Autumn "Misplaced Acceptance"

I had a great family and a great life. I grew up in a home without drugs or alcohol which kind of drives the point home on how much affect your DNA has on your addictive tendencies. My biological father was an addict and I never spent any time around him but I was still an addict. I had never been wanted for anything, I had a clean record.

I really had never had any addictive “issues” or tendencies with any other drugs. I had done cocaine, drank, done xanax, and I was in control of it, I could still go through everyday life, Opiates are a little bit of a  different story for me. One day I was just having fun with them like everyone else and I woke up and I was so sick I physically couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t function without them and before I knew it was going to be like that it was already too late. My life spiraled out of control very quickly.

Photo by  Randy Bacon

Photo by Randy Bacon

Taken 6/6/2012

Taken 6/6/2012

I was clean for 70 days. I went though treatment, I completed it with bells and whistles. When I got out I did great, I went to Florida with my family everything was good. When I got home I just got high and spiraled once again. It doesn’t take much for me, when I’m using that’s all I’m doing. There’s no in between. Some addicts just use casually on the weekends. I’m all or nothing. It's a full time job when I get high so there was no working or family or functioning at all. My parents didn't know what to do because they didn’t really know. I didn’t live with them so they woke up one day and said, “Wait a second, what’s going on?”. Very quickly my family decided that they weren't going to be a part of it. And they shouldn’t have to. I did a lot of really terrible things to them. I stole from them, I missed both of my sisters graduations from high school.

Within 6 months I started using heroin, so it progressed from oxycontin very quickly. I started using through an IV so that made it even worse, even more terrible. By the end of 2011 I was using heroin and meth everyday. I lost my biological father and my uncle, who was my best friend, in  the same few years, it was an excuse to get high because I didn’t want to feel it. I made a lot of really poor choices. I lived wherever I could. Whether it was on a couch or in a hotel. I very rarely slept outside, maybe twice. It just wasn’t something i had to go through, I had a lot of people that I ran with so I didn’t have to worry about that. A lot of people do. Very quickly my life was unmanageable to say the least. I was in and out of jail between 2011 and 2014, I probably spent more time in the Greene County Jail than out of it.

Photo by  Randy Bacon

Photo by Randy Bacon

In January 2015 I got arrested for the last time. They had offered me drug court before but I never reported. They gave me the option to restart my drug court and I told the Judge no, to send me to prison. At this point I was 86 pounds and very sick and I knew if they let me back out of jail I wouldn’t make it. When I asked her to send me to prison, she looked shocked. So I told her, “I can’t get clean out here.”

They gave me a two year sentence. By the time I had gotten out I had been sober for two years. When I got out was doing great. It takes a year for your brain to even start to heal from drugs like that and I  was never clean long enough, maybe a week or a month here and there, so once I was clean for over a year I started thinking a lot more normal, but my thought process will never be like everyone else’s all the time.

Photo by  Randy Bacon

Photo by Randy Bacon

I had a lot of misplaced acceptance in the fact that I was an addict and I was going to die like that. I was convinced that there was no coming back from that for me and that I was probably going to die with a needle in my arm, and that was just the way that I saw it. Once you’re that far down and you’ve made that many mistakes the devil has such a grip on your life and your mind. It’s so hard to think that I used to be a functioning human. I did normal things. I went to school, I had friends and I had a family but you don’t think like that because you're so sick. It’s very mind altering to be so far gone and to be so removed from the human you grew up as. To look and think about the life I should have had. I was supposed to be married and have kids, go on vacations, live in a nice house and drive an awesome car and have this awesome job. That’s what everyone sees and what they want in their life and then one day I woke up in jail because I was an addict. It’s the opposite of what you thought your life was going to look like.

It makes it a lot easier once you are clean to be able to see a future ahead, at least for me. My family is super supportive and amazing so I don’t have to worry about losing them. I didn't have to give that up. I’m lucky that my parents are clean and sober people who are hardworking and very supportive. Once I got clean they have helped me rebuild my whole life. I was given a HUGE opportunity and got a great job. I have now had a job for 2 and a half years and before that I hadn’t had a job for almost a decade of my life. I work out every morning at 5am, i go to church, and do things that are better for me than the addict I was. I still have addictive traits, I just choose to use them in healthy and helpful activities as an alternative.  

Photo by  Randy Bacon

Photo by Randy Bacon

Ask for help. I’ve lost more people to addiction than I ever thought was possible. There’s somebody out there that’s done what you’ve done or has been where you’ve been. Even when you don’t think that anybody could ever fathom the terrible things that you’ve done, there’s somebody that has and there’s some program that will help you.

! think a lot of people, especially addicts, lose hope in the fact that they can have a life where they don’t have to be addicts.  Just grasp on to just the smallest bit of that hope. “Okay I can drag myself out of the pit that I created.” So many people have so much self pity in the fact that they’re an addict and that they’ll never be anything else which isn’t true. People function everyday with addiction in their life.


Everyone has their thing. Even if they look like they’re the best in the world, they have something. So just because you feel like you have that one thing that’s going to drag you down, try to live above that. Be above it. It takes time though. In January I celebrated being clean for 4 years and sometimes I just think, did I do that? Ask for help.

Photo by  Randy Bacon

Photo by Randy Bacon