My name is Lindsey Theodore and I am a recovering addict, this is my story..
WOW first of all to say “recovering addict” right now as I begin to share my story for the first time in writing in the last year I’ve spent sober and recovering, I’m literally drying my tears as I write. Not tears of sadness this time, this time my tears are filled with gratitude, hope, strength, and happiness. I am so grateful for my life today and I mean that from the very bottom of my heart. My sobriety date is August 30th, 2019. In a few days I will be celebrating 1 year clean and sober from all drugs, alcohol, any mind altering substances, and even from cigarettes ( if you can believe that!).
I learned of my dear friend Sabrina passing while incarcerated by my mother during one of our visits or phone calls. I felt this loss. It’s devastating that overdosing and people loosing their lives to addiction has become so normalized. It’s sad. Sabrina will ALWAYS hold a place in my heart and she was a beautiful soul that I am grateful for. Sabrina helped me back in 2017, out in palm desert CA. I was completely broken when she picked me up at the airport, I was a complete stranger to her, I knew
Her boyfriend at the time from childhood from growing up in Candia NH, and she welcomed me with open arms, at a life changing time in my life. She is a part of my story and I will explain why she is so crucial to my journey as I tell my story.
I was unsure of what to share so I am going to just keep writing whatever my heart tells me to and whatever God sees fit to help another addict like me that is still out there struggling.
I grew up in Candia NH as I said already. I have 4 sisters and 1 brother and we all are really close. Some of us sisters share the disease of addiction in common. Thanks to God and God alone all of us are sober today and have a year or more of sobriety at that, that itself is nothing short of a miracle. I have a loving, selfless mother, and I also am blessed with a strong inspiring hardworking father. My parents were married until I was 14 years old. When My parents divorced I moved to Auburn NH from Chester NH where I attended Pinkerton Academy for freshman year of high school. By the beginning of sophomore year I dropped out of high school , and I lived at my dads where only him and I lived. I was not abused as a child, we were not poor, I wanted for nothing material wise... I was a really shy kid. I always was embarrassed to eat in front of people as a kid and at school when I was really young, I had a problem with self image at a young age and the reason for that I am not certain of because I had a good childhood. It wasn’t until I got older that my choices took me to some really dark places. I developed an eating disorder at a young age during elementary school.. and now looking back I see my obsessive addict like behaviors I had as a young child. I became obsessed with my weight and always thought I was fat no matter how skinny I got, this went on until I was about 18 right around the same time I began using opiates. I am 31 years old today, so my addiction got really dark, real lonely, hopeless at times, and a lot of the time during my active addiction I wanted to die. One thing I can say is through all the heart break I caused my loved ones my family never ever gave up on me, and I really believe that’s why I am alive and why I am where I am today.
So at 18 years old was my first time using oxycodone and OxyContin. I was already drinking a lot and partying and experimenting with things like ecstasy, molly, cocaine, but didn’t have a habit, I thought I was doing what teenagers do, have fun. I wish I knew where my life would have went and the places this would have taken me back then like I know now. Trough the years of my addiction I have been raped, hurt, abused, went to jail countless times, crushed my family, and destroyed my soul until I felt like I was nothing... useless and broken. I began using heroin and needles at around age 23, I got sober off and on From age 21 til 30 in and out of detoxes jails hospitals and many many rehabs...I can’t even tell you the amount of relapses I’ve had either it’s so many I can’t count.. I had to become someone I hated and despised before I wanted to change my life and be sober. All those programs never worked for me because I didn’t want to be sober I was going through the motions for other people, probation, to get my parents off my back...Things like that.. I would relapse immediately after I graduated and overdose. I have overdosed around 30 times in the year 2012-2013 alone. I been in septic shock, many stays in hospitals, so many I had to file bankruptcy in 2016... in 2016 I had my finger amputated due to my IV drug use, I’ve had countless abscesses and infections... Been told this is my last night alive, doctors have called my parents to come say goodbye to me..
So I am going to fast forward to a crucial year in my life where overdose and loss struck real close to home for me..
On May 4th, 2017 the love of my life and long term boyfriend for almost a decade, passed away while I was sleeping in his arms under his armpit with my head on his chest... his name was Jonathan Michael Jones and he was a gorgeous man inside and out.. he was the person I loved the most in this world.. also my best friend.. my soulmate. I woke up that morning to him dead next to me in bed all cuddled up with me... I took many sleeping pills to keep myself knocked out for the next two days at my moms house after he died. I got harassed and called a murderer by his family blaming me for his death, because I to am an addict..
this loss shattered my heart and my entire being and things got really dark for the years ahead for me...I blamed myself for this and the guilt was a terrible thing to carry.. I thought had I woke up when he did or had I stayed away from him, he’d be alive still, after years went by and I damaged myself more and more and went through my grieve in every unhealthy way possible I came
To realize only in my sobriety that the truth is this is the reality of addiction, addicts use and addicts die from it, he was an amazing man and so many loved deeply but he was also an addict.. and that’s the harsh truth I had to come to terms with before I could start to heal and recover like he would have wanted for me.. and like I owed to myself mainly...
While in a sleep coma trying not to feel the pain and reality of this loss my family all got together and booked me a plane ticket to California.. a childhood friend of my sisters (Sabrina’s boyfriend at the time) was out there living with Sabrina who had known of a sober living she referred me to. My family paid for and planned the whole trip, even packed my bags for me..
My sister held my hand the entire trip to Cali flew out there with me and stayed for a few weeks to get me settled.. Sabrina picked me up from the airport and welcomed me into her home to detox until I was well enough to enter the sober living in palm desert CA.
The same one she had gotten sober at. Sabrina was selfless, she didn’t know me nor did she have to help me, but she did... she became a friend in the time I spent out there.. she talked me off the ledge many times during my sober living experience...and came to
The rescue during many melt downs I had there... I am forever grateful for her because I probably would have been dead myself without her acts of kindness when I was so down and out and broken, in shock still and grieving. I managed to get around 45 days of sobriety and impulsively decided Texas was where I needed to be.
I lied to everyone and said I was going into sober living in Texas when I’m reality I rented a house and relapsed pretty fast out there.. this relapse lasted the next two and a half years... after a month in Texas my brother drived to Houston where I lived from Dallas where he lived and picked me up made me get in the car and we drove back to the east coast to NH where we are from to our family and both moved back home..
I was off and running and hard pretty quickly. I didn’t want to feel.. i didn’t care about myself or anyone anymore I wanted to die and I went on a mission to kill myself by using more recklessly then ever before.. I got a bad wound on my left fore arm that was an open wound for two years... I scarred my arms and body really bad during these two years too.. I am now in the process of tattooing over my scars because I am sober today. I was selling dope at this point.. I spent all my time alone and miserable, depressed, always crying, extremely careless about myself or anyone else around me..
In 2018 I got really sick with endocarditis and almost died yet again. I went through months and months and months in the hospital and would stay 8 weeks and sign myself out never finishing my antibiotic treatments, I had many blood transfusions, was sepsis, infected in my blood and in my heart, my knee went sepsis as well and I couldn’t walk at one point over this year from the endocarditis, I had to have surgery on my knee, I put cocaine and fentanyl in my pick line in the hospitals, sold drugs out of my hospital bed, and still had no regard for my life or regard for any other people.. once the hospital would have security come to watch me and restrict my visitors I would sign out and a day later go to a diff hospital because I was to sick to be home with high fevers.. this went on for a about a year this sickness and I got really weak and let myself go even more.
I used the whole time In the hospital. Summer of 2018 I sold fentanyl to a Confidential informant.. multiple times... I was looking at a long time in prison.. I kept using anyways.
My father hired me a paid Attorney also that fought for me. I spent from June 2019 untill April 2020 incarcerated... and I took a plea
To participate in Drug Court.. August 29th, 2019 was the last time I used..
I got out of jail and hit the ground running toward a better life for myself.. I leaned on my family and let go of EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING I KNEW from my old life in active addiction... and over time I keep working on myself daily! I go to the gym for fun now a days and I work a busy work week and love earning honest money that I worked hard for and that no one can take away from me and that isn’t hurting anyone in the process of making my life is so different today.
I don’t even know the words to explain how amazing I feel now. I never thought this was possible for me ... ONE FULL YEAR OF SOBRIETY! That is crazy for an addict like me... I want to be sober I want to be healthy happy and I want to make my family proud!
I have to baby nephews one was born before I went to jail and one while I was there and I’m aloud to babysit and take them in my car and to sleep over for whole weekends at a time! A year ago I wouldn’t be aloud around them never mind alone to be responsible and care for them.. I fixed my credit a good amount since I got out of jail..
I have dreams and goals that I can and will achieve... using is not an option for me, being around people that use is not an option for me.. I show up every day on time or even early most times.. never late... I used to blow everything off ,I pay my bills on time today and I even have a savings account with money in it and a checking account and debit card! I couldn’t even get a Bank accounts a year ago from over drafting my accounts all the time before... I couldn’t wake up in the morning and would always show up late.. sobriety has given me the gift to show up for my family and work life and for my recovery.
If you are out there struggling and active know that I was at the darkest places I could imagine one year ago.. and if this addict can change her life and live a peaceful meaningful life filled with purpose and be able to be trusted too then you absolutely can to.
I am always happy to be there for any addict struggling and in need of any help... but it starts with you.. only you can make the change to change EVERYTHING and start your journey to peace and serenity and recovery!