Drug Addiction and Stroke | Stephen Heaney EP 53

Drug Addiction and Stroke | Stephen Heaney EP 53


Stephen 0:00
It was great. I could wear business shirts long sleeve shirts, so you couldn’t see nothing.
And I was always a good higher so I can hide everything. I could smoke a joint, right?
I Smoked a ball, a couple balls before I spoke to you, honestly, I’m sorry. And you won’t
even know except my eyes be red or something. Yeah, now, I was in able to hide drugs because
I was proficient, using or not using, still did my job because I knew that was my mind.
You have to do your job. Intro 0:33
This is recovery after stroke with Bill Gasiamis. Helping you go from where you are to where
you’d rather be Bill 0:40
Stephen. Welcome to the program. Stephen 0:43
Hey, awesome. Thank you for having me, Bill. Thank you. Bill 0:46
Yeah, you’re welcome. I really appreciate it. When somebody contacts me and asks to
be on the program. It makes it a lot easier so that I don’t have to do the following up
and chasing people and trying to find people. So thanks for doining that I really do appreciate
it. Mate tell me a little bit about what happened to you. Stephen 1:05
Well, when it happened to me, I have his way those kids I’m from the United States, I’m
from New Jersey. A little that happened to me is I have a past drug problem. And it took
me a while to overcome my demons. And because my demons it actually bought me into having
five strokes. Because I was bad with cocaine, so I had five of them It happened on the left side of my my brain.
It happened in August 2018. And the story was, is that um, I was hanging out with Well,
we’ll just say a girl that took a little bit extra money off me at the time. But um, we
had fun. We were doing our little thing and there were illegal drugs at the time. Due to the fact that I was doing so much recently,
I put my mother away. So I’m sorry if I’m going to jump like crazy and go all over the
place. But we actually had to pull the plug on my mother in July of last year. And me
and my mom were real close. She’s a big reason for me at this moment being alive. And what
happened was, I was doing so many massive amounts of drugs and other things that they
couldn’t find in my system. They were shocked. I was still alive. When they did screen on my system, they found
chemicals that were needed coming up to them. Yeah. So So I believe somebody or the person
I was getting from just at that point, I didn’t care what it was whatever it was, I was trying
to grab it. Basically, I’ll tell you I was at the verge of trying to kill myself. I had
nothing left. Bill 2:58
Yeah. Stephen 2:58
You know. Bill 2:59
So how old are you Steven? Stephen 3:01
I am 32 years old. I am single no kids. Yes. So ladies if you hear that in America, I’m
single. I’m not the best looking guy. Okay, I walk with a cane. All right. I am a cutie
Adam Sandler look alikes. All right, right there. You ladies got big brown sandler or
someone see this? I know. Yeah. Bill 3:22
So tell me about so just tell me. Let’s go back a little bit. Let me see if we can understand.
So you’re 32 years old, but last year in July so in 2018 your mom was unwell and passed
away. And that led you to being feeling in certain ways and led you to abusing drugs.
Prior to that, were you the type of person who went down that path and and did those
types of illegal drugs? Stephen 3:53
Yes, you are correct Bill. I started using drugs from an early age with marijuana peer
pressured into it you know, wanting to be cool hanging out with everybody from marijuana
led to lots of things like cocaine, and then eventually led to heroin. And it got to a
point where throughout my late teens and my 20s I cared more about drugs than my mother
and others around me. I cared only about drugs by next Hi, where am I gonna get it? How am
I going to get money how am I going to do this. And throughout this throughout this whole
time I worked. I graduated high school. I went to college and failed out to many parties
ya know, so it wasn’t like it came from broke home. I come from nothing and I resorted to
that it’s I’ve chose to do it. I am a social person. social butterfly. I was always out
there. I like to get high because isolation to me. Breing an only child, I would pay for people
to get high honestly, just so I won’t be alone. I would honestly have people around me for
that simple fact. Just to get high with. Bill 5:11
Yeah. So how many years would you say you doing? were you doing drugs? Stephen 5:17
15 Bill 5:17
15 years? Yeah. Do you feel and do the doctors say that? What? That the drugs were responsible
or in part responsible for what happened in your brain? Stephen 5:33
Yes, they what caused my alma my injuries were self inflicted by drugs. Intro 5:40
If you’ve had a stroke, and are in recovery, you’ll know what a scary and confusing time
it can be. You’re likely to have a lot of questions going through your mind. Like, how
long will it take to recover? Will I actually recover? What things should I avoid in case
I make matters worse? Doctors will explain things, but obviously,
because you’ve never had a stroke before, you probably don’t know what questions to
ask. If this is you, you may be missing out on doing things that could help speed up your
recovery. If you find yourself in that situation, stop worrying, and head to recoveryafterstroke.com,
where you can download a guide that will help you. It’s called seven questions to ask your doctor
about your stroke. These seven questions are the ones Bill wished he’d asked when he was
recovering from a stroke. They’ll not only help you better understand your condition.
They’ll help you take a more active role in your recovery. head to the website now, recovery
AfterStroke.com and download the guide it’s free. Stephen 6:49
And I’ve learned we cannot change the past. I’ve done drugs I did em, I’ve been in those
places. I’ve been to the worst of places but I’ve been to the best of places. Yes, I was
given a choice. Bill 7:02
Yeah. So tell me about the day of the stroke or Stephen 7:06
yes Bill 7:07
the time leading up to that. What did you notice that was different in your body? How
did you become aware that something was wrong? Stephen 7:14
Well, tell you truth. I had no clue not that aware. Because what happened the day of the
stroke it was actually pretty funny. We have a local county fair that comes to our town
once a year. And at the county fair, there’s this ride called the twister. They call it
and basically it puts you in like a ferris wheel type roller coaster flips you around
like that. So after hanging with my so called good friend
I call my sister Anne Valentine excuse me, I mentioned her name, but she’s the closest
to my father right now. I have to family. Me and her husband went in and we are all
you say lack of a better word, like to have fun and flip it. So we kept flipping it and
flipping it and all we would do is just flip that thing and it was a great time. Upon that
we are heading home. I had different car than her and I decided okay, it’s going good dad
decided to make a call to a friend. And I had some extra money so I had stuff with me
and I had and I went picked up this friend. Bill 8:29
When you say stuff do you mean drugs? Stephen 8:31
Drugs? Yes, I did drugs with me already. So I went to go pick up this friend and we got
back to my house. And no lie yep. But naked have fun. You know with drugs. Okay, that
plaiun out, can’t refuse it but yes, that’s what happened. And I remember coming into
my room, getting it ready, and just falling to the floor. And I remember telling the girl I said or
please call the ambulance called the air. Because I felt my whole left side just fall
on my wooden floors. I have wooden floors and it went, bam. And thank God that yes,
my left side went the whole thing I was like call call please. Luckily, this girl that I don’t know too well
had the courtesy to call the ambulance after she did a little cleaning up, even though
it’s a federal law and our country that I don’t know if nobody else knows but if there
are drugs present at the time, and cops are coming to help someone that may be odd or
something. A person cannot be arrested for drugs, no matter what drug it is, Bill 9:48
Right ok. Stephen 9:48
The most important thing is saved the person, get the person alive. You know, they can deal
with the drugs later time. There’s no excuse for it. Bill 9:56
Yeah, Stephen 9:57
but the matter is a person’s life and drugs. Bill 10:00
Yeah, Stephen 10:00
the give you a one ride ticket and then eventually Yeah, so I was able to get dressed like I
said we had fun I was able to put some clothes on Bill 10:13
after you collapse you are able to still get dressed? So it wasn’t that dramatic yet? Stephen 10:19
it wasn’t as dramatic I know I felt and I felt it coming and I knew cuz prior I’ve had
incidents where my head sometimes seisures or sum so I do on clothes I said call the
ambulance call she called the ambulance, they got here. She helped put clothes on me more
and they got me and I just passed I fell asleep. I had no clue were my wallet was, drugs where
I didn’t care it was just me. And if I didn’t have this local girl or this girl here. Bill 10:54
You would have been alone Stephen 10:55
I would have died, I was all alone. Bill 10:57
Yeah, Stephen 10:57
I have no one and We didn’t know supposedly what ever. I get to the hospital. They tried
waking me up. And I woke up like sort of like saying. jibberish and knocked back out. So
two days go by, and I finally wake up. And I’m looking around the worst feeling in my
life I’ve ever had. I say, I wish no one. And I feel sorry for people with dementia
or someone that forgets because I had five minutes of amnesia. Bill 11:34
Yeah, Stephen 11:34
I had just five minutes. I’m laying in this hospital bed and I’m looking at these people,
doctors. My father was present at the time, too. And I looked right down. He said, Who
are you? Who am I? What is this? Where am I? I didn’t even know what a bed was. Bill 11:52
You didn’t recognize your dad. Stephen 11:55
No, I didn’t recognize no one. For the first couple of days. I had no clue where I was.
After I woke up I started speaking saying, my voice was sounding I was speaking gibberish.
I knew what I was saying. I knew how scared I was, Bill 12:09
yeah, Stephen 12:10
they induced a coma, they induced me into a week coma. And after that coma, I woke up
like nothing happened. I’m laying in bed like, I know who I am, where I am and what’s going
on. And I’m starting to think like, what happened? Bill 12:26
Yeah, Stephen 12:27
and I have to say that yes, I’m blessing for God. And this has changed me because I’ve
always been spiritual. But I was laying there and the octors couldn’t believe Bill 12:44
that you were waking up? Stephen 12:46
Yes. Bill 12:46
Wow. Okay. Do you know exactly what type of stroke you experienced? Did you experience
one that will get clot or a bleed? Stephen 12:56
It was, it was a clot and I Got the paper and the best describe it is
that because I had five of them it was the same artery, the same valve that cloted and
they all cloted up and like they burst one after another I start bursting on the left
hemisphere of my brain. So they started the birthday said five. And I thought maybe I
had TIA cuz for accuracy. I’m remembering everything I know who I am now. You know,
I’m moving my ligaments, I’m able to move my limbs. And I’m reading some of this history
and it was till recently by Dr. throughout my glasses. And she said, she said, What are
you talking about? You had five strokes, five actual strokes,
not just TIA’s look at you. You had five strokes Bill 13:49
proper Stephen 13:50
I said, Bill 13:50
blown stroke serious strokes. Stephen 13:53
Yes. Bill 13:54
So then when you woke up from your induced coma, you’re going through the process what
are you experiencing on your right side is the numbness is there you can’t walk wherever
you want with your body? Stephen 14:08
When I was with my body in the hospital they would not allow me to stand or get out of
the bed unless I was in a wheelchair or I was assisted, like it was pretty embarrassing
that I had to be showered, I had to be held for the bathroom. Everything was wheelchair
so you calling for people everybody knows in the hospital. Hey, hey, help, help me.
And the funny thing Bill and the great thing about this is after the hospital stay because
I was in the hospital a good month before they transferred me over to a rehabilitation,
nursing home base. Basically, I I basically they kept me on they won’t let me walk. The
exercise they were doing they grabbed the back of your pants. expect you to walk And I haven’t used my legs now and a good
two and a half, three months. So they were like jello. I remember I don’t know if anybody
else who had a stroke out there I remember using stuff to grab on to like I was spider
man holding on to the wall because they wouldn’t let me unless I had someone so I’d be in the
bed now I got bathroom and I got to, I’m good the bathroom. So I jumped on the wide telling
my roommate thos guy Joe I’d be like Joe I’m going to the bathroom. Look at me Joe man
I’m holding on to the wall. Now trying to get to the bathroom and I made
it and I remember one time I had a fall, going to bathroom I thought I’d be able to do it
and I fell Bill 15:42
Yeah. Stephen 15:42
And thank God i’m young, because I took a big fall and I had big bruising and they were
scared that I broke some bones. Bill 15:50
Yeah. Stephen 15:51
So. Bill 15:52
So tell me, David, did you before you woke up so you’re in the hospital? You’re in a Stephen 15:59
yes. Bill 15:59
induced coma. You’re in bed for about three months before you finally got to get into
rehab. Did you have brain surgery? Or was there no brain surgery? Stephen 16:10
No there was no brain surgery Bill at the moment. What they were doing they were looking
at it how do I best explain it? He OD’ed he something happen in is brain, wow he had these
five strokes, okay it happened Bill 16:23
i hear ya, I hear ya. so you so what happened was you went through this process of excessively
doing the drugs over a long period of time you’ve been doing it for a long time you then
after you you lost your mom you were doing the drugs excessively that one thing led to
another you ended up collapsing. You ended up in hospital and then you’re in hospital
for three months before you go into rehabilitation. And you finally get to rehabilitation and
what are the some of the things that you need to re-learn how to do? Obviously you need
to learn how to walk and I would imagine use your arm. Did you have speech problems, memory
problemsany of that kind of thing? Stephen 17:02
The memory problems, long term memories, which I’m shocked and a lot of my memories I have,
but you may ask me do something short term like, a lots been happened me I walk into
a kitchen and I forget, you know, like, why am I here? Actually, to stop like, why am
I here we are talking as you hear me? This happened less than a year ago and God willing,
God is the reason why I’m talking like this. Bill 17:29
Yeah, Stephen 17:30
I’m walking. And I like to say more. I go to JFK Johnson, which is in New Jersey at
good rehabilitation hospital. I go two times a week. And they have I was miserable at first,
you know, being struck with this illness. No young kids have this. Everybody was old. Bill 17:48
Yeah. Stephen 17:48
And everything. So I got in this case, I quit smoking cigarettes. So that’s a good thing. Bill 17:55
So you were a smoker too. Stephen 17:57
Yes, I was smoker at least a pack a day. Bill 18:01
Yeah, Stephen 18:01
I quit smoking cigarettes. Bill 18:03
So tell me about So tell me about so you’re in hospital now you you had a jobs. What happened?
Like how did you get in touch with your employer? Okay, they just ended your employment. Stephen 18:14
Yeah, yeah, he came to see me twice in the hospital in the east side I couldn’t make
words out. And this is a wonderful guy. He taught me a business of restaurants when I
work selling tabletop, and he taught me the business and I was doing good. And a lot of
my clients that I had Edward Don on, you know, I was able to Trump National Golf clubs in
New Jersey, like the Gotham in New York which is a famed restaurant, a lot of these big
hotel chains, Roosevelt and Hilton’s restaurants. I was able to get my product into be used
by now. Bill 18:55
And you were because you were out of action for such a long time the only thing that he
could do was let you go because he, I imagined your employer needed to replace you because
they had still business to attend to. And they weren’t certain on how long your your
recovery would take. Would that be accurate? Stephen 19:12
Yes, that’s correct. And also a big thing. Why is writing because I right side, I can
sort of use my hand but writing, I can write my name. But it may take me five minutes to
write a simple two or three sentences. Bill 19:29
Yeah, Stephen 19:30
so cap out. Bill 19:32
And I imagine you at one point lost the ability to drive is that what happened also? Stephen 19:38
In definately. Yes, it’s suspended indefinitely. I got there from the DMV. I’m back and never
job again. Well, I could drive I would have to go through tests again. And everything
be gone from independent driving, doing everything on my own and having Bill 19:58
Yeah, Stephen 19:58
now I can’t Bill 19:59
Yeah. So, you’re at home now on your own? Do you need care? Does somebody needs to be
there to help you out to do certain tasks or are you getting to the point where you’re,
where you’re able to look after yourself? Stephen 20:15
At this moment in time, and it’s been seven, eight months since the accident, I am grateful
by God that could do a lot. I do have my father and I was mandate to go live back with him.
Because someone has to be aware, you know, at the moment, I do pretty much everything
my own laundry, I can bathe myself which I have trouble I just need someone present in
case I fall in the tub or someone present there. While I’m taking a shower. Not in the
same room. Bill 20:44
No, Stephen 20:45
just be around the case something happened. It’s like you feel like a burden on people
with this. Bill 20:51
Yeah. What do you got to understand these, Stephen that people are not used to doing
these types of tasks, most of them have never needed to do it or help anybody else. They’re just regular people going about their
business. And then all of a sudden, caring for somebody who’s had a stroke is a really
complicated thing. They don’t exactly understand what happens in the brain and how that makes
you feel, and what the challenges are associated with it because they’ve never been in that
situation. So we don’t really want to give them too much of a hard time. And if you just put yourself in their shoes, Stephen 21:24
yeah, Bill 21:24
not many of us would have not many of us would have woken up one morning and decided that
we’re going to go out and care for people who are doing are doing a tough because we
don’t have the time because life is like that in its really busy. We’ve got stuff to do.
We’ve got our own lives, to lead chores, all that kind of stuff that we have to do. So.
It’s a big shift for somebody to make it their life about somebody else and to do that willingly,
because they’ve got bills to pay. How do they know how they sustain their own lifestyle
when these things happen it’s very dramatic. And care is often door very, very tough. You
know, even if you are living with somebody who’s, you know home, who you’re going to
start to rely on that person caring for you is doing a really tough because they didn’t
have the skills doctors and nurses, they get a hospital after many years of training, and
then, Stephen 22:21
yeah, Bill 22:21
imagine what it’s like to be a care of somebody who has a stroke and you’ve never had any
training, it would be really tough. You know, you did a really good job of you did a really
good job of making it possible for your body to get really unwell man. I mean, at the beginning,
didn’t you? if you put the same amount of energy into getting your body better, you’re
going to get amazing results. So you were doing four monsters a day you’re doing drugs,
you’re doing a packet of cigarettes a day. I mean, it is a miracle that you’re still
alive and I’m so glad that you are we get to have a chat about Stephen 22:56
well thank you Bill 22:57
So tell me about, Did you have some kind of withdrawals now from the drugs that you have
taken for such a long time that you’re no longer taking once you’re in hospital? Were
you dealing with that as well? Stephen 23:10
I’m gonna tell you this. This is a big thing why I was pretty mad the hospital system that
I am on in medicine called methadone right now for the heroin addiction 35 milligrams,
which is a real low dose by standards. I go every day, I take a dose and there are people
there. Let me tell you, I see people there. I see what goes on. Okay. I don’t involve
myself in it. I get my medicine. and I come home. Bill 23:41
I was gonna say did you feel like you were doing drugs to deal with emotional problems
or other challenges that you experiencing is that I know you said you were doing part
of that because you wanted people to be with you when you buy drugs for other people, etc.
But apart from using that to have people in your life where you’re also doing it as a
coping mechanism werte there some things that you were trying to suppress Stephen 24:08
the big thing when I feel my choice of drugs not only like you said this seclusion by for
people accept that deal. But I chose do drugs because I chose to do and I want to do it.
I wanted that x excitement rush online that adrenalin rush I wanted that high. An`d I
will say that majority of the drug addicts if you ask some way because I didn’t just
I intravenously use drugs. So I pushed it to the limit. And most times people like that
if you ask them question, you happy with your life they’ll tell you look, I’m just waiting
for our last shot to go out high and they’re just waiting to die hot. Because they’re miserable
about something. I have bad depression, whether it be parental
issues, mental issues whether it be marital issues, whether it be anything people use
as a coping mechanism they say poor me poor me and they try to use something to cater
to them no all of a sudden I have excuse why do. I have excuse. There ain’t no shoes you
choose to do it. Like so many people they say like say no to drugs It is that easy.
Just Say No, Bill 25:27
but do Stephen 25:27
you don’t want it? Bill 25:28
But do you think that’s like other other resources where they don’t have the resources to get
counseling or they don’t understand the benefits of counseling or have counseling can heal
emotional trauma and emotional wounds? You think that’s part of it? Stephen 25:44
That is part of it. But that takes the person because that person knows there’s help out
there because there is. AA anything there’s help out there. You speak to a friend, especially
a drug addict, circle, one out four people you ask have you ever been to a rehab? Have
you ever been hospitalized? Have you ever been in the jail? I guarantee you one out
of the four people you ask is you have been jail institutions or hospital? So they already know the deal when they go
at it. It’s that’s why people it’s like, and I cannot understand why I feel sorry, because
the tools are there. So not like yes, we do ignore to some extent, but there are the tools
there. It’s more of the person themselves like say, Yes, I want stop using. Yes, I don’t
want to do it. Cigarettes, oh their addictive. Yes, they’re addictive, but I choose not to
smoke. Bill 26:37
Yeah. Stephen 26:38
Why? Bill 26:39
are you at that point? Are you at that point where you’ve chosen to not use anymore where
you’ve made the decision, that’s it, I’m not doing it anymore. And I’m going to do everything
I can to change my life and do exactly the opposite. Stephen 26:54
What I want to do and I will say this Bill, drugs, I’m done with drugs Don’t need them
I don’t have to use for crotch no more. I smoke weed all the men I’ll smoke weed every
day and I still doing for the medical purposes the card and everything I have it I can get
I have no problem I go right there dispenser I believe in it or for and I like the oils
for the beeps. And when I look at things it’s I’m not trying to get high I’m using for a
therapeutically medical level because it does help with the stressors on you know the bones
and you know how you feel and some days you don’t want to wake up? Yeah, so you’ve got
some pain that you experienced daily? Yes. Yes. What do you feel? muscular pain? Yes, muscular and spasms I’ve allies spasm
especially my speech. Last time I my speech is stuck. Like out of nowhere I can talk to
you fine for like five minutes and then I’ll just just Bill 28:01
I’ll just start stuttering I gotta stop and catch myself. Yeah, it’s like a fast. It’s
really interesting. So do you feel like you’ve got a new purpose in life? You feel like you
have a renewed purpose in life? Stephen 28:15
Yes. And I explained to, I say now like not to have to help want to help but to show people
like, I lived through it. I had a bad drug problem. I had it all though. I went to high
school, I’m educated. I came from family, I had money. You know, it affects everybody.
It doesn’t just affect those in poverty city. You know, I lived god bless in a nice house.
A family that was okay. But, you know, I had the benefits and now it’s better for me to
be a catalyst of help to help that person to show. This happened to me. I had because
I deal with struggles. I’m not getting paid. I just got denied for
Social Security at my age twice already. I’m now got to go to a judge. And I have to they
have to hear my case the state feels I can work. But my doctors take off their glasses
and be like, Are you serious? You just have five strokes you can write your name. Bill 29:16
Yeah, Stephen 29:16
well, you’re telling them I can work. You’re telling the government I can work? I’ll gladly
I want social security. You know, I’m 32 Why would I want gone so security, I could go
work, especially, you know, I am grateful and I’m blessed that on Social Security, I
do make more in a month than some people ever see in a month they have been working 40 hours.
But because of what I did, what risk and what liabilities my company took with me That’s
why I got paid my amount, but it did. And, to me, I would rather tell people, I mean,
now I’m walking now. I’d rather show people that it can be done, no matter who you are.where
you are? Bill 30:00
Yeah, Stephen 30:02
I do. I do push ups on my stairs. I can’t get down on the floor. I’m afraid to get up.
I do stair push ups. I drink a lot of water. I took my fish oil pill. I’m up daily. Bill 30:13
Yeah, Stephen 30:14
I I just try to keep active. Yeah, that’s my problem. Bill 30:17
Yeah, so you’re sharing. So now you want to share a little bit of your story about what
happened to you and how you ended up because of all the decisions that you made in your
life, how it impacted your your health and your well being. And now it seems like though,
you, and I don’t know anyone who’s been through what you’ve been through, before the stroke,
I didn’t understand that side of, you know, addiction and all that type of thing. I’m
lucky like that. But you seem to have done a really massive 180 degree turn and you’re
going in a completely different direction than what you were on. And that’s amazing.
And that’s astounding. And that’s such a good thing to hear what I wondering Stephen 31:01
I thank God Bill 31:03
well, yeah, you do have to thank God but also you’ve got to take a little bit of credit
for that as well. Stephen 31:10
Yes, I do. But I God is been the big thing, because I’ll tell you when it first happened
I first got all poor pity me why this happened to me why this happened to me. Oh my God,
this sucks. I can’t do this. I can’t walk no more. I had all those excuses of the world.
And one day I just, yeah, I just woke up. I just said, I’m tired of making excuses.
Like no one is going to shed a tear or turn their head and want to hear me cry when they
have their own problems. Yeah, it’s time for me to suck it up and do it myself. So you’re
happy. Bill 31:47
So you reckon working. It’s about taking responsibility now for your actions of the past. And now
taking new actions to go forward in your life and be a better version of yourself. Do you
strangely feel because I felt that the stroke kind of made me a better person too, and that
it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Not physically and that part of the stroke
just were it put me in a mental state and and where put me in a. What do I do now? And
how do I change my life? Now? I think it was one of the best things that happened to me.
Do you have similar feelings? And do you? Can you say that at the moment or not? Stephen 32:29
Well Bill I would have to say if my stroke and they couldn’t believe that I woke up.
That’s the key thing. So first off, I defied them and I defied death and I am blessed because
I feel my mom recently has past away. She went out there and she used the last get out
of Jail Free card to save my son, because I’ve OD’ed before stuff has happened where
they had to bring me back to life. So this time, I actually struck out I was actually
dead and they brought me back. They told me I had died. And God willing and
I’m going to share this that my friend recently this kid, Scotty, that I was good friends
with cousin and come to find out from the friend a call my sister that he had the same
reason. The same thing happened to him. But he didn’t wake up. He didn’t wake up I was
praying and he didn’t wake up so they legally declared brain dead because his brain wasn’t
coming back at capacity. They were trying they were trying but they couldn’t do nothing
and they legally had to put him away. I felt bad because he had a wife a kid a newborn
baby he had all this but he had a bad drug past I never knew. Never know he hid it very
well. Bill 33:50
Did you hide it well? Were you able to be fully active at work and participate in your
job the way you were meant to even though you were addicted? Stephen 34:01
Yes, what I was good at at first I didn’t construction, which paid a lot of, it help
me through my junior college and helped put money in the bank for me. I did construction
for many years. And with that money aside, I went into business. And it was great. I
could wear business shirts, long sleeve shirts, so you couldn’t see nothing. And I was always
a good higher so I can hide everything. I could smoke a joint right before I smoked
a ball. Couple balls before I spoke to you, honestly, I’m sorry. And you won’t even though
except my eyes be red or something? Yeah, now, I was able to hide drugs because I was
proficient using or not using still did my job because I knew that was my money. You
have to do your job. if you don’t do it somebody else will, somebody
else will be able to do it. And, ya know, in sales, everybody could do sales. I did
it, I took the job from somebody, God willing, God bless, I hope they moved on. And I helped
the person that took my job and I hope he’s helping the company I’ve worked for builds
better, thats all I can all and it’s just feel better. It’s a philosophy. You gotta
you gotta feel better every day. Like you said before, that 180 degree turn. gotta feel
better every day. When you wake up with a purpose. And you say, today is going to be
better than the last. Yesterday, was yesterday. You can’t change. If we all could we’d all
invent the Time Machine go back and change a lot things in our lives. Bill 34:50
Wow Yeah. So tell me what do you love to do now?
What’s the thing that you love to wake up and do that makes you feel good? Stephen 35:47
Well, the main thing that I’ve been doing a lot is walking because I took it so much
for granted driving everywhere. Now I just walk it feels so good. You know, just walking
and like saying hello to people. I’m like, Back engaging in people again like Hey, how’s
it going? How’s the day? Like, it feels so good and it’s better I engage and like the
things I want to do. It’s like, if I take this if I get this done, this is only gonna
make me stronger later on. Bill 36:15
Yeah, Stephen 36:16
like you said, I am very blessed. I am no child yet. I don’t have a wife for no baby
mama drama. So I didn’t have to bring a child or someone I cared about other my parents
through the chaos of 15 years of me. Now I draw a lot of people to chaos, my parents,
let alone others, but I didn’t have that. And I feel Bill 36:41
you see it as a blessing Stephen 36:43
Yes, it’s a blessing. It’s still very early in my recovery. Bill 36:47
Absolutely. Stephen 36:48
Yeah. And my physical therapist said she sees the, you know, like, I want to be better and
everything and she said best to me. She’s like, I know you’re walking with walker every
day. So I do those hyphens every time but she’s like, don’t work against us work with
us. I know what you want. I know where you want to be. And I do. Like, I am grateful.
And I’m blessed. I could use my body a king. But let me tell you, I people asked me, Oh,
is it different is? Is it hard? it’s like, yeah, this is the best way to describe it.
And maybe you can agree with me Bill, you feel a different way. On my right side. I compare this having a
board and its stiff. Like you’re walking, no weight. No, nothing. it’s just stiff. You’re
bending it. You’re bending your knee, but you don’t feel it bend. You don’t feel you
can play like 30 pounds, like nothing, but then you put in this arm that can feel it.
And that’s why I tell people it’s like having a board on you is like walk stiff. Yeah. And
you have to learn to walk with it. And like you said, it can make you a better person
can hurt you or what do you want to do it about it? Yeah. And that’s why I love about it. And
like I said, My main goal now is to help more people like you and your website do you allow
for me which I am grateful to get my message out there. And when it gets posted and when
there are people listen to it, I hope they can take away, the main thing is you have
to do it. Bill 38:24
That’s awesome look on that note. We’re coming to that point where we have to end the episode.
I really want to thank you for reaching out and sharing your story and telling us about
how your drug habit caused strokes. I think it’s really important that this story is out
there and that people get to hear what can happen as a result of stroke wish you well
in your recovery. I wish you well with all Stephen 38:54
before before we close this session, I want to thank you and what you have done the work
you’ve done as well as others across the world. There’s more people like myself, like Bill,
like others that have the good outlook on life, that want to do something that show,
there is more after your stroke, you can still be it. And just remember it’s do it yourself,
you got to do it because and I want to just say God bless and I thank you and God is the
reason if people don’t have a spiritual, get God find your spiritual being because somebody
myself, I can’t explain why I’m alive. Bill, God bless that you’re alive and many others
that beat this. And don’t let anybody stop you. That’s all I want to say to those people
out there. And if somebody is in New Jersey, I liked
my story and wants to help be a part of it. Hey, you can find me I’m not that hard to
find since my name is Stephan Heaney. So not hard to find. Bill 39:54
No worries. Stephan and what we’ll do is we’ll put some links to your Instagram if anyone
wants to can with you on Instagram, they can go there. And they can get in touch now you
dont have instagram? how did we find each other? Stephen 40:07
I do have LinkedIn. Well, I found you through LinkedIn. Bill 40:11
Ah thats right Stephen 40:13
yes, yeah, but I have a LinkedIn you can type in my names Stephan Heaney, like I said and
also the the main thing Bill is I just want to be an advocacy for hope for those here
in New Jersey whether it be across the world that I have the worst past, yes addiction
plagued it. Other things have plagued it. But because of like you said before, and not
the greatest thing that happened but a realization that it’s all gone, because not many friends
god bless I’m in the best drugs have taken our lives. Yeah, God bless them and all the
other. God bless. Bill 40:55
Thanks, Stephen. I really appreciate your time mate Stephen 40:58
No, I thank you Bill. Thank you and God bless everyone. Bill 41:02
Discover how to support your recovery after stroke go to recoveryafterstroke.com Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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