My name is Judy, and I am a twenty-five-year-old, single mother from North Carolina. I grew up in what I would call a typical American home. We attended church occasionally, and my concept of pleasing others and pleasing God was always based on my performance. I had a relatively uneventful junior high and high school education. I went to college and received my R.N. degree. Soon after college, I met a man that I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. We did get married and soon had a baby boy. But, soon after, he left for another woman. This left me all alone with a son less than a year old. The pain that I felt inside was unbearable. The loneliness was intense. I felt that the failure in our marriage was because of me. Over the next few years this pain, rejection, and loneliness began to build in my life.
I soon met another man at the church; a godly man who was very involved in the things of God. We ultimately got married. Everything seemed to be going wonderfully but I was still haunted by that pain, loneliness, and rejection deep in my soul.
One day while I was at the hospital passing medications out to my patients, a patient of mine refused to take her pain medicine, which was an opioid called Vicoden.®™ As I went back to the medication dispensing area, I saw, still in my hand, that opioid. Obviously, I was supposed to put it back into the proper drawer for future use by the patient, but at that moment I had a fleeting thought of what this opioid would make me feel like. Therefore, I went to the bathroom and took the Vicoden. About twenty to thirty minutes later, I felt a magical feeling. For the next several hours I literally forgot about that inward pain, loneliness, and rejection, which was something I was unable to do for several years. As the medicine wore off, my mind started to think, “How can I get more!” This was the beginning of a downward cycle of addiction to the prescription drug called Vicoden.
Over the next several years, I would divert patients’ prescription drugs and use them myself. I also befriended several doctors in the hospital, and I would ask them to write me a prescription for Vicoden. I would tell them that I had a headache, I hurt my knee or sprained my ankle. If I persisted enough, I would eventually get a prescription from one of them.
I started to drop off working with my husband at the church. I began to isolate myself from my husband and son, both of whom I loved very much. My usage got more and more intense. One day, while at work and after taking several Vicoden, my supervisor approached me. She told me that she thought I was acting somewhat different. I immediately rejected this accusation. But, I was forced to give a urine drug screen, which obviously showed positive for opiates. I was then confronted by my supervisor, and I came clean in front of her. Now that my addiction was exposed, my job was on the line. I feared what my family would think as well as my church family. My work demanded that I go to a secular in-patient program for two weeks in order to keep my job. I went and spent two weeks in that program. During the two weeks of separation from my family and church family, I had much time to reflect on what I had done and where I had taken my life.
During my inpatient stay, my pastor had visited on several different occasions. We started to discuss why I needed the help. I was able, finally, to discuss with him the pain, loneliness, and rejection that I felt deep in my soul from my previous divorce. I truly believe that was the starting of my healing process. That was the beginning of my walk of freedom in Christ. My pastor brought up that once I was released from the inpatient program, I should get involved in the RU Recovery Program at our church. All during my addiction to opioids, I never really acknowledged that we had such a program at our church. When my pastor brought it up, it was like a light bulb going off in my mind. After leaving the inpatient program, I wholeheartedly jumped into the RU program. Through this program, I have learned to give my pain, loneliness, and rejection to my wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ve learned that He loves me and accepts me no matter what. I can’t tell you the immense freedom I now have in Jesus. I have worked through the RU curriculum, and I daily journal, which has been such a tremendous help in my life. Now, I can tell you that when I have any pain, loneliness, or rejection in my life, I don’t turn to drugs. I turn to my wonderful Savior and Friend – JESUS! He takes that loneliness, pain, and rejection away and gives me that peace that is so satisfying. My husband, I, and our son are now back working in the ministry of our church and reaching out to the children in our community through the bus ministry. Also, we are reaching out to those addicted in our local community through our local meeting of RU Recovery Program. I want to thank God for giving me victory over opioids!