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June 6, 2024 30 mins


Discover the real-life challenges and victories of overcoming addiction as Deidra shares her story of relapse and recovery. Addiction’s deceitful nature can make individuals feel invincible even as they spiral downward, but Deidra’s experiences emphasize the importance of a strong support system. From confronting legal consequences to utilizing resources like those at Restoration House, Deidra provides valuable insights on maintaining sobriety and achieving personal transformation.

In this heartfelt conversation, we delve into the profound impact of recovery on personal and familial relationships. Deidra reflects on her past, including her time in prison, and expresses gratitude for the opportunities and self-improvement she has attained. Her journey of rebuilding family ties and gaining self-respect, especially reconnecting with her son, serves as a powerful testament to resilience and the transformative potential of dedicated support programs. Join us for an episode filled with stories of growth, perseverance, and the ongoing effort required in recovery.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Welcome back to Unpaused Recovery.
My name is Trey.
Most stories of recovery startwith how bad addiction was, how
they entered recovery and howgreat life is now.
That's a polished story.

Speaker 2 (00:11):
My name's Chris.
I'm your co-host of UnpausedRecovery.
Thank you for checking ourepisode out.
Today we have a great guestDeidre.
Do you want to tell us a littlebit about yourself?
Um, deidre, uh, do you?

Speaker 3 (00:26):
want to tell us a little bit about yourself, just
uh, kind of where you're attoday.
Um, yeah, I have 18 year oldson.
I absolutely adore him.
He is one that I'm doingrecovery for myself, but I look
for at him to where I'm goingand where I want to be at and
just show him that where I'vebeen doesn't have to be where
I've got to stay.
And so what exactly do you dofor a living?

(00:53):
Now I will be working for aparamedic company.
We will be taking patients backand forth to the hospitals,
dialysis patients on calls.
As far as I know, that's it.
Um, I start my new job tomorrowand I'm very super excited
about it.

Speaker 2 (01:11):
I know you've been working towards this for uh
sometime with the training and,forgive me, I don't know much
about that field, Cause the onlything I know about it is when
I've overdosed and wrote in theback of the ambulance.
So outside that it's limited.
So are you an EMT or is there atitle for that position?

Speaker 3 (01:31):
I'm not necessarily sure on the title, but I did
have to get my certification inCPR first aid.
We do an EVOC course tomorrow.
I had to get my F endorsementon my license to be insured
through the company just in caseanything happens.
But you do ride in the backwith the patients and then there
will be a driver.
There's always two people mostof the time in the ambulance,

(01:53):
with someone.

Speaker 2 (01:55):
Well, they should give you a title if you have to
get all that yeah, I mean thenWell, I'm happy for you.
I know you've been workingtowards it like I said.
So just a quick overview.
You are a Level 3 participantin our program.
I am Level 3.
And you're also a peer leader.
You just recently took aposition within the program.

(02:18):
We call them leads, but a peerleader that's someone that has
shown that they're working asolid program.
They follow the rules to thebest of their ability, and then
you're kind of the person, thefirst person, that really spends
time with a new participant,getting them situated, adjusted

(02:42):
to the program.
What's that whole thing beenlike?
Have you learned some thingsabout yourself you didn't know?
Or has it presented newchallenges, new growing
opportunities?

Speaker 3 (02:53):
I think it's a little bit of everything.
I haven't really had anybrand-new participants coming in
yet, which I hope we're gettingsome soon, but the girls and us
over there right now, um, I tryto be patient more than
anything.
You know listen, um, likeanybody that comes to me that

(03:13):
know that they can talk to meabout anything, um, and if they
need help I'm there, and if Idon't know the answer, I'll make
sure I'll get it for them youknow, and I'm right there along
with them the whole way.
You know I'm doing this justlike they're doing it.

Speaker 2 (03:28):
So one other part you know, part of the that peer
leader position is that you haveto hold people accountable
Absolutely, which is, you know,even years ago when I first did
it, making sure that everyone,at least in your assigned area,
is working the program.
What's that been like having tohold people accountable.

Speaker 3 (03:55):
Well, everybody doesn't seem to, you know,
sometimes want to be heldaccountable, but you know that's
life and regardless of anythingwe do at first, you know that's
life and regardless of anythingwe do.
At first you know You're fine.
Sorry, but it's a learningexperience, I think, for both me

(04:15):
and them.
But it's just something we'vegot to do.
We're learning in this processand we've got to be held
accountable for everything we do, regardless if it's from making
our bed to a big life process.
You know, it's just what we do.

Speaker 2 (04:32):
It's definitely an adjustment.

Speaker 3 (04:33):
It is an adjustment yeah, it is.

Speaker 2 (04:35):
But I agree Accountability, regardless if
you're working a recoveryprogram, it doesn't matter if
you're still in a halfway house,sober living treatment that
accountability part's crucial.
I still have it in my lifetoday.
I have a group of people thathold me accountable.
But so you know, I'm wanting topaint a picture of who you

(04:58):
really are.
So I wanted to talk about someof the good things first, just
so that that someone doesn'tknow you that hears your story
can just see how far you've camein a short period of time.
Uh, we've met you as soon asyou come in the program.
You're pretty compliant, youfollowed the rules.
I just got the impression thatyou were tired, uh, that you

(05:21):
didn't want to do your wayanymore.
So, as far as participants go,you've been one of the easier
ones not a lot of pushback, butI know that you also had a lot
of growing opportunities.
I know that you've had someobstacles come up just since the
time you've been here, but howlong were you in active
addiction?

Speaker 3 (05:42):
I was in active addiction on and off for 15
years, maybe 15 to 18 years.
I did go through a 10-yearsobriety point, went through a
little bit of difficult timesthrough there, relapsed, which
led me here and that's where I'mat right now.
You know I didn't want to useit.

(06:04):
It's how my life has gone sofar.
Um get back in addiction and itdoesn't go nowhere but South
from there once I get back in it, because I couldn't stop Um,
and then that's.
That's where I'm at right now.

Speaker 2 (06:20):
Did you have a drug of choice, or was it kind of
just whatever was available?

Speaker 3 (06:24):
No, my drug of choice was any kind of opiates which,
when I went back out there,which was fentanyl, which is
super strong, that was somethingI didn't know too much about.
Thankfully, I kind of comewhere I am right now, before it
got too bad because it wasgetting stronger.

(06:45):
Out there I seen friends, andmy brother as well, od quite a
bit.
I luckily never did, but youknow, that doesn't mean that I
couldn't have.

Speaker 2 (07:00):
We're close in age, I may be a couple years older
than you, but my drug of choicewas opiates too.
But when I used years ago itwas just a different game.
Then I was joking with someonethe other day I wouldn't make it
a week in today because thefentanyl, the carfentanil, the

(07:22):
xylosine, those things weren'treally as abundant as they are
now.
But you know, with participants, especially opiate addicts,
it's a death sentence.
It's Russian roulette everytime they go.
But you know it's happening allaround us.
So it is a motivation to getclean.

Speaker 3 (07:43):
It is all around us.
So it is a motivation to getclean, because it is I um right
before um I, you know.
Come to the program I had.
There was something that I hadgotten and it's probably the
strongest thing I've ever donein my life and it scared, scared
me to death.
I mean, it really scared me todeath, and that's it's a good
thing.

Speaker 2 (08:03):
I bet, uh, you know just uh, that we literally could
only have one more time.
Absolutely, that scares me todeath as well.
So, uh, you said you had 10years clean.
Like what did you do to whatwas going on in those 10 years?
Like how did you get clean andsober and stay clean and sober?

Speaker 3 (08:21):
well, um, I had right before that 10 years I had done
five years in prison.
I don't count that part of my10 years.
I got out.
You know I was on parole fortwo years after that.
I wanted to finish my.
I had never finished outanytime.
I'd been on probation.

(08:43):
You know I was in and out backand forth in incarceration, but
this time I'd been on probation.
You know I was in and out backand forth in incarceration, but
this time I wanted to do it.
I got a job, I had a greatsupport system, but I just lived
my life and I didn't.
It took steps, but I did changethe way I lived, the people I

(09:03):
was around.
I moved out of my hometown, Igot married.
I didn't work.
I feel like if I would havekind of done things a little bit
different which I can't changethat now, but you know, going to
meetings and stuff like thatbut I kept myself busy and

(09:23):
that's really how I did it, eventhough I did relapse.
But that's not how I thinkabout it.
It was.
It was a great 10 years, but itwas work, it was progress every
day because I was still aroundit at work and stuff like that,
but I really didn't associatemyself with the people, even at
work.
I didn't have even discussionsabout it.

Speaker 2 (09:44):
So once you uh, once you did relapse, how long did it
take before everything?
You know all that work you putin for 10 years and I'm sure you
built a pretty good life fromwhat you're telling us.
Uh, once you relapsed, how longwas it before that?
You know you're at the pointthat you needed treatment.

Speaker 3 (10:04):
It took me from the time I relapsed to I got
incarcerated again.
It was almost two years, but ithappened way before that,
probably about a year.
It was slow but it stillhappened, really in the blink of
an eye.
When I look back at it becauseI didn't even think when I first

(10:27):
relapsed I was in total denialthat I had relapsed I'm thinking
, oh, this is okay In my mind,I'm recreational, but I'm not.
It's every day.
I didn't have a job, I lost mycar.
I had moved back in with myparents my son really wasn't

(10:50):
talking to me that much, welived together but he saw a
change in me and then, before Iknew it, I was in legal trouble.
I mean, just everything I hadworked so hard to get was gone
and I was right back at groundzero from when I went to prison.
That first time I was rightthere again.

Speaker 1 (11:11):
You said that you had convinced yourself it was
recreational drugs.
When was a point in time thatyou could pinpoint like nope,
this is not recreational.

Speaker 3 (11:20):
Well, when my parents just really didn't want me
there my son wasn't talking tome, I had nothing.
I didn't even have a dollar tomy name that was mine.
And then the people that I wassurrounding myself with was the
same kind of people I am at thispoint, was the same kind of
people I am at this point, andit was just.

(11:42):
It was an awakening.
But I did at one point reachout before I got in trouble.
I started calling around thehalfway houses, just anything,
to ask for help, because I knew,like it was, I was just

(12:04):
breaking, just breaking down,but it was.
I couldn't get in anywhere andinstead of continuing to ask for
that help, I just went back,staying where I'm at.

Speaker 1 (12:12):
I feel like we hear a lot about how, from people who
have had sobriety and thenturned back, how difficult it is
to seek help again, like theshame associated with that.

Speaker 3 (12:27):
Absolutely.

Speaker 1 (12:28):
I'm curious about.
How did that play out in yourreturn to your sobriety, that's?

Speaker 3 (12:32):
a good question.
So I didn't to me I was notwanting, I didn't want to ask
for help, but I was tellingmyself that nobody's noticing
this, but if I don't ask forhelp, they're not going to see
where I'm at.
And they were definitely seeingit.
But it was definitely hardbecause I have you know, I

(12:53):
worked so hard at that.

Speaker 1 (12:54):
Yeah, you had succeeded.

Speaker 3 (12:55):
I had succeeded and it was shameful because a lot of
the people that had come intomy life now didn't even know I
was an addict.
I didn't speak to it about them, some of it.
It just wasn't something that Ibrought up with a lot of people
.
I had even built myself up myjob and stuff like that.
So it was a lot of shame andguilt in that.

(13:17):
But evidently they out, youknow, and to me it was
embarrassing at the time.
But you know what, looking backat it now, like it's not, it
was my life and I had, you know,I went through it and it's made
me where I'm at right now.

Speaker 2 (13:38):
Well, I know I'm a big fan of Brandon Novak.
I don't know if you've everlistened to any of his videos or
anything, but I heard him sayone time addiction is the one
disease that tells us that wedon't have a disease.
You know, and I've been in thatposition before, that a disease

(13:59):
will actually convince useverything's okay, you know,
even though all the evidence iscontrary to that.
But you know, I've been througha similar situation.
Relapse had to rebuild it andit was.
It was tough, you know.
And I tell people now I don'tknow if I, I don't know if I
have a relapse left in me.
You know, I don't want to findout.
But one thing I'm not sure if Ido have is to be able to build

(14:22):
it all back again, because itdoes take.
It takes a lot, and I've doneit so many times in my life.
I'm just exhausted withstarting over.
Yeah, absolutely.
But when it did happen yearsago, I had the benefit of
knowing that there were peoplethat would help me do it, you

(14:42):
know.
So I definitely understandwhere you're coming from.
Now, when you had mentionedgoing to prison, so did drug
addiction, alcoholism.
Did that lead to that going toprison?
Did it play a part in?

Speaker 3 (14:56):
that I started using when I was about 25, 26.
It just started off small andthen it just led to more and I
ended up getting a prettyserious.
You know, to me any charge isserious, you know, but it did,

(15:19):
and I kind of felt like wheneverI went to court over that they
were pretty stern with me, eventhough I had never really been
in trouble before.
They did put me on probation atfirst, but I think I violated
twice and they kind of stuck itto me which I needed it.
You know, at the the time Ididn't think I did, but I think
that saved my life as well,because I was, I was still in my

(15:41):
twenties and I think back at itnow and you know I'm very
thankful for it.
It wasn't something, you know,I would relive not every day if
I didn't have to, but you knowevery day's where I'm at right
now, but it definitely played apart in it, absolutely.

Speaker 1 (16:04):
It.
I believe you alluded to it awhile ago that during that first
stint of sobriety, that a largepart of your, your sobriety,
was busyness.
And I'm curious how is it?
How is it different now?
What are you doing?
Different, like, obviouslyyou're busy, but is that your
only source of maintainingsobriety?

Speaker 3 (16:26):
No, absolutely not.
Coming here and working in aprogram and doing the 12 steps
that we work on, having asponsor going to meetings,
having a support group working Imean it all plays a part in it.
I mean I couldn't do it withoutit.
I've saw a change over myselfsince I've been here and I wish

(16:47):
I would have probably done thatin my 10 years of sobriety, but
I didn't have the resources Ihave now.
I mean, being here atRestoration House has brought so
many resources that I didn'tknow were possible and I think
if I would have possibly donethat before, it could have
worked out different, but notsaying that it wouldn't.

Speaker 2 (17:09):
I get it.
Yeah, sometimes we have to gothrough what we have to to get
ready to really do the work.
I, I know, in my own case I Idid have years of sobriety, uh,
and I kind of did it the sameway, you know, staying busy,
staying away, and those thingswere good things, but I didn't

(17:30):
work on underlying stuff the waythat the my past, the way the
steps will kind of help me faceuh, at least get them in the
light, not keep them buried, andI think that's been a
difference for me.
Do you feel the same that thatstep work has maybe worked on
some of that stuff that we kindof pushed down?

Speaker 3 (17:52):
Yeah, absolutely Working on myself, changing my
way of thinking my actions.
Working on myself changing myway of thinking my actions, I
mean looking forward to everyday, like not just because we go
day by day, but at the sametime we want to see a finish
line.
But there's never a finish linein recovery, ever.
That's something you wouldstrive for every day and it's

(18:16):
hard work but it will pay off ifyou continue it.
But that's something you haveto work at all the time in
everything you do every day.

Speaker 2 (18:26):
What would you say the lowest point in your active
addiction was?
Is there one moment or two thatstands out, that like that was
the lowest, like I can't takeanymore.
Like, like, was there a momentfor you like that?

Speaker 3 (18:40):
absolutely.
Um, I had, of course, this lasttime I relapsed and I went back
out in addiction.
Um, I had started datingsomeone and, um, this, I had
gotten a relationship where itwas the most I've never been in

(19:01):
an abusive relationship.
I had, you know, greatchildhood, perfect, and, but
this, I was in my addiction.
I have a warrant out for myarrest, but I'm letting this guy
beat the crap out of me Justbecause that's the way I'm

(19:21):
living right now and it was notokay and that was my lowest
point.
I wasn't home with my son, Iwasn't seeing him, I wasn't
checking on my parents like Ishould.
I'm just living two hours awayin a town I know no one in, but
this man I'm with who literallykeeps me in the house, I wake up

(19:42):
and just, and then he wouldwake up and then just tackle,
you know, just stuff like that,and that's the lowest point in
all my addiction.
I mean, I had low points, but Iremember waking up one morning
and I was sick and because Ididn't have anything, but that

(20:03):
was okay, you know, and then, um, he got up that morning and
just because I had got up tostand by the fire, because we
had no electricity, we had norunning water, um, and it had
been like that for weeks and Ihad a knock on the door and I
remember opening it and it wasfugitive recovery to get me for

(20:27):
my warrant and I was so thankfuland that was probably my lowest
point.
And just to go to jail, to wantto go to jail just to get out
of the situation I was in, butthat was the lowest for me.

Speaker 2 (20:44):
God shows up, he does .
Yeah, sometimes we don't see it.
You mentioned your probation.
You know violation of probationand stuff.
It helped you get to part ofthe path to get where you're at
today, because it's it's hard tomake it on probation if you
can't pass drug tests.

(21:05):
Absolutely, I never figuredthat one out myself, but it's
just.
You know, it's amazing how Godopens doors at the perfect
moment when we need it the most.
Because now me, knowing youafter for several months, like I
can't.
You know that's just not whoyou are.
You're not going to put up withthat today, but you know we

(21:26):
learned our lessons the way wehad to learn them and um, so
what?
Uh, like in your recovery day.
What's the best part?
Is there something you go tothat that you have today in
recovery that you haven't hadbefore?
You hadn't had in a long?

Speaker 3 (21:43):
time, um, trying to think of words.
This exactly, um, the greatestpart of my recovery right now is
learning to be myself again,the person I can be and the
person I know I can be, um, notjust to myself, but, of course,
to my family, my friends,anybody that comes in.

(22:04):
I come in contact with you know.
Um, there is a point in time,like I said, that I never would
speak to anyone, that I was anaddiction at some point, but now
it's something, it's part of mylife and um, I'm happy to speak
on it.

Speaker 2 (22:21):
Um, we do recover right yeah, a lot of.
Sometimes, you know, we justhave some.
Where we start at is usuallybottom, like well.
So there's a lot of good thingsthat happen since then.
Sometimes it's just doing agratitude list.
You know it can take quite awhile because there's so many

(22:43):
good things and it's hard topick one out that's better than
the other right.

Speaker 3 (22:47):
Um, my, I talk to my son every day.
Um, he's 18, as I said, but heis one that he tells me every
day that he's proud of me.
Um, you know he was telling meyesterday that he cannot wait to
um I meet his new girlfriend'smother, but know he doesn't shy

(23:08):
away from telling people whereI'm at.
You know he's proud of meregardless of where I went.
But that's, I'm going to cry.

Speaker 1 (23:20):
That's really beautiful because you talked
about how, when you needed toreenter your recovery journey
and how you thought no one likeyou thought you were getting
away with it, but everyonearound you knew and to go from
that environment where, like you, thought that no one knew, and
they're all like oh, here'sDeidre again.

(23:43):
Exactly.
To a place now where your sonis proud of the journey you're
on.
It's beautiful.

Speaker 3 (23:50):
Yeah, I mean, he had called me crying and he was like
you know, I miss you so muchand I just, I know you're going
to get through this program, buthe's like I think you should
stay even past my mark ofgraduation, you know, because he
has seen me since, you know,since he was born.
It's like go through this, yeah, but at the same time he tells

(24:14):
me I'm the strongest person heknows and I'll make it.
And if anybody can do it, I cando it and I'm going to show him
I can.

Speaker 1 (24:22):
Isn't that crazy how often you have people graduate
the program and get out the dooras fast as possible, but an
18-year-old knows that sometimesit takes a little longer.

Speaker 3 (24:32):
It does.

Speaker 2 (24:33):
Well, they share that journey with us.
We do a lot of different thingswith that.
Just like victim impact,decisions do have an effect on
others, a ripple effect, if youwill but also there's a reversal
to that that when we dosomething good, it has a ripple

(24:54):
effect.
So they've been on that journeywith us.
I think, and you know, webecome someone else to protect
ourselves.
But I think recovery does helpus get to being who we really
closer to, who we really are,and I think when we do that,
that's a a likable person,someone and that people want

(25:16):
around.
So but that's just like treysaid, that that's beautiful.
I'm glad that you'reexperiencing that and, like I
said, I know I've seen you.
I know your dad had some healthissues.
You wasn't here but maybe amonth when that happened and I
was naturally just concernedSomeone in early recovery and

(25:40):
having that major incident.
But I think you even had to gospend.
You know your first overnightpass was over that and and you
did everything the right way, asmuch as you could, the best of
your ability.
What did that that whole?
Where were you at when thathappened, mentally, did?

(26:00):
Were you still motivated tostay in it or did you start
having thoughts?

Speaker 3 (26:05):
um, um, no, um.
Well, when I found out, um, mymom called and told me my dad
was in the hospital, that theywere going to do, um, she had to
sign papers for DNR.
Um, my dad's 90 years old, Um,I, you know, I.
Immediately, she knows how I am.
I, just like you know, I needto be there.

(26:26):
I could never not be there formy dad.
I've always been there.
My mom and dad are my rock aswell.
They've been through me on thisjourney as well, and so I go.
I, of course, put my pass in.
I cried the whole way there.
I probably shit in a drove justright at the point, but I never

(26:48):
thought of using.
It was how I seen it.
As you know, my dad is seeingme do this and I've got to, you
know, be there and I'm going todo this, and it was
heartbreaking, but it never tookme back to that mindset of
wanting to use.
It just was, if anything,continue to be stronger and

(27:13):
still move forward, that I cando this.
I mean, we're going to havesetbacks, we're going to have
things that happen, but thatdoesn't mean that I have to go
back to the person I used to be.
It's just going to make mestronger and want to build it
even more.

Speaker 2 (27:29):
It's nice to be present and that you're there
when your family needs you.
You know, for anyone that wouldhave been difficult, but
especially when someone's got,of course we're not going to
keep someone back from going,regardless of what level they're
in.
That's important.
But you better believe I calledyour mom oh, absolutely.

Speaker 3 (27:50):
I mean, I would have done the same thing.

Speaker 2 (27:52):
I just wanted to make sure you had everything you
needed because, uh, you know youwere doing this.
You were working hard, youstarted from scratch and you
know you're you've got a vehiclenow.
You've got a really good job.
You're about to start, I knowyou.
Just you know you.
You took a job to get started.
It wasn't what you wanted to do, but you've worked just as hard

(28:12):
at that job as you would anyother and and we've seen you
step into the leadership role,like I said, and you said, most
importantly, you set a positiveexample for for everyone else,
especially new people coming inthe program, that it's life on
life's terms, it's progress, notperfection, but we have to
communicate and we have to askfor help, and you've been an

(28:36):
example of that, because it'stough when you come in.

Speaker 3 (28:39):
It really is.

Speaker 2 (28:40):
That you don't know anyone.
All you know is you want to getbetter You're not really sure
what that looks like and then tobe able to ask someone for help
.
You know it's easier said thandone.

Speaker 1 (28:55):
Yeah, so before we wrap up, Deidre, I just want to
give you an opportunity if thereis anything else that you want
to share before we go.

Speaker 3 (29:03):
Yeah, so when I first come in this program, I come
straight out of jail that youwant to share before we go.
Yeah, so when I first come inthis program, I come straight
out of jail.
I was only there two months,but I've never worked a program
before in any way.
Like I said, I've never been tomeetings, I've never had a
sponsor, I've never been in atreatment facility.
I was in prison five years.

(29:23):
But this is a great experience.
I would say that, being here,I'm so thankful for everything
Restoration House has done forme, but, at the same time,
everything it's helped me do formyself and doing for myself
every day.

Speaker 1 (29:46):
Yeah, I mean, I think that we, I think we learned, uh
, or I learned something newabout addiction today, and just
that, like it, it doesn't haveto be a perfect journey, you
know, like there can be a hiccuphere and there, and it's still
be a part of uh, a beautifulstory to get there, and we know
that, uh stories, uh stories arehow we impact others around us,
and so, uh, deidre, thanks forjoining us today.

(30:08):
To our listeners, thanks forlistening, thank you.
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