Today is October 8, 2016. It has been one year since the FBI drove into our parking lot in mass numbers with FBI written EVERYWHERE and 10 Uhauls to carry away every single piece of paper and every single chart in the building. About 50 of them entered my home in Pittsburgh like gangbusters; interrogating and scaring the hell out of my daughter. She is suffering from PTSD now as a result of that experience. They were horrible. I don’t know what they thought they were going to find. They certainly went away dissapointed. You would have thought I was Vito Corleone or Scarface. It was a witch hunt and it remains a witch hunt. 600 Drug Addicts put out to pasture. Unbelievable.
The FBI Agent, as he interrogated my innocent daughter (who was in the house alone when this happened) told her that life is BLACK & WHITE and there are NO GRAY AREAS. He told her that the fact that “your mother operates and believes in gray areas is what got her in the position she is in.” He told her that nobody does anything for nothing. It truly was a devastating experience and a totally life changing event for everyone involved.
How did I go from having a passion and living a dream to waking up in the middle of a nightmare and not knowing where I was getting my next $5.00 for gas? So many people have so many opinions about this situation and about me…..about my family about what I deserve and what I don’t deserve. It amazes me really. All I know is that helping addicts is my passion. It’s in my veins……………ironically haha. (A little twisted humor there!) It is definitely my passion………..I was coming home from a meeting of the men’s house and the women’s houses on Tuesday night. While I was in the car, someone said “did everyone hear about the 7 year old that went to school and walked into the principal’s office and said “Something is wrong with my mommy and daddy. They wouldn’t wake up this morning.” The school went to the house and found them overdosed/dead in bed. Then a few weeks prior there were the two in the front seat of the car slumped over with the four year in the back seat.using drugs
This is 2016. Why are people still ignorant about the disease of addiction? Why are parents still so BLIND to what is happening around them. Every now and then somebody shows up and acts like they know something. Why the stigma still? It’s so very horrible to watch people suffer all of the symptoms of addiction. They finally get some relief when they put a drug in their body. Are you aware of how many people do not understand what that means? I remember looking at my therapist and saying, “I’m so embarrassed. How could I be so stupid to use drugs?” His response was, “There is nothing stupid about trying to sedate yourself to get through ‘life’. Life is a bitch. Unfortunately, you can’t use drugs because you are an addict and they do something to you that they don’t do to other people……” Unfortunately, I used to watch addicts walk into ASI everyday with their heads down……so far down I sometimes could not see their faces. My heart broke for them. I could feel how they felt. I could see that they did not feel “good enough”. Their self esteem was almost totally gone. And then they would try to cover it up and they would get so angry they couldn’t speak. It is a vicious cycle for them. It seems to never stop. Not until they can work steps in their life and do therapy. Not until they truly understand that they have an illness not a moral deficiency. Addiction 101. Nobody takes that course. And it’s the only course that people need to take.
And it’s 32 years later. 32 years clean. A Masters Degree, an almost Doctorate Degree, and full service drug and alcohol treatment center…………..and 32 long years of working with drug addicts. Some are still using………….some are clean and happy……………..some are dead. When I walked into Narcotics Anonymous in December 1983, I was broken. I was both broke AND broken. I had nothing. I was stripped of everything in my life and in my mind that was worth anything. I built myself and my life back up to everything with the help and guidance of a loving & caring God. I believed that in order to keep what you have you must give it away. I believed in Narcotics Anonymous. And somehow, 32 years later today, I lost everything except the knowledge that I have about this disease…………the faith and belief in a God of my understanding…………and the belief that I will be able to build it all back up again…….
I have a lot of loss and grief to attend to. I have a lot to sort out. I have many “whys” that need answered. It will happen over time. I have faith. I need your prayers. The next chapter of the book are the ending chapters. There are going to be quite a few though so I need you all to stick around and help me write it. In March, I am facing a very very very difficult time and I have to ready. I need everyone to pray for Roz Sugarmann. As many times a day as you can.
I need the story to have a “happy ending”.