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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Interview with the Junky's Wife

I had the opportunity to interview The Junky's Wife a couple of days ago and I wanted to share it with everyone.

Her and her husband had gone to the county detox to get him some help. Below is a snippet from her blog. The interview follows her writing. Those of you not addicted to a substance, keep this in mind; it is a monumental event when an addict seeks help. It may seem simple or sensible to you, but, let me assure you, that it is neither simple nor sensible to the addict. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to reach that point and then be turned away:

She handed him his discharge papers, and then she said, "I'm sorry, but we're not going to be able to help you. They can't take you at the county detox unless you get your methadone dose down to 30 milligrams. We recommend you go back to the methadone clinic and wean down according to their plan."

And that was further suggestions for other resources. No attempts to help him with his suicidal threats. He began to cry, and he asked, "Is that it? There's nothing else? Nobody can help me? What if I kill myself? Can somebody help me with that?"

Now my interview with the wonderful blogger and amazing human being, The Junky's Wife. I'm grateful for the time she took to answer my questions.

Johnny: What was going through your mind when you were escorted from the place that should have been giving your family help?

The Junky's Wife: It was terrifying. For the first time, my husband was seeking help on his own...he's been places before to try to get help at my insistence, but this was the first time he'd really looked for himself. I'd hoped that his initiating the work would do the trick, and it was really upsetting to watch him treated like human trash. The doctors basically saw an uninsured, penniless addict, and the message they gave him was, "Go away and die, junky."

He went to two emergency rooms saying he felt like he was going to kill himself and that he needed help getting off drugs, and both places sent him away...I had hoped that it wasn't possible for these kinds of things to happen to people who wanted help, and I don't know if I would have believed it if I hadn't been there.

Johnny: If I were to '12 Step' your husband, what do you think the best approach would be?

The Junky's Wife: Respect that he's not got an option about his methadone maintenance. He's struggled around 12 step meetings because people have told him he's not clean if he's taking methadone and that he shouldn't be talking in meetings. He can't get off it at his dose, and he's not got any options other than to wean down according to his clinic's plan. He wants to be clean, and from what I understand, a desire to be clean is the only requirement for joining Narcotics Anonymous. He can't stay clean on his own, and N.A. shuns's a situation a lot of heroin addicts who go the methadone route face, and it's a shame.

Rehab isn't an option in our state if you don't have money or health insurance and you need methadone. People at the methadone clinic don't tell you the whole story, and you don't find it out for yourself until you're too hooked on methadone to get off. My husband needs the support of a sponsor and the experience, strength, and hope of other addicts to be able to make it, and so far, he's not been able to find it. A little kindness and understanding and respect for the decisions he's made would go a long way.

Johnny: How will your writing change, if at all, WHEN your husband gets clean?

The Junky's Wife: I see my blog and its sister site The Junkies' Wives Club as part of my 12th step work. I am a writer by profession and by vocation, so I will never stop writing, and I don't foresee a time when my writing won't be a part of my recovery. I think I'd been in Nar-Anon for about a week when I started my blog, and it's become a real critical part of my journey. Sharing my story is part of my 12th step work...

I've also found it kind of interesting to watch the blog change as my focus has left my husband. At first, all I wrote about was him. I think I write a lot more about me now, and I expect the focus to continue to get clearer and clearer around my recovery and my issues.

Thanks again to the Junky's Wife, my prayers are with you and your husband. Everyone stay strong and help someone else out today.


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1 comment:

coffeyhouse1 said...

Hey Johnny ~ Great topic! This is something that touches a lot of individuals but it not widely covered. I would love to hear a part two that would provide direction to those that are experiencing this. You have raised the issue, do you have a direction to point those are looking for an answer?