1) Greg's Intro: "My name is Gregory Joseph Holman. I am 29 years old and live in Fishers, Indiana. I am the second oldest of six. Now, I know you may think this is where I start off talking about my rough and challenging childhood that shaped and molded me into a manipulative heroin addict, thief and liar; but that wouldn’t be the truth. My childhood was actually quite the opposite."
2) Tell us more about your childhood: "My childhood was filled with countless remarkable memories. From trips to Disney World to travel soccer road trips with my mom, life couldn’t have been any better. My parents showed boundless love and compassion for each one of my brothers and sisters. We were a very close-knit family! It was like that my whole childhood. My parents raised me in the faith and showed me what it was to be a loving and compassionate individual. I am grateful today for the overflowing love they have always shown me. Even though I had a loving and supportive family, there was a darkness inside of me that finally reared its ugly head freshman year of high school."
3) Paint us your picture of Freshman year: "Even though I was really excited for freshman year, my anxiety was more overwhelming and began to control how I felt and thought. Now dealing with this personal issue, I decided to try out for the soccer team. Playing sports and working out had always a great outlet for me to burn off any anxiety or self-depreciation I thought about myself. Even though I continued to play soccer all 4 years of high school, it wasn’t enough to overcome what I was feeling inside. The progression of drug use in high school took off quickly, wasting no time."
4) There are many steps to one's fall, which was your first? "By mid-point of freshmen year, I was introduced to Vicodin. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. When the effect of Vicodin took its full effect, I was completely satisfied in a way that can’t fully be put into words. I felt home. I felt complete. It made me the “man” I always wanted to be and how other perceived me to be confident, outgoing, great with the ladies, and whatever stigma comes with being a jock. My anxiety vanished, and it was like a veil was taken off my eyes. It truly was better than any feeling or joy I had ever experienced up to that point. Now, I say this was the turning point in my life because how I perceived it; both physically and mentally.
5) So now that the gateway was open, what came next? "This drug opened up a door that couldn’t be shut. Eventually, the 20-30 Vicodin a day wouldn’t satisfy, which lead to Percocet. When that didn’t satisfy, it lead to oxytocin and smoking fentanyl patches. By the time senior year came around, I was a full-blown undercover drug user that barely graduated high school. The progression of drug use should have set an alarm off in my head saying that something was wrong. And in all honesty, it probably was; but the fear of not being in control of my anxiety and depression was strong enough to keep me using. The progression of being physically and mentally addicted had taken its course and I was completely blind to it."
6) Did your usage of those substances take a toll on you financially? "When OxyContin and fentanyl became too expensive because of my tolerance, I was introduced to a lot cheaper, and more potent and quicker high. I was introduced to heroin. It was cheaper and you got more for your money compared to the hundreds of dollars a day I was spending just to get by and feel “normal”. The next decade of my life was filled with hurt, pain and darkness."
7) Give us a window into the decade that followed. "The next ten years of my life where a complete living hell. They were filled with death, despair, and hopelessness. Hope had turned into an unknown word and foreign word to me. Heroin takes everything you love and brutally kills it slowly, right in front of you. And there is nothing you can do about it.
- continued thoughts: My short on and off college stints never lasted, jobs never lasted, and all relationships with people fell apart. The drugs had already taken a toll on my life, but I still did not want to accept who I was and what I had become…. everything I was raised not to be. Now I find this part of my story to be the most important, because it’s what most people in bondage have to face and potentially go through: hopelessness, depression, anxiety, bondage. Then this leads to manipulation, lying, stealing, robbery, jail and potentially death."
8) Would you consider addiction the enemy of hope? "Having hope is such an important aspect of recovery and long term sobriety. But when I became addicted to heroin, it became a foreign word and feeling. Once I fully gave up hope on ever coming out of my heroin addiction, became very angry and depressed. I started living in complete bondage and slavery to Heroin. Once I gave up that last sliver of hope, the full bondage began."
9) Take us for the ride. You are being the passenger with hopelessness at the wheel. "The first couple of years, I would have considered myself a functioning addict. Now I say I “considered” myself to be during that moment but looking back on it I couldn’t keep a job and the progression of my tolerance started taking a toll on my financial stability; which kept me using without the thought of actually having to hustle money to get it. Once the finances were finally drained, that’s when I really knew and realized how much I was using and how badly I was addicted to it. By then it was too late. This span of my ten-year heroin addiction led to many rehabs, hurting family, stealing, jail, and death. It controls every aspect of your life, basically holding a gun to your head telling you what to do."
10) The phrase "Gun to your head" is most likened to the loss of control. Is there any 1 aspect you'd wished you had control over? "Hurting my family. I can say this sentence again and again. It brings tears to my eyes. Putting my family though this ordeal for over a decade has put emotional, physical, and financial strain on my parents’ lives. Once I could not support my drug habit, it lead to manipulation of family and friends. If that didn’t work, it lead to stealing all their possessions just so I could get high. I absolutely hated stealing everything that was worth value to my parents, brothers and sisters. Eventually I got kicked out of my house. They didn’t have anything left. Then one night when I was out away from my family covered in guilt and shame from everything I had stolen that day, I received bold, sharp-cutting messages saying how I was a piece of crap and I don’t belong in this family…to never come back…. leave us alone. That’s when reality hit me right in the gut, and I was done."
11) When people have hit the bottom, they have 2 choices, life or death... What was your choice? "I decided I was going to take my life. I was tired of hurting them each day. I never wanted to, but I didn’t have control of anything I was doing. Heroin physically and mentally ruled over my life. Usually when someone has a gun to your head, you do what they tell you to do. Later that night, I gathered as much heroin as I could and rented a hotel room in the Fishers area. I did not want to be found in some crappy motel downtown in the rough parts. I wanted to be found close to home, the place I cried about almost every day, because I missed how things used to be. I terribly missed my family; I missed their smiles; I missed their hugs; I missed joking around; basically, I missed the connection we all once had. I really took all that into consideration because I wanted my family to have that all back. I was the one item in that equation that cancelled out all their happiness and joy. So, why not take me out of it so they could experience that again? I wrote a heart filled letter completely apologizing for all the wrong and harm I caused them. Opened about how much I missed them and how I hated seeing everyone suffer from my poor choice of actions. Last, I talked about all the good times we used to have, certain situations from my childhood we all remembered and laughed about. As I am typing this, I have tears coming to my eyes because it cuts so deep into my heart. It’s so hard to explain the true, raw emotion that someone experiences in this situation. But I made my choice, and I was sticking to it. That night I did 3 grams of heroin. I knew once I passed out from injecting too much, all the pain I had inside and had caused would stop. My mind would finally be quiet. Moments before I started fading out, I cried out to God asking for his forgiveness for all the harm I had caused to everyone that loved me. I asked Jesus back into my heart. I was scared. I didn’t know what was coming next. All I knew was that I was ready for peace. I can say today my prayer to God saved my life. He moved in that room that night. God decided it wasn’t my time. He had a plan and purpose for my life. He wasn’t ready for me to die yet. That morning, a maid was cleaning on the floor I was staying at. She was supposed to clean the room next to me, but accidently opened my door. She found me non-responsive. Blue and cold as polar ice. No pulse. My arm still tied up with the needle in my arm. All I remember is waking up on the bed with pads stuck to my chest. Now I know what happened because occasionally to this day, I still go see her and thank her for saving my life. I really believe that once I prayed that prayer, God made the proper provisions for her to find me."
12) Was being on the edge of death the catalyst for your climb back up? "I wish this could be the point where I say that what happened that night completely changed my life, and everything was uphill from there. Instead, after they revived me, I went back out and got high again. Now I say this with boldness and power. I really want to emphasize the true strength and grip heroin had not only on my life, but still on the suffering addict today. People do not realize the true power this substance has over your life."
- Notes: To this point I was only using for 4 years. The following attached page I listed lists the rest of my consequences and actions of my heroin addiction. I really wanted to show the true affect that it has on somebody and that people can see that this opiate epidemic is something that needs to be brought to the public.
End of questions - - -
Quote - "When our stagger uphill is the start of the tumble back down and our path of hope has run out of road, the only way up and over is on the wings of Angels"
Coming to Emerald Neuro-Recover
I was very skeptical about this program. I had never heard about it before; but from the research I did about it, it seemed to be very promising. When I first arrived there, the staff was very welcoming and there was no judgement looked upon me for my past. It was a nice relief. I have been to some places where they look at your past and history with rehabilitation centers and they think they know something about me based on that.
The NAD process was LIFE CHANGING! It helped with the major issues that would surface after being sober and getting all the chemicals out of my body. For me, it was my anxiety and depression that always lead me back to relapsing. By the end of the full ten days, I felt completely transformed as a person!! My anxiety and depression are minimal to non-existent!! I have clear thinking! I do not crave or even think about using Heroin! I can really say that I feel how I felt before I started using. Now I wake up happy and motivated to live life to the fullest! I am ready to give back and help anyone that is still suffering in the bondage of addiction.