV pain medicine.

She started to wean me off the IV pain medicine the correct way. At first I felt like she wanted me clean more than I wanted it or understood what was involved in achieving it.

After I decided I wanted to be clean, I accepted her help and was making progress.

When I wouldn’t listen or when she thought I might slip backwards, she was my prison warden. She was a great, effective prison warden - she kept me in line. She saw all my wonderful qualities that I was hiding. All the qualities that made me, me but that I just didn’t care about anymore. All those qualities became secondary since I became an addict. She encouraged me to be me and show all those qualities. According to her, I was so much more, and I was worthy of her help. I felt I was worthy of absolutely nothing. The more she heard what happened to me, I believe the more she wanted to help me.

One day she said to me, “I never, ever see you smile.” My response was, “For what? Look at what has happened to me.” Then I made a rule for when she came to visit me: no smiling, but we could laugh.

She came to see me basically every day, and she was so passionate about helping me. She sat and talked to me every day of a three-month hospital stay. Over time, I started to look forward to her visits and enjoy her company. On her days off she would still make time for me and call me. At this point, we had broken both rules, and we could smile and laugh together.

She helped me without labeling me a drug addict and without any stigma or labels. She helped me solely from her humongous heart. Every day, I told her she was my hero. She saved my life. Her response was, “You are my hero because YOU had the courage to stop a horrible thing, turn everything around and move forward.”

She gave me the first push I needed to do an incredible thing. Each and every day I have her support, my husband’s, children’s , family’s and inlaws’, some friends’. Each and every day, when I wake up, I thank her - for her time and for understanding me. I thank her for not being a selfish person. She was completely committed to having me overcome addiction. When I would say, “this is just so hard, I can’t do this,” she would push me along and yell at me to keep me motivated to move forward.

Do you believe that good comes from bad?

I just want the world to know how much of an amazing doctor she is. I want the world to know how much she has helped me and taught me to help myself. I want the world to know that without her, the ending to my story would have been different. I want the world to know that no other doctor in this world is like her. I want the world to know how good she has been to me, and continues to be.

After this nightmare of an experience, I believe only pain management doctors or addiction specialist doctors should be allowed to order pain medicine. All doctors should stick to her sub specialty and not order medications outside their scope.

My message to other addicts…

To anyone out there battling any type of addiction either intentionally or unintentionally caused-

To all addicts out there on your own journey-

To the addicts still suffering. I want you to get help before it’s too late.

To the addict I have never met, I want you to know it’s ok to admit you’re an addict.

To the addict I have never met. I have walked a long, lonely, troublesome walk in your shoes. I ask that you take “those” shoes off and throw them away. I want to give you hope. I want today to be different for you. I want today to be the end of your addiction and the start of the “new” and improved you. I want to buy you a new pair of shoes. I want to give you a “clean” start

I need you to understand the first step is the hardest step and the biggest step

I want to turn your dark days into bright beautiful productive days

I want you to believe in yourself. You can do this!!!

I want you to return to being an asset to society and your loved ones.

I want you to shoot for the stars. I want to you achieve your goals with flying colors. I want you to be your own success story. You can do this!

I want to hear all about your success. I want to be happy for all your clean days you have behind you. I want you to never, ever under any circumstances look backwards.

I want you to know, despite any bad feelings or cravings, you need to ignore them and keep moving forward. This journey only goes forward. There is no time to slip backwards. Everyone is different and it is okay to take suboxen or methadone as long as you stay clean.

You are not alone. I know it’s scary thinking about not getting high. Being successful is a must - not a option.

Please understand there is a big difference between wanting recovery and needing it.

Addiction will always be your dirty little secret. A vicious cycle you can break and you can defeat. I want you to beat up addiction and be the winner. I want you to never, ever look backwards.

I want to see you cross that finish line, putting your addiction behind you once and for all.

I want you to understand you have a disease, and with the correct treatment, you can overcome this. Just like people overcome and beat cancer, you can beat addiction.

To the addict I have never met. I want you to repeat after me: I am an addict. I am a good person and I deserve to beat this. I only want better for myself.

I want you to know it’s okay to ask for help. Everyone battling addiction needs and deserves help.

It’s time for a change. Break that cycle. I want you to be able to believe in your own strength. I want you to believe in miracles.

If you or someone you love needs help with addiction, please call CARES, the Center for Addiction Recovery Education & Success at 973-625-1143. Or go to .

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

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