Over 20 Years Clean from Heroin
Over 20 years clean from heroin, and clean from every other drug since March 1st 2009. Started using drugs at the age of 13. Started using heroin at the age of 15. And from there on out the nightmare began – a life of lying, cheating and stealing cars, addicted to heroin unable to stop. For the next 5 years I would continue to use heroin and most other drugs. I tried to quit many times but failed repeatedly over and over and over again.
I tried everything; cold turkey, methadone, the clinic, medical detox, inpatient rehab, etc. But no matter what I tried I just couldn’t get myself to stop using and stay clean for good. Then came Jorgie (Georgie) Fernandez, my son, and my whole world changed. I can’t explain it in words, but being present and seeing him being born did something to me from the inside out. For the first time in my life I cried tears of joy. I felt so emotional, that it changed my heart. It made me want to change and become a good person. So from there on out I started to try harder, and harder and harder. I kept on failing, but kept on trying. I failed many times, but I never gave up, and would continue to try in spite of my failures.
Then one day the pastor from my mother’s church reached out to help me and sat down for a talk. He asked me a question, and the question was, “what was the most important thing in the world to me?” And I answered, “my son”. So he said, “then do it for him. Do it for your son”. And then something clicked. Something clicked hard. And after that, I decided to take drastic measures to quit this drug and change my life. My life was a mess, and I was always in trouble, so I decided to leave Lawtown, Lawrence Massachusetts and move to Orlando Florida to start my life all over again. And that’s exactly what I did. But it wasn’t that simple, because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to deal with reality without drugs in my life. I had no guidance – not for this. So I ended up going back and forth to Mass 3 times, relapsed, got worse, but came back to Florida once again.
I was finally able to quit heroin but continued to struggle with drugs. But finally, after more chaos, more problems, going to jail and losing my home, I finally had enough and was able to quit all drugs, stay clean and live a normal life. I had to start from the bottom and work my way up. Got my first full time, steady job, ever; got my own real apartment in a very nice area; got my G.E.D and kept working hard; bought my first home; and eventually started and sold a successful internet business.
Had 2 more children – my little boy Jesse and my Princess Jasmin and I was able to stay clean and live a normal life for 8 years. 8 long years, no drugs, no jail, no smoking, no drinking, no nothing – just a life of peace with my wife, my kids – my family. But once again, things would soon change. I would face a whole new struggle and a whole new loss. By the time I was 30, around 2002, I was living on Margarita Island, which is a beautiful, Caribbean island off the north coast of Venezuela. I had another daughter – my baby doll Venessa. By now I had 4 children, and I loved my wife and kids, but after a while, I began to struggle – not with drugs but with women, and I didn’t know what to do. I became blind to reality and lost my way, and eventually went through what is known as a “Mid-Life Crisis”.
I messed up big time, and I paid the price, lost my family, lost my wife, lost the most important things in my life. Almost immediately, I went back into drugs – not heroin, but weed, crack, coke and ecstasy which was just as bad. But after a while, I had enough. And once again, for the sake of my children, I would get back up and try again. My family went back to Florida, so I had to go after them. But for many reasons I was not able to do so. Eventually however, things would change – things would get better. But nothing would change until I started to concern myself with helping others. So in 2008 I started the website HowtoQuitHeroin.com with the thought and intent of helping addicts quit heroin and stay clean for good. And after a while things began to change. And miraculously, a door was opened, and I was able to make it to Florida with just the close on my back. I was provided a place to live in exchange for work and a vehicle as well. And once again, I had to start from the bottom and work my way up. It was hard at first and for a while as well. But eventually things got better. I was able to get back on my feet and become self-employed, self-sufficient and start my life all over again. And as of March 1st 2009 I never touched drugs again.
What helped me to quit heroin? I found a reason to do so – my son; I relocated to Orlando Florida, which is where I live now; I stopped using all drugs; I stopped being around people who used drugs; I worked a full time, steady job; my life revolved around my son, my girl and work; I started working out, going to the gym and started eating healthy as well. What helped me to quit all drugs? My kids – I did it for my kids!
What helps me to stay clean? Having structure in my life; a place to live and prepare my meals; having a routine for working and making a living; and having goals to accomplish as well. I stay away from all the wrong places; I don’t use any type of drugs at all; I don’t hang around people who use drugs, (unless they want to quit); and helping others quit heroin helps me to remain clean as well.
Learned a lot of hard lessons in life, the hard way. But most importantly, I learned to be honest, and never to lie, cheat or steal no matter what, and to be loyal and faithful to everyone in my life. I learned to be humble and never to think too highly of myself lest I fall and return back to my old ways. I learned to treat everyone with kindness and respect and to show compassion to those less fortunate than me. I learned to help others every chance I get and to put the needs of others before my own. I’ve learned to apologize when I’ve done wrong and to change and make things right as best as I can. I learned that as long as we’re trying to do the right thing in every area of our lives then things can begin to change. We may have to reap a little from our past, but eventually things can begin to change.
On October 9, 2014 I lost my son Jorgie (Georgie) Fernandez to cancer, which is a horrible disease. It left me feeling dead, numb and confused, because I never thought I’d lose him. But I didn’t go out and use drugs to cope with it. It’s been over a year now. I try not to think about it and what he went through, but I won’t go out and use. Haven’t seen my other 3 children in a long, long time. That’s just the way it is, nothing I can do. But I won’t go out and use. Been through a lot of stuff over the last few years, but I won’t go out and use. I have no interest in drugs. I don’t want to use drugs. It’s not who I am anymore and it’s not who I want to be. I just want to become a better person in every area of my life and help anyone else who comes my way.
I did a lot of wrong in my life. Made a lot of mistakes. And I’m ashamed and very sorry for a the things that I’ve done, especially to my family, and I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. But I don’t do those things anymore. And the only thing I can do now is to fly straight, learn from my mistakes and help others not to make the same mistakes that I made.
Moral of the story: No matter what you’ve been through or whatever struggles you’re going through now; no matter how many mistakes you’ve made in the past, no matter how many times you’ve tried and failed you can still get back up and try again, and keep on trying until you get to where you need to be. “Fall down 7 times get back up 8”. No matter how bad we’ve messed up in our lives we can still try to change, not just to quit drugs, but to become better people and help others to better their lives as well. Big things coming, for me and for anyone who wants to be a part of my life. Everything happens for a reason.
Over 20 years clean from heroin, and over 8 years clean from everything else including, coke, crack, weed, ecstasy, xanax, cigarettes and alcohol. And God help me, I will never touch drugs again. And if a person like me can quit heroin, stay clean and turn my life around, then believe me, anyone can. We can’t change the past but we can sure begin to change the future. Do whatever it takes to get clean and stay clean for good. And don’t be afraid to reach out for help. And if you don’t use drugs then don’t be afraid to help those who do. I hope nothing but the best for all of you. And may only good things and good people come your way.
Jorge (George) Fernandez
Contributor: Jorge Fernandez