We recently published a blog featuring Macklemore. It was a quick series of videos in which Macklemore talks about his past drug use, and a few of his experiences. In the first video, Macklemore discusses his experience with oxycontin. He says that his experience with oxy was short lived, and that he only did it a handful of times. He recalls his detox process, and explains his surprise in that he couldn’t believe how horrible he felt being that he only went on 5 or 6 day runs with oxy. He mentions sweating out his sheets at night.
I heard that, and I immediately got flashbacks.
Let me give you a quick rundown. I am from Philadelphia. I had a good childhood. My parents had me at a very young age, and we never had much money. I look back at it now with a different perspective. I see now the sacrifices my parents made to raise me and my sister. They worked all the time, just to provide a decent life for us. We had our fair share of family problems for sure, but I never felt like I wasn’t loved. I always had everything I needed, and I am grateful for that. Addiction runs rampant on both sides of my family. I’ve stopped asking the questions of why. Is it because of my genetics? Is it because of my upbringing? Why did I end up like this? I will never know. Frankly, I don’t care.
I am an addict, I have been this way since I was young enough to form memories. Same old story really, I always felt different. I wasn’t comfortable being me. I had no faith, no source of center. I turned to drugs pretty young. I was instantly hooked. I have always been an alcoholic. My family is Scottish and we have a long heritage of drinking. Good scotch, good imported beer, and tea is what were the requirements for social conversation. I love booz. I also love weed. I love cocaine. I love adderall, vicodin, cough syrup, acid, mushrooms, anything that would help me not feel. Not think… I have always had this problem with thinking, my mind is a vortex of disorder. It can be consuming.
Finally the day came. I found oxycontin. I will never forget the first time. At this point I was making myself sick because I needed to eat so many percocets to get high. I built up such a tolerance. I would snort what I could fit up my nose and I would chew and swallow the rest. I didn’t give oxy the respect it deserved at first. I thought myself to be an expert drug user. I bought my first oxy 80, snorted one half and ate the other. I have never felt anything like it in my life. The intensity of that little green pill rocked me. My head spun, my skin itched, my eyes wondered and I loved it. As soon as the dizziness went away I spent the next five hours writing in my journal. It is difficult to explain if you have never experienced it, but oxy is a super human drug. Everyone experiences drugs differently, but oxy heightened my senses. I could focus. FINALLY. I could channel all of this creative energy I had. I felt smooth, I wasn’t stuck for words. I was expressive and charming and all the things I always wanted to be. It was amazing.
To make a long story short, it didn’t take long before I began to unravel. I worked long hard hours as a carpenter and I could hardly manage to pay my rent. After two years of hard abuse, I became disconnected from reality. There is an entire two year period that I really don’t remember. It’s not to say that I couldn’t form memories, it’s more like my perception of time was completely altered. When I look back at those two years its hard for me to remember the months and days and seasons. It was all just… fucked.
There came a point, where I literally couldn’t function. Again, it is difficult to explain what this felt like. I was always a hard worker, I have always been determined, but there would be days where I would sit on this chair in my living room for hours. No TV, no reading, just silence. I would just sit there. I was living with a girlfriend at the time that would work on the weekends, and I recall a particular Saturday in which I sat in this chair. I sat there the entire day. I didn’t get up, not once. I don’t know how long I was sitting there for, it must have been at least 6 or 7 hours. I was paralyzed in fear. I was too scared to move. I was stuck, in a web of lies. The anxiety had completely taken over. It really sucked. I would go to bed, and hope I wouldn’t wake up. I would wake up at 3am, and sit at the edge of my bed for hours. Face in my hands, not making a sound as to not wake up my sleeping girlfriend. The pain I felt inside, is truly indescribable.
I tell you this because I keep these memories close to me. When I finally got clean I only had enough insurance to detox for three days. I detoxed throughout my entire stint in rehab. I was losing my mind, quite literally. I recall a few groups in which I was trying to express myself, and I couldn’t. I wanted to so bad. I knew what I was trying to say, but I had forgotten what it took to relate to people on an emotional level. I was going crazy.
After my stay in drug rehab, I decided to move to Florida. I have a cousin who has been clean for years and he took me in for a week until I could get into a halfway house. The first week at the halfway house was terrible. I don’t know if the change in temperature had something to do with it, but I was withdrawing harder now then I was in rehab. I would sweat my sheets out, every night. Every single night, I would wake up, and my sheets looked like someone took a bucket of water and dumped it on my bed. This lasted for months. I secluded myself. I didn’t know anyone, I was in a new place, away from Philadelphia. Away from the buses and trains and noise. People talked different. The streets were wider, and all the roads were straight and long. Huge magnificent oak trees had been replaced by thin and limber palm trees. It was sensory overload and my withdrawals were tearing me apart.
The moral is… I got through it.
I don’t know how I did it. I don’t know if it was the fear of being homeless, or if it was just that I was actually ready to get sober. I found a sponsor and this man changed my life. He is still my sponsor today, but our relationship has evolved. I look at him now more as a mentor. He guides me in my path of life and recovery.
My first year in recovery was the hardest thing I have ever done. That right there, is where all the beauty lies. I got through it. I got a job fronting phone calls. I would sit in a cubicle and make 300 telemarketing calls a day. I got told to go fuck myself over and over again, shortly before I got hung up on. I made $350 dollars a week. I took the bus to work every day. I just kept showing up. Eventually people at work started talking to me, and I slowly lost my label as “the weird kid in the corner.” Eventually I got another job, and I learned about sales. I made friends, and one day my friend told me about an idea he had about a website. That is how Sober Nation started… just like that.
My second year was also hard. My third year was hard too, but I got stronger. It’s not that life got easier. I just kept getting stronger.
Here’s what I am trying to say. IF I CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THAT AWFUL WITHDRAWAL PROCESS, I CAN DO ANYTHING.
I don’t say that as a egotist or as if it is something to be proud of. I mean that with all sincerity and quite literally. I have a lot of living left to do, and who knows what the Universe will throw my way. But I truly feel as if there is nothing that will happen to me that can be harder then not picking up those first few months. When every ounce of your being is telling you to use. When you know that you can hit the streets and find a pill and all of this pain will instantly dissolve. Knowing all of that, and staying sober, is and always will be, the greatest accomplishment of my life.
Oxycontin taught me about reality. It opened my eyes to the idea that perception is reality. If my perception is altered, then my reality is altered. Oxy taught me to look for the truth in a situation. Many times the truth is uncomfortable, but the sooner you deal with it, the sooner the pain ends. Oxy taught me about power, and control. It taught me about fear, and that fear is really just an illusion. Fear is a liar. Oxy taught me about pain. It taught me that pain is a cleansing process, and only through pain can we find out what really matters to us. Oxy taught me to ask for help. Most importantly, oxy taught me perseverance. I know now, what I wish I knew then. The simple truth is that life is beautiful.
I think we all search for happiness, and I am never shocked when people don’t find it. People think that being happy is the secret to a good life. I think that’s bullshit. I think if people spent more time trying to be whole, then their life would be full. Life isn’t always supposed to feel good. If we felt good all the time, we wouldn’t learn anything. Oxy taught me that its ok to not be ok sometimes. Once I came to grips with that, I became free.
55 responses to “What I learned from OxyContin – A Story of Freedom”
I thank you for your site and the insight you so freely offer. I was addicted to percs and oxy and then the last 5 years to Fentanyl which became the drug that nearly killed me. I was taking so much that when I went into the hospitol for a back operation the drs were concerned that may not be able to control my pain without killing me. I was on usually 300 mcg between the patches and shooting for puck me ups which were nothing short of just keeping me from getting dope sick from withdrawal. I signed myself into rehab in Philly also and now 5 months clean I have recieved a new lease on life. I Take my recovery very serious and attend meetings at least 8 times a week. I know if I relapse I will die in a short period of time. Once again thank you for this site and your insight. Peace Bro
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for sharing… I agree… Life is beautiful and always a learning environment. As I learned from you today!
Every word a truth. Thank u
proud of you, great story, I live life of family addictions, the shame, pain ,never leaves, thanks for sharing
Now that is a “real story”. Thank you for sharing the process and journey of recovery.
Awesome story!! Thank you for telling it!!! Congrates on every 24 youi’ve earned and those yet to come!!
I love HOW you wrote that! I am a 41yo married, mother of 3 beautiful children and I have been free from oxy for over a decade now! I was only addicted for a little less than 2 years but it was the probably the longest 2 years of my entire life. I had never really done drugs prior to using oxy. I had tried pot as a teen but must be allergic to what is in it because it made me violently sick the three separate times I tried it. So alcohol became my bff upon turning 21. I never drank at home or by myself so I never thought I was an addict. BUT when I did drink, it could never be “just a drink”, I HAD to drink to oblivion – every time. As I got into my mid-late 20’s my parents dropped a bomb on my life and revealed that I was adopted – at birth – and so was my younger sister (also from different parents)! That answered a ton of questions that I had all built up in my head for many, many years…like why I was nothing like my parents, or grandparents, or sister. I felt like I just didnt belong, but couldn’t figure out why. I hated affection of any kind, especially from my mother. Again, no idea why, she never did anything to me, I just cringed if she tried to hug me or hold my hand as a child. I lived a fairly normal life… Meet someone, fell in love, had a child. Eventual ly we broke up but remained good friends. He knew I had that evil relationship with alcohol when we met. But I still never drank at home or by myself, only if I went out on friday or saturday nights. Then I met my (to-be) husband…fast foward a couple years and our son was born & I get a prescription for PERCOCET! That’s all it took! That first perc triggered something in my brain and I was, as they say “OFF TO THE RACES”….it made me super mom! So from there, I was given a 40 mg oxy and told to cut in half at first bc “it’s really strong & you might throw up at first”. OMG! when that pill kicked in, I had NEVER EVER felt so good! That what true euphoria must feel like! It was immediate love! No slow ride into it, I was instantly done. It made me forget about my parents lying to me my whole life and thinking it was ok… It made me forget about my best friend committing suicide with no warning when i was17… It was instantly my new best friend. I could clean the house, keep the laundry done, cook an awesome dinner every night… I was SUPER MOM! Then I realized I absolutely NEEDED it to make it thru the day without getting very sick. I had also never felt anything like that before either! It was horrible! So, around after a year of eating/snorting way too many 80 mg oxys every day, I knew I had to find help because I could not do it by myself. So, a friend of a friend that would get pills for me, told me she had the same problem and ended up on heroin bc the oxys cost too much. She told me about methadone. There was no way I could detox cold turkey, while taking care of 2 children. So I did a ton of research on it & buprenorphine. I tried the bup at a 7 day program but it was just not very helpful. I needed more help than that. I found a detox program that also included weekly meeting at their facility that were mandatory for over a year. So I made an appointment & went. The day I started there, I promised my husband& daughter I would never touch another drug/pill again! Thank goodness for those meetings I went to there because, along with the methadone to help mewean of the side effects from withdrawal, I learned so much about myself and why I was so “seduced” by those pills. I have been sober for over decade now (with the help of the methadone) and try to teach my daughter’s friends about the dangers of drugs – particularly pills! I know that alot of recovering addicts do not condone using methadone bc it seems like trading one drug for another, but that’s not every case. If you really want to be sober you can do it safely with the right help. There are tons of clinics that only want your money and just give you a dose and let you go but there are also places that really care and want to help people get clean and get their life back! I love your site and support it 100%! Keep it up!
I’m from Philadelphia too! I’m so glad I have this website to read every day and help with my sobriety thanks for sharing!
I am a Mental Health Counselor and I work with clients with addictions…this article is powerful and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I plan on using this in my work with my clients.
You nailed it! I have been off oxy for almost 3 years now and I couldn’t have worded it better. How you explain the lack of memories is perfect. I haven’t been able to put it into the right words and you did it for me. I really haven’t heard anyone that has been able to say it as if they were in my head until I read this. Amazing…THANK YOU
Great story i can relate to just about everything you said Ive only been clean for 84 days and it truly is the hardest thing ive ever done but its also the most rewarding. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for sharing your story. My son did not make it after his oxy run. He switched to heroine and eventually it took him. I am glad you were able to get past the active addiction part and now are staying sober. Please look at bryanssmile.com and see if there is anything that you can help us with to get this issue in the eyes of compassionate people in power. This disease needs to be prevented. Good luck to you.
Thank you. I’ve read a lot of people’s stories and have heard many stories from group and I have to say I’ve never related to one so much in my life. My oxy abuse led to heroin that I have cut ties from four years ago. I wish I would of chose detox over this suboxone program because this medication isn’t really the answer just a substitution. Just want to say Thank you, really from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. I wish many old people I know from my past could read this and understand.
I related very much to ur story. Thx u so much for sharing!
Thank you for sharing your story.
Thanks for sharing “
the pain of withdrawl,im a alcoholic, 15yrs off alcohol but still taking my pills,.cocaine abuse, now 12yrs off cocaine.,but still taking my pills and more pills,41 years of many pill addictions, I made it to get off the valium ,that was another very painful withdrawal, but now the oxy]s ,perk’s, Tylenol, god help me last Saturday I had enough,im knew was dying, each day now iv’e cut back a little. Sweats.,chills, unbearable. pain Lord help me. I..was in AA and NA so I know what to do.im down over half of what I was taking. I have to make it and I will, you see, my kids and family watched, and followed my footsteps. So I will beat t this addiction .I have lost one sister to the same, I have a sister and two brothers I fear I will lose to addiction s. I love myself today to know I have to set a example .thanks for listening
I LOVE THE STORIES,GREAT SITE ,I KNOW IM NOT ALONE.HUGGS AND PRAYERS.
Im really glad I read this and that you took the time to share this.. I was clean for close to a year and recently relapsed. I feel like I went even harder this time around.. I am going through my withdrawls and my emotions are out of control. I know that I want to be clean and want better for myself so I have to go through this again. This time I have a stronger support system and a group of clean and sober friends that will help me pull through this.. Again I thank you for sharing this. it helps so much to know that other people have gone through the same things and understand the struggle.
I was addicted to fentanyl for over 5 years. I overdosed once and still kept playing that I was invincible. I decided that if left to my devises I would be dead soon as I am 52 and had been using opiates for over 30 years and found the most potent one to choose as my drug of choice. I have 302 days clean now and am loving the clean life. I attend at least 1 but most of the time 2 meetings a day in a mix of NA as well as AA. I am also an alcoholic since I was 15. I always carried a job and went to work every day but now I am a productive worker. One bad thing has happened is I found it nessesary to leave my non using wife of over 30 years due to her lack of seeking help for her codependance. But I am clean and working the 12 steps and have found a new way of life.
Thank you so much for sharing your story! You are an inspiration to all! Beautifully put.
My vice was opana 40s then the moon 15s. Don’t know if these are the same as oxy but pretty sure they are just as strong. I had surgery and graduated to heroin and after 6 mos of that bitter taste I tapered with subs and never went back! It’s been almost a year and what an achievement I have never been so probably of anything in my life but sobriety. .now that is something to be proud of…life is something to be proud of…got away from an abusive relationship. ..The sky was so much bluer. I could smell nature again. I could get up without those horrible body aches. And getting thru like 60 days of depression and confusion was tough. But stories like yours would inspire me and tell me I was not alone. And your right…i feel like I lost about 3 years of my life where I was just shaking and trembling with fear…and how did I stay on the road and get away with all the shit I did is a miracle. Went to NA found god and a new me! Without opiates I learned how to produce my own happiness and I will never rely on these chemicals again!
I’m not an an addict but have story to share that might give perspective.
A month ago I got a call that a man I spent five great years with had died from an overdose of herion. He had a needle in his arm, his friend had stopped by they were supposed to do something and he was gone. He called his mother, the police and another friend. His mom held him on the floor begging him to wake up. She clawed at the clothes on the bodies surrounding her sobbing, begging for him to just wake up.
Rewind 6 years ago he owned a house in a beautiful west coast home. He owned a business doing something he loved. He worked hard and played hard. We went boating, traveled, had lovely get together a with friends and we were in love. I was finishing school and we had all we needed.
Out of nowhere he started doing oxy with his real estate agent, this lost soul needed a friend I guess. My guy quickly became a shell of a person either really irritable or ready to go conquer the world. I hung around for the scarse good times. But it didn’t last before the pills put there leash around his neck and took ownership of him. I lost him.
We stayed close he would tell me he had x amount of days sober a gazillion times. He told me I was the greatest thing he lost in his journey to hell. We still loved each other very much but I moved on in my life.
I had kind of prepared myself for the day I would find out that he lost his battle with this, but nothing really prepared me for the punch it would deliver. So many people loved him truly loved him because he was great. Now so many people think of him and feel deep pain.
These vices you have hurt everyone, you mostly but it hurts everyone you love and everyone who loves you.
Good luck out there on your joy tines to finding peace, it does exist but not with a noose tied around your neck.
Thank-you for sharing your truth. Your story could have been that of one of my two sons. He graduated from Oxycodone to Heroin. He died of an overdose. Your story allowed me to regress to that time of derealization that I experienced upon his death. So much of my identity was wrapped up in being a mother! I’d like to tell you that I am thankful that you are alive to share your story. God bless you and keep spreading your message!
Thank you. That was exactly what I needed to hear. I am struggling,but only for today and thanks to reading this article my night just got easier.
Thank you for this article. Thank you for your honesty in your struggle. I liked the reality and perspective so much, I sent it to my son in jail. My son who’s actually battling an addiction and keeps losing that battle. He needed to hear these words and liked the article so much, that the printed version I sent him is being passed around the jail. The truth and hope of your journey in recovery is making an impact on some very broken people. Thank you!
.. thx man. tho it was your journey alone, a gazillion of us know it well. inspirational .. esp. so a venue her for us.
greetings from rainy seattle
Messing with them pills ain’t no joke. I took them for 6 years straight it was along ride the withdrawals for me was not that bad but I seen what it does to others so it good to see this I can definitely past this information on cause I have a few buddy’s that should read your testimony
Well written. I have 12 years clean and dealing with dental pain and got oxy and was able to deal with this. Broken arm a week after off pain meds and stuck on percocet. Makes me feel high and don’t like it at all. All narcotics got cut in 1/2 so not overdoing it but feeling is back. Hitting more meetings and talking although kind of embarrassing that 1/2 pill is doing this to me. Lol no tolerance anymore. Thank you for sharing your story
I just buried my fiancee last Thursday over this.
I am in such self doubt and conflict.
I don’t know anymore.
It seems, at 1:04 am with tears streaming down my face, that this was a sign.
I wouldn’t wish this pain on the devil himself.
For those who are trying to get clean, stay the course.
Do what you have to.
Do Not Give Up.
Do not give others my pain.
Do not make my fiancee’s death be for nothing.
Very good read. You hit the nail on the head about being whole rather than trying to be happy. My journey is only beginning. After about 7 months of recovery, I feel like I am just now thinking clearly. I seem to be thinking things through and not only relying on impulse, like I only used to do. I’ve come to the realization that as long as I seem to keep a calm mindset, drugs and alcohol no longer have power over me. When I have a year of sobriety, I plan on visiting the rehab I went to to be a speaker and try to share my life and journey for those who are struggling. Thank you for all that you do and I love the website. I visit it often.
i always told my son… U got this… Life is good…I know he believed this with all his heart too, but addiction is a demon… He died at 21, 16 months ago, not an overdose but a bad choice made because of that “drug reality” you talked about… He started with oxy… I miss him so much.
It seems that drugs, oxy, heroin are taking over. It’s heartbreaking. Thank you for your post and this website. I usually share some of the stories in hopes it will inspire someone but ALSO to bring awareness to those parents, etc. that think drug addiction ONLY happens to THOSE PEOPLE….and hopefully gain compassion. I am happy for you. AND THANK U AGAIN. I wish there was some way I could help others….
I am a parent and sibling of addicts. I also started a NarAnon group this past september. Our adult daughter having 2yrs clean this past week. Your story sounds just like hers. We have all learned so much from the 12 step program. We now live in just today. I really enjoy the posts from Sober Nation. I am also extremely greatful for our new and much more enjoyable lives.
THANK YOU for sharing your story!!
I too am a recovering addict but my drug of choice was crack l had to have it thinking of ne ways to gt hi as soon as myfeet hit the floor every morning!!!! For over 10 yrs l had that devil on my back then boom there were the drug charges but gt off easy just l went thru the courts dropped the other three but still wasnt good enough failed dru screens in jail mothers day wkend 2003 & then ordered to do drug classes again still thought l could beat this well boom suregel did not really work l hated drinking that stuff thinking l still had this but july 2003 jail again then court ordered to rehab 300 miles from my home 3 months there came home in Dec 24, 2003 l was home for the holidays!!! Stsrted back at drug school completed a yr of that & probation successfully!!! Started working in June 2004 & woked several jobs for the next 9 yrs!!! Yes l did relapse on crack more than once went back to smoking weed & did that for the next 9 yrs!!! On July 13 2013 l was in Ky with a male friend & he tried to rob me over $500.00 & about 30 miles down th road af this he wrecked his only injuries were a broke toe & a small gash in his head broke my hip leg jaw several ribs knocked all my top teeth out blinded my right eye i flatlined in the ambulance on my way to the local Ky hospital but l was medflighted to a Tn hospital were they had better hhospitals& Drs to treat my injuries!!! I was only given a 10% chance of survival i was placed on life support then a ventalator the a trac went over 5 1/2 months before l could say a word had over 20 surgeries l was in a coma from july 13, 2013 til august 26, 2013 my family was told to say their last goodbyes make final arrangements!!! I am blessed to b alive even Drs in Vanderbuilt told me that ppl that cum thru their doors with my injuries out of 100 of them only 1 walked out alive!!! My sister was killed in January 2012 in a car accident & march 21, 2013 my brother committed suicide by gunshot!!! So plez say prayers for this family l dont know how my father has managed to keep his sanity!!! Thanks to those for taking timeout of ur day to read this!!! May God bless & keep us!!!