Sobriety, Treatment and Family Healing

My name is Joe and I am an alcoholic and addict. I had my first drink at 15. I had the dream childhood. Two great parents and a great sister. A nice house in a good neighborhood. A big lawn to play in. Great neighbors. I played sports – was not too bad. I had alot of friends growing up. Good – lifelong friends. My father worked hard, very. He proudly served 6 years in the Navy. He was, I heard not bad at football too. We all have heroes. I have only ever had one.. My father. Mom was always there for me. She drove me and friends to and from sporting events., etc. She kept a beautiful home. She took a lot of pride in our home. She worked very hard, too hard. Grammy came to live with us for her I don’t know, later years. She was great. She lived a long life. I remember her 90th birthday party at our house. The ENTIRE family showed. What a great time. Family is important. I had my first cigarette at 15 and I was hooked almost immediately. I was buying packs within months – along with the crew. I hid them well. I was very good at sneaking shit. 1st drink soon followed. By the age of 16 my 1st experience with the law, I received a underage drinking. By 17 weekend drinking wasn’t enough. Wasted Wednesday, thirsty Thursdays,… At 17, on my parents 30th anniversary no less, I was arrested at an underage bar in the “badlands” of Philadelphia. And as we know at 17 you have to be released to a parent, so guess who had to drive to the released to a parent, so guess who had to drive to the city of Philadelphia in the midnight hour?

By 18 wasted almost daily. Senior week I was arrested numerous times in a week. At the age of 18 I lost my best friend. Jesse Silvano. It killed me – it kills me – I’m not over it. I have not seen his mother in 20yrs. However the hell do explain yourself? It hurts inside and out. I was with him the night he drove home – – – God kept me out of the car. He was killed instantly in a car accident. I still hurt – bad! I need to see his mom. I’m getting there – I am asking God for the strength. I remember the was the casket felt on my fingertips… The leather on the Hurst. Like it was yesterday… I remember not being able to see through the tears. The literally hundreds of people. I remember seeing officer’s directing traffic. I remember the flower I placed on his casket. I remember his fraternity brothers forming a heart. God guide me – give me strength. My life went further downhill. 18 years old getting into bars and clubs. 19 DUI. 20 years old arrested and charged with numerous offensives at a concert in Philadelphia. 5 felonies and 16 misdemeanors. All this trouble, bailed out. That one was expensive.

My 1st cocaine experience was around 30… BOOM – I was hooked. I can tell you that it begins easy and ends badly. I began suicide attempts, I began to cut. I began to doctor shop for opiates. One Dr. Prescribed fentanyl patches. So I ended up with 16 100mg patches all over my ass. Literally. Ending up with with a minimum over my ass. Literally. Ending up with with a minimum of 50 percocet a day habit for 3 years. Numerous psych wards and rehabilitation centers(about 100) Crack… Oh crack. I was off to the races. It wasn’t long until total chaos – total madness. It was fuck everyone but me. I lied, stole and cheated. I stole every diamond in the house. Every pearl, every piece of silver. Anything of value I stole to support my habit. I have poor health. I’ve had my gal Bladder removed, appendix out, 4 L5/S1 discectomy, rebuilt shoulder, 1 lymph node removed in groin, 4 inguinal hernias, cancerous right kidney removed, and a titanium plate put on C6-C7 in my neck. Countless dental surgeries… Hence the opiates. The best way to convey the truth about drugs is through the words of those who “been there”. By telling the stories, they can pass on what they have learned so others avoid going down the same path. My goal in life wasn’t living it was getting high. I was falling in a downward spiral towards a point of no return. Under the false belief that it would make escape my problems. It just made things worse. I felt so empty inside. There were even moments when I was ready to give up on life. I would mix cocktails of all sorts of drugs and even overdosing to make the rushes last longer. I took copious amounts of these chemicals every day. I prayed and cried for this feeling to go away. I had voices in my head, I had the shakes and couldn’t leave home for six months. I began very withdrawn. I asked myself, “is this rock I began very withdrawn. I asked myself, “is this rock bottom? – I didn’t know my rock bottom had a F&$#@ing basement” I’ve been clean since September 20th, 2010. I live a new, different life now. I have family and friends and was blessed with a beautiful niece who melts my heart.


Contributor: Joseph Rowe
IG: Josephrrowe225

7 thoughts on “Sobriety, Treatment and Family Healing”

  1. Joe,
    Your vulnerability is astounding. It’s so brave to share your story. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    I’m so thrilled you have family and friends that love and support your sobriety.

    A little reminder:
    S- start with self-care
    O- open your heart
    B- be the person you were meant to be
    E- eliminate fear
    R- receive a new life

    Rock on!

    1. Sheri – ty first of all for reading this. It was not a good easy thing to write. But if just one person sees it and gets 1 lil thing out of it… It’s worth it. I’m always available on Facebook or ig ODAAT,

  2. So proud of you Joe! I’m thankful you turned your life around and I know this “YOU”! You are a great friend and support system! Every day you are stronger and with each person you have helped, myself included, dealing with their own problems or that of someone they care about!

  3. Joe, you were a scrambled mess when I met you; hip, slick and cool. I could sense that the person you really were was still intact deep inside, I could catch a glimpse of him from time to time when your guard would drop. We sure have some history together, don’t we? I am glad that you have continued your life in recovery. You have been in my thoughts and prayers during all the years since we met. Stay on course and keep sharing your life with those you love. It will continue to get better. And, remember the only advice I ever offered you; “Don’t get cocky.” Love you, friend.

    1. Mr. Jones – I apologize I just saw this – u we and are a big reason for my success so to speak. Ty sir. We had a few ruff times – I know I’m not easy to deal with. 😉 you stuck with me and kept the faith and continued to support me.

  4. So very proud to call you family!!! Your story brought tears to my eyes as I have a brother who was/is addicted to heroine. I haven’t spoken to him in almost 2 years & it kills me everyday. We were very close most of our lives until his best friend became drugs!!! I didn’t know you then but have had the pleasure to join the family over 4 years ago. I’m glad I met you & as I have already said even “Prouder to call you Family!!!

  5. Way to carry the message. An incredible journey to live to tell about! Life hands us a lot of challenges!

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