Exorcizing the addiction demon.

Jed Payne is the host of the Church and Other Drugs Podcast. He’s survived a wild odyssey of drug abuse, repeated rehabs, and incarceration that demonstrates just how addiction warps the mind. Not only did he crave the drugs, he craved the attention he got from the chaos he created his life. Listen to how he found recovery and found himself in this amazing episode!

CLEAN DATE: Sept. 23rd, 2014

Listen to Jed’s story now!

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Here are a few highlights from our interview. To get the full story please join us on the podcast now!

Daily Routine

The first thing Jed Payne does is hit his knees and say a prayer. Then he starts his coffee and heads to work. Jed recently switched jobs and now is a counselor in training at an adolescent center for the treatment of drug abuse. He’s only been working there a month, and he realizes what a challenge teenage boys are. The first week he was there, he had to strip search a kid. The boy had a lighter up his butt. He now understand what he put his mother through.

Fourteen to seventeen-year-olds. It’s something special.

Spiritual Connection

Jed is a practicing Christian. He divides his spiritual life between AA and religion. He goes to meetings on Wednesdays and church on Sundays. He uses a “read the Bible in a year” app. This daily reading is the mainstay of his spiritual routine. He tells those kids struggling with the idea of prayer that it doesn’t have to be anything formal.

When you feel like using say, “Hey guy, like, can you help me not want to use?”

The First Time

The first time Jed drank, it was uneventful. He and his friend were camping with their dads. They were allowed to taste the beer and Jed hated it.

The first time Jed smoked marijuana was also uneventful. Jed says he probably just wasn’t doing it right.

Then he tried DXM cough syrup and thought it was incredible. he sought the next high ever since.

Jed’s Story

Jed was raised in a very religious home. He says he had an awesome childhood, but he was sensitive and had some anxiety issues. What he remembers of religion growing up was that he was a sinner, that God punishes sin, and that he did sinful things, especially related to sex.

I’ve always had this vague guilt.

His emotional problems came to a head when he was 11 years old and developed some ticks, like constantly sniffing his nose and blinking his eyes. He was misdiagnosed with Turret’s syndrome and put on hardcore anti-psychotics. His mom brought him to psychiatrists and therapists all his life.

It wasn’t until I started doing drugs that the relief finally came.

Jed still had his Christian mentality and he knew one day he would have to quit using because what he was doing was wrong. Unlike his friends, who used moderately, he went all out. He figured since his time was limited, he’d better take advantage.

The delusions started very early.

He started out with pot and hallucinogens. Then his friend brought cocaine. This is when Jed began stealing to support his habit. He used under the radar for a long time because his rebellious older sister distracted his parents. Then his mom caught him with weed and started drug testing him. He had to get high somehow, some way. He looked on the internet for drugs that wouldn’t test positive. He had his first overdose at the age of fifteen on Benadryl.

Things escalated, and Jed began a cycle of treatment and relapse. When he first got into NA, his sponsor asked him to get him weed. That was his introduction to 12 Steps and recovery. He thought it was a big joke.

As the drug use progressed, Jed started to diverge from his friends. People didn’t want to hang out with him anymore. He got put on a 4-month waiting list for a rehab center. In the meantime, he wanted to try heroin. He was just going to snort, but the dealer offered to shoot him up. Just like that, Jed was addicted. By the time he got to treatment he needed to be there.

He contracted Hepatitis C from that very first shot of heroin.

Jed went through extreme periods of chaos and sobriety. He even went to a fundamentalist Christian treatment program in the hills of North Carolina where they performed exorcisms. Nothing worked.

There was a desire to stay clean, but he’d get out of treatment, get involved in a relationship, and let the emotions get the best of him. He’d relapse, resulting in horrible catastrophes and scrapes with death. He was once in a coma for 4 days.

After a run with crystal meth, the stolen gun trade, and a stint in prison, Jed met a girl in a sober living facility.

It was “sober house” love.

They relapsed together, and it didn’t take them long to end up homeless and panhandling on the streets. Eventually, his girlfriend couldn’t handle it anymore. She went to treatment first. Jed toughed it out until he got into another rehab.

They both succeeded in getting clean, but when his girlfriend was released, she broke up with him. In a second, Jed was ready to give up all his sobriety and use. This time, he realized how sick he was. He saw the never-ending madness of it all. He went into his room and hashed it out with God. He never used again.

[bctt tweet=”‘With sobriety I have no idea what can happen tomorrow, and it’s awesome.’ – Jed Payne #addiction #recovery #sobriety” username=”@theshairpodcast”]

What kept Jed from getting clean?

Jed says the consequences of using had not outweighed the consequences of not using. He also enjoyed the attention he got whenever he was sent to rehab and released again.

It was still fun. In my sick little way.

That Aha Moment

Jed experienced a moment at rehab when he had a moment of clarity and knew that he did not want to get high anymore and finally believed he could do it.

Best suggestion

You don’t have to use if you don’t want to.

Suggestions for newcomers

Give yourself a chance to see if you like being sober. Commit to one year. Just do that. Give it some real time for some miracles to happen.

We SHAIR our stories every Tuesday so subscribe to us on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.