COMBATTING THE OPIOID CRISIS BY DESIGN





︎antiOD Story: Terrence

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The Progression of my Disease My Story

Terence Gholston #MATSCOHIO

Iplayedfouryearsofhighschoolfootball.Iwasawardedafullridescholarshiptoplayat the University of Illinois. At the age of 18, I packed all my clothes and moved to Champaign Illinois to play college football with a BIG TEN organization. My first year was all practice and scout teams due to the fact that I was only a freshman. I used that time to build up my strength and to work on my speed. I was definitely in tip-top shape. I knew that when my sophomore year came, I would have the opportunity to play on national T.V. I would be playing in front of the whole country! I wanted to be prepared and ready for the big stage, so I continued to condition throughout the entire offseason.

Nowthatmysophomoreyearhadarrived,itwasmytimetoshine!Mynamewasalready well known due to my high school days. Everyone was waiting to see me perform. In 1993, I had my chance. I quickly became the #1 running back in the BIG TEN conference. NFL professional scouts were calling me, and I had agents lined up ready to represent me. I was on my way to the big leagues! Fast forward to my senior year in Illinois, this was definitely my time toshine!

In the first game on the season, I got injured on the second play. I felt devastated, my kneewasswollenandtheonlythingrunningthroughmyheadwasthatmycareerwasover.So, over the next couple weeks I had to go to rehab and try to recondition my knee. I was introduced to the team doctor. He approached me with a proposition; to receive a shot that would speed up the recovery process, so I would be back on the field in a couple weeks. It sounded like the best news I had heard in my life. I assumed he was talking about steroids because I had heard of them being used before. It wasn’t steroids the doctor was talking about. He was talking about anopioid.

I never knew what opiates were, but at the age of 21 I didn’t really care. All I was concerned about was playing football again. If getting that shot meant me being able to play again, I was all for it. After two weeks I was back on the field. Before every game I received my dose (shot) , in my knee. I never felt the pain. It was like my knee became a super knee. I can remember days when we didn’t have games, and I would complain that my knee hurt. It really didn’t hurt, I just wanted that shot. As I look back over that time of my life, I’ve always felt like I was addicted. After college, it was over, I didn’t go to the NFL and my shot had expired. Thank God I was able to move on with my life, without football and still became successful. I got married, had kids, bought a house and proceeded to live a basic, happy life. I worked in corporate America, making 62k a year.

Let's move ahead to 2011. My corporate job ended up getting shipped to another country. I lost my income and started living off my savings and severance pay. That only lasted

until 2013. Now, I have to decide on a new career path. I searched and searched. I finally landed a job with Jeff Wyler Automotive. I had never been a salesman before, let alone a car salesman.Iwasverynervousenteringthefield,untilIrealizedjusthowgoodIwasatit.Iwasn't just good, i was really good at it. I am a people person as well as an honest man. That's really all it takes. Within the first year I climbed to the top! Shortly after that I became the #1 car salesman in the State of Ohio. I was selling 25-35 cars a month by myself and my name quickly spread by word of mouth and social media as, “The Salesman to deal with when purchasing a new or used vehicle.” I was at the top of my game, making well over six figures a year and life was great. In the middle of 2014 I began to get sick, my abdomen was really sore all the time. I later found out that the pain was being cause by a hernia. It took me out of the game. In order for me to have time for surgery and time to heal, I had to use myFMLA.

I returned to work 2 months later, but I wasn’t healed all the way. My doctor had given me strict restrictions, like no heavy lifting and not being on my feet for to long. He prescribe me 180 Vicodin, 750 mg. They made me feel like I did in 1994, when I played college football and was receiving that opioid shot. Like Superman. The progression of the disease of addiction is real to me. Not only did I feel that same super power, I also knew I could get as many of these pills as I needed or wanted. The surgery I just went through, the knee issues and my good insurance made it very easy to get what I wanted when I wanted it. Not what I needed as I needed it. As I started taking more and more, they made me feel like I was able to take over the world every day!

Then the day came where my doctor just cut me off. That wasn't acceptable to me. I turned to the streets, and started buying them. My work performance wasn’t affected, my car sales and financial situation continued to get better despite what I was doing. A new lifestyle came with my new addiction. New friends who supported my new habit. I was hanging with people in the streets, they were my kind of people now. My wife started noticing my lifestyle change along with my behavior change. She didn't realize it was a drug addiction that was causing this. I hid m new habit well. Or at least I thought so. I managed to hide it from everyone.

My wife confronted me about my new life and behaviors and demanded the truth. I couldn't tell the truth. My addiction did not allow that to happen. My hijacked brain didn't allow me to understand what she was talking about. She began to believe I was just going crazy. So, she sent me to a mental institution. That lasted all of 3 days, I couldn’t handle it up there, I finally told her the truth. I came clean about my drug use. I admitted I was an addict, and told her the whole story. I came home. I didn't really get to go home, I went straight into a treatment facility. I am blessed and proud to say since that day, I haven't used drugs.

I am going on 4 years clean and sober! My life has never been better. My success has now become helping others overcome addiction. I don't measure success by how much money I make a year, what I have in possessions or how many nice cars I drive. I measure my success on helping someone overcome the obstacles I faced at one time. My

success is measured by helping and inspiring someone to reach their full potential without putting a substance in their body. My success is saving a life and being part of the SOLUTION.

I am a suceess story. I help other’s write their succeess stories. BECAUSE TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG!!

I AM AN ADDICT

I AM A SUCCESS STORY I AM MATSC OHIO

I AM TERENCE




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