Story 15/25 Survivor; Autumn Brown-Wells

Where to start and open up about myself, my past and my present journey. I’m afraid it could turn into a very long series of novel books. But I can share a little about my upbringing and recent tragedy of the loss of my brother due to addiction.
I grew up in Nanaimo BC in Harewood to be exact where not too many of us had much of anything. I lived with my mom and four brothers on social assistance. We had no vehicle, no money and most of the time no food. Our mother suffered from addiction at the time so she usually attended AA meetings while we did whatever we wanted. There was no structure. It was plain old survival around our home. Us siblings took care of each other. Which lead all of us on the path of drinking, using drugs, and stealing at very young ages. It was really rough when I look back on it now. Yet we were always happy when we were all together. We had a pact! We always had each other’s back!
We all grew up and most of us managed to find our way. Except my brother Jon! He was the most sensitive of us kids he was also the middle child if that means anything. He had stole food and ended up in juvie when we were kids which led to shame and guilt. Then he just couldn’t seem to get on the right path and every time he did which was his entire adult life he always somehow ended up back using! Him and I were so close! Even though we lead completely different lives I never ever gave up on him. He had a charisma, a heart and soul like no other! His smile was infectious! Everyone loved my brother. Even though he is two years older than me as we grew older he became more like my son. He was always trying to prove to me he was going to change and that he was doing good. So whenever something bad happened I would always help him out. I was his fist contact for everything good bad and the worst! He always new I had his back and would never give up on him. We had a special bond that could not be broken and even though I gave him tough love at times. When he would call from jail all beat up and asking for bail. Or if he needed a place to stay when he wasn’t, I helped him. He struggled yes but he also tried really hard to stay clean. When he was clean we would talk daily! Which the past 8 years for the most part he had been. So when I got the call from the Vancouver general hospital that my brother my best male friend and sort of son like figure was on life support do to fentanyl overdose my world was shattered. I felt I couldn’t breath! My worst fear for my brother had happened! There are absolutely no words to describe my pain. I flew out the next day to see him. I won’t go into details the true gruelling heart wrenching details of what the next few weeks were for me and my family. It was the absolute worst nightmare I’ve ever experienced and I just wanted to have one more conversation and tell him he did good. He fought hard! See he struggled from bi polar disorder as well. Which we just found out and had he received this help years before he may not have ended up in the situation he ended up in. When he passed my body went into shock my adrenals were so low and my stress was very high I became sick and weak. I felt guilt for being to busy at work or with my family instead of taking all his calls. I felt dizzy and disoriented. If it wasn’t for the abundance of support from family and friends I may have stayed in bed a lot longer and possibly started on prescription medications. I knew my brother well and I knew he would be so hurt if I gave up from tragedy. So I joined Facebook again and I went through all Jons stuff and all his Facebook posts. He aired his heart and life on there! I have never known a person to take so many selfies and pics with people in my life! He may have struggled every single day of his life! But every single day of his life he helped people! He was out there living and showing his highs and lows to everyone. The stories everyone shared and he shared really helped me to realize I can recover from this. It’s crazy but I’m so thankful! It was heart wrenching at first and the It became comforting knowing he helped so many people. It was like he wanted to capture his journey in life the past few years and how he had some good times too! I’m forever grateful he did this.His tragedy and my grieving is not easy but I really try and find the good in life more now! I want to try and be the best I can be to my family and support people who are hurting and struggling.
My journey in this life so far as I’m sure so many had not been an easy one. But I’m here to say that there are so many people who are willing to try and help and support. Take it!!! I am 41 years alive I have two beautiful healthy daughters ages 10 and 5 who can’t even begin to wrap their head around the stories of my past from the lifestyle they get to live. We tell each other every single day quite a few times how much we love each other. I have a wonderful supportive partner. I also have my own business of going 13 years. I feel I owe my success to number one a whole lot of hard work and focus. Number two all the people( mentors) that saw something in me and helped to guide me through the struggles and hardships in life. This is the thing I believe we’re all put here for a reason. Believe that there will be better days and there always will be. Make a plan always even if it’s to go for a walk or get groceries. Step out of your comfort zone once in awhile you will be the most alive when you do this. Find a good support group. For me that’s the lovely people I work with. Reach out don’t try and conquer this life alone! Thanks for asking me to write this.


#AddictiveDesigns #Interventionsondemand #UGM #Vancouver #Survivor #addiction #recovery #reddeer #Katzmeowhair


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