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They call me "Candy Cane!"

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Hi ya’ll, officially… well unofficially, my name is Candy Cane! I’d like to tell you a little bit about how that name came about, and why addiction was it’s culprit. I bet ya’ll heads will be shaking by the end. So here it goes… Courtesy of nelasportswear.com

When I first came home from treatment over eighteen months ago, I was coming through the door of the women’s bathroom at church one Sunday morning when a woman I had known only a short time called me “Candy Cane.” I froze mid-step as a jolt of adrenaline surged through my body. I immediately became stricken with panic and fear. My head snapped back to look around. I was trying to make a connection in my mind with that voice and the name she called me. No one had called me Candy Cane in months. My mind began racing… How did she know? What does she know? Why would she know? I’d only been clean roughly four months when this incident occurred. I was still battling paranoid delusions and paranoia psychosis from my long-time romance with crystal meth. That woman didn’t know a thing about the life I lived as Candy Cane. Of course, she had an idea. It was general public knowledge the pastor’s daughter had just recently moved back home after a stint in drug rehab. So, I reasoned with myself that she was just being polite and probably thought it would be a cute nickname for me. The nickname “Candy Cane” came from a friend of mine that said I needed a “street name.” Why not? I said. Everyone else we associated with had a street name. Seems to make perfect sense. The cops come and raid a house looking for “John Doe.” We don’t know John. We know Ghost, Cowboy, and Bones but not John. Fake names, fake identities, and fake friends. Most of us living in the hell of addiction are often portraying some other form of his or her truest self anyway. We changed our identities in the name of addiction. Why shouldn’t we change our names too? courtesy of buycostumes.com

So, I became Candy Cane. Candy Cane is the name I introduced myself as to my dope connections. Candy Cane is the name I introduced myself as to customers that bought dope and pills from me. Anytime a person called me “Candy Cane”, it was an authentication as to how he or she knew me. It made it easier for me distinguish the people who really knew me from the people who only thought they knew me. Candy Cane is the name I was called for nearly two years. That nickname still haunts me to this day. When I hear Candy Cane, I see images of a room full of zombies waiting for some words of hope that the dope man is on his way. I see images of a wraparound couch with five sleeping bodies coming off a binge. I see images of a refrigerator that only contains a few pieces of moldy sandwich meat and a few condiments. I see carpet covered in cigarette ashes and pieces of broken glass pipes – so dirty I would never take my shoes off. I see scratched up nightstands littered with spoons, little bottle caps of water, and pieces of cotton. I see a bedroom wall covered in graffiti. I also see images of empty eyes and hollow souls missing their children and families. Thanks to recovery, I haven’t had to live life as Candy Cane in over twenty two months. I found freedom through surrender to my Higher Power, Jesus Christ. I no longer have to wonder if food is in my fridge or if the dope man is on his way. I no longer have to fight for a place to crash from a binge alongside of four other people. I found healing and serenity and a life worth living.

-Candace S. in recovery since June 17, 2014
AKA. Candy Cane (my addictive past)
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