I want to introduce you to Delaney Colvell. I have known Delaney since we were very young and going to a small private school in Ogden, UT. We have stayed friends through the years and have recently reconnected through Facebook and texting. She is an incredibly strong woman who has been through hell and back.
I want to thank her for writing this and sharing it with the world. I can’t imagine the courage it took to be so brutally honest and open.
I want to share her story with you today for Truthful Tuesday. ❤
Hi, I’m Delaney, I’m an addict/alcoholic and I am addicted to opiates.
I am now in recovery, but I was previously a closet addict for 10 years. If you don’t already know, addiction is a disease.I am new to recovery so I am still learning..Always be teachable. My sobriety date is November 14, 2016 and that day will always be burned into my brain and I would not want it any other way.
Remembering that day helps my sobriety because holy hell, who would ever want to go through detox twice, am I right?
I guess I should start with some background history first. I started using at 14 years old. Young, but there is always kids starting younger and younger unfortunately and I would do anything in the world to change that. It started with one pill, just one. I was sucked into the black abyss of addiction immediately, it doesn’t always work that way but it did with me. I always had self esteem issues and when I took that pill I felt confident, the only thing I ever wanted to be. Plus I got high, why else do you do drugs right? I lied, I cheated, I stole, I sold all my worldly possessions, I manipulated, I almost destroyed my marriage with the man I’ve been in love with for almost 8 years. Addiction takes you down dark alleys of life you never thought you’d go down. I thought I’d never break into a house for drugs but I did… BUT i don’t want to focus on my shitty life choices, I want to focus on my recovery.
So, rewind to approximately 8 months ago. I was having seizures (most likely from detoxing in my sleep) so my husband and I were sleeping in separate beds and 3 o’ clock rolls around and he wakes up to me trying to get in bed with him and he touches me to take me back to bed and I’m wet. He turns on the light on to see me with what looks like me smuggling a basketball under my shirt and covered in puke and puke in a few places all over our bedroom. Off we go to the Emergency Room with me passing out and puking, repeatedly.
After an MRI and CT scan we found out my intestines were about to explode. The oh so lovely hospital process hates me and next came the tube shoved down my nose into my intestines to drain some of the pressure so they could operate. $5,000 later I have a vertical 6 inch scar down the center of my belly. Not fashionable in anyway. I would have died had I not had my husband there. I now 100% trust in my Higher Power, he has given me a guardian angel named Ryan who has saved my life not only once but twice, now here comes the next part of my rewind.
I recover from my intestinal ordeal and that didn’t even scare me straight so of course the addict in me tells, “You’re fine Delaney, you didn’t almost just die so you’re okay to keep using.” and not only did I use but I went hard. I will not talk about how much or all the different drugs I have done because that is irrelevant.
This next part of my story is told from a third party standpoint for I have no recollection of it I was so out of my mind. It was around 7:30 and I was passed out and my husband tried waking me up and I came to about two minutes later and could barely hold myself up. Mind you my husband had no idea I was using, he then ran to get me a glass of water and when he came back I was crawling on the floor incoherent. I was again rushed to the Emergency Room and all the way there I denied, denied, and denied that I had taken anything and blamed it on my seizures. Of course the Dr.’s drug tested me and told my husband about the high amounts of opiates in my system.
I was taken up to a room and strapped down. I came to, hallucinating that the nurses were trying to kill me, and passed out again for a good while. I came to with my husband trying to calm me down and me as angry as could be calling him every cruel thing in the book trying to deflect from my own problems. Like I said, drugs make you do and say crazy things. Insert corny 80’s commercial egg sizzling on skillet, “This is your brain on drugs!” I was kept for a day or two with a constant babysitter without talking to my husband. Not known to me at the time was that he knew of the opiate use.
I was blue sheeted which means they think you tried to kill yourself, off to the Psych Ward I went for four days and I played every trick in the book and told them everything they wanted to hear so I could get home and use. My mind was on using and only using. Ryan picked me up four days later and I could feel his aura, he was happy to see me but there was something eating at him. We had a nice walk to the car, and he waited to bring up one of the hardest conversations anyone can have with their loved one. We got home and, boom, the talks of rehab came up. I, of course, said no many times strictly because I was afraid… deathly afraid of treatment. I had been using drugs for 10 years to keep my body functioning. I eventually smartened up and said yes to rehab. I think I was subconsciously using so blatantly so that someone would ask me to get help, I was surprisingly so excited to get help and go to treatment. Unbeknownst to me was that my husband and mother had been calling detox centers and rehabs trying to get me a bed for two days while I was in the psych ward.
A day later I was admitted to a detox hospital. We were told they had a bed for me and to be there at 3:45, we were there at 3:30. My dad always taught me to be 15 minutes early for everything, always be prepared scouts. We were taken into an admitting office room and they of course were not as prepared, they still had to get my medical records faxed over from the hospital and get an OK from the Dr. in order to admit me. This took from 3:45 to 7:30 at night sitting in an office with my husband trying to keep my composure while slowly starting to detox and having the deepest darkest pit in my stomach of fear. The darkness started to swallow me whole knowing what I was about to endure. 7:30 came and the on call Dr. approved me to be admitted and all I wanted was some drugs to stop how I was feeling and that was now possible, so I thought, and their computer system crashed HA! I took it as a sign that I needed to sit and detox without any substances to help me so I could feel that fear and pain.
Finally 11 PM rolled around and I was able to get some meds to help, I was prescribed Subutex, which helps wean you off opiates, but of course I had to wait 12 hours after my last which was 4 hours away. I laid in bed thinking, thinking of all the bad things I’ve done, thinking of all the people I’ve hurt and I cried. A cry that hurt through my whole body and I got a sense of motivation.
My time in detox was not pleasant to say the least, the toilet and repeat episodes of Roseanne were my best friends. Puke, Roseanne, puke, Roseanne, and more puke. The second night rolled around and I guesstimate it was around 2:30 AM and it was time for vitals and I was passed out, finally, and I wake up to a nurse shaking the living shit out of me and her calling other nurses into the room and them saying, “I don’t know what to do!”. Apparently my heart couldn’t handle the strain of detoxing and I was going into heart failure… I’ve never prayed so hard in my life. The usual prayer when you haven’t spoken with whoever you consider your Higher Power yet ask for life. I tried to panic so I could give my heart a kickstart but there was just this sense of calm washing over me as a nurse is ripping the 7 blankets I’d acquired off me and ripping my pants off. They needed to put Ted hose stocking on both my legs to try and get the blood pumping from my legs to my heart. Next was trying to get me out of bed to run, I could barely walk and I sure as shit laughed when they told me it was time to run. I had to have help to run and it was the saddest run in the history of runs, and I run like Forest Gump on a good day! My heart started to recover slowly but I did not sleep one minute that night, I prayed consistently promising to live my life right for helping me through that little rough patch.
Although my heart almost failed I still knew there was still a mountain the size of Everest still out there to climb.
Finally I got the good news call from my mom telling me they had found me a rehab, the only part I did not like was that it was two hours from home. Later though, that came to be a benefit, I will explain later. I finished my time in detox and was sent on my merry way with my taper prescription of Subutex and Nicotine gum, I should mention I’m a smoker so not being able to have my other vice was hell. Little did I know was that I was going to a non smoking facility! Fuck me, right? A man from the rehab drove the two hours to the hospital to pick me up. Before he got there my brother, mother, father, husband, and beloved furry child came to see me off and it was the pick me up I needed to get in that car. We said our goodbyes and off I went to rehab. I’m tearing up just writing this being so grateful they supported me as much as they did throughout this ordeal even after all I’ve put them through.
Walking into rehab weighing 95 pounds at the height of 5’ 6” looking like a skeleton and broken down knowing not one soul was one of the other scariest moments in life. AND, of course, I had to be admitted on family night of all nights. Just my luck, and on family night they order pizza, and I was so malnourished and starving I grabbed 3 pieces of pizza and 3 breadsticks. Luckily there was this sweet girl who saw me standing there like a deer in headlights reverting back to middle school as the ugly and awkward duckling I was trying to figure out who to sit with and she called me over and asked if I would like to join them. I sat there in silence scarfing down pizza like it was my last meal before execution, later that night I puked my guts out not knowing that when you’re that malnourished your stomach can only handle so much food. Slow and steady wins the race in that aspect.
The next day I saw the Dr. and he reviewed all my test results from the detox hospital and told me I was so malnourished that my organs were feeding on themselves for energy, boom, another hit of how serious this situation was.
I had been numbing my feelings with drugs for 10 years and the first time I saw my therapist I had a complete breakdown… To help with this piece of this story it is relevant that I was born in California and it is 100% considered my home and my husband tried night and day trying to get me into a California rehab hoping it might be a little bit of a boost but my health insurance wouldn’t cover out of state rehabilitation centers. The other tidbit is that at the rehab I went to is that you are on blackout which is no phone privileges or visitors. You are expected to as they called it “sit in your shit” for a week. So, getting back to the story, I see my therapist and start bawling within the first five minutes. I should tell you I am not a cryer, I used to consider crying one of the most disgusting things. Crying that quickly like a blubbering fool was such a humbling experience, it reminded me that I am a human being and just as weak as any human being on Earth and that I am no more special that anyone else there. Thankfully he let me call my husband and it was just what the Dr. ordered. My husband reminded me that this was for the best, that I am strong and could overcome this demon holding onto me, and he is my biggest supporter. I was only able to talk to him for five minutes but that five minutes will always be the best call that ever happened to me and I consider that one of the biggest things that picked me up, brushed me off, and got me through the whole rehab trial of hell. The next little thing that picked me up was that my therapist happened to have a pen from a California rehab he asked me if I would like. I used that pen to work on every step work or homework I received. It was as if my Higher Power was working through that measly pen, I still have that pen and I will forever hold it extremely close to my heart.
The first week I was there I had a meltdown, screaming and cussing trying to leave. I called my husband and used every drug addict manipulation in the book to try and get him to come get me and he told me he would call me when he was on his way. He hung up with me and called my therapist to tell him he was not coming to get me and I applaud him for being so strong and not caving to come get me because that was a huge sign that I needed serious help.
I don’t want to dwell too much on my time in rehab but I stayed 33 days, I detoxed from opiates, detoxed from Subutex, horrible using dreams, and Post Acute Withdrawals. It was not a vacation, it was 33 days of hard work. When I returned my husbands call on day 33 at around 8 PM and he asked if I would like to come home I cried and asked him if he was joking. I could not believe that day had finally came that I could go home and be home for Christmas was the most liberating feeling I have ever felt. He asked if I would like to be picked up the next day and I immediately said YES! I got off the phone with him and informed the techs that I was going to be picked up tomorrow and they tried getting ahold of the on call therapist and started getting my discharge paperwork in order and my husband called the tech I had been working on my discharge with and said, “screw it, I’m picking her up tonight”. The tech told me this and I literally stood up on a dining room chair and yelled informing all the residents I was going the fuck home. I got my hugs and said a few goodbyes and have never packed so fast in my life. A fire was lit under my ass!
I was told he would be there at 11:30. Well lights out is at around 10:30 so I waited in my room dressed and lying on top of my made bed with the blinds open and rolling over and looking out the window at every car that drove past. After all that looking for our car I actually missed him pulling up. I had a tech come into my room telling my ride was here and I snuck out trying not to wake up my roommate and our room neighbor sleeping on the floor because her new roommate was detoxing and she could not handle the smell. I saw my husband and ran and jumped into his arms like a dramatic scene out of the movies. I had a huge suitcase, a clothes hamper full of three bags, and two more bags overflowing with clothes and shoes I rushed to pack in the car thinking maybe it wasn’t real and the smart ass my husband is said, “Actually this is just a test, you’re really staying” I punched him in the arm and said, “I’ll kill you”.
I got in the car and started crying again with that freeing feeling with the largest sense of accomplishment. I’ve never felt proud of myself until that moment in a car outside a rehab at midnight and it was the most wonderful sensation in the strangest place.
I am writing this at 48 days sober with the feeling of freedom, freedom I hadn’t felt in 10 years. I am new to sobriety but it really works if you truly want to break free of the chains of alcohol and drugs. Once I finally had the freedom of sobriety I feel a sense of happiness I thought I could only find in a bottle or drugs, who knew natural happiness is a real thing! I will be honest in that I still crave drugs everyday, but I always remember how happy and stress free I am without using or drinking and I bring myself back to a sense of sober concentration.
My greatest sobriety tools are meditation and yoga everyday. You must find your center and learn to be in tune with your body. I hope this helps anyone struggling with addiction. I want you to know that you can be helped, there is no such thing as a lost cause. I kept using because I figured I was too far gone to be helped but I did it and I have the biggest addictive personality. If you have doubts of your strength just know the body and mind can truly surprise you on how much they can handle. Please, I’m begging you, seek help if you believe you need it. I may have hated my therapist because he broke down my walls but while I was sitting in rehab he gave me the best quote that really motivated me..”Your best choices landed you here.” Us addicts may make a lot of poor choices but you can always be saved once you learn about self acceptance and forgiveness and learn that the only forgiveness you need is your own. “I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.”
Me weighing 95 pounds looking like a walking skeleton.
Me with a tube shoved down my nose and into my intestines with shit coming out of it before surgery… disgusting and pathetic.
My stomach a week after intestinal surgery, which the scar has been nicknamed Snape.
My two reasons for staying sober.
Me hanging out with my husband in rehab happy as can be weighing 25 pounds heavier.
The feature picture is Delaney almost 20 days after rehab looking healthy as ever with a glow of happy.
If you need help overcoming addiction check out this website.
Here is the link to the National Helpline if you are interested. ❤