To Hell and Back- Recovery

Niki Fontaine

From a very early age I had to teach myself how to cope, and “my ways” were of course all the wrong ways. I was robbed of my innocence at 9 years old when my uncle started molesting me and it went on for years, as I suffered in silence, completely alone, and very confused. I continued to face abuse, of all kinds, throughout my childhood and most of my teens, so I found an escape in “cutting” and then in drugs and alcohol. For such a long time I was perfectly “fine” living life and drinking and drugging daily, with little to no repercussions. I convinced myself that I was just like the rest of the kids my age and as long as I continued to get good grades, excel in sports, and head to college, then nothing was wrong with me, but that all changed the day I found opiates.

Even after a couple of overdoses, the loss of my friends and family, and my dreams seeming to vanish, I still couldn’t regain control of my life and put the drugs down.

For over a decade I struggled to overcome my addiction, going in and out of treatment centers and jails, like an endless revolving door, with no signs of improvement. Nothing seemed to be a large enough motivation for me to suppress the disease, not even fame and fortune. I was given an opportunity to go to LA and be on a VH1 show and I shot heroin all the way up until the day I flew out and I relapsed again shortly after getting back. I wasn’t sure that I could ever get clean & sober at this point. I would get 3 months, 6 months, sometimes even 9 months clean, and put all of my energy into my music, attempting to make up for all the lost time. The problem was, I never put any energy, or very little, into my recovery, or fixing any underlying problems. Eventually I’d convince myself that enough time had passed and it would be different this time. I’d tell myself, “I can do it just once,” but just like that saying, “One is too many, and a thousand is never enough,” I could never stop, on my own, after doing that one.

Even after a couple of overdoses, the loss of my friends and family, and my dreams seeming to vanish, I still couldn’t regain control of my life and put the drugs down. In fact, that only made me hurt worse and slip further onto a dark, unimaginable path of destruction and pain, where I began mixing cocaine and heroin in the same shot.
One way or another, death was inevitable for me if I continued using, and on April 11th 2013, it came looking for me. I was involved in a major head-on collision and ended up breaking 20 bones, severing a major artery and also my liver, spleen, and gall bladder. I received 9 units of blood, and many more very serious injuries. I had only a 50/50 chance of survival for the first week. Life support kept me breathing while I underwent 5 major surgeries in 6 days. By the grace of God, I survived, with all limbs in tact- something that was nothing short of a miracle.

I was now severely disabled, homeless, broke, and almost totally alone.

I’d love to tell you that that is where my active addiction story stops, but its not. Unfortunately, the Nurse Practitioner in charge of my case doesn’t take kindly to addicts and she immediately stopped my pain relief medicine when she was given my case on day 7. I had just woken up, was in an unimagineable amount of pain, and now she wanted to stop all pain meds. There are NO words for the pain that I felt during the 2 & 1/2 days that she was in charge of my case. Not only was I dying from uncontrollable pain, all over my body, but now I was detoxing as well. With all options exhausted, I finally called a dealer and had him bring heroin into the hospital. I shot up, overdosed, and again woke up to a priest reading my last rights and 15 doctors trying to save my life. Thankfully, they shot me with narcan and were able to revive me. A lot happened after that but the year that followed this car accident took me to a new all time low, stuff that nightmares are made of, but my Higher Power wouldn’t let me give up!

Instead of clinging to the victim role, I finally chose to be the survivor. I was sick of running, sick of hurting, & sick and tired of being sick and tired! Nothing could defeat me and I proved it time and time again, not only with the crash, but with that whole year, which would’ve brought the majority of people to their knees. I was now severely disabled, homeless, broke, and almost totally alone. With two broken legs, I had to put my only bag of belongings on the seat of my wheel chair and push the chair from behind, teaching myself to walk again, fighting through the pain and praying not to get mugged, my girlfriend and I left to fend for ourselves, alone in a dangerous city. Many nights, I didnt fare well and was left in the hands of a scumbag man trying to take advantage of my situation.

Against all odds, not only did I survive, I’m better than ever! I have been clean and sober since January 9, 2014 and striving to reach my goal of becoming a well-known, published author and song writer. I have almost finished writing my first book, which vividly describes how I suffered, was left for dead, and clawed my way back! All I’ve ever known was pain and heartache, abuse, and addiction, but now I know how to overcome all of that and fight! So, I am now fighting to be heard. Appropriately titled, “Nothing Left; Except Life!” I share my story of near death experiences, hard truths, and addiction, and how I fought to turn my life around. I know that anyone can do it, we just have to do it together! No one can do it alone and I need all of you just as much as you need me.

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