(WYTV) – The opiate epidemic has taken many lives but very rarely do we hear of recovery. This week’s Hometown Hero came out of this addiction and is an advocate to help others.
His pen name is C.S. Bear. He’s a graphic artist, making custom skateboard skins. He’s also an author and an addict.
Even though he’s been clean seven years now, he made it a point to say he’s forever an addict. It all started with a toothache.
“Toothache kicked in. Someone had a pill there. It got me through the weekend. Went to the dentist and he prescribed me more. That was it. I was hooked,” Bear said.
He lost everything. Feeling there was no hope, he attempted suicide. He woke up in the hospital, and when he was ready to leave, some of his clothes were missing.
“I said, ‘Where’s my shirt?’ She said, ‘They had to cut it off of you when you died on the way to the hospital.’ I still have that shirt,” he said.
Bear and his wife, Erin Bolen, have been together for nearly 30 years. She had to keep him away during recovery.
“It was difficult for me because I knew he needed to be by himself for him to recover,” she said.
You would think waking up in a hospital emergency room with tubes hanging out of you, just trying to attempt to take your life would be rock bottom, but you’d be wrong.
“I was thinking I was going to get something to drink, and I reached in my wallet and took my dollar bill out to put in the machine and this was my dollar bill. I still carry it today. This was my lowest point. That’s when I decided, you know, I’m here for some reason. I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to find out,” Bear said.
“Like After 40: A Semi-Autobiographical Guide” is the book that chronicles his recovery.
“I’m hoping that I was detailed enough that people can see what’s going through this addict’s mind. This book mostly takes place after the detox was over. Regret’s a lifetime, you can’t change that. It’s just there. You just have to deal with it,” Bear said.
He has advice for addict’s and their families.
“The old phrase of do it for your children, do it for the coach, do it for whoever — I don’t believe that works,” he said. “The addict has to do it for them, and the family has to support that decision in doing that, and then everybody grows together.”
You can find Bear’s book online on his website.