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Addiction, Epilepsy & Recovery

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Addiction, Epilepsy & Recovery

Allow me to introduce myself. imma grateful recovering user and boozer with a name and a problem called ray

so heres my story, i hope it carries a message of hope. i was born in 1974 in washington state. dad was a drunk mom was well a mom. at 8 months old, in febuary of 1975, i had my first sezuire and was diagnoised with epilepsy at which time i was put on phenobarbitiol to control my seizures. i definitly come from a broken home -- dad was a drunk/junkie ?disappeared when i was young (did the best he knew how to do at the time he did it)

i had one brother who was 2 years younger then me. my medical condition prevented him from receiving the love and attention he desired and was always put off to the side not by anyones choice but?thats a whole other story. ?so my brother and i we were abused children but we were also very lucky because our mother sought help when she realized what was happening. Overall my childhood was pretty good i had everything i wanted maybe not as quickly as i wanted it but i always got it

At age six in 1980 i started elementrty school. it was great i loved it. ?it beat being home. my teacher was the best, my friends were great, my school bus driver was also very good to me.?Things at home were well not the best but also not the worst as i had my friends.?I was allowed to play outside with my friends

my mothers friends were also my friends.?on the street at the bar wherever, come age 11 one time one of these friends decicded it would be ok to sexually abuse me which led me to being institutionalized. i ended up in a group home for children?for 4 years. that was in 1986. it was a blessing that place.

Things got better over those years i was a good kid given alot of love and plenty of morals, given every tool i needed to succeed in life, offered love and affection by these people ?(the house parents) they were all very good to me i left, very sad to be leaving at 16 years old cause i loved my life, this was in yonkers new york where i spent most of my childhood it was about that time i started smoking cigarettes, otherwise a good kid.

in 1988 i was 15 years old for the first time in my life i got drunk i will never forget this night as myself and a few of my friends from the childrens home decided we were going to go to mount saint vincent collage in the bronx and basiclly take over an abandonded dormatory and ?get loaded which we did. it was ok, nothing to write home about ?i drank nothing thereafter for a very long time, no big deal.

Some time went by ?i left the childrens home in june of 1989 and at which time my mother, my brother and i relocated to fort Lauderdale, florida where my uncles and grandparents lived at this time. i was still a ?good kid. the worst things i did was drink coffee and smoke cigarettes which i couldnt buy legally but always managed to have.

I hated south florida before i even got on the plane, so the future didnt look too bright. within a few weeks of being in florida things just werent the same i was no longer a happy kid, i didnt like my school, i didnt like the florida heat, i didnt like the area kids or anything.

not much time passed and i smoked my first joint -- wow was that ever a change.?and suddenly florida became this great place to be in my mind, ok, this isnt so bad i can dig this. that was 1989 still an everyday kid but now i was a kid who was experimenting with drugs and loving it. ?but alcoholism and drug addiction run?rampant in my family on both sides, no big deal it will never happent to me. im not like them. yadda yadda yadda.

Within a year of smoking that joint not only was i smoking pot but i was a full blown cocaine addict?and having sezuires. i was 300 lbs i had dropped out of school, i was a nobody. even with all that was given to me at the children's home, all the love and compassion and understanding, all the kind, gentle ways, the morals i was given, i still proceeded to be a screw up. so at age 17, not only disgustingly fat, epileptic and drug addicted but also a high-school drop out, life was over before it even started.

many years went by. psycho motor seizures turned into grand mall. 300 lbs turned into 350 lbs. i spent many years a complete mess. ?after cocaine I also found roofies and xanax and oxycontin, you name it, lsd -- it didnt matter as long as i didnt have to shoot it or it wasnt crack i was ok with doing it. ?i even huffed freon one time. some crazy standards -- wont smoke crack or shoot dope but will huff on a bag of Freon. where's the logic? lol. so i was pretty much just a garbagecan junkie anything went. alcohol was there when i couldnt afford drugs

I?was blessed. i must of had angels over me, all those years, many rehab centers shelters etc.. but never arrested. i hurt alot of people but ?by the grace of god never robbed anyone or broke into a house etc. ok, so i sold drugs, that was my thing but i was my best client so?it didnt matter.

all of this went on for many many years my sezuires weight and drug abuse nearly killed me. in 2000 i moved upstate florida where i became very found of oxycontin, paying a dollar a pill.?With my drug use came lots of travels and lots of women as i had no responsibilites no job, no wife or kids but a social security check.

my traverls during addiction took me throughout the state of florida, down to texas, ohio,?west virginia, kentucy, new york, tennessee and?georiga. So it had what many would call its perks but it was not all well. it was a mess.

But march 16th 200,1 after many many years of drinking and druging, one night in an oxycontin nod, i fell asleep in my bed with a fan blowing directly on me. mind you, i had a lit cigarettte?in my mouth. i woke up that night my bed was engulffed in flames around me. my good buddy neil was sitting on my couch, hitting a crack pipe so you could imagine.?i got up and luckily was able to put the fire out. that night neil went home, i went back to bed. the next morining my good friends who were in sobriety ?were at my front door.

They came to my rescue,?yet again. i will never forget these people surroudning me while i lay in my bed, going through withdrawls from oxycontin, hidding under the covers they called my mother, who in turn with my uncle, drove 200 miles, picked me up on saint patricks day 2001, and?took em to a dextox center. yet again there i was

but i will never forget this one as i was in the psych assesment center waiting on the man to take me upstairs here come this man looked like an everyday guy except for one thing his hair was green i thought oh man whos the one here who needs help me or him? lol

Well i spent 2 weeks in fetal position, ice cold sweating,?mental anguish. ?i will never forget it. i?left dextox!?I had a good outlook but wasnt done. i went home.

but, I thought,?ok, i can smoke pot and take benzos, which i did until the last week of july of 2001. ?i was with my friend from an aa meeting he approached me (yes even wasted i went to meetings faithfully) my friend asked me, hey rayray you know where i can get some cocaine, um well lets go back to my place that night we smoked about a 1/4 oz of marijuana.?the?next night were hanging out again ?but this time im doing cocaine as well so over the corse of that week i must of snorted 1000$ worth of cocaine, smoked a half oz of marijuana every night, was taking xanax and was?drinking and?then that last night in july of 2001 i got a phone call a friend of mine asked me if i knew where to get oxys. i made that ?dreaded phone call, i i got 80 oxys but only sold 75 of them.

that night i took those extra five oxys and?for the first time since march 16th i was back on oxys and my mind went right back into dextox mode in fetal position ice cold sweating, abdominal pain, mental anguish, it was a nightmare.?the very next day i crawled into an AA meeting, stone cold sober for the first time in many years. that was August 1st, 2001

and since that 1st day of august 2001 not only have i been clean, but? what has happened is in 2003 i had 3?brain surgeries to correct my sezuires (had my first one since in june of 2012) in nov of 2003 after my last brain op i decided, ok now its time for another miracle. over the course of 12 months, without drugs or surgeries, i?went from being 350 lbs to 120. yes it was a little much i did as doc instruicted eventually and gain some weight went up to 150 lbs and maintained it for sometime.

in 2005 i wernt back to school for 2 years and took a year of microsoft office and a year of network systems administration which i finished in april of 2007. in july of 2007 my son hayden was born what a blessing he was/is. docs said i would never be able to have kids (i have the dna test to prove it!). in 2009 i got married (not to hayden mother). I also got full custody of hayden?(hayden hasnt seen his mother since march of 2009.) in 2011 i got divorced (what a beautiful thing it was) lol.

so as you can see, recovery has many benefits. yes i had many struggles along the way. my wife went coocoo for cocoa puffs and i happen to love my son?a whole lot more hence the reason she is now my ex wife and i still have my son and im still sober and to top it all off i quit smoking cigarettes this past august woooohoooooooooooooooooooooooooo

GOD and Recovery is awesome. you wont know what your missing if you dont try it!!!!!!!!!

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

Guest Book


1. Megan Fritz
Congratulations on your recovery and amazing transformation, Ray! 15 years! Thank you for sharing your story with us!