Check out these stories of survival from myself and Jonathan Kimble, Mental Health advocate and sobriety mentor.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you’re an avid reader of Nevernaire Blog, you probably know that I am an advocate for Suicide prevention as well as Personality disorder awareness. I am also a sobriety mentor and drug and alcohol recovery awareness is also an important topic to discuss.
Today you will hear my story and I will be introducing you to Jonathan Kimble, a mental health and sobriety advocate out of NY. The reason that we are putting our stories out there so candidly is simple. We want to help others that might be living similar lives and don’t know where to turn for help.
Crystal’s mental health survival story
From my late teens until my thirties, I was a drug addict and an alcoholic. Toward the end of my time using, I was a steady Heroin addict and going through my life in a self induced Heroin half coma. I was high all day everyday, for several years.
I was a pretty grimy addict. Although I managed to hold down a retail job, and my boyfriend sold drugs, there was never enough money to keep up with our bills and our habits. I would sell to my friends. Friends that I knew were suffering and trying to stay clean, friends that I had known for over a decade. We didn’t think twice about it.
When that wasn’t enough, I would do B&E’s to get us by. One time, I paid my rent with money that was covered in blood. I had cut my hand punching through a plate glass window of a store at night when I was drunk. Like I said, I was a grimy chick.
“You can’t help an addict. All you can do is be there for them and encourage them to get help. They won’t do it until they are ready.”
The event that changed my life
One Friday afternoon, right after I turned thirty, my boyfriend came home with powdered Molly and gave me some. I ate it and proceeded to be violently ill all night. I have never vomited so much in my life! Then, sometime during the night the pelvic pain started. By the morning, I was bleeding profusely from my private area and the pain had gotten so bad that I had to go to the Emergency room. My boyfriend wouldn’t go with me. He had someone coming over to do a drug deal and that was more important to him than going with me to the hospital. So, I went alone.
When I got there, I found out that I was having a miscarriage. I had no idea that I had been about six weeks pregnant. They performed a DNC and sent me home with four Dilaudid. My boyfriend convinced me that I wouldn’t feel them if I swallowed them. So, I spent the rest of the weekend with him shooting me up with Dilaudid. I never actually shot myself up. Not once. People did it for me. Every single day, for all those years, I always had someone there to do it for me.
I woke up Monday morning and my boyfriend was out for the day, doing whatever deals he had lined up. So, I went on Craigslist and found someone looking for a roommate in another city. I packed my things and got a ride and moved out without telling him. I never spoke to him or any of my “friends” again.
My sober life
I have been sober since that Monday that I moved away. I quit Heroin cold turkey and within a few weeks, I just stopped drinking. Don’t let that short sentence fool you… it was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life.
Since getting sober, I found my career, successfully selling cars for just about a decade. I have built Nevernaire up from the ground to where it is today and traveled all over the place. I love road trips.
Getting sober so late in life, I like to say I was a late bloomer and try not to think about the nearly fifteen years of my life that I lost to drugs. I try to focus on the good that I have done and the fact that I made it!
After being sober for about a year, I went to see a Psychiatrist and I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. All those years that I was high, I was self-medicating. I knew that I was different and that there was something wrong. But I never knew why or what was going on with me.
Why did I just tell you this?
The reason that I just told you my story is that I want you to know that you can make it too. And I want people to be aware of what is going on with their loved ones. No one around me ever realized that I was bipolar. I had a messed up childhood and was raised by a single mom of four and she had her hands full.
I don’t expect you to put on your Psychiatrist hat and start diagnosing your friends, but always be open to the possibility that your friends might be struggling with more than you know, and be there if they need someone. A raging drug habit or even someone that smokes Marijuana from sunrise until they fall asleep could be their way of medicating something that they can’t understand.
Jonathan’s Mental Health survival Story
Born and raised in the Soundview Houses in the Bronx, I came up rough after my parents divorced and my dad left. I fell to gangs(SexMoneyMurda), sold drugs, committed violent acts and went to prison. I got out, got shot and ended up back in prison.
My stepdad, Grandmaster Caz, played a tremendous role in getting me back on track. encouraging me, being my Dad. Then the “Epiphany moment” happened. The realization that it was up to me to break the cycle for my own family.
I started working with young people in my community, then on Rikers Island, then at Urban Youth Alliance. I started writing my book, started selling alkaline machines with my mother in law as a side venture.
Then, Covid happened. My oldest brother and biological father died April 2nd and May 2nd 2020(30 days apart). Both had been in bad health, my brother was over 300 pounds when he passed. Which put me in a position to be the head of my family. I had to focus and level up like no time before.
The moment that changed my life
I walked in the corner store one day and realized there were no healthy options provided. So, I started producing high quality alkaline water and starting giving it to my community. They loved it! And from that came, KimbleCleanWaters.
Now, I’m working with Bronx SUV out of Jacobi Hospital. We respond to shootings and work to reduce gun violence through conflict mediation. We work with the highest risk of people shooting or getting shot.
I’m currently working on finishing my book, “Someone Like You: Navigating through mental health, environmental pressures, spirituality, and more.” As well as my “BlazinNewTrails” video podcast platform, where young men can come to talk, listen to other men share there story and be transparent about it. Starting with my own story.
Young men need to see other men being vulnerable and being connected with God, so he can be that Provider, Protector and Leader in his home and in his community.
Looking for more information?
Jonathan’s book is still preproduction. I will update this as soon as it is published. You can read my book “Memoir of Manic Moments” on Kindle, for $.99! It’s free if you have Kindle Unlimited. I didn’t write it to make money. I wrote it to promote awareness. It’s a raw and real book of stories from my past. Try not to judge, we all have our dark moments. You can always contact me @nevernaire on Instagram if you need someone to talk to or have any questions.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Mental Health or substance abuse issues, go to the SAMHSA website HERE for more information on getting help.
If you liked this article let us know in the comments or share it on Facebook. Get the word out that there is hope of survival and a happy life is possible.
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