A Hopeless Addict Set Free

Jeremy Receives His Four Year Sobriety Pin

I’m honored to interview my brother.  This is part one of his story. Welcome, Jeremy. Jeremy’s a 43-year old recovering addict.

“Go ahead and use the dirty word. Call it what it is,” Jeremy said. “I’m a recovering meth addict.”

Jeremy, you celebrated four years of sobriety this past May, on my birthday. I’m so proud of you. You have a new purpose in life. What is it?

To share the Hope inside me and tell others how I made it out. I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance in hell.”

How many times have you shared your story?

“Twice at Celebrate Recovery, once at a street ministry, once at a church for homeless people, and lots of times to individuals. I’m not proud of where I’ve been, but I love letting people know there’s hope.”

 When did you begin your decent into addiction?

“I started smoking pot and drinking around age 21. When I was 34, I tried meth, and it was off to the races. At first, I thought I could handle it. Pretty soon my goal in life was to score meth. Nothing else mattered. I didn’t think beyond my next high. I used a sack until it ran out, and then I needed more.”

Do you remember your worst day?

“I sure do. I got my second DUI within ten days. It was February of 2005, right before my 37th birthday. I thought, this has to be a dream. It can’t be happening. But when the detective pulled me out of the car with his gun drawn, I knew it was real. I walked inside the jail feeling like my life was over. I wanted to die.”

When did you first have hope that you might be able to turn it around?

“The day I completed the judge’s sentencing.  I remember looking at the mountain I had to climb and thinking I’d never reach the top. But with God’s help, I did everything the judge ordered. I lost my license for three years, had 36 months of probation, paid my fine, served 289 hours of community service at Goodwill, saw my regular addictions counselor one-on-one and in group, attended AA–at first 90 meetings in 90 days, completed two DUI classes, had a 17-week course of intense counseling with another addictions specialist, and had the interlock system put on my car for seven months. Looking back, the worst day of my life turned out to be the very best day of my life. It’s what finally broke me.”

How did meth change you physically?

“I’m 6′ 1″ with a normal weight of 180. I lost thirty pounds and two teeth due to meth use.”

Mentally?

“Nobody’s sane on crystal meth. It’s very cunning. You might think your actions make sense, but you’re not fooling people. They know. You’re always paranoid–thinking it’s showing, and it is, even though you’re trying to cover it. But you can’t.

Please come back next Wednesday to read more about Jeremy’s road to recovery.

Gratefully,

Julie

Comments

  1. Thank you for this interview, Julie and Jeremy. It gives me hope for my own brother. Blessings as you continue to share your story of His power and grace.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much, Vonda. I have a list by my computer–names I’m praying for. I’ll add “Vonda’s brother.” Much love to you and yours.

  2. Julie and Jeremy, Thank for sharing this story with us. I know it must be difficult for you to open up like this to everyone. But it gives others hope and shows there is a way out of that lifestyle of bondage. God Bless you and strengthen you as you continue your progress, Jeremy.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much, Marilyn. Jeremy and I felt like it was the right thing to do. We’re praying for people who read and can relate. 🙂

  3. Julie, thank you so much for bringing Jeremy into our world. And to Jeremy — thank you for sharing. I think when we keep things hidden secretly inside they blow up into bigger and more unmanageable problems. You’ve let go, let God, and let others in. Kudos, Jeremy.
    Much love,
    B.J.

  4. julie seals says:

    Julie and Jeremy,
    I loved this interview! I read your mom’s book with your family story, including Jeramy’s! As a recovering meth addict myself – 17 years addicted and 11 clean, sober and free….I am rejoicing over the priceless VICTORY in Jeremy’s life!!! Keep speaking and sharing your story, Jeramy! You will bring HOPE to so many who desperately need it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Julie says:

      Oh, Julie. I can’t wait to talk to him tonight. I’ll read him your exact words. I’m cheering for you–praising God for where you are–even for where you’ve been. Thank you for caring.

  5. I agree with Julie Seals – keep sharing your story, Jeremy. It’s filled with encouragement for so many, and not just for others who are caught in substance abuse. People facing all kinds of mountains can see hope in your story.

    • Julie says:

      Amen, Ane–a mountain is a moutain. Thank you for reading!!

  6. Mary says:

    There are easy truths and there are hard truths. It takes real courage to share the hard truths! Thank you Jeremy for being so honest about your journey. It is amazing that hope can rise out of terrible situations. It reminds me of a line from a Woody Allen movie — “the heart is a very resilient little muscle.” Best wishes, and continued good progress to you!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, Mary. Love it–“the heart is a very resilient little muscle.” So true. xoxo

  7. Lynne Gentry says:

    Bravo, Jeremy. Bravo, Julie. Bravo, Jesus Christ!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Lynne. You’re sooo right. Brave, Jesus Christ!

  8. I love you both. This makes my heart smile. If God can work such wonders in Jeremy He can do it in the ones I’m praying for…thank you for being open and sharing a bit of hope.
    xo

  9. Julie and Jeremy,
    Thank you for allowing us to listen as you unfold the truth that everyone should know about drugs, especially Meth. I have seen it take over lives – my nephew is the most recent.
    Julie – what a wonderful birthday gift each year as you celebrate yours and Jeremy’s life.
    Jeremy – I admire you for stepping up to the plate, accepting responsibility, doing everything that was asked of you, and now, even more so for speaking out to help others. You are a true hero.
    Colleen

    • Julie says:

      Hey dear Colleen, I’m so sorry to hear about your nephew. I’m adding him to my prayer list beside my computer. Such lovely words—“a true hero” to Jeremy. Deep thanks, my friend.

  10. Wonderful grace and hope in this interview, Julie. Many blessings to you, Jeremy. Thanks for the willingness to be transparent and authentic.

  11. Arie says:

    Hi Julie, I so want to comment on your blogs to let you know how you are heard and appreciated. But eloquent words are not my forte–especially when using the phone as an input device. Know that you would hear from me everytime you blog if I read it from my desktop. However, I read you in the quiet moments waiting for my daughter to fall asleep.

    Just the other day I met someone who’s 21 year old son is at Dunklin and shared with him about your mom’s writings on that topic. Then the next day there you were at Jeremy’s 4 year anniversary. That is awesome, wonderful, heart lifting…recovery is unspeakably beautiful, but the path there is so brutal.

    Happy Sunday….Arie

    • Julie says:

      Arie, I’d say eloquent words are sooooo your forte! Thank you so much for reading and for your your beautifully written encouraging words. Dunklin holds such a special place in my heart. I love what you said….Recovery is unspeakably beautiful, but the path there is so brutal.”

  12. Lynda says:

    Julie, I couldn’t be happier for Jeremy and the rest of your family who’ve been affected by his addiction. Recovery is truly a miraculous gift, as I know firsthand, having been clean and sober for many years now.

    There’s something vitally important I’d like to point out however, and that’s that Alcoholics Anonymous has 12 Traditions as well as 12 Steps, and they’re equally important to the fellowship. The short form of the 11th Tradition states: “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.”

    By using his first and last names, and his photograph, and saying he attends AA meetings, Jeremy is violating the 11th Tradition. I do not speak for AA (no one does), but I would like to respectfully suggest that any further articles omit reference to Jeremy’s AA membership.

    And in case anyone wonders about me referring to AA, this isn’t a violation of the Tradition, because I’m only using my first name, and no other identifying information is accompanying my comment.

    • Julie says:

      Hey Lynda, thank you so much for writing. I’m so happy for you!

      I appreciate your comment. My understanding of Al-Anon / AA anonymity is that members don’t share about others in the group, but we are free to share that we, ourselves, attend.

      Blessings to you,
      Julie

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