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How Crazy is Your Recovery Story?

recovery story

How Crazy is Your Recovery Story?

Everybody’s got a recovery story. Heck, some folks have a few of ’em. Sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes they’re sad. And sometimes they’re downright crazy. Most times though they’re a lotta bit of all three. Whatever those recovery stories happen to be, they’re almost always full of heart, as well as hope, even when they go bad. And they’ll often touch you in ways you’d never imagine.

TT’s Recovery Story

Take Tyson Tyler’s recovery story. Georgia born, Carolina raised and Virginia schooled, TT (as he’s affectionately known) is a true son of the South. And like his fellow Southerners, he grew up taking a nip or two. First it’d be a bit of beer from an uncle. Then he’d sneak whisky or rum with a cousin or a friend. Eventually though TT got tired of waiting for maybes and instead started figuring out ways to get buzzed on his own. He’d swipe bottles from his folks’ liquor cabinet; carefully adding water to make up for what he drank. Or he’d pocket a tall boy from the local 7-11, which was a real risk considering the store was owned by a family friend. He tried standing around the corner and asking people to buy beer for him too, but that was also risky. Too risky.

Then one of TT’s friends showed up at his house with a full bottle of pills. Vicodin, the friend said. For pain. The pills had been prescribed to an older brother after oral surgery a few months back and they’d been sitting in the medicine cabinet ever since. TT had heard some of the older kids at school rave about popping pain pills, but he never really thought about doing them himself. Hell, until that day he’d never even seen a pain pill. But TT and his friends were running out of ways to get liquor. After all, they were only 14. Besides, liquor was gone almost before you got it. This bottle should last them a couple months at least.

As if. The four friends each took one pill. When nothing happened after 30 minutes, they all took another. Then they started to feel it. First they felt warm and fuzzy. Then they began feeling happy. Real happy. Talkative too. Thirty minutes after that, they felt invincible.

That full bottle of Vicodin lasted all of one week.

Full-Fledged Pill Head

Flash forward a few years and TT was a full-fledged pill head. He’d take pain meds: Vics, Percs, Dilaudid, Oxies. He’d take Benzos: Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin. And he’d take antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac and Lexapro. TT really liked Adderall too, though he claimed it turned his ADD into OCD. Whatever. If it came in pill form and would get a person buzzed, TT prescribed it to himself. He began hoarding pills too. In fact, TT had so many pills on hand he would claim they were part of the pre college pharmaceutical courses required for a Pre Med Program. People believed him too. Especially after his 4.1 GPA got him into William & Mary.

But TT learned quickly that what made him outstanding in high school barely made him average in college. That meant he wasn’t going to be able to skate his way to a respectable GPA. Hell, even a passing college GPA takes work. Lots of work. And TT was forced to step up and actually buckle down. In other words, college took TT out of his comfort zone. To compensate, he popped more pills.

More pick-me-ups of course mean more shut-me-downs. And more fun stuff means ever more fun stuff still. Add liquor to the equation (which he did), and the weekend 8 Ball (which he also did), and, well, things become taxing. Eventually, TT had to start dealing in order to cover the costs of his habit. And the more drugs he had on hand, the bigger his habit became.

TT made it through freshman year though. Barely. But he was so shaken by the entire ordeal, that he shut himself up in his dorm room to try and recuperate. No texts, no calls, no emails. Nothing. To no one. When folks reached out to TT they received some auto-generated reply that said “I’m taking some Me time.”

That wasn’t like TT. Not even a little. But his friends and family gave him his space. After three weeks or so though, they’d all had enough of this Me time shit and showed up at his door. The banging bugged the neighbors and the neighbors brought campus security, who weren’t at all happy to learn a student had been shut away alone for three full weeks. Open up or else, came the order. TT couldn’t risk Or else.

The Secret’s Out

When TT finally opened his dorm room door the hallway exploded in silence. Nobody said one word. Not the friends. Not his family. And not the campus cops. They couldn’t speak. Because nobody recognized the kid standing before them.

The cops gave it a couple beats then took charge.

“What’s your name?” asked security.

“You know my name. Now leave me the fuck alone.”

“Are you Tyson Tyler Bellweather?”

“Yes, I am. And this is my dorm room. Now can you please leave? All of you.”

For the first time TT started scanning the other faces. His mother. His father. Three of his best friends. Even an ex-girlfriend. TT didn’t acknowledge any of them.

“Yo, bro. Are you okay?”

It was Kenneth Banner, TT’s one-time best friend. The two had a blowout argument a couple months before the semester ended. TT had accused Kenneth of meddling, an accusation Kenneth didn’t deny.

“Of course I was meddling,” he said. “I was worried about my friend.”

“Then maybe it’s better if we weren’t friends,” countered TT.

The two hadn’t spoken since.

Looking at TT now, 20 or 30 pounds thinner and pale as paste, Kenneth knew he’d been right to worry. He just didn’t know the full extent why.

Then two more campus cops showed up. These were older men; in suits rather than uniforms; with fists the size of WWE egos and arrogance to match.

“Tyson Tyler Bellweather?”

“What do you think?”

“Do you know Carlos Trinitez?”

“I don’t know, maybe. Why?”

“He says you gave him $10,000 and a quarter ounce of methamphetamine to hack into the school’s system and change your grades.”

“Does he?”



“Put on some shoes, you’re coming with us.”

TT shrugged. Gimme a minute, he said, then disappeared back into the dorm room. Tears started streaming down his mother’s face. His father’s face, in turn, clenched tight as a fist. And his friends, Kenneth and Prince and Hassan and Paula, well, they just stood there, dumbstruck. It was all clear now. Just that quick. TT had fallen into meth. That explained the disappearance, the weight loss, the anger, everything. It also explained why he tried to pay someone 10 grand to save his ass. What the fuck was he thinking?

Full Circle Recovery Story

TT was unceremoniously bounced out of William & Mary that very day. In fact, they didn’t let him leave with anything but the clothes on his back. Later he learned why. See, the campus cops were required to report the drugs to the Williamsburg Police. And the Williamsburg Police had already secured a warrant to search the dorm. They needed TT to be there though in order for it to be best served. Had he gone back to his dorm, he’d have been immediately arrested, then charged with whatever they found. The school didn’t want to risk further scandal.

Good for TT that they didn’t too, because his dorm was loaded with narcotics. Not just meth either. But enough pills to start his own pharmacy. Or his own drug dealing business. Which of course is exactly what he was doing before the three-week crash and burn.

His folks, for the most part, were understanding. He was their son. He needed saving. So… In fact, they whisked TT away without barely even batting an eye. Sure that was largely to avoid any more talk about police and arrests. But it still showed they were ready, willing and eager to help. His parents still had conditions though. One of them was that they’d cover detox and rehab only if TT would commit to a minimum of six months in a sober home. By then I think TT would’ve committed to six years!

He may just as well have. Because nearly six years later and TT is still in a sober home. No foolin.’ Why? Well, because he owns it. Yep, TT went full recovery — and then some. After his first sober year, he went and became a Licensed and Certified Social Worker. Then TT asked his folks to match his savings so he could open his own sober home. It’s not a huge place — just 10 beds — but it belongs to him. So does the recovery story, which was written so TT could help others write stories of their own.

Are you struggling with addiction? Are you ready to quit? Would you like some help? Quality help is out there, you know. Quality people too. People like TT. Who have been there and done that and are now in a place where they’ll never have to go there and do that again. It’s a happy place. Fulfilling too. And it’s only a phone call away. Whaddya say? Ready to live the Healing Properties way?

(Image: Shutterstock)

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