Why I left

I’m sure some of the people that once visited this blog concluded I relapsed since it’s been such a long time since I’ve written. That’s what I would think. The truth is, I’ve been opiate free since June 13, 2012. There are however, several reasons I stayed away.

Reason 1: Embarrassment. I was a little embarrassed about how crazy some of my posts were during my detox.

Reason 2: Exhaustion. Put simply, I was tired of writing. I wrote so much through my detox that for a while, I didn’t want to write a sentence.

Reason 3: Focused. I was focused on living my life drug free. There is a reason many couples crash when one gets clean. I had to focus on that because I nearly lost my family after getting sober.

These are three very short reasons, but in reality they are quite complicated. I will try in the coming weeks/months to get more in depth with each. No promises though. I think I have some valuable
“after the fact” info to pass on, but I’m not completely sure I want to.

One thing I will pass on now is that I have not used any AA/NA programs to get where I am. I agree with their belief of passing on what I have learned about detox, but that is just about where my agreement with them ends. Anyone that has read this blog knows that I will never call myself an addict, I don’t give a shit about remaining anonymous and I have never been powerless against my former drug of choice.


Today is 170 days I’ve been off methadone. I have virtually no physical symptoms of detox left nagging me. I won’t lie though, everything is not okay. That may seem surprising, but is it really? I don’t think so. Nobody being honest says life is always easy. There will always be problems. The good is that I now have the strength and fortitude to face the problems instead of cover them under a methadone blanket.

One of these problems can be getting to re-know others. I am not the same person I was on methadone; not even a little. I am a brand new person, and while that is great for me, it leaves some asking, “who the fuck is that?” What I mean is this: If I met someone while I was on opiates, they never really knew me. I never really knew them either. Who’s fault is it? Doesn’t matter because it’s still a problem needing to be dealt with.

I am dealing with the problem. but the outcome as yet, is uncertain. No matter what, I can still live in peace because I know nothing will be masked or buried. Problems will be solved, and I will be happy through it all. Funny how I once thought the pink liquid was all I needed to be happy. Makes me laugh now. Real life baby! That’s as high as I’ll ever need to be. So thankful to be where I am- truly!

My name is…

The day I decided to quit methadone at 12.5mgs, I called my wife. The first thing I said was, “It’s over”. My voice was cracking and she didn’t know what in the hell I was talking about. At the time, I couldn’t believe she didn’t know what I was saying. I hung up the phone and felt as if there should have been extreme excitement on her part. Hell, I thought she should have had fireworks planned to celebrate. Not the cheap Florida fireworks either, the true ones from South Carolina that go “BANG!”

It took me several months to get back to the point of knowing what I did, I did for me. I quit methadone because it is a God given gift, whenever we choose, to put addiction on its back. I celebrate largely alone because those who haven’t experienced detox don’t know. They can’t know I’m stronger because of it. It has made me and defined everything I’ve always wanted to be as a human. I wear it now because I’m not ashamed. I’m not anonymous because I am everyone. My name is Aashton, and I am not an addict!


I’ve been thinking the past few days about how awful living was a year ago. I was addicted to sweets as much as methadone. I was also addicted to unfeeling and unhappiness. No matter what I did, it was not going to abate- not while I was on methadone. I would’ve never admitted it though. It’s amazing how proud I could be while nurturing a self esteem so low.

Many times ex-addicts say he/she couldn’t look in the mirror, but unless you have personal experience, it’s probably a cliche’. There were of course times when mirrors couldn’t be avoided, but even then I made no eye contact with self. This was so unlike me. Maybe I’m a little vain, but if there was one thing I always fell back on, it was my reflection. Methadone stripped it from me while I wasn’t looking.

The good news for me- I’m making eye contact again, and there are a few things I notice. Foremost, I love what I see. I am older, but there’s no grey yet. Actually that’s not completely true, but you’d have to get really close to see ’em. My skin is smooth with color again. My neck is strong and holding my head high. Surprisingly, I noticed my green eyes have turned blue. Maybe this is a common thing, but I don’t know how I feel about it. I liked my green eyes dammit. Can’t have it all I guess.


I was about to head out for a morning workout and decided I was too sore. I think I will write instead. It’s something I’ve avoided since quitting methadone; almost to the point of wondering if I’d ever feel like writing again. I just couldn’t get inspired and was very depressed. I felt it was supposed to pass, but silently wondered if it would.  I couldn’t force myself to visit the blog. Really weird considering the amount of time I spent here during my detox.

I’m 47 days clean now and I have a few things to say, but most will have to wait. Even though I’m sore, I’ve decided to go do cardio. This is the difference in my life now. Commitments have value again, and I love the new me. Trust me this time- I won’t be gone long. I have much to say.

Until then- fuck you Colonial Management Group. I’m free now! I can fly wide as I wish, and I don’t have to ask your counselors for permission. All I have to do is walk out my front door and take off. You hate it don’t you? It’s sad to say, but I believe you do. I got a story to tell.


I’m proud

I think I’m waking up after a long nightmare. There’s been a tropical storm overhead for almost a week now. The sky has been looking just like I have been feeling- dreary. Well, the sun burned through the clouds today. It’s fitting because my life is burning through the muck as well.

There was much life outside today, and I’m part of it again. It’s been so long. I’m not chained to a damn thing anymore. Yeah, I got two middle fingers in the air facing north to the clinic- always will. But what I am most now, is proud.

I’m proud I’m alive. I’m proud I’m an American.  I’m proud I have my wife and kids. I’m proud I feel love when I say it. I’m proud I endured every second of detox because it is so damn worth it. Methadone may be needed for some, but it ain’t got a thing on the emotion in my heart now. Told you I’d be home soon Mamma- I’m really home!

Need for Clarity

Several people, after my “ismelltherain” post on Thursday weren’t clear on what I did so I wanted to clarify. I am going to go day by day and explain exactly how I did, what I did. When I wrote the post on Thursday I was exhausted from 2 days w/out methadone so that probably added to the confusion.

Wednesday morning I woke up with the feeling my body was telling me it was time to quit methadone altogether. I had one bottle left from my weekly doses so I refrained from taking it. I was very nervous, but felt it was the right decision.

I went to work and pushed myself physically all day. I made up eight bottles of Zephyr Hills water with a (restaurant) packet of salt mixed in each. I set out weed eating all day. My boss knew what I was doing so he let me work however I wanted. My day went: drink, work, drink, sweat, drink, pee, drink, work, drink, sweat, drink, pee…

Wednesday evening I was exhausted. Although I took it very easy, I only slept 2 hours that night. I woke for good at 2:30am and watched tv until 6:00am. I had been telling myself that I was going to call in to work all night. However, when time came, my body again said “get up and get to work”.

I rode a bicycle to work. I again made waters, but instead of weed eating, I pressure washed most of the day. By 3:30pm I was waxed and my boss told me to go home. I obliged and rode the bike home. I can now say I never missed a day of work due to methadone detox.

When I got home I was extremely exhausted. I was also exhilarated because I knew I felt better Thursday afternoon then I did that morning. I sat down and wrote “ismelltherain”. Once I was done, I went to bed and didn’t sleep a bit all night. I now know what restless leg syndrome feels like.

Friday we went to Jeckyl Island for the weekend. I did take my remaining methadone bottle with us, but never had to use it. I was able to get 6 hrs sleep both Friday and Saturday night. As a result, I am feeling much better today, but not yet normal.

I will finish out my detox blog later.


I’ve thought many times about this post. At one time I thought I wouldn’t post now, and just wait, but waiting isn’t in my vocabulary at the moment. I quit methadone at 12.5mgs on Wed. It has now been 2.5 days since I’ve had any medicine whatsoever. I have very little energy, but the thing that is driving me now, is the same thing I cursed earlier in this blog.

When I started writing this blog, I thought I had everything figured out. I was on the right path, but a few people were placed with me and each knows who they are. They are the ones I have communicated with through this detox. I call them my friends and each gave me a piece of what I needed to get here. Thank you!

The piece of advice I was given that meant the most was “listen to your body”. Mine told me methadone was killing me. If methadone tells you, it’s the better option- only you know you. However, if you find like I did, I left you a road map to a way out. Just look here and you will know that you are not alone.

Addiction gene or not, God gave each and every one of us the ability to walk away from addiction. I do not believe we were meant to say we were powerless, because that is not the truth. The truth is we are damn powerful when we realize it. Nobody will ever tell me different. This post I want to be for Ivy- my friend.

To Ivy: You just be you girl, and don’t apologize to any sum bitch for you. You’re beautiful, and all I’ve seen is your heart.

Aashton Hodge


Florida law

I started pulling 2.5mgs from my dose bottle yesterday. I’m now at 12.5mgs/day, and feeling terrible again, but I think I realize something. Once I go down, I feel like total shit for the next few days. Not so much the physical, although it is bad. I’m referring more to the mental aspect, and I think this blog proves what happens.

After decreasing, I go into a terrible depression. I cry, I bitch, I hurt- literally- all that, every time. After a few days I start feeling better. I’m so happy because I remember I’m smelling again. It’s like a manic depression type of thing. I honestly question my sanity sometimes. Then I think back over the cycle and get really pissed off.

I’m pissed because I should not have to question my sanity. I have had no counseling, extra or otherwise, to prepare me for these crazy emotions and everything in between. In fact, during this detox, I spent the longest time in 5 years without a counselor when I requested a “change of counselor” because mine blatantly lied to me on several occasions.

I’m also pissed because I think the clinic decided the lesser of two evils was to interrupt my detox at a very critical time. I had been decreasing every two weeks for quite some time (9months maybe) when I went in set to decrease one week. They prevented from doing so. It was the clinic’s attempt to get in order because doses are not supposed to be adjusted (increase or decrease), per Florida state law, without prior signature of a physician.

Would that have bothered me in the end? Nope. The physician not signing my script beforehand would have never mattered to me. I actually admired my being able to go in every 2 weeks and request a decrease and the nurses grant it. Alas, all good things must end, and Florida laws eventually followed, but to what end? The interruption of a detox schedule I had to create and implement myself without the guidance of my Physician.

That pesky detox schedule that was consequently supposed to, by Florida law, have been prepared with me by my Physician and Counselor. It’s done this way to give me (the patient) maximum control over my detox process. It can be adjusted of course, but again, that would have to be in meeting with the Physician; the Physician whom it happens I HAVE NEVER MET!

All this and more when all I needed was a Physician’s assistance and Counselor’s reassurance (counseling). I wouldn’t have needed the assistance as much as that reassurance- I would have taken that. Oh yes I would have, and I would have had many questions. I would have listened too, and that’s what sucks about it. I wrote a post yesterday about truth, and I think it would have helped in my detox.

What is the truth? Methadone is a monster to withdrawal from, but it has been done. I can do it. Throughout withdrawal from methadone, there are times of extreme pain as well as extreme happiness. These extremes can make one question sanity. It will pass. Don’t focus on either because life lies in the middle.

Is that so fucking hard?

I think it worth quickly noting- what I have written is no secret. It’s sad, but my family and others around me know it. I’m hoping I don’t get into some crazy car accident and they have to pursue this.


My Dad tried teaching me years ago about the importance of truth, but I failed to see it. It’s not a big surprise because I wasn’t ever looking for it. If I had been, I would have realized, the simple truth in many situations is all I needed to right a thing.

My Grandmother is one of my ultimate heroes. I think back now over the many lies I told her throughout my addiction to opiates. It’s hard to accept it, but if I’d just been honest, I would have saved her a lot of pain. She always knew something wasn’t right when I would go to her for money, but I continued to lie.

What if I’d just come out and said “I’m hooked on drugs, and I needed to have it to keep from being sick”? It would have been the truth, and I could have proven it quickly if I’d hung around for about 6 hours. Still I lied; I lied to everyone about everything when I needed a fix. I left a path of destruction inside my loved ones, and it was one of the worst of all things I did while using drugs.

I wholeheartedly believe my Grandma would have still given me money, but she would have known exactly what it was for. Instead she had to wonder, and eventually come to realize I had lied. That must have been very hard for her. Not only did she know I had lied, but she had to wonder why I would cheat her. I know for a fact, she beat herself up over and over about it.

This is one of the big reasons I think it’s ridiculous to say  we should go around apologizing to those we have lied to and hurt. They have heard our words and frankly, they are sick of them. My grandma is sick of them. All she wants now is to see results. Results of not using will be the only thing that will make her a believer anyway. So far, I know she’s happy with what she sees.