Humans in Recovery

Jonah Brooks's
Humans in Recovery Story

Clean Date:February 26, 2019


From:Atlanta, GA

My addiction started with the music scene in Atlanta– just messing around. I played a lot of gigs and drugs are a big part of the culture. At first, it was weed, beer, and acid occasionally. It soon escalated into so much more. By the end of the year, right after I turned 15, I began smoking crack. I started doing heroin a few years later… I think the biggest trigger for the drug usage was definitely my gender issues. On drugs, I felt comfortable in my own body. Other things of course led up to varying degrees of using– assault and things like that, but at the end of the day, my gender issues were my main reason for using.

I came out January 2018. In highschool I was voted prettiest girl in my senior superlative. It’s weird. I was like, a really gorgeous girl, so when I came out, everyone said, “Why do you even want to transition?” Everything about me was what society wanted me to be but, I just wasn’t happy. They asked, “Why do you want to make your life so much harder?” It’s not like I wanted to. I had to. I was miserable in that body. I wanted to be seen as a man so badly, but when I was on drugs, I just didn’t care. On drugs, I felt comfortable in my own body. The music was just an excuse.

My lowest point was when I tried suicide by cop and ended up in a psych ward. I was in psychosis from a mixture of Xanax, Methamphetamines, and Fentanyl… I just lost it. I tried to hang myself, and that didn’t work. I broke the doorknob. My parents called the police because I destroyed everything in the house. I told the police I had a gun, thinking they would shoot me. The police did the Georgia equivalent of Baker Acting me– a 10-13, and I stayed in the psych ward for 11 days. That was when I knew I had to change something.

I was in my “Lil’ Peep” Facebook group reading about Xanax bars, and there was an ad on the side of my Facebook for Recovery Unplugged. I was at my aunt’s house over Christmas, and I had just stolen a bottle of her Percocets and taken half the bottle. I was f***ed up out of my mind, and was like “whatever,” so I clicked on the ad. After I read what Recovery Unplugged was about I thought, “Wow, this actually sounds pretty cool, and kind of like what I need.” My aunt and I called together that night. I stalled until January 6th, 2019 and I finally gave in. I was hesitant to go back to treatment at first because I went through 3 treatment centers before Recovery Unplugged, and got kicked out of all of them. A lot of it was the gender issues– I encountered a lot of transphobic people. Recovery Unplugged is the first place that has been cool about my gender identity.

In treatment I actually had a really great time. I made awesome relationships, and have had some amazing experiences. After my first round of treatment at Recovery Unplugged I went home, which was a mistake, and I relapsed. I went on a three week run and overdosed twice. Bobbi (Recovery Unplugged Alumni Coordinator) kept calling because she knew I wasn’t doing well. Eventually, I realized that I was close to death. I was very sick, and I knew that if I didn’t go back to Recovery Unplugged I would die. I also knew I had to stay this time, and I’m glad I did… Looking back, I wish I just embraced me, and not cared what other people thought so much. I wish that someone had told me that it was okay to be trans– that I was okay, and that nothing was wrong with me. That was all I needed to hear… The drugs were just a cop-out.