Getting a Perspective of Recovering Addict of Opiates
Recorded April 22, 2018 Archived April 22, 2018 11:15 minutes
DescriptionI interviewed a man by the name of Nick Geissler. He explains the hardships of being addicted to Opiates and how he got through them. // Transcript of Interview: Holly Halligan: What was the pivotal moment that made you want to change your life?
Nick Geissler: One pivotal moment, I guess, the final breaking point or like that moment is when was being arrested. You know, up to that point, I never was I always thought I was going to get away with everything. In August 2015, no 2016, you know I ended up getting arrested and that was a moment where like I didn’t have a choice in the matter. It was either you’re going to go and fix and try improve your life or you weren’t and everyone in your life will be out of your life. So, you know, I had to I was on my own.
Holly Halligan: Okay, may I ask what drugs or alcohol?
Nick Geissler: Yeah, so I was-it was mainly prescription pills: opiates, xanax, adderall.
Holly Halligan: Okay, can you remember how, why, or who misusing drugs or alcohol? Was it like an influence of some sort?
Nick Geissler: You know, I believe it or not, growing up it was always stay away from drugs, stay away from drugs, stay away from drugs. Alcohol I was like it was what it was like drank in high school, drank in college thought it was socially acceptable; there was no one saying no too much, you know, focus on this focus on that. So, like it wasn’t anyone particularly early on and I remember I went through a rough breakup, my friend of mine, I got, you know, “let’s just hang out today, we’ll watch a movie, and we’ll take painkillers” and like I had two surgeries on my shoulder so, I was prescribed them so I got introduced to this, I was like, “Oh, that’s a good feeling,” but once the prescriptions were done I never went like looked for, you know, anymore opiates. That night I remember what that feeling was like and that’s when it kinda went down hill, yeah.
Holly Halligan: Okay, alright, do you have any regrets?
Nick Geissler: Yeah, you know, like for a while, while I was in the act of addiction it was always like regrets of not being where I thought I should be at in life: career,-wise, family-wise, relationship-wise, but like now, you know, I’m actually I think clear-headed and like I have some time and I don’t regret it because I wouldn’t be in this position, yeah.
Holly Halligan: Who you are, okay, how do you feel or think differently about drugs and alcohol now?
Nick Geissler: I guess, I don’t really have any like great change that drugs are bad and I think they’re over prescribed in our country. I don’t think enough emphasis on drinking; I don’t think enough people say they’re addicts think they have a problem with alcohol and like the reality is with any substance.
Holly Halligan: Let’s see, do you feel that people treat you or judge you differently because of your past?
Nick Geissler: I don’t think I’ve run into anything or anyone that’s like, “Stay away.” I think a lot of people are kind of shocked when I tell them, because we don’t, we don’t picture, society has an image of what an alcoholic or an addict looks like and like that. I come from an upper-middle class, you know, if you wanted to the paint the picture. The white picket fence, you know, and with family so intact, you know, brothers good, no, good family connection and then, you know, so it’s a lot of people aren’t in recovery or in the fields or don’t know someone struggling, you know, I guess judgement like, “Oh, would’ve never thought,” but I don’t think impacted moving forward in any way, if anything it’s helpful for people to show them that it can; It could be your brother sitting next to you, it could be your cousin, doesn’t matter where you, your upbringing. So, the short of that answer is no, you know, and like I said I’m more like people want to sit and judge and pass judgement on it, it’s on them; I can’t control what they think, it’s my story, it’s what it is.
Holly Halligan: Are there any people from your past or people effect who weren’t using or misusing with you or who do you still speak with? Or don’t talk to or wish you still did?
Nick Geissler: Everyone from my past, like relationships, they’re all-you know, I worked over the-however you word it, in the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous at taking each step and part of one step is making amends to people and righting the wrongs you’ve done. So, by doing that process and doing those steps, all the relationships I’ve had I’ve been able to make amends and make them right and explain to them where I was at, why those things are happening; it wasn’t them it was more me in those situations. There’s one I haven’t been able to do yet, a friend, waiting on it. It’s on him; I heard him so many times over the years that I can’t snap my fingers and say, “Alright, sit down and talk to me now,” so he’s going to come on his own time.
Holly Halligan: Are you active in the community to help others or educate, beforehand, about drugs?
Nick Geissler: Yeah, you know I’m out sponsored guys in the area, helped them through their early beginnings of it.
Holly Halligan: So they know the symptoms of it.
Nick Geissler: Yeah, I talked to families and like so getting clean and whatnot has given me opportunity to work for a recovery service where I go around talking to treatment centers that are pissed about our program, which then allows me to get in touch with people that need help and so, I stay pretty active in that. It’s important for me to do that so, I’m not so selfish.
Holly Halligan: Right, I get what you’re saying.
Nick Geissler: Yeah, so.
Holly Halligan: It helps with other people, too, who are going through that. So, they’re not alone in that situation.
Nick Geissler: Yeah and a lot of it comes back to the whole, like, “I don’t fit that image” of what society thinks of an alcoholic or addict is; so, like, they feel comfortable talking and seeing that, you know, it’s not them.
Holly Halligan: Right, okay. Have you personally suffered from any overdoses or near death experiences due to your addiction?
Nick Geissler: Knock on wood, I’ve never overdosed. But, like, I’ve never overdosed because I never did heroin, but I’ve never did heroin because I thought I was better than that. So, I just stuck to pills, but the reality is opiate is an opiate.
Holly Halligan: Have you lost any friends or family from drugs and did that influence your behavior or outlook?
Nick Geissler: Yeah, so before I was making decisions to like trying to get well, I lost a really really close family friend and my family and his family were so beaten up over it; his family won’t talk about it. A lot of guilt and shame because no one did anything. We all noticed signs and we all thought he was drinking too much, but no one ever was like, “Hey, Shawn,” you know, by the time we even realized. His kidneys were shutting down and liver was shutting down. That impacted me where I just, I would say at at that point my use increased.
Holly Halligan: It’s like a coping mechanism, almost.
Nick Geissler: Oh, absolutely. Let me deflect, let me numb that pain, let me get away from reality, and then, since being in recovery, I’ve lost ton of people that I’ve gotten close to. It’s agony in the sense of where I almost get that black heart. Like, okay, well this is what he wasn’t doing and it’s no shock that it happens.
Holly Halligan: Alright, how was, oh excuse me, what was your home life then and then now?
Nick Geissler: Like home life like?
Holly Halligan: Like family relations, I guess.
Nick Geissler: So, my family always been there and never turn their backs.
Holly Halligan: Supportive?
Nick Geissler: Mhm, very supportive, to the point of maybe enabling a lot. Now, you know, there’s a lot of, like, mistrust and, you know, suspicious actions by them, caution, but now, you know, it’s my mom, like, it’s like she got her son back. Definitely has improved, where it’s actual real relationships like I would used for pretty good for ten years, like, before that ten years, it was a good relationship; family was supportive and, you know, we went together on a lot of vacations, you know, whatever and during those ten years, I could see, like, they didn’t want to be around me, always on their toes, they didn’t want to say things because if I thought that they would say something it would piss me off, which I would run out and use over it. The truth of the matter is it wasn’t what they said it was still with me. But, no, things has definitely things has gotten better to,
Holly Halligan: To get better. Okay, well, that good you’re getting to a better place. I think everyone deserves to be in a better place and deserves to be freeing of whatever weight is taken over them or whatever. But, I really appreciate your time.
Nick Geissler: Oh, no. That’s it? That’s all the questions? I could talk for hours!